Ireland and document libraries

Ireland’s “Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) “is responsible for managing and improving the country’s national road and light rail networks”. TII has just (June 2016) launched a publications website, which offers access to documents such as standard cross-sections.

The country’s Department of Transport, Tourism  and Sport (DTTAS) has its own publications website, whilst the National Transport Authority (NTA) also makes available documents for download. Maybe these three sources could be merged into a single, searchable library sometime.

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Hot weather stops trains

Hot weather in southern England recently forced the cancellation of a number of train services. Basically it seems the track designers did not design the tracks to take the temperatures which have been experienced this year, leading to greater than expected extension of the rails, and so to rail buckling.

Higher temperatures may be a permanent feature of the UK climate. If so, it looks like rail tracks may have a long-term design problem, and one which would take a large amount of money to put right. Other infrastructure might have a  similar problem. For example, perhaps structural engineers have similarly under-designed the expansion joints in bridges.

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New urban road cross-sections tool

Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council has made available online a very useful tool for planning the cross-sections of urban roads. The Abu Dhabi Urban Street and Utility Design Tool is available in French, English and Arabic.

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New way of reducing train delays

Following a series of complaints about massive delays in their train services, a UK company has come up with a new way of solving the problem – cancel some of the services. If the idea catches on rail services may eventally be able to guarantee 100% punctuality by running no trains at all.

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Road design – road types

In recent posts I have discussed the idea of the “technical environment” for road design. One of the seven technical factors which I suggest describe this environment is “road type”.  Continue reading

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Road design – the vehicle environment

veh 02This is the third of three posts which refer to the presentation by Dr. John Rolt of the UK’s TRL (ref. 2211). In the previous post, I said that

“It is easy to read through a document with road design standards, check out the values for a particular design parameter such as gradient, and then start to design the road. However the first steps should be to decide the technical environment in which the planned road finds itself”.

Continue reading

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Road design – the technical environment

This is the second of three posts which refer to the presentation by Dr. John Rolt of the UK’s TRL (ref. 2211).

Discussion

It is easy to read through a document with road design standards, check out the values for a particular design parameter such as gradient, and then start to design the road. However the first steps should be to decide the technical environment in which the planned road finds itself.  Continue reading

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Minimum horizontal radius (again)

I recently posted another update to my technical note on minimum horizontal radius (you can download a copy from Academia (here) and from ResearchGate (here)). Afterwards I came across a presentation by Dr. John Rolt, given in 2013 (?), on “Geometric design and safety for low volume rural roads (LVRR)” (ref. 2211). Dr. Rolt has some powerful points to make about various aspects of road design, including on horizontal radius, which I found particularly interesting. For example, after briefly covering the standard formula for calculating minimum horizontal radius, Dr. Rolt says: Continue reading

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3D road design

Two authors from the National Technical University of Athens recently published a paper on 3D road design. You can find copies of the paper online. It is called”Three dimensional road design by applying differential geometry and conventional design approach criteria” and is available from sites such as Academia and Research Gate. Continue reading

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NMT and a new transport user hierarchy

Not exactly new ….

In a previous post (here) I wrote:

Non-motorised transport (NMT) is as much a part of road transport systems in countries such as the UK and Holland as it is  in countries such as Uganda and Ghana. The points being made here then are that

  • NMT must surely deserve a bigger share of attention and funding in developed countries than it gets at the moment

  • NMT should be included in any formal classification of road transport, and on a par with motorised transport at the highest level

It turns out that this is not exactly a new idea, and seems to be one which is widely accepted (except perhaps by people developing road programmes). Continue reading

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