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Old October 28th, 2008, 06:50 AM   #21
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Australia isn't necessarily standard gauge either.

Queensland and Western Australia and Tasmania - Narrow gauge (1067mm) for the most part (with interstate services being standard gauge and duel gauge tracks).

Victoria and South Australia are broad gauge (1600mm) for the most part (again with interstate provision for standard gauge with duel gauge tracks).

New South Wales is standard gauge as are the interstate networks.

As you can see, a highly confusing system overall!
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Old May 14th, 2010, 07:25 PM   #22
homunwai
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MISC | Railway Gauge Discussion

Metre gauge railway is only available in relatively few countries, namely Switerzerland, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, Bolivia, Mozambique, and a few others. Except for Switzerland, the rest are developing countries.

My question is whether there will be a future for metre gauge railway. Will it be able to provide reasonable speed and comfort for modern railway. Will there be R&D to support its continual improvement. Will Switerzerland eventually switch to standard gauge throughout. Will there still be manufacturers for metre gauge railway.

Appreciate comments from various experts.

Thank you.
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Last edited by homunwai; May 15th, 2010 at 01:10 PM. Reason: typo errors
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Old May 14th, 2010, 10:37 PM   #23
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Metre gauge railways is also available in other countries like Spain or Australia with important networks.

I don't think that Swiss will change the entire network into broad gauge... And, regarding the train manufacturers, they will continue producing metre gauge trains.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 10:39 PM   #24
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India is converting extensive parts of its metre gauge network to broad gauge.

Metre gauge (1000 mm) and cape gauge (1067 mm or 3'6'') network will remain where it is used on the main network (Japan, South Africa and nearby states, Australia, ...) or where it is used on extensive networks of tramways.

In Italy there is an extensive network around Naples built with italian gauge (950 mm) and in the northern part of Spain the FEVE-Euskotren network has a lot of freight traffic. They will resist, too.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 11:13 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
India is converting extensive parts of its metre gauge network to broad gauge.
Are you sure that it is broad gauge and not standard gauge.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 01:23 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
Are you sure that it is broad gauge and not standard gauge.
Yes it is broad gauge. India does not use standard gauge at all, as far as
I know.

Don't forget also the network of south-east asia : Viet-Nam, Cambodgia
(for what remains), Thailand, Burma, Malaisya, Singapore, are all using
metre-gauge tracks.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 01:26 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
in the northern part of Spain the FEVE-Euskotren network has a lot of freight traffic.
Not only Euskotren, but also a large suburban network around Barcelona.
Plus a few lines around Valencia and in Portugal.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 04:23 AM   #28
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Highest speed of metre gauge trains

Appreciate if varius experts can share what are the highest service speed that you are aware of, i.e. amongst metre gauge railways.

I have read about Queenesland cape gauge tilting tran doing 160km/h. if this this converted to metre gauge, can it achieve the same speed, i.e. all else being the same (such as alignment, track quality, etc).
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Old May 15th, 2010, 04:36 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
Not only Euskotren, but also a large suburban network around Barcelona.
Plus a few lines around Valencia and in Portugal.
Most of the mainland metre gauge network in portugal is already history.

The porto suburban railways were either converted to light rail in standard gauge (metro do porto) , removed/dismantled or converted to iberian gauge(guimaraes line)
the douro valley metre gauges were either cut short (the 100/200km corgo , tamega and tua lines were cut to the 20/40km souther ends) and the sabor line was completelly closed.

Out of more than 1000km of metre gauge routes only some 200km remain open today.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 12:35 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homunwai View Post
Will Switerzerland eventually switch to standard gauge throughout. Will there still be manufacturers for metre gauge railway.
Switzerland will never convert its entire metre gauge network to standard gauge. This would be next to impossible, as the minimum curve radii for standard gauge are to high. You couldn't convert to standard gauge using the same alignment as the previous railway in most cases. There is also not really a need to do this, as passengers can easily change trains at the break of gauge. Although some conversions are contemplated where it makes sense.
Currently there is actually a standard gauge railway being converted to metre gauge near Aarau. In Bern there are ideas to connect the metre gauge RBS network to some of the BLS lines via a cross city tunnel. This would then involve either converting the RBS to standard gauge, or the involved BLS lines to metre gauge.
The MOB is about to start tests with a train that can adapt it's gauge for through Montreux - Interlaken services. We will see if it is a success.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 12:55 PM   #31
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For Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, it's almost impossible to regauge. The network is thousands of kilometer long, so the cost is prohibitive. Malaysia is however upgrading the tracks. New alignments, double tracking and electrification of the tracks enable the trains to reach 150-160 km/h on metre gauge.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 01:09 PM   #32
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Well, yes and no.
Although there is already a network of metre gauge in Malaysia and Thailand, railway exploitation in these countries is no where near Europe and Japan. So, more railways should be promoted and built. So, if they want to change, they should do so as early as possible.
Having said that, if advanced technology and good designs (eg, better track bed, better rails, better suspension, lower CG with lower floor height, etc) will allow metre gauge trains to reach some 150km/hr, then there may be a case and future for metre gauge. Given its lower construction costs and lower environment footprint, metre gauge may be adopted as a technology of choice for smaller countries.
Do the above make sense? Are there other advantages of metre gauge railway? Can some one pose examples?

Thank you.

Last edited by homunwai; May 15th, 2010 at 03:01 PM. Reason: typo
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Old May 15th, 2010, 01:35 PM   #33
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In Malaysia, the focus is to electrify and double track existing metre gauge network with new alignment, to enable 160 km/h operation just as prophecus1 said...

Example of recent electrified double tracking project in Malaysia.



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Old May 15th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #34
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The metric gauge (1000mm) is often used in mountain railways because it is more convenient for narrow-radius bends.

There are many lines of this kind on the Alps, the most famous is the Bernina line of the Rhätische Bahn (Switzerland), which is also a tourist attraction.
The Rhätische Bahn network (RhB) also includes the longest metric-gauge tunnel of Europe: Vereinatunnel (19km).

Also on the Italian Alps there are some examples: Domodossola-Locarno (crossing the border between Italy and Switzerland) and Trento–Malè.

Near-metric gauge (950mm) is the Circumvesuviana network in Napoli area.

In my opinion there is a future for this kind of lines, for local transportation in areas where building a conventional railway is difficult and/or too expensive. This does not necessarily apply to underdeveloped countries.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 06:52 AM   #35
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TKW90 mentioned that metre gauge can reach 160km/h, with operatonal speed at 140km/hr.
If this can really be achieved, this will be very good already, considering:
- At 140km/hr, this will be slightly faster than car and buses.
- Trains offer more comfort than cars and buses as you can move about, and go to toilets.
- Schedules are more predictable, less susceptiable to adverser traffic on the road.
- Less impact on the environment compared to HSR: less noice, less need to relocate communities for straight lines, less land needed for separation between lines and buffers on both sides, etc.
- Better economics viability. More network can be established and serve more people.
- In small countries, there will be less opportunity to reach HSR speed in anycase, due to relatively short distances between stops.

In the above considerations are adopted, many regions can benefit from railway, such as
- South East Asia, M'sia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam. They are already most metre gauge. Instead of waiting for the standard gauge to be affordable, they can instaead focus on low hanging fruit, bringing up the speed and reliability from the present 60km/h to 120km/h (average speed). (Note: present Ipoh to S'pore of 600km takes 10hr, hence averge speed of 60km/h).
- South America.
- large regions in Africa.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 07:04 AM   #36
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In Japan a few trains run at 160 km/h (Hokuetsu Express), though this is the slightly larger 1067mm gauge- however this is on a line with complete grade separation, with high speed operation mainly in tunnel. Japanese regulations otherwise restrict operation to top speed of 130 km/h, mainly due to requirement of braking distance of 500m to full stop b/c of grade crossings.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 04:20 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homunwai View Post
TKW90 mentioned that metre gauge can reach 160km/h, with operatonal speed at 140km/hr.
If this can really be achieved, this will be very good already, considering:
- At 140km/hr, this will be slightly faster than car and buses.
It will be much faster than Buses in Malaysia or elsewhere because Busses always make at least one stop for long distances and very often get stuck in a traffic jam.
Quote:
- Trains offer more comfort than cars and buses as you can move about, and go to toilets.
agree
Quote:
- Schedules are more predictable, less susceptiable to adverser traffic on the road.
agree
Quote:
- Less impact on the environment compared to HSR: less noice, less need to relocate communities for straight lines, less land needed for separation between lines and buffers on both sides, etc.
But also less passenger potential due to lower speed. For example in Malaysia you can fly very cheaply with Air Asia
Quote:
- Better economics viability. More network can be established and serve more people.
With heavy construction machinery construction of a mtre gauge line and a standard gauge line is almost the same. More important than the track gauge are axle load and line speed.
Quote:
- In small countries, there will be less opportunity to reach HSR speed in anycase, due to relatively short distances between stops.
-Not agreed.See the Japanese Shinkansen or the HSR in Taiwan they run multiple service so not every train needs to stop at every station and even the trains which stop everywhere are much faster than the previous 1067 gauge express trains.
Quote:
In the above considerations are adopted, many regions can benefit from railway, such as
- South East Asia, M'sia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam. They are already most metre gauge. Instead of waiting for the standard gauge to be affordable, they can instaead focus on low hanging fruit, bringing up the speed and reliability from the present 60km/h to 120km/h (average speed). (Note: present Ipoh to S'pore of 600km takes 10hr, hence averge speed of 60km/h).
You are rigth with a good metre gauge network you could reach any larger city in west Malaysia from KL in a meaningful time. Even Singapore-Butterworth would be a option with a fast overnight train. Leaving 22:00 and arriving 8:00. Smaller cities without airport would certainly gain a lot. e.g Melacca.
A more severe disruption are the political borders. Rail travel between Malaysia and Singapore is very troublesome since it includes multiple passport controls where as in Europe the passport control is either on board of the train or you pass both nations control at the same station. Border between other countries you listed might be even more troublesome to cross. Rail could also play a bigger role in freight. Container fit perfectly on metre gauge and it would be possible to move container trains from Singapore all the way to Kunming, China
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Old May 16th, 2010, 07:29 PM   #38
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In Austria there are a few narrow gauge lines left, however they have an even smaller gauge of 760 mm (called "Bosnian gauge" in Austria).

One of them, Pinzgau Lokalbahn, was only recently modernized and partly uses modern trains (with A/C and lowfloor entry) and locomotives. Zillertalbahn uses identical vehicles and during the day the trains operate every 30 minutes. The v/max is 70 km/h on both lines. Both lines have a very bright future.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 09:26 PM   #39
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Is there anything a 1-metre railway couldn`t lug through some bush that a 18-wheel transport can?

I ask this because Manitoba wants to pave so many roads, grumbling about the cost and all, yet nobody mentioned constructing some not-as-usually-expensive railway like a 1-metre one. Highways invite incursions (trouble) into the wilderness while a railway poses far less a strain.



Impressive, considering it can accommodate being converted to broad gauge any day it be so desired
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWK90 View Post
In Malaysia, the focus is to electrify and double track existing metre gauge network with new alignment, to enable 160 km/h operation just as prophecus1 said...

Example of recent electrified double tracking project in Malaysia.




Last edited by trainrover; May 16th, 2010 at 09:34 PM.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 05:51 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainrover View Post
Is there anything a 1-metre railway couldn`t lug through some bush that a 18-wheel transport can?

I ask this because Manitoba wants to pave so many roads, grumbling about the cost and all, yet nobody mentioned constructing some not-as-usually-expensive railway like a 1-metre one. Highways invite incursions (trouble) into the wilderness while a railway poses far less a strain.



Impressive, considering it can accommodate being converted to broad gauge any day it be so desired
I don't know...

However, Malayan Railway (KTMB) does freight service...infact, the freight division provided a large chunk of KTMB's revenue, higher than long distance intercity service revenue.

Among the goods that are being transported by train are containers (Thailand to Singapore), sugar, cement etc.

The speed for the freight train on newly built double track section is 90 km/h.

There is a plan to buy electric locomotives when the double tracking project, stretching from Padang Besar (Thai border) to Johor Bahru (just next to Singapore) completes....

900 + kilometres of electrified, double tracked line.

Before the double tracking project implementation, the alignment consists of non-electrified single track with sharp curves.

After the implementation of the double tracking project, things that have been changed are:

- Double track (250 trains per day compared to just 25 trains per day prior to the project)

- Electrification (25 kV AC.....faster, higher acceleration rate)

- Less sharp curves and curves being smoothened (curve radius in Rawang-Ipoh, some are 1000m or 2000m)

- No level crossing (replaced with overhead bridges and viaducts)

- New trackbed

- New rail track (UIC54)

Last edited by TWK90; May 17th, 2010 at 05:58 AM.
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