August 5, 2013
New automatic points for Christchurch tramway
Two Melbourne tram experts have helped install the city’s first automatic tramway points system in more than half a
The points on the corner of Worcester Boulevard and Oxford Terrace won’t be used until the track to City Mall is
operational, but the work has been done now to avoid further disruption once the trams begin running from New Regent
Street through Cathedral Square to the Museum. The target date for commencement of that service is October.
General Manager Strategy and Planning, Mike Theelen, said with the existing tramway had a manual switching system and
automated points were last in use on city tram tracks back in the 1950s.
“With the manual system drivers have to jump out of the tram to shift the tracks with a special bar, and that will
continue. With the new automated switching gear, drivers will just press a button, which will be a much safer and faster
method of moving the tracks at the Oxford Terrace corner.”
The two Australian tram experts have spent three days assisting with specialist welding work on the tracks and
installation of the motor that runs the automated points.