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Come ride the Obahn...

Started by obahnfan, March 10, 2010, 10:41:56 AM

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obahnfan

Adelaide is a fairly small city, and by the Spiderman test, not a city at all, since Spiderman would be left walking or taking the bus. (that being said, Canberra is nothing but a small town) But that's alright, as the bus system is fairly wonderful down here. Once upon a time Adelaide was tiny. And then it got bigger and sprawled out into the suburbs. People began to realize that travel to Rundle Mall to meet friends at the famous Mall's Balls was getting more difficult. And so a plan was hatched in 1986 to create an easy way to get into the city with little hassle.



The O-Bahn is, put simply, a train track for buses. The "tracks" are made of cement. Along the edge there is a high rim for the special wheels to push against. The rim guides the bus just like a train track and so the bus driver has to do next to no steering. With this, buses rarely come off the track and you can get up to speeds of 165 km/h (record being 178km/h). The track is elevated to account for the river-surrounding area it covers. The name "O-Bahn" comes from the German heritage both South Australia and the track has. It was designed by the German company, Daimler-Benz.



The 18 kilometer route, being the longest busway in the world, starts at Tea Tree Plaza Interchange. Westfield Tea Tree Plaza is a main shopping center in the north-east, and is an easy place to get to either by bus or car. The track passes through two other interchanges, Paradise and Klemzig. It winds through the north-eastern suburbs. It crosses the Torrens River several times and from the windows of the bus you there is fairly decent scenery of the river and trees. The track finishes at Hackney Road in the city, and depending on which number bus you have caught depends on where in the city you will be taken. The track doesn't extend into other suburbs, and so only people in the north-east have the privilege to ride it.



This is a brilliant system as it means a long journey into the CBD is cut down to about 10 minutes. It is also relaxing, since all you must do is stare out the window.



Buses travel throughout the city and suburbia, and timetables are available on the internet, newsagents or from Adelaide Metro offices around the place. There are hundreds of bus stops all around Adelaide, and they can be found through the use of Google maps. This makes them being an excellent way to get around should you have no car, and also they are fairly cheap. You can buy tickets on the bus, or at petrol stations and some newsagents. When buying them on the bus you buy them from the driver, whom you must pass when you board. You then validate your ticket with the box on your right as you walk further into the bus. Don't put the ticket near you phone as they are magnetically marked and the mobile phone will ruin your ticket.



The buses are comfortable, have lighting, heating, air-conditioner. Only the older ones have windows that may be opened, but they have no air-conditioner. The buses are Mercedes, and were specially designed for the track. This caused problems of expense when the new buses were needed, as there was no local manufactures. There is wheelchair access on the new buses, a no-smoking rule on all of them, and the only animals allowed aboard are guide dogs.



We are Adelaideans, and we get our excitement where we can. Come to Adelaide. Ride the O-Bahn. YOu'll like it, promise - I am certain that this is one of the best, if not the best bus system in all of Australia.

Buzz Killington

I haven't been to Adelaide or read much about the obahn so I found this to be a very informative post - all the facts are presented, and some photos to top it off.. very well done!

Barry Drive

Quote from: obahnfan on March 10, 2010, 10:41:56 AM
The track passes through two other interchanges, Paradise and Klemzig.

...

The buses are Mercedes, and were specially designed for the track. This caused problems of expense when the new buses were needed, as there was no local manufactures.
Modbury (Tea Tree Plaza) and Paradise Interchanges have multiple platforms and bus routes which do not solely use the O-Bahn. On the other hand, Klemzig does not so it is not an Interchange, it is a stop or station. You can transfer to the Circle Line 100 on OG Road from Klemzig, but you have to exit the station to do so.

The original buses for the O-Bahn were Mercedes O305s and O305Gs. However these are being decommissioned from track work and replaced by Scania K230UBs. MAN SL202s also operate on the track along with a one Merc O405NH and a Scania K320UA trial bus. MAN artics and Scania L94UBs previously serviced the track but these appear to have been converted back to normal buses.

Source: http://www.busaustralia.com/fleetlists/torrensalloc2.php?reqtype=93

CNG

Like Iam going to poke down to adelaide to go on the o'bann

Sir Pompously

Well, some people do. Do you not like traveling places? Seeing interesting things in other cities? Hell I went to Wellington to ride on Trolleybuses, because it is something different. Got to see a whole new country aswell. It is up to you whether you go down or not, however we really don't need to hear where you will not go without some kind of further explanation of your reasons, even then I am sure not many people would care. Unless your answer was 'Like, I am going to poke down to Adelaide to go on the Obahn' as that will then change the view of you answer.

smitho

Quote from: CNG on March 10, 2010, 08:07:34 PM
Like Iam going to poke down to adelaide to go on the o'bann

Being pedantic, it's across to Adelaide, not 'down to Adelaide'.

(Canberra is in fact further south than Adelaide, so you'd be correct to say, 'up' to Adelaide).

obahnfan

Quote from: CNG on March 10, 2010, 08:07:34 PM
Like Iam going to poke down to adelaide to go on the o'bann

Please CNG, I just came here for a nice chat about The Obahn.

Snorzac

I remember when I was about four going on the Obahn, an O305G, I think, I do remember it been an old looking artic. Last time I was in Adelaide I wanted to ride it but since we were taking my great grandma out everyday, with her in  wheelchair, it was a little hard to do. Next time I go to Adelaide I must do it. What type of buses operate on it now?

Thanks for the post obahnfan, love the picture of the STA B12BLEA!

Barry Drive

Quote from: Scania K320UB on March 10, 2010, 10:27:17 PM
What type of buses operate on it now?
Are your eyes painted on?

Quote from: Martin on March 10, 2010, 11:40:45 AMMercedes O305s and O305Gs (which) are being decommissioned from track work and replaced by Scania K230UBs. MAN SL202s also operate on the track along with a one Merc O405NH and a Scania K320UA trial bus.

obahnfan

Please relax Martin, no need to be rude to a fellow bus enthusiast.

Snorzac

Nah that's just Martin, lol. I just skimmed over the post

The Love Guru


CNG

Quote from: Sir Pompously on March 10, 2010, 09:32:04 PM
Well, some people do. Do you not like traveling places? Seeing interesting things in other cities? Hell I went to Wellington to ride on Trolleybuses, because it is something different. Got to see a whole new country aswell. It is up to you whether you go down or not, however we really don't need to hear where you will not go without some kind of further explanation of your reasons, even then I am sure not many people would care. Unless your answer was 'Like, I am going to poke down to Adelaide to go on the Obahn' as that will then change the view of you answer.

Well Iam going to Hong Kong and Macau and the highlight for me will be this model bus shop and the transport for me latter in the year! ;D

Snorzac

In the words of many others LEARN TO SPELL!!!

smitho

The O-Bahn was originally going to be a light rail line.  Preliminary work on the line had commenced when there was a change of state government (Labor lost).

The new Liberal government had gone to the election opposing the Adelaide to Tea Tree Gulley light rail link, so it was quickly axed and the O-Bahn built in its place.


CNG

Quote from: Scania K320UB on March 11, 2010, 07:55:39 PM
In the words of many others LEARN TO SPELL!!!

That is the right spelling any way it is my computer that is doing it, it is a bit slow. By the way your not a very good speller and most of your posts are full of mistakes and gramatical errors.

obahnfan

Quote from: CNG on March 12, 2010, 06:31:44 AM
That is the right spelling any way it is my computer that is doing it, it is a bit slow. By the way your not a very good speller and most of your posts are full of mistakes and gramatical errors.

If you are going to be pedantic to our fellow bus enthusiasts about the grammar, you should check your own. It is 'you're' in the context of 'you're not a very good speller'. Please be kind, we are all on the same team here.

Thumbs up for all! :)



Cheers guys!  :) :)

Obahnfan OUT!

Bus 400

I'll be heading over to Adelaide next month, what routes use the O-Bahn?

smitho

North-eastern suburban runs such as those serving Paradise, Rostrevor, Klemzig, Golden Grove etc with some running through to the West Beach aerodrome (Adelaide's main airport) via Grenfell St in the city.

There are new guide wheel fitted artic (and standard?)  buses being introduced to the O-Bahn replacing (eventually) the original fleet dating back to the late 1970s. A Torrens Transit driver told me recently that in his view these new buses are 'lemons' as they lack power when it is needed. By Adelaide standards, parts of the north-east are fairly hilly.

The O-Bahn corridor was being developed as a light rail system by a former state Labor Government, but work was stopped when the Libs won a state election where opposition to the light rail proposal was a big issue. One of the big points of debate was opposition from motoring interests  to reintroducing trams to Adelaide's main street, King William St.

Trams one in the end though - the recent Glenelg tram extension to the Railway Station and Entertainment Centre included the reintroduction of light rail down King William St - pity they didn't convert the O-Bahn to light rail as intended. The O-Bahn idea is dopey and expensive and doesn't do much for attracting motorists to public transport compared with what light rail can achieve......

p_stampy

I only just came across this thread.

Ben and I are going to RADelaide in October - might see if I can find it :)

Busnerd

Im still deciding if I should go in September or not, I have the 11th - 15th off work and haven't yet decided!

smitho

Quote from: Bus 400 on August 17, 2010, 10:53:35 PM
I'll be heading over to Adelaide next month, what routes use the O-Bahn?

Here is a link to a useful O-Bahn Guide put out by Adelaide Metro which will answer your question:-

http://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/guides/obahn1.html

Bus 400

Thanks for that link, my main push to go to Adelaide was from chatting with a bus driver. He was telling that Adelaide has some of the cleanest buses (graffiti wise) & less violence with no cages. He was saying, this has to do with actual punishments being handed out & no slaps on the wrists because their great great grandfather slapped a young lady

p_stampy

Say what?

Thanks also for the link Smitho :)

Bus 400

August 19, 2010, 04:30:08 PM #24 Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 04:30:34 PM by Bus 400
The SA Courts hand out proper punishents to those who cause affray on public transport, so the buses are clean & the drivers need little protection from the public (i.e. cages).

Barry Drive

Quote from: smitho on August 17, 2010, 11:20:01 PM
There are new guide wheel fitted artic (and standard?)  buses being introduced to the O-Bahn replacing (eventually) the original fleet dating back to the late 1970s.
Ummm ... no. Considering the O-Bahn was built in the '80s, I think you'll find that the original buses date from then. (Adelaide's Mercs were delivered at the same time as ACTION's second intake - around 84-86.) Originally it was just Merc O305s and O305Gs, then MANs were used.

If they are still in service, the best way to experience the O-Bahn in on a O305G - sit right up the back and open the windows. It's the best bus ride you'll ever have.

Bus400, I think you'll be somewhat disappointed: Adelaide is no stranger to the scratch-itti phenomenon.

smitho

Yes, you're quite right about the opening date (1986); I'd forgotten about the long lag between the decision to build light rail in the 1970s, then the Libs cancellation of the project followed by the decision to go for the O-Bahn. Wiki extract follows:

In 1973, the State Director-General of Transport spoke about using the Modbury corridor for public transport to improve services in the area, initially suggesting a heavy rail line be constructed to connect with the railway system. Over the next four years, the Department conducted the North East Public Transport Review (NEAPTR), which considered heavy rail, light rail, busways and freeways as options for the corridor. The study concluded in 1978 that a light rail line or busway were most viable. The governing Australian Labor Party, under Premier Don Dunstan, decided on a light rail proposal to extend the historic Glenelg tram. The new route was to continue along King William Street beyond the present terminus in Victoria Square and weave through the Adelaide Park Lands to the Modbury corridor.[8][11]

The light rail system was to connect with feeder buses at stations along the length of the corridor to transfer passengers onto suburban routes. New light rail vehicles were to be bought to replace the ageing 1929 H-Class vehicles. However, public opposition to the project was broad; the Adelaide City Council objected to the plan on the basis that it would interfere with the well-designed layout of the city proper. In response, the Government altered the plan to redirect the line underneath the city, significantly increasing the cost. Residents in inner-city suburbs such as St Peters were concerned about the noise of the light rail vehicles, and protested against any disruption of the Torrens Gorge, which lies in the Modbury corridor. The Liberal MP for Torrens, Michael Wilson, representing the north-eastern suburbs, vocally opposed the project on behalf of his constituents.[8][11]

Drilling commenced on the tunnel, but the resignation in 1979 of popular Premier Dunstan weakened the Government, along with widespread bus strikes and public dissatisfaction with the light rail project. In elections held that year, the Liberal Party gained government with a swing of 11% in their favour. Wilson became Transport Minister in the new cabinet and construction of the light rail project was halted immediately.[11]

Bus 400

I went for my first trip on the O-Bahn today, it was a great trip & good to be in a bus doing 100k/hr. They way the bus rocked, it was like bing on a train. I did notice that when the bus doors are open, the guide wheel moves in under the bus & comes back out when the doors close.

The only bad damage to public transport infrastructure was scratches on boards & a coke machine ripped about (door & all) at Tea Tree Plaza Interchange.

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Busnerd

Quote from: Bus 400 on September 26, 2010, 12:07:09 AM
a coke machine ripped about (door & all) at Tea Tree Plaza Interchange.
That was broken when I was down there

smitho

Quote from: Busn00b on September 26, 2010, 07:26:15 PM
That was broken when I was down there

I think you mean UP there..... (Adelaide is north of Canberra).

Better still, OVER there is the usual expression.

Busnerd

Considering I live in Sydney, I believe it is DOWN

Buzz Killington

September 27, 2010, 02:35:00 PM #31 Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 02:35:17 PM by Buzz Killington
QuoteBetter still, OVER there is the usual expression.

Or "Back" there...

Bus 400

When did you have your lesson on Australia? Adelaide is in a straight line with Sydney. So it has to be across or back.

The big thing I am noticing in Adelaide's buses is that they have no cab door. Funny thing is that in the next 18 or so months they are going to be fitting cages to the buses. This is reportedly going to be done when they introduce smart card ticketing in 18 or so months time.


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Barry Drive

Driver cages + manual wheelchair ramps. Someone hasn't thought this through enough.

Bus 400

Some of the contractors have screwed the metal box holders right where the hinge would be on the Volgren bodied buses. Custom Coaches bodied buses have a space up on the front dash near where the ticketing equipment is.

A few things that I was told have occurred on the O-Bahn include kids sticking their heads up through the gap as buses go along. Also cars follow buses into the O-Bahn & because the cars are wider then the O-Bahn track & the only way out is for a crane to be brought in to pull them out.

Over my past few days I've noticed that Adelaide Metro drivers are quite friendly  & I've been able to have some wonderful talks & been able to learn a lot about Adelaide.

I'll just add that the trains & trams have manual ramps & the drivers have to get out to operate them. But the rule is that wheelchair passengers have to wait at the spore closest to the driver.

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smitho

Quote from: Busn00b on September 27, 2010, 01:26:03 PM
Considering I live in Sydney, I believe it is DOWN
Yes, Sydney is more northerly than Adelaide.

Those metal cages enclosing the drivers cabs were promised by the state government a year or two ago after a number of assaults on drivers.

From a picture I've seen of them, they look pretty ugly, a bit like the cheap looking metal cages retro-fitted to the driver cabs on some of the older classes of Melbourne trams.