ATA engineer has say on Gatton decoupling debate


We recently featured a story about a decoupling facility in Gatton that many drivers said was poorly designed. Bob Woodward, the ATA’s Chief Engineer, has since got in touch with information he says will help clear up any confusion.

Below is his response:

There seems confusion between an AB-triple and Triple (Type II) road train.

In referencing “There is no way a AB-triple road train will have enough room to swing in the entrance with the traffic island as it is. When did you last sit in, or drive a triple road train”.

In regard to swept path performance, typically for a given length the more articulation points the better the swept path performance will be!

So, in comparing  the swept path performance for combinations:

They are all road trains and (except for the type I Road Train) all triples. However, given that there is no designated 53.5metre road train network anywhere near Gatton and the PBS Level 3B Network stops at Torrington (west Toowoomba), it seems to be assumed that the reference to triple must be either a B-triple or AB-triple at 36.5metres.

There are many AB-triple operators who will vouch for the manoeuvring performance of a 36.5metre AB-triple over a 36.5metre B-triple or Type 1 Road Train.

Assuming that “The facility is designed to accommodate B-triples and Type 1 road trains (up to 36.5metres) and the concrete traffic island will not impede their access”, is a statement of fact:  Then the facility will be suitable for AB-triples up to 36.5metres .

Hence in the overall context of the article I suspect that the word Triples has been heard, but not in conjunction with the 36.5 metre limit.

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