Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Chava
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby Chava » September 23rd, 2014, 10:32 am

Now that's why I call bold!

mattaudio
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby mattaudio » September 23rd, 2014, 10:40 am

I like the cut of your jib, E0st

talindsay
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby talindsay » September 23rd, 2014, 11:23 am

MNdible wrote:The electrical crossing may be more difficult than the tracks.
The electrical crossing would be no issue at all - both systems would run on 750V DC, most likely from the same power substations, and so a simple interconnection would work just fine. Remember, the power on the overhead line is constant and the vehicles just draw power from the wire to run their motors; the pantographs just glide along under the wire. As long as the wires are properly tensioned (a simple thing) it would be bog-simple. The actual connection would take a couple hours.

MNdible
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby MNdible » September 23rd, 2014, 11:51 am

Don't most streetcars run on a different system than LRT?

mulad
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby mulad » September 23rd, 2014, 11:57 am

There have been many standards historically, and I'm sure there are still a lot out there today -- the old streetcar network in the Twin Cities was 600VDC, but most modern systems use 750VDC. In some cases, older equipment has been retrofitted to handle the higher voltage, though I wouldn't be surprised if some old vehicles could handle it without modification. Even today, while 750VDC is the nominal voltage, it probably varies +/- 100 volts depending on conditions.

mattaudio
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby mattaudio » September 23rd, 2014, 12:00 pm

Most modern systems are all 750 v. Older streetcars were 600v DC, but even those can be somewhat easily converted to run on 750v DC.

There are plenty of grade crossings (and even track connections) between streetcars and LRT in Portland. http://goo.gl/maps/ZFKSB
After all, there's not really much difference between a streetcar and a LRV other than scale.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby MNdible » September 23rd, 2014, 12:24 pm

I don't know why, but I was thinking streetcars ran on AC.

talindsay
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby talindsay » September 23rd, 2014, 1:19 pm

The mainline high speed trains in Europe run on 15kV AC, but I believe American transit stock has generally been DC.

Regarding streetcars vs. LRT, keep in mind that today, they're actually THE SAME THING - we make a distinction between the two based on vehicle size, presence or absence of trains, amenities, and street vs. exclusive ROW, but those are all just details. The two technologies are one technology, and the old-school trolley-pole systems that ran on 600V DC are not part of the modern discussion around streetcar / LRT. In Europe they're pretty much all called "trams" to differentiate them from heavy rail, which is typically called "metro" or "subway". Trams come in all sorts of lengths and sizes, but they generally all run within the same operational parameters - standard-gauge track, a narrow range of loading gauges, and 750V DC overhead catenary.

So we can talk here about the artificial distinctions between light rail and streetcar until we're blue in the face, but the truth is that if this is built, at the intersection of Nicollet and 5th there will be two standard-gauge track sets crossing each other with an integrated 750V DC overhead catenary providing power for the two tramways.

HuskyGrad
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby HuskyGrad » September 23rd, 2014, 1:27 pm

Before the Portland Streetcar built their own heavy maintenance facility the streetcars would utilize the light rail trackage to reach the MAX maintenance facility.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby mulad » September 23rd, 2014, 2:26 pm

For folks that are really interested, voltages and AC/DC information is encoded into a lot of railways on OpenStreetMap. Here's one site that shows the data: http://www.itoworld.com/map/68

Tcmetro
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby Tcmetro » October 8th, 2014, 8:51 pm

The proposed layout for the Nicollet-Central streetcar line has been posted. The proposal terminal is at Blaisdell and Lake.
Some other things:

- No stops on Nicollet Mall from 9th to 5th.
- Various options at the Nicollet Hotel block, seems the preferred option is to go through the block diagonally.
- OMF options at 1st/University, Harrison St, and 14th Av NE. Harrison St seems to be preferred.
- Side running along Nicollet, center running on Hennepin, left lane running on E Hennepin and NE 1st St.

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups ... 132173.pdf

seanrichardryan
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby seanrichardryan » October 8th, 2014, 9:34 pm

It should go in a tunnel under the Temple of Nimes instead of cutting though the Nic block.
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nBode
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby nBode » October 8th, 2014, 9:51 pm

Oh man. This is so cool. Can I ask if there is any sort of timeline for this? Is there hope it could be incorporated into the Mall redo? I see they're often referencing that design.

I've always wondered if the intersection of Hennepin/Nicollet/Washington, and then going down Hennepin to the 2nd and 2st st intersections, could be redone to give a bit more priority to pedestrians and help connect the mall to the river. It seems like this could make a really easy connection without much effort.

Also, it would be great to see the streetcar extended down either Hennepin or Central. I think that would help connect NE to the city, and really make the St. Anthony Main/Hennepin & Central area feel like a part of the city (more so than having the streetcar terminate so close to the river at the Superior Plating site.

grant1simons2
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby grant1simons2 » October 8th, 2014, 11:18 pm

Oh wow something that actually affects me directly. The car goes right in front of my work and will be fun to see how the owner of the shop reacts to this one. Anyways, it's good that they're really trying to get this one right. Presenting a few options for the route around the Nic block was good, I personally think I like option C the best but it could get hairy if the Broadway Street car goes through. I really wonder how drivers on Nicollet will react to a train being in front of them. I would hope it can travel at speeds around 30+ mph or else it could become a problem. Love how much detail there is in this though, awesome line that was needed to be done.

Minnekid
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby Minnekid » October 9th, 2014, 1:06 am

I don't think this is the best idea. Honestly a street car has no value over a bus going down the same route. It goes the same speed or even slower, is generally the same size or not much bigger and is just a larger cost of money. If you're going to build a route down on those streets I would say a tunneled lrt for most of it or nothing at all.

gpete
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby gpete » October 9th, 2014, 5:41 am

Looks like the stop at 3rd and Nicollet is too close to the stop on the diagonal thru the Nic Hotel block.


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twincitizen
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby twincitizen » October 9th, 2014, 6:32 am

Tcmetro wrote:The proposed layout for the Nicollet-Central streetcar line has been posted. The proposal terminal is at Blaisdell and Lake.
Some other things:

1. No stops on Nicollet Mall from 9th to 5th.
2. Various options at the Nicollet Hotel block, seems the preferred option is to go through the block diagonally.
3. OMF options at 1st/University, Harrison St, and 14th Av NE. Harrison St seems to be preferred.
4. Side running along Nicollet, center running on Hennepin, left lane running on E Hennepin and NE 1st St.

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups ... 132173.pdf
1. Potentially awesome. That's .3 mile. I won't believe it til I see it though. Plus, there'd likely be at least one bus stop in that span, which the streetcar will get stuck behind, so I'm not popping the champagne yet. I think a lot of this hinges on whether Nicollet Mall is actually able to squeeze in that island thing between 6th and 8th. That would leave the remaining building-side sidewalks so narrow that you could not possibly have transit stops (no room for shelters or queueing space).

2. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Whatever they do, they had better plan it around the development of that block.
3. Why is Harrison preferred? By whom? That seems less ideal and requires a sizable amount of non-revenue track to be built along E Hennepin.
4. I'm still not convinced that Nicollet (Eat Street) should retain its 3-lane profile. If it does, snow will need to be FULLY removed from the parking lanes to keep parked cars out of the streetcar's "clear zone". Last winter, the snow accumulation pushed parked cars way out from the curb, essentially leaving a 2-lane street--the center lane was "shared" by each direction as part of the driving lane.

4b/IDEA. I don't like splitting up E Hennepin/1st Ave NE either. I'd like to entertain putting both tracks on 1st Ave NE, in the northernmost 2 lanes (1 parking/turn lane, 1 driving lane), not shared with vehicles. This would facilitate a much easier turn onto Central Ave as well. Also, those lanes on the Hennepin Ave bridge better not be shared with cars. It's high time to reduce that bridge to 2 lanes each direction. It's not a highway.

HuskyGrad
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby HuskyGrad » October 9th, 2014, 7:16 am

Tcmetro wrote:- No stops on Nicollet Mall from 9th to 5th.
Along the Nicollet Mall the plans state "Alignment and Streetcar/Bus Stop Locations to be Finalized by Mall Reconstruction Project".

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mister.shoes
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby mister.shoes » October 9th, 2014, 8:26 am

twincitizen wrote:4b/IDEA. I don't like splitting up E Hennepin/1st Ave NE either. I'd like to entertain putting both tracks on 1st Ave NE, in the northernmost 2 lanes (1 parking/turn lane, 1 driving lane), not shared with vehicles. This would facilitate a much easier turn onto Central Ave as well. Also, those lanes on the Hennepin Ave bridge better not be shared with cars. It's high time to reduce that bridge to 2 lanes each direction. It's not a highway.
I like where you're going with this. Why not make the north half of that bridge 100% auto-free? Streetcar + wide bikeway + pedestrian from Main street to West River Parkway. The south half is 100% auto lanes: two narrowish lanes going each way with no sidewalk. Both Hennepin and 1st will become two-way on the NE side of the river, solving the "how do we deal with the bridge if we convert the streets to two-way in NE?" problem.
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mattaudio
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Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby mattaudio » October 9th, 2014, 8:30 am

If that's the case, why not keep the streetcar on Hennepin, but move more of the two-way traffic flows to 1st?

Either way, I think the streetcar should take over the inside lanes of both spans on the Hennepin bridge. Due to streetcar loading gauge being significantly narrower than a traffic lane plus curb reaction zone, it should be completely possible to do a streetcar, two traffic lanes, AND a wider bike lane within the existing deck space.


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