Scarab is currently being evaluated.
It really depends on whether you feel like some ocean scenery or some mountains and jungle. If anyone has ridden this route, any advice would be appreciated. And is the fastest way back from Hue on a train? Unsre if I will load bike on train or try to organise a drop-off in Hue, if that is even possible.
Followg the route map from Saigon to Nha Tran in this guide. To follow this route zoom in on the relevant sections of this route map — it can be a bit difficult to follow, but it is worth it. Both QL24 and QL49 are scenic roads but there are reports of some road works on them, so be prepared for a slower ride time. Yes, days is a decent amount of time to have for this road tip — although, as always, the more time you have the better.
Yes, you can put your bike on the train from Hue back to Saigon. Or maybe Tigit Motorbikes or Flamingo Travel can arrange a drop-off. It certainly does help, Tom. Yes, sure — try Rent a Bike Vietnam, they have an office in Danang: Good day Tom , Have a little unusual question this morning.
I am headed south from Pleiku returning to Saigon as I have to return to the US do to my mother falling extremely ill. I will make Boun Ma Thout this evening and wondered if you know what my fastest route south from there?
Some friends last week told me ql27 headed south toward Da Lat was nice but very slow and south of there I have no idea on any of the roads. Very sorry to hear about your mother. The journey is about km and can be ridden in one day if you start early in the morning. I thought 14 looked like the most direct route but sometimes these roads can fool you in the time department. We all get old and there is not much we can do about it.
This is the first time in 33 years of travel she has ever requested me. So you do what you need to do. It turns out this is a major construction sites over 10km long, with bridges being built, and we had to ride through rivers and very slippery mud, taking us 3hrs to get to the Eastern portion of the HCM road.
And if anyone knows which road I ended up being on that has this massive construction linking the east and west Ho Chi Minh road above Khe Sanh, please let me know. I think you must have taken the road from Tang Ky. Someone has commented before that this road is undergoing repairs. Hello, I love your blog. It not only gives travellers useful tips but also shows how beautiful Vietnam is.
As a Vietnamese, I would like to thank you so much for that. Because I dont have much time to go all the route you did, I want to choose the best section to conquer. I have days only. Is it the best? First of all I wanted to thank you again for superb guides that helped me plan my trip. So far it was awesome! I was wondering if you know how is it when it comes to nha nghis during the Tet?
I still have my tent but the weather here is slightly different from what I experienced at the south ;P. But certainly not all of them, because lots of Vietnamese travel at this time of year making long journeys so many guesthouses stay open to cater to them.
Some long days of driving km are fine too, especially on the Ho Chi Minh Road because traffic is light and the road condition is good.
First of all I want to thank you for your reply. So the amount of days I have should be enough, are there also some places with tourists so that we can have a little party and mingle with the other backpackers? And were thinking of renting a bike.. And where do you think that we should start our trip Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh.
And is it true that we can only rent 50cc bikes due the regulations? Im sorry for al my questions.. I know that it seems that i didnt do much of searching and looking up stuff, but in the contrary..
You can meet and drink and party with other backpackers in plenty of places along the way: Son Trach also known as Xuan Son and Phong Nha is a small place but the growing backpacker vibe in some of the hostels means you can have a fun night drinking and chatting there. Then Nha Trang is probably the best place for nightlife in Vietnam after Saigon, of course.
Yes, renting in Hanoi and dropping the bike back in Saigon or the other way around is possible. Standard bikes are cc and that is what the vast majority of riders use. I can not even express my gratitude in finding you. Your amazing adventure has completely changed my plans around. I have been doing research for weeks and I was starting to get a little sad about my trip. Also the throngs of pictures with tourest everwhere also isnt my thing even though I am one so finally I find your site and my spirits are renewed.
I am beyond excited for the ride ahead. Not sure though if I can make it. I have exactly 23 days in Vietnam from April 22 to May 16th starting in Saigon. I want to make it over to Ankor wat for sure. I will probably do this first.
Is it okay to cross border on rented scooter or should I just take the bus? I also want to travel up north to Hanoi. I would like to follow your route all the way. I would though like to just fly back to Saigon so I have a little time to chill and not feel rushed. Just renting a bike from Saigon and leaving it in Hanoi. I am an experienced rider and not afraid to travel alone Vietnam so no worries there. Vietnam seems safer then India and I did that by myself. I would have to do that whole trek in under 2 weeks.
Is that even possible? Wish I saw you before I bought my ticket I would stay longer. Thank you so much for the insperation, the writing, the vidoes. I cant wait to read all your other articles. However, I suggest either taking the bus or flying at least one way between Saigon and Angkor. This way you will have more time to do the ride. Two weeks is OK, but between 2 and 3 weeks is much, much better.
It will give you the time to really enjoy the riding, the scenery, the people, the food etc. Driving the Ho Chi Minh Highway. So many of us Ho Chi Miners use your site as a bible for the ride. There is a village a bit north of Tan Ky close to the valley of rice fields where there is petrol and a hotel called Duc Tuan Hotel — Tom, Been following your web site for awhile and must say it is of great value and thank you for your work.
I am flying into Ho Chi Minh on the 30 th of Jan for 10 weeks. Plan on buying a bike in the south and slowly working north trying to catch the last couple weeks of March in the far north depending on weather..
Your route will be invaluable not to mention the rest of your site. I spent a month in Vietnam in and just loved it and have been riding for 40 plus years though I have never ridden anywhere else in the world like Vietnam.. With 10 weeks you should have a great time! But from you say it should be OK there. Remember to bring a multiple adapter so that you can charge all your stuff at the same time!
Thanks for super useful and inspiring guide! Is it gonna be very hard to get out of Saigon and get to the coast? From what I know this part of year is okay when it comes to the south. Is it also true that central highlands and north will be dry but chilly?
Does it make sense to ride there back and forth? Yes, getting out of Saigon is not that fun. But as you move further north the temperatures will get a lot cooler. Take a look at my guide to Weather in Vietnam. Read my guide the Hai Van Pass here and I will also be publishing a guide to this loop in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned. How is it when it comes to safety? Can I leave my tent and go for the ride to the village?
Is it and the rest of my regular things gonna be where I left it? In general, you should try to be as discreet as possible when you are camping in the wild.
This is not so much to do with safety, but more to do with not drawing attention to yourself. Also, remember that UXO unexploded ordnance is still an issue when camping off the beaten track: The last two days from Kon Tum to Aluoi have been great days with heavy white clouds in the mountains between the two tunnels.
Do you know of the exact location of the accommodation mentioned in the above posts at Thuong Son Long Son. The km is a little to long for my wife in one day. Therefore i need an alternative or I my have to skip this section. Start very early in the morning, and remember that, even if you get stuck at night, you will find some one to put you up for a night: I am currently doing a south to north trip.
The coastal road along the Mui Dinh Promontory is under construction again the new road that they have built is covered with landslides they are blasting all the hanging rocks off the hill side now. The road at the time we went through last week was open but only to motorbike and bicycle as there was only small path opened by the locals. It looks as if they will be working on this road for a while still. But a beautiful section of road. I have uploaded it to google.
Very clean and helpful staff. Thanks for your update on roads and guest houses. I hope you have a few days of sunshine and warmth. I would be SO depressed if I ever saw dog being served anywhere.
What an awesome article thank you so much! Me and my friend just bought some bikes yesterday and made our way up to cat ba. What an awfull road haha! Roadconstruction and tons of crazy trucks. Was a nice adventure anyway. How long would id take you to do both? Any suggestions how we could do that? Do you have any expirience with selling bikes in cambodia? Or if you want to go to Hue first, just take the road east down to Hue from A Luoi. From Thanh My head east to Hoi An.
How long it takes depends on how many days you want to spend in the cities — but the ride itself can be done in 2 days. Really great site you put together and especially very informative when it comes to the motorbiking.
This would be my first time on a bike and I am also traveling alone female backpacker , thus the hesitation. This route seems great though: Currently I am in Saigon but I want to work my way up to Hanoi next week. I was thinking of doing the coastal route going north by bus then come December, working my way back down again via the Ho Chi Minh Road on a bike. Any thoughts on going North to South vs South to North?
I also figured maybe along the way I might meet some people who would want to do this with me if anyone reading this is interested please reach out! I also have some questions about purchasing a bike, if you could please reach out via email that would be great. I think travelling on your own as a female in Vietnam should not be an issue. Vietnam is still generally a very safe country in which to travel.
Just take all the normal precautions you would in any other country. I would recommend travelling north to south at that time of year because, in December, the weather in the north and central regions will be turning a little chilly. Couple of questions what bikes would you recommend would be better for backpackers and would you suggest biking all the way from hcm to your starting point or get transport their then start?
We were gonna go all the way to Hanoi. Just make sure you stay on the new ocean roads and back roads as much as possible, thus avoiding Highway 1: Of course, it also depends how much time you have. If you want to get to Kon Tum as fast as possible then take the HCM Road or Highway 1 all the way, but you would be missing out on some great coast roads.
You can also browse all my coastal routes here. A fully automatic Yamaha Nouvo or Honda equivalent is good, or a semi automatic: HI, I found your website so useful! I made a video about my trip https: I would love to take the scenic route but like people are saying, no one around for km. What to do if your bike breaks in that place: I would definitely avoid Highway 1 as much as possible. Just remember this word: Hey again, figured id report back regarding the condition of the road I mentioned previously.
Thanks so much for this valuable update. Really liking your site. Full of some really great information and has been super handy on our trip so far. I really enjoy the inland roads and mountains. I saw the route on your map cuts out to the ocean after that. Is that because its a nicer ride along the ocean roads? The Ho Chi Minh Road south of Kon Tum is nowhere near as scenic as the central and northern sections — it follows two relatively boring plateaus.
Plus, road works on that section have kept most riders away for at least the last year. Highway 24 from Kon Tum to Quang Ngai is great.
Then you have to stay on Highway 1 for about an hour and a half before turning off at Tam Quan for lovely coastal back-roads to Quy Nhon and beyond.
Click the yellow stars for links to my guides to the coastal back-roads, particularly south of Nha Trang. Or if you want to head back up into the mountains, the road from Nha Trang to Dalat is good.
As you mentioned, there was very little north of Khe Sanh. We were close to deciding to head back to the coast for the last km. We got a tip-off from a tour guide about a place to stay in Thuong Son marked as Long Son if you zoom in enough on google maps , about km north of Khe Sanh.
Sure enough, a rudimentary hostel was there, in the beautiful village. It was pretty clean. The owners seemed surprised to see us. And the building was distinctly empty. There was no food in the hostel itself but a few places to get rice and pho in the village.
We were charged , VND for the room. The best food was turning left out of the hostel, and left again at a sign for food up a track to a house with a large terrace.
Just a question re the day 4 part of this trip, Im so keen to do this but just concerned if anything happens to my bike as Im travelling alone, I assume there is no chance of finding mechanics on this road?!
There are people and houses here and there. Thank you for this post. Thanks again for bringing this ride to my attention. We still have the bikes in Laos and hope to sell them soon in Ving Vieng or Vientiane. Still a great time though.
I was there in so it must have changed a lot since then. Hi Tom, Thanks for your incredibly useful guide. Here are some trip notes people may find useful:. Phong Nga Yr right — it is touro madness with mediocre foods.
But get up early and grab some Banh Mi rolls being made in the street. Also bought cooked corn and pineapples from local market and that set us up for the ride to Khe Sanh. This is a great 21k section of road that spits you out at a 4 way junction. Yep you were right there! We saw no one and nothing for at least kms. Staying in A Luoi The Thanh Quang was definitely a brilliant guest house — the lady who runs it made us very welcome and our bikes secure at night.
The only thing on the road was cow poo. Vietnamese road engineers Australia needs you! Road conditions are so good but take it easy last few ks into Thanh My. There are guest houses in Thanh My, we stayed at a brand new one on the left as you ride into town.
They looked after us heaps better than hotels. Works great from English to Vietnamese but Vietnamese people told me its a shocker the other way around. For ks across Vietnam it helped us a lot though, installing the Vietnamese keyboard on my phone was incredibly helpful. Hi Thank you for this, very well writen en perfect guidance.
And thanks for sharing the valuable information about the fuel too. Just wanted to thank you for your amazing blog! Just plowed my way through highway 17 from Ea Drang to Pleiku. Mostly under construction right now, but that makes you appreciate the good bits even more! Thanks to your extensive coverage of the ho chi min road. Glad you enjoyed that section despite the road works. Your blog is brilliant!
My boyfriend and I are not only your followers online but also on the road! We are planning on riding on to Da Lat. Can you recommend a route through the backroads? The last 10km towards Kon Tum were on a Highway under construction only one lane or a bumpy gravelroad with loads of trucks — yuck!!
So it might be best to cut down to the coast and then head back up to Dalat from Nha Trang. Here turn east towards the ocean and work your way on back-roads all the way to Vung Ro bay south of Tuy Hoa. Here you rejoin Highway 1 for the last km to Nha Trang.
Zoom in on this map to see the coastal back-roads mentioned above. Easy Rider Reis up! It helped a lot to see different Vietnam. We have enjoyed HCM road a lot. And you tips about Homestay was extremely good.
It rained a lot, and clouds hidden the best parts of mountains. Hi Lukas, Glad you enjoyed the trip, despite the rain. Hey man, your guide sounds really awesome. I have many questions to ask, so yeah, firstly, may I know how do you reach Kon Tum? Also, how do you exit the country from the last checkpoint, Pho Chau? Do you take a bus to Hanoi and exit from the Airport at Hanoi, since its nearer? Hi, Thanks for your comment. I have replied to you by email. Highway 19 goes to Quy Nhon on the coast and from there you can take the coastal back-roads and Highway 1 to Nha Trang: For the best coastal route from Quy Nhon to Nha Trang zoom in on the relevant section of this map.
Too old to drive a motor bike never driven one either. Any other means to take tis wonderful trip? Please sed copy or reply to email address also. Hi William, Yes, you could do it by car. Have you ever made a trip out to the border of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia? You will have to use Bing maps for more details. There is one route that is completely paved however, it lacks most off the scenery until you get to the top.
Most of the other routes will be dirt and on the ridge line of the mountains as you bypass locals carrying sugarcane across the borders to make some extra money. Be warned you most likely will encounter few people. Lots of rolling hills and beautiful country side. The do have pictures of the survey stone to mark the junction of the three countries. It also looks like they took the non-scenic road when it was still under construction.
Hi, Yes, I actually ended up in that area last year by mistake. However, after an hour I realized I was on the wrong road and turned back around again. I tend to stay off dirt roads because my bike is not well-suited to mud! Thanks for the tip! I have the same exact bike as you, if you are still rocking the Nuovo 3 that is. You should be fine! Firstly, great site, well put together, informative and well written. After attempting India solo on 2 wheels I gave it up as a bad idea.
Here the roads look great though. I became super excited to ride, so much so I searched for a bike in the old quarter here in Hanoi, as suggested by my hotel front of house staff. My question here is, do you recommend the ride between Hanoi and the start point on your map? Home stays are my first choice.
Guest houses and if necessary, hotels. Do you perhaps have a list of recommend places with contacts I could reach from prior booking and availability? It would be a big help. Lastly, any essentials you recommend to take along? Homestays are more difficult to find. Essentials — well, make sure you bring a good rain coat! Also bring plenty of big plastic bin bags to put your luggage in during any rain.
Do you mean 10 days to get a motorbike licence? Hope you have a great trip. We would be coming from Goa india,hoping to have just a short stay. Can you not apply in advance? We would like to do this trip but could only make it during Oct to late Jan. Thank you so much for this guide, I would never have done this trip without this website. I never would have even known about it. I am writing this from Khe Sanh right now. The name is Khanh Phuong Hotel if you want to edit your guide.
Your email address will not be published. Subscribe to Latest Posts! I've lived, travelled and worked in Vietnam since , and I love it here. Vietnam Coracle is my way of making sure you'll love it too Search Hotels in Vietnam: Motorbike Guide Devin Smith says: January 7, at 6: Hi Tom, First I just wanted to say thank you for the guides! January 7, at 7: December 9, at 8: Hey Tom, Great guide as usual. Which route would you suggest me from Hanoi to Pho Chau? December 10, at 4: August 17, at Hi Tom, Thank you for the great blog with all the important information.
Thanks for the info. August 17, at 1: I hope this helps, Tom. August 17, at 3: Hi Tom, Thanks for the reply. Hi Michael, Yes, two weeks is possible. July 15, at July 17, at 5: Hi Jess, Thanks for the update. I hope the ride into Hanoi goes smoothly. June 1, at June 2, at 6: Hi Tom, Great to hear about your road trip and that my site helped you out along the way. And thank you for your kind donation to my site, I really appreciate it. June 29, at 2: June 29, at 4: Hi Allan, You can spend as long or as little as you like riding this route.
June 30, at 1: July 1, at 2: June 30, at 2: April 16, at 3: April 16, at 5: Hi Fabian, Thanks very much for the update. Great to hear that you enjoyed your road trip. April 9, at April 9, at 3: Hi Dan, Well, the first hour or so getting out of Saigon is always pretty bad.
January 30, at 9: January 31, at Hi Ashley, First get the Maps. January 31, at 3: January 31, at 4: January 16, at 1: Hi Tom, This website is fantastic and you deserve a lot of credit for what you have done! January 16, at I hope you enjoy the ride, Tom. January 17, at 2: March 13, at 1: March 14, at 3: January 7, at 5: December 5, at 9: Hi Tom, Thank you so much for sharing your motorbike travels in Vietnam.
December 6, at 2: November 3, at 7: November 3, at 8: Hi Hai, Great to hear you enjoyed your road trip. January 10, at 1: Hi David, Glad you enjoyed the ride and thanks for the updates. August 15, at August 1, at 2: The front two drivers in each car will decide if and who they would take as non-drivers passengers. Besides shared car rental, petrol, toll, car park, and insurance, the back two passengers will pay an additional SGD 15 per person per day to a pool fund for dinner, as recommended by the treasurer.
Unlike Chiangmai and North Thailand, this trip will see plenty of flat lands and long stretches of sea. Food wise, we can expect plenty of fresh seafood, southern thai food spicy , both Chinese and Muslim style. Plse note ALL participants will have to do some planning and research. I expect to start planning in Jan Please indicate if going as driver or passenger.
All back seat pessengers are on waiting list, subject to driver approved basis. This Nov gathering will be held at Kallang Wave. The monthly gathering serves as a platform for members to meet new and more SilverHairs friends. More details will be added here.
Sat 17 Nov Venue: Stadium station CC6 Exit A. After 6pm watch for change in time , another activty will commence from Kallang Wave. Those interested in cycling can join DouglasC and AndrewK to rent a bic and cycle to Marina Barrage, a journey which is beautiful, scenic and refreshing. Those who wish to walk, you can also start from Kallang Wave, after the gathering at 6pm, and walk 3km to Marina Barrage.
The tentative end point is Satay by the Bay. Kallang mrt to Marina Bay Date: Distance 6 km Meeting Place: Charles Wee with Christina Chan. This is a very popular route for an evening walk. The walk takes us to the most beautiful and scenic part of Singapore, its waterways and manicured gardens. Enjoy a panaromic view of modern Singapore, its many iconic landmarks and smartly designed buildings.
There we take a lift to its upper floor jogging track, after which we proceed towards Tanjong Rhu condominium , continuing along a stretch for walkers, joggers, skaters and cyclists. This section borders the Bay and is lined with many flowering plants. It is a favourite spot for photo taking and many Media Corp TV serial shots were taken there.
After crossing Marina Reservoir Dam embankment, we will stroll through Bay Garden to our final destination at Marina Bay Sands where we can have a nice dinner at the foodcourt.
Bayfront mrt is also located there. Protect oneself with sun screen, sunglasses, caps. And bring along an Umbrella. Any one interested in this 3 month temp job? Have to be able to move table roll and chairs carry.
Please see job specs below. General maintenance and handling of all office equipment, such as photocopier, printers, binding machine, shredder and fax machine. Handling of all incoming mails and faxes and ensuring they are distributed to all relevant parties without delay. Running errands to the bank, working with the receptionist in ordering and collecting lunches for client meetings. Looks like a lot to do but not so cos moving of tables and chairs only when there is a seminar, which is not often.
Wake service nightly 8pm at: Funeral Service on Wednesday 24Oct. Encoffining at 11am and thereafter cortege leaves for Mandai Crematorium, Hall2. It has come to my attention that a number of members have been invited to private gatherings where the host and friends offer investment schemes to fellow members. Members are advised to be cautious with any investment schemes.
And if members choose to go along the schemes, the decision and risks are yours. These schemes usually attract seniors and retirees who have some sum of money and who wish to maintain or increase their retirement funds. Punggol Road End or Punggol Jetty. In the event of rain, the cycling event will be cancelled.
Do check the latest updates in our Whatsapp Chat Group. The September Salsa Dance Workshop was successful with 38 participants including a lot of dancers from Silverhairsclub. Some of Silverhairsclub members went out with other new friends made in the workshop. During the workshop, there will be rotation of dancers so that you will have an opportunity to dance with all the dancers of opposite sex. It is possible to learn enough steps and moves in this dance workshop to make you feel that you could go to a club and dance the night away.
After meeting all the members of the opposite sex in the workshop, it is right time to mingle with others to make more friends, go for a movie, supper or clubbing. It is a golden opportunity to practice the dance steps, learned during the workshop, with other members. The instructor and his assistants will be there to help you and answer any queries.
There is no doubt Salsa is one of the most rewarding dances you can learn. So what is it? It is a brilliant, hot and spicy dance that will inspire Latin rhythms in everyone.
The steps are super-easy to pick up. So the time it takes you to learn your first few steps and be able to dance Salsa is far, far shorter than you might think. SHC started in October This month is our 13th-anniversary. We will be celebrating this occasion with members during the October monthly gathering. The previous stall is under renovation.
The seating is still the same. If you are lost in finding the place, please look for this stall. The Claypot corner is quiet with a good ambience. We had a monthly gathering here before and it serves our need well. The food court has a variety of food. This is to inform all members that we have closed for registration. Furthermore, we are not allowed to make much noise. Thank you for your understanding. Saturday, 13th October Time: IF no rain the day before and esp on day itself, will include the Forest trail????
With nimble feet you shall rise up the Mount, to join tourist to behold the panoramic view of our skyline, the southern part of SG and the southern islands. Since then there have been several extensions. Matters financial are understood to be the primary constraining factor why an 1. Passenger-wise the system is proving to be very successful, with the original anticipated daily ridership of 35, passengers per day being proven to have been a significant under-estimate.
Instead by August it was carrying 42, passengers per day, with peaks of 54, and the highest recorded being 64, - and as a consequence of this higher ridership plus the extension that was originally planned to open in another six 6 Translohr trams were ordered from Lohr Industries for delivery in June these have now arrived. On a less happy note one of Clermont-Ferrand's vehicles was wrecked in a fire on Boxing Day , with the cause being attributed to the brakes on one axle seizing.
This has now been replaced. In a moment of long-term thinking about the period - and the desired second tram line, the question was posed whether they may have made a mistake in choosing a proprietary system for Line A which might - at some stage in the future - cease to be available for network expansion - or even fleet renewal.
In October construction began of a 9. The initial plans were for 12 STE3 Translohr vehicles serving a route which extends from Zhangjiang High-tech Park Station of Metro Line 2 to Jinqiu Road, on a route which serves 15 stations and crosses seven river channels - requiring the building of one bridge and renovation of 10 further bridges.
According to Xu Daofang, a chief engineer of tram engineering who works for the Shanghai Transportation Engineering Society, Zhangjiang is a good place to implement the city's first tram line because "it is not as busy as the city centre and construction will not affect many people". The first 9 Translohr trams arrived in February and the line opened on 31st December The choice of Translohr tramway technology was influenced by a desire to minimise 'track noises', with the rubber tyres being perceived as being more likely to make meeting this desire possible than steel wheels.
In addition, it was felt that rubber tyres would be better able to cope with the hilly terrain in the local area. In media reports claimed that a memorandum of understanding to launch studies on the construction of a This line was to have 23 intermediate stops and use 15 STE5 Translohr trams. Later reports in said that construction was planned to start in July with a tentative opening date of January However, since then nothing further has been heard, which suggests that the project was withdrawn.
At some stage a 25km Translohr tramline linking the French city of Strasbourg with Wasselonne and passing the Translohr factory en route was being planned, however local people wanted steel wheel trams - as already used in Strasbourg and eventually the local people got what they wanted. Over the years the media has reported that several other locations have also expressed an interest in having a Translohr tramway system that did not come to pass, these include Strasbourg in France, Bamako, the capital city of the African nation of Mali and Ganja, Azerbaijan where a 6.
According to the web pages linked below, in April the Mestre system was the site of four cyclist accidents in just three days. The pages also reference many bicycle and scooter accidents in Padua when that line was new , and suggest that the issue could be related to wet rails in rainy weather being very slippery. However it is also suggested that when wet some footpaths were also slippery The second page also states that because of the extraordinary number of accidents involving motor and pedal cyclists in Padua introduced a ban on all cyclists from using a certain section of the Translohr route where there was an alternative cycle path and includes the following text that on 5th August was said by an Italian Ministry of Transport official, in response to a question in the Italian Parliament.
In other words, if the cyclists wish to avoid the potential risks all they have to do is obey the traffic regulations which require cyclists to use another route: Things did not go at all well in L'Aquila.
With work well underway and some of the Translohr trams having already been purchased the project was then delayed by a combination of route changes, a lack of money, alleged financial irregularities with respect to some of the contracts and that some European Union regulations regarding the awarding of major construction contracts had not been followed - resulting in a court ordering that construction work must be stopped for an investigation.
The earthquake of which caused much destruction in the city has also not helped and is probably what proved to have been the final straw. According Italian Wikipedia, despite significant construction having been completed, including the depot, bus stop shelters much of the track and overhead wires, at some stage during no date specified work began to disassemble the overhead wire power supply system.
This installation is officially cancelled. In November the municipality of Latina agreed to a 15km Translohr line linking the railway station, town centre and a coastal suburb. In January city engineers visited the Translohr factory to find that six Translohr trams were almost ready for delivery, even though not a metre of track had been built!
Reports suggested that Lohr charged a garaging fee until the completed but no longer needed vehicles found new buyers. In a debate in the city council to decide who should take the blame for this fiasco revealed that the city is still paying the garaging fee for the Translohr trams which are still in store in France.
Also disclosed was that the purchase order for these trams was made before the route feasability study!!! The official preview service commenced on 24th March This included extending the open section from 2.
However with just two trams in service they came at 35 minute intervals. On 29th October the frequency was increased to every 8 minutes. The northern portion of the line opened on 5th December and at the same time services were increased to every 7 minutes.
This section extends from the railway station to the northern terminus at Pontevigodarzere. In all line is A survey run by Altroconsumo in August of which looked at public transport in 10 Italian cities found the Padua Translohr tramway had some of the best levels of passenger satisfaction. The plans for Mestre were for a T shaped network which for the first time on a Translohr tramway would have two lines.
Line T1 was to extend from the top right and include the entire downward stroke whilst Line T2 was to extend from the top left to where the downward stroke begins.
The first section of the Mestre Venice Translohr tram opened on 20th December and as an interim measure saw a through service which included the entire top bar portion of Line T1 plus part of the section which eventually would form Line T2. On 22nd September the system was extended for one stop on the Line T2 section.
The new terminus was a temporary station near to Mestre railway station. This extension had to end at this location because construction was still underway of a metre tunnel below Mestre railway station. The tunnel proved very challenging to build, the main difficulties came from the presence of water - which required the soil to be frozen whilst it was excavated - and the absolute need to maintain railway services during the works.
An added headache was that a sinkhole forced all works to be suspended from 23rd January to 20th February On 12th September the rest of Line T2 opened, including the tunnel under the railway and an underground station which replaced the temporary surface station. At this time this section of tramway was still regarded as an extension of Line T1. The rest of the system was inaugurated on 15th September However that was a day for ceremonies, full passenger service began on the 16th, with Line T2 finally gaining its own identity.
The extension included Line T1 trams crossing the 5km Liberty Bridge which connects the Mestre district on the Italian mainland with the group of islands that form the historical centre of Venice. At the Piazzale Roma terminus Line T1 has three platforms plus there is interchange facilities with many other transports, including water buses vaporetti as well the main railway station Santa Lucia and the Venice People Mover cable powered railway built by the Doppelmayr Cable Company that extends from here to Tronchetto island.
Line T1 is coloured red on maps. Approximately 14 km in length it has 23 stops. End to end journeys take about 39 minutes. Line T2 is coloured green on maps.
Approximately 6 km in length it has 14 stops. Further extensions have been suggested, including seeing trams reach Marco Polo airport and an underwater link below the lagoon. Both Mestre routes operate at 10 minute intervals during the week and 15 minute intervals at weekends and on public holidays. Weekday services use 15 trams - 9 for Line T1 and 6 for Line T2. This leaves five available for servicing, private hire, or on reserve.
The core of the new network is where lines T1 and T2 plus several motor bus services meet, this being the Mestre Centre tram stop in Piazzale Cialdini. Reports in summer talk of increasing problems and delays caused by most of the Translohr route being in traffic lanes shared with the general traffic. Accidents which do not involve Translohr trams and badly parked cars have been blamed for this, however this is a gneral tram issue and not specific to the Translohr system.
Also in it was reported that there was a desire to buy an additional Translohr tram but funding for this was denied and that unconfirmed reports suggest that Venice has several perhaps as many as three! Translohr trams which have been cannibalised for spare parts! In June the Lohr Group was in such dire financial trouble that it had to file for Bankruptcy. After tough negotiations it sold its profitable Translohr interests to a company named New TL which is owned by Alstom and the French government-owned Strategic Investment Fund.
The deal included the Parisian transport operator RATP agreeing to waive a financial penalty for late delivery of the trams for line T5. This deal is expected to ensure the future of the Translohr rubber tyred tramway system.
In the new owners of New TL added a unidirectional vehicle to the product catalogue. This is known as Translohr Prime. The new owner is a well established and respected manufacturer of trams and trains who has seen the growing popularity of BRT systems reduce the sales possibilities of its trams, and it has decided to try to reclaim that market by introducing a new alternative solution that uses fixed infrastructure, is electric and looks like a real tramway whilst still being as affordable as BRT systems which use normal buses.
To help achieve this and make Translohr Prime more bus-like the vehicles are unidirectional with the rear driving cab being replaced with a new passenger's area that features six extra seats three inward facing longitudinal seats each side of the vehicle and all the passenger doors on one side of the vehicle replaced with extra seating. Being unidirectional means that Translohr Prime reverses its direction of travel by being driven around a loop - many bus and tram routes are already like this, sometimes with extended loops that serve a bus stop or two in one direction only.
The manufacturer's promotional material describes Translohr Prime as being an optimised version of the existing Translohr system. Translohr Prime vehicles are available in three lengths - 25 metres, 32 metres and 39 metres. It is possible to purchase shorter vehicles at first and as traffic levels increase add extra modules at a later date.
Adding extra modules is a specialist task that will need doing in a factory. It is also possible to operate two Translohr Prime vehicles in multiple unit, and if this is done with the driver's cabs at both outer ends then full bi-directional reversibility also becomes possible. Compared to normal driver-steered articulated buses, a private right-of-way using Translohr Prime requires less land width. For straight sections of roadway buses usually require a strip of land about 7 metres in width; Translohr Prime only requires 5.
On curves buses can need up to 12 metres, whilst at most Translohr Prime will only require 6. Originally scheduled to open in , the first Translohr tram was delivered in April with intensive night-time testing starting in May.
Initially these trials included getting to understand the vehicle's braking and emergency stop capabilities. More extensive systemwide testing using two trams began in July , and the line opened on 29th July Initially services on T6 had been expected to commence in , this then slipped to two stages in and Stage one opened in December and stage two opened in summer This includes the tunnel - the later opening is stated as being because construction of the subterranean section only began in March T6 follows a radial route 14km in length including a 1.
There are 21 tram stops, two of which are underground. T6 uses a fleet of 28 Translohr trams which are of the longest STE6 format - making this the first fleet of such vehicles. The choice of rubber-tyred trams is said to have been influenced by the steep 9. Different sources quote various opening dates for the tunnelled section and two stations, these being 28th May and 11th June. The first link below is for a webpage by RATP - the Parisian transport operator - which also refers to the pre-opening shadow service commencing on 30th April.
This is normal for many railway public transports, very much especially those which travel underground, as it allows transport staff to become used to seeing the system in full operation and also confirm that all is well. Known locally as the Ayacucho tramway this 4. It was inaugurated in October and passenger services commenced a month later. The steep gradients help explain why a rubber tyred tramway was chosen for this service.
In Holland a fleet of 12 distinctively-styled 'experimental prototype' buses were built for the 15km Phileas system which links Eindhoven Central Station with its airport and Veldhoven, serving the Westcorridor development zone. Most of the fleet are 18m in length with a single articulation although there is one 24m double-articulated variant too.
The concept also allows for even longer 26m double articulated variants - for use where local laws permit vehicles of this length. Most of the first generation Phileas buses featured a gas powered, 'series' style, hybrid-electric drive system whereby an LPG engine operated at a constant speed providing power for both the electric motors and the NiMH storage batteries. All wheels except the front wheels are motored. The vehicles also regenerate their braking energy into the batteries which have been designed to allow up to 3km of inner-city operation with the LPG engine switched off.
By way of a further refinement and experimentation one vehicle was also fitted with a flywheel which provided the energy required to start from rest, with the LPG engine then taking over. To further boost fuel efficiency the flywheel is recharged by regenerative braking whilst decelerating.
To reduce the costs and the weight of the vehicles, plus to cure overheating problems with the LPG engines, the second generation Phileas buses use the GM Allison 'parallel' style hybrid-electric driveline, and after experience in service see below the original fleet has also been converted to this drive configuration. One consequence of this is that solely the rear wheels are motored. To avoid too much duplication the differences between the series and parallel hybrid systems is looked at in greater detail on the Hybrid buses page.
To increase fuel efficiency the construction of Phileas buses includes extensive use of lightweight materials such as aluminum and plastic. Modular construction means that some aspects of vehicle configuration can be adjusted to suit a transport operators perceived requirements eg: Internally all seats and stanchions are mounted in the buses' inside walls - this is claimed to make extra space for shopping etc bags to be stored under the seats as well as simplify internal cleaning.
Phileas buses are fully air-conditioned. A unique feature is the all-wheel steering. This allows the Phileas buses to move sideways crab-like and at bus stops helps ensure very precise docking with a gap between vehicle and platform of just 5cm 2". Because bus stop platforms are of the same height as the buses' floor these features should help to improve access for special needs people and speed the service by helping to reduce dwell time when calling at bus stops.
Passenger capacities are around in what is now the Next to the dedicated vehicles the core of the Phileas system is its pioneering guidance technology based on magnetic beacons.
FROG vehicles are equipped with a computer that contains a map of the area in which the vehicle operates, the technology is ideal for buses which usually follow the same predetermined routes and can always be manually driven on other roads. Phileas buses are just one of several bus services to use FROG - the others include the ParkShuttle bus at Amsterdam Schipol airport and Rivium plus a former experimental installation in the French Antibes.
FROG features magnets which are embedded at 4m intervals in the concrete road surface. These are read by the on-board computer system which has also been programmed with details of the route to be followed. The computers also monitor wheel revolutions; this provides precise location information and helps the computer guide the buses both along the correct route and into bus stops.
The promoters of Phileas claim that in adverse weather conditions - such as snow and ice - FROG will provide a more secure system than the Optical guidance system used by the French Civis etc. Phileas and FROG combined offer three driving options: However at bus stops the human driver controls door closing. In semi-automatic mode the computers control steering and the human driver does everything else. In manual mode the human driver does everything, just like a regular road going bus.
Included in the automation specification is that the system is supposed to always know where the vehicle is so when calling at bus stops it will automatically unlock the passenger doors on the correct side ie: Apparently these include finding that it suffered from electrical interference - such as from traffic signals.
There have also been some issues with driver alertness - especially when the vehicles are operating in automatic mode. Part of the issue here is that it is intended that automatic mode will be used even when Phileas vehicles are operating on the normal highway which is shared with other traffic and subject to pedestrians who do not want to be told that to cross the road they must wait for the "cross now" symbol at specified crossing points which may be "out of the way" for where they are going The images below date from August , and as is shown, not enough Phileas buses were available to operate all the journeys on the airport service.
On speaking with some local people it was found that whilst the buses themselves were fine there were still issues with the three high-tech computer systems not being able to work together. The rest of the buses were off the road at the maintenance facility. The following information comes from an Internet discussion group, having been submitted by someone with local knowledge. These two routes require eight buses to operate, however after more than three years testing of the Phileas system including GPS guidance it is still quite usual for there to only be at most four Phileas buses available for service, with standard articulated motorbuses providing the rest of the service.
The remaining Phileas buses are unavailable due to maintenance, testing, malfunctioning etc. The owner of the Phileas buses public authority SRE is now negotiating with APTS to replace the LPG engine with diesel engines similar to the variants being supplied to Douai plus make some other "adjustments" to improve the vehicle's reliability. From a passenger's point of view despite its austere looking interior Phileas does provide the significant 'step change' in improved passenger ambiance that defines it as being more than a motorbus.
The LPG engine is very quiet, and is only noticeable by passengers travelling right at the back of the bus. Apart from that the general ambiance is more like that of a trolleybus. Acceleration is very smooth, and at times, brisk. The brakes are ferocious, so standing passengers must hold tight!
Benefiting from very good suspension the vehicles quite literally float over any unevenness in the road surface, so that it is only just about felt. However the soft suspension also means that standing passengers gain the impression of it leaning somewhat on bends - it is perhaps just as well that the vehicles are only single deck buses. On 15th December with the Phileas buses still suffering from such severe technical problems that only three vehicles were available for service, nine of the Phileas buses were withdrawn from Eindhoven for rebuilding by the vehicle manufacturer.
The rebuild saw the LPG engines being replaced with diesel engines and conversion from 'series' to 'parallel' type hybrid operation. However, the batteries which had been reported to often failing were not replaced. Fitting the new engines has resulted in the buses being lengthened by 40cm a little under 16" at the back, which had some unanticipated repercussions when, upon their return to service in December , it was found that at some road configurations the longer rear overhang was now over-riding the footpath and creating a safety hazard - with at least once a moving vehicle having collided with a pedestrian!
With technical issues still continuing September saw the decision being taken to formally abandon the use of the FROG automatic guidance system, except for docking at bus stops.
In addition to the issues with potential collisions these emergency-type stops were also unpopular with the passengers, who often would be badly thrown around - or worse. Other times the buses would just stop and restart at locations where nobody wants to get on or off. Angry passengers would often blame and swear at the driver, not understanding that the system was supposed to able to operate automatically - and not as if under the possession of a maniacal demonic spirit.
This was because of a lack of orders. The Phileas has been a total disaster, which is a shame for them, as self-driving vehicles will become reality. They were just a little too far ahead of the game. On 7 July a contract was signed for the introduction of a Phileas bus system to link the French city of Douai with the nearby community of Guesnain. Initially to be called "Tram " the contract consisted of twelve 18m second generation Phileas buses which use the diesel-parallel type of hybrid propulsion system and would be delivered by the end of At some stage however the proposed fleet changed to ten 18m single articulated and two 24m double articulated Phileas buses.
Phase one of what was projected to be Line 1 is 12km in length, and features 39 stations approximately m apart. The project also included reducing so called 'visual clutter' by burying existing overhead wires telephones, electricity. Planned peak service freqencies were every 10 minutes, with a planned maximum of travellers per hour. The original idea had been for a different rubber-tyred tram technology the TVR but because the expected amount of government grant monies was reduced so the Phileas system which did not require the same level of physical infrastructure and was expected to be cheaper was chosen.
The reasoning behind this was not just vanity or a me too desire for Douai to have a tram-type mode of transport. The route includes some space restricted configurations where automatic guidance offered logistical benefits compared with driver-steered buses.
It was expected that once the full fleet had arrived and the staff had been trained passenger services would commence in the first quarter of , however by September this time frame had slipped to the end of June , whilst by mid-April this had slipped even further - to September Initially the delay was understood to be because of late delivery of the fleet of buses, although the slippage to September has been attributed to a need for the FROG guidance system which was new to France to achieve its safety certification.
To add to the complications it was also necessary to decide the dedicated busway should be regulated under roadway or railway guidance regulations. By September and with the safety certification still not having been obtained it was announced that the first public services were unlikely to commence before the summer of By early the year had been seen as a suggested date!
In so many ways the Eindhoven abandonment of the FROG magnetic guidance system also creates a big problem for Douai, as this was one of the system's unique features which so attracted the various officials to it. All these delays with getting the buses into service meant that Douai also paid the price for using something new for which testing is always much more thorough than with a system which uses known technology that exists elsewhere.
A visitor to Douai in September reported using a regional bus service which for much of its route within Douai uses the road which is to become the Phileas route. He noted that the busway consists of a wide swathe of concrete six or seven metres wide in the middle of the road, totally unused, while city and interurban buses have to share one narrow lane in each direction with all the other traffic.
He added that the driver of the bus he was travelling on got fed up of having to line up behind all this, so as that bus didn't have to serve all the city bus stops he simply pulled out onto the middle of the road and zoomed down the centre of the empty busway, overtaking everyone - cars, vans, buses, the lot.
However, another visitor expressed surprise that such was possible, as when he visited the area he saw the busway being used by local people as a car park. Meanwhile, even before the system had even started carrying passengers extensions and a second line were already being planned. Line 2 was planned to be 5. An un-named line was also planned to extend 5. In two extensions of Line 1 were mooted - these being from Gesnain via the interchange point in Masny to Douai 3.
Work was provisionally expected to commence late in with completion in , however in the event works were stalled until , as described below. Apparently it transpired that the development of FROG had never actually progressed beyond the experimental stage, and although it worked well enough on a private gated estate and on the other schemes as detailed above to convince the transport planners of Douai that it would be ideal for their city it had never actually worked well enough on a public street.
To assist here a new third partner joined the project. The new plans included trial running in guided mode starting summer and a fresh safety case being filed with the regulatory authority in November Then, if all is well, it will be possible for the use of the FROG automated mode in approximately April This will include the two buses which were already built but stayed in Holland for FROG guidance trials one each, single and double-articulated and six new double-articulated vehicles.
Once delivered the fleet will then consist of 10 single-articulated 18 metre and 8 double-articulated Construction of a 7. The new section of line is being built to different standards so that it would be more suited to driver steered operation. The problems include the heavy winter snow damaging to the articulation bellows, transmission failures on the rear axle and other mechanical issues.
The situation was not helped by the cost of maintenance for the vehicles which were now old enough to be beyond their warranty period and longer than desired lead times for spare parts from the Dutch manufacturer. In addition, at some stage and for reasons not known the third partner involved in the reworking of the guidance system had left the team and the date-related milestone of 1st February by when development of a working guidance system should have been achieved was missed.
As the discussion on the Internet forum linked below explains, missing this milestone has created a final straw situation. In addition, APTS has been sent a formal notice requiring it to fulfil its contractual obligations - which are understood to relate to the FROG guidance system and the new buses.
As part of an effort to start moving forwards again in September the system will be given a makeover, with the hope of restoring passenger levels from the figure of 2. In December it was decided to completely replace the Phileas buses with a fleet of ordinary buses, and start afresh with a BRT system. Further planned long-term investment through to will see annual purchases of four or five new buses with an aim that by the 'oldest' buses in the fleet will date from Because the Phileas buses had doors on both sides whilst the replacements will only have doors on one side so four stations with island platforms will need changing to be suitable for the new buses, plus in the town centre the reversing of the direction of travel around a loop will also make more bus stops compatible with vehicles that have doors on just the one side.
More information plus photograph can be found here: It is expected that New Years Day will represent the final day of service for 10 Phileas buses with their replacements entering service on 2nd January The eventual fate of the withdrawn Phileas buses remains unknown. As an aside, in the future automated guidance and even fully automated driving will arrive somewhere. Such technologies are known be being tested, for instance in the USA.
History will likely show that the Dutch creators of the FROG magnetic guidance system were right - but just 'too early' with what they were trying to do. Initially this was planned to use a mix of other buses with 50 parallel hybrid double articulated Phileas buses 26 metres in length which have a 'normal' capacity of approximately passengers each.
These buses have doors on both sides. As the Phileas buses were not available when the system opened initial services used two of the Dutch Phileas buses one each, single and double articulated plus other buses.
The new Phileas buses were introduced as soon as they became available. In Istanbul things have not gone too well for Phileas, with reports suggesting that by summer most of these almost brand new buses had already had to be taken out of service with major problems which include difficulties in climbing steep hills and breakages to the vehicles' suspension system.
The issue has been exasperated by broken down buses causing severe problems on the single-track nature of their dedicated right of way, blocking it so that other buses are unable to pass. The matter is so serious that it has even been discussed in Parliament and plans to buy 50 more Phileas buses have been put on hold.
Apparently the hill climbing issue is that the buses are designed to climb a 2. Local speculation talks of the Phileas buses being more suited to flat countries like Holland than locations where heavily loaded vehicles are required to climb even gentle hills. The problems with the suspension could have been caused by overcrowding. Buses normally have a maximum capacity limit on the number of passengers allowed to travel; these vehicles were designed to carry up to passengers - or possibly as many as at busy times, but reports from British visitors suggest that for large parts of the day and over long distances they are 'packed like sardines' with possibly as many as passengers onboard.
Initially for Line 1 there will be six 18 metre single articulated Phileas trolleybuses with a capacity of between and passengers each. The route will be approximately 8. Most of the route will be on private rights of way, with 30 road crossings where the automatically driven Phileas trolleybuses will benefit from traffic signal priority.
The overhead wire support poles will be 6 metres in height and of an award winning decorative design. They will be located 30 metres apart and also double up as street lighting supports, reducing the need for other street furniture.
This service was first proposed in , construction has been dogged by disagreements and as some aspects of what is being proposed are locally controversial so there might yet be some late changes to what finally transpires.
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