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anything with capacity similar to that of light rail is too heavy for road pavement

Let me correct myself: the issue is not weight itself, the issue is how the weight impacts the road in high-frequency fixed-guideway traffic. For any given cross section of the road, the weight of the wheels that pass several times a day always rests on the same narrow band of the road surface.

Modern trams have axle loads of around 8-10 t when fully loaded (with the CAF trams for Edinburgh at the high end of the spectrum). In contrast, the limit for road vehicles in most EU countries is 11.5 t/m for drive and 10 t for non-drive axles, and modern buses get pretty close to the first limit. So a bus rear axle weight is actually often higher than that of any axle of a tram. The failed 'road tram' system of Caen had an average axleload of 10 t (40 t on four axles, I found no data on mass distribution).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Oct 15th, 2012 at 03:05:06 PM EST
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