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Old February 3rd, 2010, 01:46 AM   #161
dl3000
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Originally Posted by sotavento View Post
1st of all ... DB is a "private" company.

Now that you mention Teachapy pass ... if it were in europe we would have one of these built and/or in project/construction:

- a 25/30km long tunnel between Tehachapi(1200m high) and Digiorgio(250m elevation)
- 54km long tunnel between Mojave and DiGiorgio
- 25km tunnel between Palmdale and Acton

That is because the Union Pacific Company owns the rail line, and probably does not see the benefit of boring tunnels there in faulty irregular geology. On the other hand, in Europe the rails are nationalized so the government is responsible for much of the funding. If you speak of the base tunnels in say Switzerland, AlpTransit is a federal project. You would not see that in the USA. At the time these lines were built, which were entirely private enterprises, they were funded by the world's wealthiest men at a time when there were no income taxes and the like. The only infrastructure projects of that size since WWII in the USA is the interstate and that was a public project. The only tunnels through the Tehachapi pass will be CA HSR because it is a public project.
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Old February 4th, 2010, 02:54 AM   #162
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it probably has to do with passenger traffic too
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Old February 4th, 2010, 10:42 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by sotavento View Post
1st of all ... DB is a "private" company.

Why do you define DB as a private company? It has only one shareholder - the German government.
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Old February 4th, 2010, 11:47 AM   #164
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Why do you define DB as a private company? It has only one shareholder - the German government.
So? As long as it's not subsidized and has to compete on a more-or-less free market, is that ownership really that important?
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Old February 4th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #165
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I agree, ownership in principle is neither here nor there.

However, to describe a company as a private entity does imply the company is under the control of private-sector parties, hence why I ask the question.

In terms of Europe's railways, the issue of ownership has become an issue for some people because in the freight market especially, the likes of DB and SNCF, for example, are quite deliberately expanding both their rail-haulage and logistics operations mainly through acquisitions.

There is an argument that the funding for these acquisitions is only available because everyone knows that the shareholders of both DB and SNCF - the German and French governments - are not exactly going to go bankrupt.

The privately-owner rail freight companies in Europe, which are much smaller in scale than the historic state-owned companies, would not be able to fund such acquisitions so easily. At least, this is what many people say.

But does this matter? Well, one might say that the railway system in Europe will have a much greater chance of success in gaining market share in the freight sector if the likes of DB and SNCF do indeed become much larger beasts and benefit from economies of scale.

Then perhaps these state-run organisations can go down the road more easily of structural reform, and the freight operations within them may even end up with whole or partial listings on one of the European stock exchanges.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 05:24 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by TedStriker View Post



I agree, ownership in principle is neither here nor there.

However, to describe a company as a private entity does imply the company is under the control of private-sector parties, hence why I ask the question.

In terms of Europe's railways, the issue of ownership has become an issue for some people because in the freight market especially, the likes of DB and SNCF, for example, are quite deliberately expanding both their rail-haulage and logistics operations mainly through acquisitions.

There is an argument that the funding for these acquisitions is only available because everyone knows that the shareholders of both DB and SNCF - the German and French governments - are not exactly going to go bankrupt.

The privately-owner rail freight companies in Europe, which are much smaller in scale than the historic state-owned companies, would not be able to fund such acquisitions so easily. At least, this is what many people say.

But does this matter? Well, one might say that the railway system in Europe will have a much greater chance of success in gaining market share in the freight sector if the likes of DB and SNCF do indeed become much larger beasts and benefit from economies of scale.

Then perhaps these state-run organisations can go down the road more easily of structural reform, and the freight operations within them may even end up with whole or partial listings on one of the European stock exchanges.
The "what's private?" issue must be a matter of perspective I guess. I think that there's some truth that the state-owned companies aren't always playing fair, but OTOH, it's privately-owned companies like veolia that have made some decent inroads lately, so it's not as if it's impossible for those companies to compete here.
I also don't see why the market share for freight would be the end-all, be-all to judge these companies on. If, say, I started railroad company tomorrow, and in ten years I'd run trains all over the continent, with booming profits and insanely happy customers and employees, but I would not be moving any freight: I'd have a hard time seeing such a company as a failure.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 05:49 PM   #167
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Why do you define DB as a private company? It has only one shareholder - the German government.
DB A.G. ... AG means Aktiengesellschaft or "private joint stock company" ... so it really doesn't matter who owns the stocks of the company.

It behaves as a private company all over the world.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 05:56 PM   #168
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I also don't see why the market share for freight would be the end-all, be-all to judge these companies on. If, say, I started railroad company tomorrow, and in ten years I'd run trains all over the continent, with booming profits and insanely happy customers and employees, but I would not be moving any freight: I'd have a hard time seeing such a company as a failure.

Good point. I only focus on freight simply as I feel the European system has the potential to play a much larger role in moving cargo than it does presently, and at the moment at least, the state-owned incumbents are generally-speaking still saying rail freight is important to them.

The next twenty years will, I think, produce some very interesting changes in Europe, as even in France the liberalisation effects modify the likes of SNCF and so on.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 05:56 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by TedStriker View Post



I agree, ownership in principle is neither here nor there.

However, to describe a company as a private entity does imply the company is under the control of private-sector parties, hence why I ask the question.

In terms of Europe's railways, the issue of ownership has become an issue for some people because in the freight market especially, the likes of DB and SNCF, for example, are quite deliberately expanding both their rail-haulage and logistics operations mainly through acquisitions.

There is an argument that the funding for these acquisitions is only available because everyone knows that the shareholders of both DB and SNCF - the German and French governments - are not exactly going to go bankrupt.

The privately-owner rail freight companies in Europe, which are much smaller in scale than the historic state-owned companies, would not be able to fund such acquisitions so easily. At least, this is what many people say.

But does this matter? Well, one might say that the railway system in Europe will have a much greater chance of success in gaining market share in the freight sector if the likes of DB and SNCF do indeed become much larger beasts and benefit from economies of scale.

Then perhaps these state-run organisations can go down the road more easily of structural reform, and the freight operations within them may even end up with whole or partial listings on one of the European stock exchanges.


In portugal the state owns the CP.EPE (EPE means a state agency that operates likea private company) but the freight sector is CP Carga SA (SA means a stock company).

Most public transport are either state owned corporations (metropolitano de lisboa ,carrs/bus/tram lisboa , STCP/bus/tram Porto city) municipality owned corporations , regional/municipality SERVICES/Departments (such entities can only provide services withinthe municipality) , private companies with exploitation rights in a municipality , private in deregulated markets (such as long distance passenger BUS or freight) or any other kind of entities.


The same rules apply in the Americas so I don't know what is the big fuss about.

Amtrak = state owned
NJtransit
Caltrains
Metroorth

and so and so and so ...


In the long run the recent EU railway liberalizations are the european equivalents to the american "trackage rights" gained with the A1 railroad mergers and such things.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 06:14 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by sotavento View Post


The same rules apply in the Americas so I don't know what is the big fuss about.

Any fuss that exists is almost always in reference to rail freight operations in Europe. For obvious reasons the freight market brings together a lot of private-sector interests, and therefore there is great scope for criticism of the old government-owned rail bodies.

In contrast, the only organisations, by and large, that have interests in the passenger sector are the state-run groups.

There are, of course, some notable exceptions. In the UK market, for example, all the passenger operations are in the hands of private sector, aside from the ECML franchise which is in a government-operated 'state of emergency'.

Last edited by TedStriker; February 7th, 2010 at 01:39 AM.
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Old February 6th, 2010, 11:18 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by TedStriker View Post
Good point. I only focus on freight simply as I feel the European system has the potential to play a much larger role in moving cargo than it does presently, and at the moment at least, the state-owned incumbents are generally-speaking still saying rail freight is important to them.

The next twenty years will, I think, produce some very interesting changes in Europe, as even in France the liberalisation effects modify the likes of SNCF and so on.
Oh, more rail freight would definitely be great, absolutely, although I'm afraid I don't share your optimism. It might just be that my perspective is skewed of course: my country's rail net is insanely overcrowded as it is, even without adding lots of freight trains. In such an environment, I don't see that whole State/Market stuff making a lot of difference.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 01:45 AM   #172
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Well yes, it's unlikely that rail will play much more of a role when it comes to cargo movements that take place just within Holland.

But then Holland is a very small country anyway, so distances are short. My thoughts are at a pan-European level, and along certain corridors, the Dutch rail system could carry more freight, even if it means investing in some track improvements here, and some signal alterations there.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 05:47 AM   #173
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Is there a reason that the FRA regulations haven't been repealed, or made less stringent when it comes to rolling stock design?

Or has this already been discussed at length?
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Old February 10th, 2010, 09:14 AM   #174
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That is because the Union Pacific Company owns the rail line, and probably does not see the benefit of boring tunnels there in faulty irregular geology. On the other hand, in Europe the rails are nationalized so the government is responsible for much of the funding. If you speak of the base tunnels in say Switzerland, AlpTransit is a federal project. You would not see that in the USA. At the time these lines were built, which were entirely private enterprises, they were funded by the world's wealthiest men at a time when there were no income taxes and the like. The only infrastructure projects of that size since WWII in the USA is the interstate and that was a public project. The only tunnels through the Tehachapi pass will be CA HSR because it is a public project.
A tunnel is expensive to build and maintain, and many lines don't have the traffic to justify this expense. Add in the fact that long tunnels will require electric traction, and that cutting a few hours on a four day trip isn't really that much of an improvement and you'll see why there's no "Tehachapi Base Tunnel" project.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 12:06 AM   #175
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A tunnel is expensive to build and maintain, and many lines don't have the traffic to justify this expense. Add in the fact that long tunnels will require electric traction, and that cutting a few hours on a four day trip isn't really that much of an improvement and you'll see why there's no "Tehachapi Base Tunnel" project.
Straightening the tracks from Tehachapi to Bakersfield would mean a constant 22,5:1000 ... not that many tunneling actually.


If you electrify the route ... 3 or 4 tracks (2 for freight , 2 for passenger trains ?) you can generate a huge amount of electricity just from down-freight traffic (reostatic current being re-injected into the system).

Let me see what would be needed:

Inside Bakersfield solve the inumerous level/grade crossings between UNION station (passengers) and the freight terminal
Then 25km of simple track quadruplication (2 freight +2 HSR/passenger)
Get the 2 HSR/passenger tracks climbing uphill at 3% /4% grades ??? you caeven get most of the hill with just 2%.

In Mojave just makea large curved bypass around the AFB.

Another question that I ask myself is that if it cames out cheaper to "upgrade" the current SantaClarita-Palmdale to any kind of HSR standards or just build a completelly new straight HSR tunnel.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #176
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If you electrify the route ... 3 or 4 tracks (2 for freight , 2 for passenger trains ?) you can generate a huge amount of electricity just from down-freight traffic (reostatic current being re-injected into the system).
In practice you do indeed save some electricity, but not ahuge amount. On the Gotthard route three downhill trains will power one uphill train.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 11:48 PM   #177
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In practice you do indeed save some electricity, but not ahuge amount. On the Gotthard route three downhill trains will power one uphill train.
Are you factoring the 4x 180ton ELocs that would be used to push-pull the miles long freight trains there.

The Electrified Texas-California corridor (HSR + freight?) could save millions in the long run ... The same about the entire Mexico-s.diego-...-seattle-canada transport corridors.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 11:49 PM   #178
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A tunnel is expensive to build and maintain, and many lines don't have the traffic to justify this expense. Add in the fact that long tunnels will require electric traction, and that cutting a few hours on a four day trip isn't really that much of an improvement and you'll see why there's no "Tehachapi Base Tunnel" project.
I saw this picture and I remembered this particular post:

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Old March 13th, 2010, 01:26 AM   #179
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There are plans to Electrify a decent size of the Northeastern Rail Network Freight and Passenger. I heard about 5000+miles by 2025, and i think the FRA will loosen its regulations. Its only a matter of a few years.
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