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Journeys : October November 2009
Can we have a rail public transport system linking the Norther n suburbs of Hobart with the CBD? Yes we can, says young Hobart electrical engineer Ben Johnston -- and he's done the numbers, too. A senior electrical engineer who worked with Network Rail (UK) in the Power Supply Upgrade Design Team for the West Coast Main Line 2005/06, Ben is also a member of the Railway Technical Society of Australasia. Recently he gave a presentation about his idea to restore rail public transport in Hobart at a meeting of the R ACT's Souther n Regional Advisory Committee, and received unanimous acclaim. The proposal features battery powered rail vehicles (similar to those pictured) traversing the existing norther n suburbs rail cor ridor between the City and Granton. Some stations have passing loops and recharging facilities to allow trains to travel in both directions on the single track and batteries to be recharged while passengers embark/disembark. In peak times up to four trains could operate at 12 minute intervals. The proposal seeks to maximise the efficient use of current infrastructure by using the existing rail infrastructure. It also focuses on a highly tran sport-dependent corridor of suburbs that are currently disadvantaged by the increasing congestion at peak times of the Brooker Highway and Main Road tr unk routes. It features the flexibility to provide Hobart's Northern Suburbs -- a rail public transport proposal How much longer should we wait? The R ACT's North-West Regional Advisory Committee has held significant concerns for some time about the safety of road-users at the Stanley tur n-off from the Bass Highway. The Committee has been calling for further upgrading of this intersection throughout 2008 and 2009. The Committee had previously been advised that design work had been prepared, including the removal of the splitter island on the left of vehicles tur ning out of the junction from Stanley. A full length deceleration lane was also planned for the highway approach from the wester n direction. The installation of a roundabout had also been considered. However at time of printing, there had been no further action. How much longer will it be before this dangerous intersection is m ade safe? effective integration with intermodal options for passengers (such as park-and- ride and buses). Of course, it won't be cheap. Ben's full costings put the total cost of the project somewhere between $40-66 million. The full presentation, including some ter rific slides of the old Northern Suburbs railway stations, as given by Ben to the Institution of Engineering and Technology (Tasmanian Network) in June this year can be dow nloaded (it's a large file) from http://www.savenkov.org/misc/IET_ Mid_year_lecture_2009_ slides.pdf The R ACT is grateful for the permission to reproduce his work here. This year's Wrest Point Royal Hobart International Wine Show -- one of the largest capital city wine shows in Australia -- is introducing some major innovations, including a focus on a Tasm anian wine gem, pinot noir. Conducted in November by the Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania, which also r uns the Royal Hobart Show and the Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards, the wine show is now a major date in the Australian wine industry calendar. Each year it attracts entries in 98 classes. Royal Hobart Wine Show -- championing Tassie's pinot noir However increasing pinot noir entries in recent years, together with the burgeoning pinot industry in Tasmania, have prompted the Wine Show Committee to take special steps to highlight this particular variety. This year Etihad Air ways will sponsor the Society's trophy for the Best Pinot Noir. The prize will provide the winner with two retur n tickets to Paris and allow the winner to visit Burgundy, the world's most famous pinot noir producing region. For more about the Wine Show, or the public tasting that follows, go to: w w w.hobartshowground.com.au In our community October / November 09 6
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