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Old January 16th, 2010, 01:05 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrelot View Post
It would be impossible for European rail companies to run a barely as-near-as efficient freight operation like in US when they have to clear the way for passenger traffic, are restricted in regard of size of trains etc. It is simply not compatible: you can have a good passenger operation, or a good freight operation, but you cannot have both running in the same tracks. Passenger trains are very disruptive for freight: they have defined scheduled, they cannot be hold at intermediate stations or signal posts, and so on.
The big difference is that a lot of high volume freight flows in Europe go by sea or by river in Europe, this due to geography. Just look at all the container barges on the Rhine for example.
However, freight traffic with light fast trains can be efficient too. Since private companies have entered the market in Europe railfreight has grown, so it appears that it is possible to make a profit.
A few factors offset the disadvantages European operators have compared to US operators. Speeds can be higher, and there is usually just one crew member on the engine, where US train crews are bigger (often three of four persons).

And you can mix freight and passengers if freights run to a schedule too, which they do in Switzerland for example. Around where I live we have a mainline with about 10 trains per hour per direction. Four long distance passenger trains per hour per direction. Two locals that stop at every station, and four freights. One trick is to let a freight "run the yellows" behind a local. With modern signalling the freight train can even maintain a constant speed doing so.



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Moreover, US is decades ahead of European network in respect of security requirements for passenger trains. US passenger cars are almost "armoured" vehicles that can withstand a collision or derailment with far less casualities or damage than their European counterparts. Europe should learn about rail safety with US, and adopt some of its standards to reduce accidents.
If there is one thing where the US should learn from Europe and not the other way around, it is exactly where it comes to rail safety. It is true that US passenger cars are almost "armoured" vehicles. Any engineer knows however that making vehicles heavier and stiffer doesn't necessarily make them safer. It makes them more expensive to design, build and run. It does not affect safety in any meaningfull way though.
The safest railway in the world is the Japanes railways, with not single fatality on the Shinkansen network, even though they run some of the lightest trains in the world. A Japanes high speed train weighs less per seat than a US style "light rail" vehicle...
Both the Japanese and the European railnetworks have less casualties per million passengermiles than the US.

The French TGV, with it's axleloads of less than 19T is very safe. There have been collission and derailments at high speeds, usually with only a couple of lightly wounded people amongst the passengers. This is due to the way the train is designed, not due to it being heavy or stiff...

Last edited by K_; January 16th, 2010 at 01:13 PM.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 01:23 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayOOfoshO View Post
The difference between American and European railroad networks is that they have one and we don't.
That's not exavt: without railroad, USA wouldn't ever exist.
But there is a fact: due to long distances, aircrafts are more interesting to travel from coast to coast. There are lot of corridors for High Speed Trains: the most difficult is to start building the network...
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Old January 16th, 2010, 01:37 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
Not only are railroads (other than for non-connected tram and LRT lines) fully standardized in the USA, but they are also 100% compatible with the railroads in both Canada and Mexico and the three countries regularly interchange a LOT of rail freight traffic between them.
That is indeed one big advantages North American railroads have. Europe is slowle getting there with the TSO standards (one of which is the new ETCS signalling standard).

Quote:
Also, besides the far stronger couplers used here in North America (China and Australia plus a few other countries also use North American rail standards) - stronger than those used in Europe by a factor of eight - but also loading gauges in North America are far more generous than those of Europe.
That has all historically grown. The AAR coupler used in North America came about as an answer to the safetyproblems the link-and-pin coupler used before that had.
The European style "chain and buffers" did not have these safety problems, and even has some advantages (like being able to push a train without coupling).
There have been attempts at introducing a standard European automatic coupler several times however they have failed so far for financial or political reasons.

Some automatic coupler might eventuall materialise. This coupler will, when it does, probably be a lot more sofisticated than what the US currently uses.

Quote:
Note that in those above video clips that North American railroads can easily handle double-stacked containers while some railroads in Europe have such *TINY* tunnel bores that specialized 'low floor' cars are needed to be able to run *single* stacked containers on them.
I don't know of any railway route in Europe where well cars are needed for containers. They are needed however when entire road trucks are transported in "piggy back".
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Old January 16th, 2010, 06:14 PM   #84
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Hi,

I think that the passengers rail is more usually in europe, because is more compact than USA that need days to cross coast to coast. For this reason, the people prefers travel by plane. We can not forget the legislation for high speed rail.

However the time of travel is not a big problem for freight. Transport much tonns is eficient and cheap than road transport.

Each country has taken the railways

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Old January 16th, 2010, 09:58 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
A nearly 5.5 km long test train was dispatched by Union Pacific a few days ago, it ran from the Dallas, TX area to the port of Long Beach, CA, carrying over 600 containers of USA-made goods for export.



(video shot in Montebello, CA)

Enjoy!



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The longest train in Europe probably never exceeded 1,5 km. The longest quite regular train don't exceed 0.75 km, except some experimental services using 1 km long trains.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 12:31 AM   #86
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Note that in those above video clips that North American railroads can easily handle double-stacked containers while some railroads in Europe have such *TINY* tunnel bores that specialized 'low floor' cars are needed to be able to run *single* stacked containers on them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
I don't know of any railway route in Europe where well cars are needed for containers. They are needed however when entire road trucks are transported in "piggy back".
Low floor wagons are needed south of Bologna in Italy, in the United Kingtom and on the Fréjus line between France and Italy (but tunnels on this one are being enlarged so low floor wagons will no more be needed). Probably they are needed also south of Austria and Hungary and on some lines here and there in France.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 01:14 AM   #87
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15000 ton container freight train - awesome!
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Old January 17th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Low floor wagons are needed south of Bologna in Italy, in the United Kingtom and on the Fréjus line between France and Italy (but tunnels on this one are being enlarged so low floor wagons will no more be needed). Probably they are needed also south of Austria and Hungary and on some lines here and there in France.
Certainly the main corridors throughout Austria are of a loading gauge large enough for both non-accompanied piggyback trains and Ro-La trains, so when it comes to shipping containers, low-floor wagons are not needed.

The same applies to Hungary.

The main loading gauge restrictions in Europe, are, as you indicate, found in Britain, France and South Italy.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 04:10 PM   #89
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I quote myself from another forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotthardbahn
Quote:
Originally Posted by kato
Continental Europe is mostly UIC-B or UIC-C.
Not exactly. As usual, it doesn't exist a single European standard for loading gauges. Every country has its own definitions.

Simplifying...

UIC-C (equivalent to P/C 80): allows 4 m (13 ft) high trucks on low floor wagons (16 wheels each...) for piggybacks trains (8 wheels for some wagons charged by crane)
UIC-B+ (or B1) (equivalent to P/C 45): allows high cube containers (9'6'') on standard floor wagons
UIC-A (equivalent to P/C 30 or 22): allows high cube containers (9'6'') only on low floor wagons

To compare, UIC-B allows 3.8 m trucks, UIC-A allows 3.7 m trucks (that is, only tank and some low trucks).

Scandinavia, Germany and Austria have the UIC-C gauge, France, Switzerland and Northern Italy have UIC-B, Central and Southern Italy have UIC-A, UK has even smaller loading gauges. Most (but not all) new lines in Europe are built in UIC-C gauge.

[img]http://i45.************/2i6z2fp.jpg[/img]

From http://www.crowsnest.co.uk/gauge.htm

4650 mm = 15.25 ft, 4320 = 14.17 ft

2750 mm are 9', so high cubes are higher.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotthardbahn


The light green/blue bar shows the standard height for low floor wagons carrying trucks, the dark blue bar is the standard height for container wagons.

This means that as example an high cube container on a standard wagon fit in the P/C 45 profile (245 + 45 = 290, bigger than 289,5 cm = 9'6'' high container), but not on the P/C 22 profile, where you need low floor wagons.

Map for containers and "caisses mobiles" (sort of European container): http://www.intermodale24-rail.net/IM...02009%20CM.pdf

Map for road trailes: http://www.intermodale24-rail.net/IM...02009%20SR.pdf

As you can see, most of European lines have a profile smaller than P/C 80 (minimum to transport trailers) and in the southern part even smaller than P/C 45 (minimum to use standard height wagons for containers). So even on the Betuweroute doublestack are unlikely to be used.

Source: http://www.intermodale24-rail.net/orari_TCNA.html#uirr (sorry, only in Italian)
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Old January 17th, 2010, 05:29 PM   #90
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There is a difference between a swap body, a high cube container and a standard container.
While it is true that a trailer or a swap body might require a special railcar with a lower floor on some networks, it is not a problem to transport standard containers on standard flatcars everywhere.
A standard container has a height of 2m59, and a width of 2m43.
That means that a standard container, on a flatcar one meter above the rail still fits within the european "passepartout" gauge.
Edit: Looking at the diagrams and the maps referenced above: A standard container on a standard flat car fits withing the P/C 22 profile, which basically means it can go anywhere.

The matter is indeed different for higher swap bodies, but that is not what I was talking about.

Last edited by K_; January 18th, 2010 at 01:33 PM.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 12:37 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Low floor wagons are needed south of Bologna in Italy, in the United Kingtom....
In case anyone is interested W10 guage in the UK allows high cube containers on normal wagons. Many lines are planned to be upgraded for this (Southampton to Birmingham is currently being upgraded), and at the moment the WCML is the only major line to be significantly W10 available I believe.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 12:29 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
A nearly 5.5 km long test train was dispatched by Union Pacific a few days ago, it ran from the Dallas, TX area to the port of Long Beach, CA, carrying over 600 containers of USA-made goods for export.



(video shot in Montebello, CA)

Enjoy!



Mike
nice couplers.

Nice video. And nice to see some italian containers on this train (ITALIA -marittima- and LLOYD TRIESTINO).

For comparison:
Italian freighters (videos shot in Civitavecchia station -about 82 km NW of Rome-).




Last edited by LUCAFUSAR; January 19th, 2010 at 12:37 AM.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 04:18 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrelot View Post
Land area:

US lower 48 > Portugal + Spain + France + Italy + Germany + Switzerland + Austria + Netherlands + Belgium + Poland + Checz + Slovakia + Hungay + Bulgary + Croatia + Slovenia + Romania + Liechtenstein + Monaco + San Marino + Andorra + Luxembourg
Let me put this in a completely different perspective with a map centered in tiny portugal (the westernmost european country):

RED = main railways ... bright are lines already served by HSR and major intermodal freight and dark are routes where HSR is being built nowadays
Green = routes served by BUS and truck only ... HSR and freight rail corridors in the begining stages of the process (will eventually be built in this century)
Light Blue = major short haul SHIPPING routes serving our harbours (we have some 10 deep sea harbours , a couple of them without any limitations are served regularly with post panamax container ships)
Yellow = long haul shipping
Pink = major INTER-HUB air connections (theres no need to have regular portuga-china flights when we get frequent AIR-BUS routes to all of the european main hub's)




Now the question ... do you see the influence of HSR and freight corridors ??? From Setubal (major automotive , petrochimical , electronic and deep sea harbour) in the south of portugal and POLAND there are about 2700km (certainly more than 3000km by rail), 5 or 6 different rail operators , 2 track gauges , enormous quantities of electrification and signaling systems ... and running a single weekly "just-in-time" auto-parts train is a shedduling nightmare ... the usual solution is running a bunch of freight trains fromthe factories down to the harbour and ship everything in a weekly roundabound auto-carrier (ship).
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Old January 24th, 2010, 04:41 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
A nearly 5.5 km long test train was dispatched by Union Pacific a few days ago, it ran from the Dallas, TX area to the port of Long Beach, CA, carrying over 600 containers of USA-made goods for export.



(video shot in Montebello, CA)

Enjoy!



Mike
Heres our regular regional transportation (from the mainland to the açores and Madeira islands):





And here's our regular international transport:

MSC Tokyo (I don't know if it still is the largest aroundthe block)




Quote:
Originally Posted by kinas View Post
Mais umas fotos do porto de Leixões:

















Ao que parece, não é só o Aeroporto Sá Carneiro a ter altos crescimentos de tráfego, o tráfego de contentores no Porto de Leixões também acompanha a tendência:

Continua em alta o movimento de contentores no TCL. Em Maio, o Terminal de Contentores de Leixões movimentou 24.158 contentores, correspondentes a 37.212 TEU, o que representa, em ambos os casos, um crescimento de 15% relativamente ao mês homólogo de 2006.
Em termos acumulados, desde o início do ano o TCL já movimentou 112.795 contentores, equivalentes a 172.742 TEU, ou seja, um crescimento de 14% e de 15%, respectivamente, relativamente aos primeiros cinco meses do ano passado.
A cada mês que passa confirma-se a performance excepcional do Terminal de Contentores de Leixões e ganha consistência o objectivo de ultrapassar a barreira dos 400 mil TEU e assim estabelecer um novo recorde no final do ano.

With the exception of Madrid ... all other major cargo destinations are within reach of shipping.

Theres not a single place in europe more than 700km away from a major harbour (as to mean that 5km long freighters would be needed) and neither further 300km away from a large city(as to avoid the necessity of building a decent rail network).



As a friend of mine usually says ... a 5km long freighter takes how much just to exit the station in the point of origin ???

A 400m long container train carries some 50/60 TEU's ... a 800m long carries 100/120 TEU's ... they behave themselves just like any ordinary 120km/h trains in the midst of the vast european network.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 11:06 AM   #95
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Also something else...trains in the US are HUGE!!!

In Europe, particularly the UK trains are much smaller in scale and painted in pretty colours

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Old January 24th, 2010, 04:32 PM   #96
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In a normal acceleration pattern, a 5km fully loaded train, running on flat terrain, would take about 11 minutes to clear the front start point.

Running at fixed speeds, it would take usually 4 minutes to clear a point. Not that much really. Sidings' lenght are more of a concern.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 05:39 PM   #97
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Theres not a single place in europe more than 700km away from a major harbour (as to mean that 5km long freighters would be needed) and neither further 300km away from a large city(as to avoid the necessity of building a decent rail network).
Almost all major industrial areas in Europe have shipping access. That is indeed the reason why we don't have 5km trains. These forms of Cargo flow over water.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 03:25 AM   #98
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Exactly ... over here we have a 300km long railway freight route wich deals only with coal traffic ... each of the 3 or 4 trains a day only carries 2200ton ... if it were in the USA they would have a dedicated railway with a merry-go-round 8000ton coal train.

Here it goes in the same tracks as the 228km/h pendolinos and all other general traffic.


And we have a different problem here ... most of the network only allows 400m long trains ... work is slowly progressing to enlarge the crossing sections to 800m trackage but the cost vs. benefit (in terms of operationality) doesn't seem to justiffy the investment.

A 800m long siding would accomodate a 60 TEU container train instead of the 30TEU of a 400m siding ... and that is only justifiable preciselly on the routes connecting to ... the harbours.

When a ship reaches our harbours we get to see a large (carrousel stile) avalanche of container trains ... one after the other all day and nigh for days... and each to it's own destinations ... it's not as if when a ship dumps it's thousand TEU's cargo in the dock that it would need to hop into a miles long freighter to travell to the other side of europe.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 11:52 AM   #99
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I don't think we ought to be too harsh with our comments about the freight capabilities of the European network.

The fact that North American-style freights cannot be run in Europe does not mean there is something wrong with Europe's railways.

What Europe lacks, at least in parts, is the investment that would ease the flow of intermodal services which are, agreed, more frequent in nature than they are in, say, the USA.

With the right signaling systems and the odd track improvement here and there, you could quite happily run a dense network of 120kph, 750m-long intermodal services over tracks that are shared with slower-moving freights and, of course, passenger services.

In a sense, the European track authorities, such as Network Rail in Britain and the RFF in France, would benefit from even more co-ordination - and funding - from the EU itself.

In fact, the kind of signal and track investment I'm describing is already taking place in parts of Britain, Switzerland and Germany.

However the number of improvement projects across the European network is less than ideal and the improvements that are being put in place are not geographically widespread.

Both reflect the fact that EU and EFTA member states - or countries - still play havoc with the railway systems that run within them, and old-school politics often prevent railway developments being put in place that are for the greater European good.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 12:23 PM   #100
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With the right signaling systems and the odd track improvement here and there, you could quite happily run a dense network of 120kph, 750m-long intermodal services over tracks that are shared with slower-moving freights and, of course, passenger services.
That is what the TEN corridors are all about...
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