From 1861 until 1961, Sydney had the largest Tramway network in the British Empire outside of London. Indeed even today, in terms of Kilometres of track Sydney may still have had a larger system than that of Melbourne.So what is Light Rail? Basically they are low floor vehicles that run on rails with their own right-of-way. Light Rail Vehicles have the electrical workings contained in the roof. Passengers enter Light Rail vehicle from a raised platform.
Trams in comparison have the electrical workings underneath the floor. Passengers are required to step up onto a Tramcar.
So for what reason did Sydney and many other cities abandon Trams? The universal ownership of motor cars was the official reason for the death knell of our Trams. So why didn’t buses also cease operation? That is the 64 dollar question.
Since 1997, Sydney has had Light Rail operating from the Central Station Colonnade to initially Wentworth Park and now to Lilyfield.
IMSARR supports extending the line from Central to Circular Quay and Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill. IMSARR has some route ideas beyond these two line extensions but would like to receive plans from other groups who have some specific routes. By working together, Light Rail plans can complement IMSARR’s Railway plans.
Beyond Dulwich Hill, any Light Rail line needs to be as part of a continued network and not operating in isolation. Light Rail lines should also complement an expanded Rail network and not act in competition. Governments are keen to commence a network of Metro Rail lines. Some people support an expansion of Light Rail. The reason that a comprehensive plan to upgrade and expand our Railways was drawn up is because the most effective improvement to our Public Transport network lies in simply expanding what we have got already. It is the easiest option that will provide for the maximum public benefit.
Light Rail interacts with road traffic, although to a lesser degree than that of our old Tramways.IMSARR’s Railway plans stand alone from interference with road traffic.