daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Infrastructure and Mobility Forums > Railways

Railways (Inter)national commuter and freight trains



Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old September 30th, 2015, 11:17 PM   #161
Svartmetall
Ordo Ab Chao
 
Svartmetall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Past: Northampton, UK (19 years), Auckland NZ (7 years), Now: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 14,074
Likes (Received): 8811

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
The point you miss is that crowded trains are also slower trains. They take longer to cycle through stations. If they are really crowded, then people boarding at intermediate stations cannot board and need to wait for other train or just give up travelling. This is really bad policy.

As I said, Netherlands already has a quite hefty surcharge to travel at peak times, in practice. The only difference it that it is disguised as a "discount for off-peak travel" and then many people buy the spin though maths doesn't lie.
You ever been to Japan? Crowded trains are the norm in the big cities, yet they are efficient, quicker than driving (in most situations) and not yield managed. There are premium express services for those who want to play for a skip-stop service, but this is still a flat surcharge to use them.

I don't buy the argument that it is a bad policy if the most profitable and successful rail systems in the world do not use them.
Svartmetall está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
Old September 30th, 2015, 11:32 PM   #162
Suburbanist
on the road
 
Suburbanist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: the rain capital of Europe
Posts: 27,536
Likes (Received): 21244

Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
I don't buy the argument that it is a bad policy if the most profitable and successful rail systems in the world do not use them.
Don't be naive, Japan is very overcrowded, the development pattern is conductive to rail transport (narrow densely populated long strips of developed land around sea/mountain), the alternatives are bleak and/or expensive.

This reminds me of some pundits claiming the US health care system, with some severe inefficiencies on the insurance-delivery market, is the best in the world because it brings up the most new drugs and treatments, hence nothing should change.

In other words: absence of price discrimination is not a central feature of the success of Japan railways necessarily. Neither are the use of ideograms.

Moreover, the tolerance for social proximity and overcrowding in Japan, in several instances, is far higher than in Western Europe, for a variety of reasons. Doesn't make the place better or worse, but having passenger pushers in Netherlands, with gloves, like in Japan would be unacceptable. The Dutch society developed some capacity to live with some crowding, but not to the extent of being in a train as if in a very crowded club.

By you all-or-nothing reasoning, even passes are bad things, as they give discounts conditioned to certain uses.

You can buy all-network passes in the Netherlands like this (2nd class, prices per month)
- € 39 (Fri 19.30 - Mon 6.00)
- € 99 (everyday except Mon-Fri 6.30-9.00, 16.30-19.00)
- € 325 (everyday, no restrictions)

So there is quite a hefty premium to buy a pass that allows travel during peak times. The logic is quite simple: there is some idle capacity off-peak, and a subscription (these prices are for annual contracts) makes some good marginal uses of them.

I myself know several students who plan around non-peak travel times in order to live elsewhere and commute to the university instead of moving there. This means they depart very early and arrive at the library way before first instruction activities (they count the time you started your trip, so you can take a train 6.22, pay off-peak fare and end it 7.50 for instance, conversely if you start a trip 8.50 you pay full price).

Weekends are relatively quieter, so they sell cheap-ish unlimited passes. If the weekday peak demand in NS were the same as off-peak, many capacity investments would not be needed.

I don't see what is the problem about that.
__________________
YIMBY - Yes, in my backyard!
Suburbanist está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old September 30th, 2015, 11:53 PM   #163
Svartmetall
Ordo Ab Chao
 
Svartmetall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Past: Northampton, UK (19 years), Auckland NZ (7 years), Now: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 14,074
Likes (Received): 8811

I was referring more to the UK model that was brought up above rather than the NS system as I am not familiar with the system in The Netherlands as I've never used it. Extreme price discrimination as used in the UK with full yield management of railways is awful, and in my mind there is a slippery slope from peak travel weighting to full "you must book 1 month in advance or you'll pay a huge amount" and that is all I have spoken about in this thread as someone mentioned the UK above.

Equally, it was you that made the comment about "crowded = slow" and I simply said, "no it doesn't have to be, look at Japan, the travel times can be very competitive. ". I didn't pass ANY comment on how comfortable or acceptable such a situation is, merely that crowded trains do not necessarily mean a long delay at the platform - timetable spacing of the commuter lines in the big cities would not allow that or there would be extreme knock-on effects to the whole line. I did happen to mention they're not yield managed, yet they still cope too thanks to employers adjusting times and the introduction of flex-time. Additionally, if consumers want a more comfortable journey, they simply travel at a different time, but there is no financial penalty for wanting to squeeze yourself onto a train at peak either, so I also don't buy your premise that people need to be priced out of peak to force them to travel off-peak. The comfort factor would, instead, be the deterrent for travelling in peak times.

PS: Ideograms? Do you mean their writing system? They are not ideograms, they are logographic in nature for the kanji (same as Chinese) and the kana are a moraic system of writing, or symbols based on moras anyway.

Last edited by Svartmetall; October 1st, 2015 at 12:02 AM.
Svartmetall está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old October 1st, 2015, 08:27 AM   #164
radamfi
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Crawley
Posts: 551
Likes (Received): 58

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
As I said, Netherlands already has a quite hefty surcharge to travel at peak times, in practice. The only difference it that it is disguised as a "discount for off-peak travel" and then many people buy the spin though maths doesn't lie.
That is no different to Britain. The super expensive "Anytime" ticket is considered the default and everything else is a discount. Recent train company publicly boasted that 80% (or some other high percentage) of tickets sold are discounted.

Arguably you have an element of peak pricing in Switzerland too, as you can get a cheaper day ticket after the morning peak. Similarly for most regional day tickets in Germany.
radamfi no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2015, 06:34 PM   #165
flierfy
Registered User
 
flierfy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,886
Likes (Received): 296

Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
No different to the crowded regional trains described above, then. I'd rather have them crowded at peak than institute the stupidity that is yield management. I know many people advocate it, but I lived in the UK with this madness, and now I live in Sweden with this madness. It just puts me off travelling, ever. It doesn't result in a better travel experience at all in my mind, it only benefits the rail operator, not consumers.
I beg to differ. If done well, yield management not only disperses demand away from peak services but also generates extraordinarily cheap ticket for off-peak services. Those bargains are the only reason why I consider rail for long-distance travels at all. And I'm certainly not the only bargain hunter.
__________________
Rippachtal.de

Suburbanist liked this post
flierfy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 02:44 AM   #166
Svartmetall
Ordo Ab Chao
 
Svartmetall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Past: Northampton, UK (19 years), Auckland NZ (7 years), Now: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 14,074
Likes (Received): 8811

Quote:
Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
I beg to differ. If done well, yield management not only disperses demand away from peak services but also generates extraordinarily cheap ticket for off-peak services. Those bargains are the only reason why I consider rail for long-distance travels at all. And I'm certainly not the only bargain hunter.
And those high price penalisations for last minute travel are exactly why I don't take trains and think that Swedish trains are a pile of nonsense. If I have to plan to travel to a city 50km away 1 month in advance, obviously I am never going to take that form of transport. What if the weather is bad and I plan to do an outdoor activity? In a car I can choose to go or not, if I have to book a train 1 month in advance then I am stuck in going or losing my money. You ever lived in the UK or Sweden? Rail transport is really terrible to take in such a managed system.
Svartmetall está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 11:35 AM   #167
Sunfuns
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Basel
Posts: 2,426
Likes (Received): 361

For me at least there is a difference between a daytrip (your 50 km away) and something longer. Whether I go hiking to the mountains an hour away I don't know more than a day or two in advance, but something like a trip to Paris with TGV is planned at least 2-3 weeks in advance. For that distance it's the same as plane tickets which are also rarely bought on the spot. Actually I've never in my life done that and I don't think I'm an exception.
Sunfuns no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 12:09 PM   #168
K_
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,744
Likes (Received): 243

Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
And those high price penalisations for last minute travel are exactly why I don't take trains and think that Swedish trains are a pile of nonsense. If I have to plan to travel to a city 50km away 1 month in advance, obviously I am never going to take that form of transport. .
I doubt that there are many trains in Sweden where you couldn't get a ticket right up to departure. I also doubt that there are many trains in Sweden where the walk up fare for a 50km trip is prohibitively expensive...
K_ no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 12:12 PM   #169
K_
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,744
Likes (Received): 243

Quote:
Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
I beg to differ. If done well, yield management not only disperses demand away from peak services but also generates extraordinarily cheap ticket for off-peak services. Those bargains are the only reason why I consider rail for long-distance travels at all. And I'm certainly not the only bargain hunter.
Eaxaclty. I alwasy try to get 1st class DB Europa Special when travelling Switzerland - Belgium.

Another thing I noticed is that with the SBB starting to sell supersaver tickets is how popular these are with expats here in Switzerland. Especially expats from countries where yield management is common...
K_ no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 01:27 PM   #170
Svartmetall
Ordo Ab Chao
 
Svartmetall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Past: Northampton, UK (19 years), Auckland NZ (7 years), Now: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 14,074
Likes (Received): 8811

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
I doubt that there are many trains in Sweden where you couldn't get a ticket right up to departure. I also doubt that there are many trains in Sweden where the walk up fare for a 50km trip is prohibitively expensive...
But it costs 10 times more than if you book 1 month in advance. Of course you can get the ticket, but why would you? It is cheaper to rent a car and drive.
Svartmetall está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 01:32 PM   #171
Svartmetall
Ordo Ab Chao
 
Svartmetall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Past: Northampton, UK (19 years), Auckland NZ (7 years), Now: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 14,074
Likes (Received): 8811

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
For me at least there is a difference between a daytrip (your 50 km away) and something longer. Whether I go hiking to the mountains an hour away I don't know more than a day or two in advance, but something like a trip to Paris with TGV is planned at least 2-3 weeks in advance. For that distance it's the same as plane tickets which are also rarely bought on the spot. Actually I've never in my life done that and I don't think I'm an exception.
I often travel in the spur of the moment. To go to a city 2-3 hours away for a day trip on a whim is, to me, quite normal. Did it in the UK (as this was before yield management went totally mad there) did it in NZ but cannot do it in Sweden as it is price prohibitive. I just fly abroad rather than travel in Sweden as the yield management on the trains makes taking them to go to Gothenburg more expensive than taking a last minute flight to go to London, and I sure as hell would rather go to Lonon than Gothenburg. It is wholly the state of the railways that puts me off travelling in Sweden. You should not have to, in my opinion, book so far in advance for a weekend trip. This is what makes cars better than trains and driving yourself so viable for most.
Svartmetall está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 02:06 PM   #172
OnTheNorthRoad
Hei
 
OnTheNorthRoad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Oslo
Posts: 613
Likes (Received): 2623

Sj.se has their own category of last minute tickets called "sista minuten". You can buy tickets for all of today's departures from Stockholm to Gothenburg except the one leaving in 10 mins and the tickets only cost around 40 euros.

That tickets generally are cheaper in advance makes sense from a market point of view, and when it does, it's a good thing. If you want more flexibility than another person in society, you normally have to pay for it if there's any competition.

If price for flexibility was regulated so it wouldn't reflect market realities, you'd get an inefficient transportation system with very high peaks and low utilization. Inefficient markets mean that people are worse off than they need be and that we don't use resources the way we should.

It's for the same reasons that we need to do price differentiation on road use, as it becomes very inefficient when that market is unregulated (because ppl lack information about queues, perhaps don't count with the inconvenience costs of queues, because of vast external costs resulting from congestion and because people who really need flexibility aren't given the chance to buy it. It's like overbooking). Trains and planes have it easier, since there's a fixed amount of seats onboard.
__________________

Suburbanist liked this post
OnTheNorthRoad no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 02:08 PM   #173
Sunfuns
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Basel
Posts: 2,426
Likes (Received): 361

Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
I often travel in the spur of the moment. To go to a city 2-3 hours away for a day trip on a whim is, to me, quite normal. Did it in the UK (as this was before yield management went totally mad there) did it in NZ but cannot do it in Sweden as it is price prohibitive. I just fly abroad rather than travel in Sweden as the yield management on the trains makes taking them to go to Gothenburg more expensive than taking a last minute flight to go to London, and I sure as hell would rather go to Lonon than Gothenburg. It is wholly the state of the railways that puts me off travelling in Sweden. You should not have to, in my opinion, book so far in advance for a weekend trip. This is what makes cars better than trains and driving yourself so viable for most.
Do you also buy your plane tickets at the last moment? If yes then we are just very different because I don't do that. If not then why a double standard?
Sunfuns no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 02:21 PM   #174
Svartmetall
Ordo Ab Chao
 
Svartmetall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Past: Northampton, UK (19 years), Auckland NZ (7 years), Now: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 14,074
Likes (Received): 8811

Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheNorthRoad View Post
Sj.se has their own category of last minute tickets called "sista minuten". You can buy tickets for all of today's departures from Stockholm to Gothenburg except the one leaving in 10 mins and the tickets only cost around 40 euros.
Right, but you never know what you're going to pay on the last minute tickets. So what if you want to actually come back from Gothenburg? You're in a zone of "I have no idea if I am going to be rorted on the price or whether it'll be resonable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheNorthRoad View Post
That tickets generally are cheaper in advance makes sense from a market point of view, and when it does, it's a good thing. If you want more flexibility than another person in society, you normally have to pay for it if there's any competition.
Or you can just have a nice system like other countries with flat fare systems. Not all of them seem to be suffering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheNorthRoad View Post
If price for flexibility was regulated so it wouldn't reflect market realities, you'd get an inefficient transportation system with very high peaks and low utilization. Inefficient markets mean that people are worse off than they need be and that we don't use resources the way we should.
This is the argument of economists and the industry. I do understand that they need to maximise profits, but really, they maximise profits to the detriment of the flexibility and ease of use of a system too much. Whilst I can understand a bit of price differentiation, tickets being 10 times more expensive than the advance tickets is too much. If they compressed this a bit I'm sure they'd still see some returns (not as much) but that might be compensated by the upswing of people who want to travel last minute and also have another modal choice (such as taking the car).

Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheNorthRoad View Post
It's for the same reasons that we need to do price differentiation on road use, as it becomes very inefficient when that market is unregulated (because ppl lack information about queues, perhaps don't count with the inconvenience costs of queues, because of vast external costs resulting from congestion and because people who really need flexibility aren't given the chance to buy it. It's like overbooking). Trains and planes have it easier, since there's a fixed amount of seats onboard.
The fact is, though, that at the weekend a family can jump into the car and go on a trip. A family will struggle to be able to take that same trip by train due to the extreme price fluctuations. They'll just end up taking the car, heck I would (if Sweden wasn't retarded on their driving laws).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Do you also buy your plane tickets at the last moment? If yes then we are just very different because I don't do that. If not then why a double standard?
I do sometimes if I get a free weekend from work (as this is a rarity). If the weather is good and I am free I would like to travel and therefore will take advantage of it if I can. I don't see it as a double standard. I don't take the train because it is too expensive for what you get if you travel last minute, but if I can get a better deal to travel by plane then I take it. Ryanair last minute flights can be cheaper to London, for example, than the Gothenburg rail example I gave.

Anyway, I guess we're straying a bit from the topic and that is my fault. Sorry for filling the thread with a discussion about yield management.
Svartmetall está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 02:49 PM   #175
Suburbanist
on the road
 
Suburbanist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: the rain capital of Europe
Posts: 27,536
Likes (Received): 21244

Which Western European countries have a "flat fare" structure for non-local train travel?

The big ones - Germany, France, UK, Spain, Italy, Norway, Sweden - all have yield management in some way or other.

In Netherlands, the fares are mostly flat regarding advanced purchase but they have differences regarding hour/day of travel (peak travel being 67% more expensive than off-peak travel). They also have a number of passes and subscription plans.

Passes and subscriptions make analysis more tricky: they involve a sunk cost that renders the marginal cost of travel lower or zero, in exchange from a commitment and/or pre-payment. Much like operating your own car also works (around 50-60% of car operation costs are related to items that don't vary directly with traveled distance such as depreciation of the value of the car itself, insurance, registration etc).
__________________
YIMBY - Yes, in my backyard!
Suburbanist está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 02:56 PM   #176
Suburbanist
on the road
 
Suburbanist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: the rain capital of Europe
Posts: 27,536
Likes (Received): 21244

On another note, NS sent another urgent request for all major educational institutions of higher learning to seriously considering not starting class before 10.00 next year. Apparently, there will be a temporary 3-4 month cruse as some older trains will need to be retired and the deliver of newly ordered trains, which means some peak local trains will run with shorter consists.

The benefit of the transportation card for higher ed. students is quite generous. It obviously create incentives for students to commute instead of moving to another city to attend college/university/technical institutions, and that was one of the original intents as most Dutch cities with unis etc. have been on a perpetual stage of "student housing shortage" for decades, it appears.

This is complicated, however, as I explained earlier, because staff would have to arrange childcare late in the afternoon and that is very expensive.
__________________
YIMBY - Yes, in my backyard!
Suburbanist está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 03:00 PM   #177
Svartmetall
Ordo Ab Chao
 
Svartmetall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Past: Northampton, UK (19 years), Auckland NZ (7 years), Now: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 14,074
Likes (Received): 8811

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Which Western European countries have a "flat fare" structure for non-local train travel?

The big ones - Germany, France, UK, Spain, Italy, Norway, Sweden - all have yield management in some way or other. Just because these countries do it doesn't make it right. It is yield management that actually makes me want to own a car! So clearly they're doing a great job!

In Netherlands, the fares are mostly flat regarding advanced purchase but they have differences regarding hour/day of travel (peak travel being 67% more expensive than off-peak travel). They also have a number of passes and subscription plans.

Passes and subscriptions make analysis more tricky: they involve a sunk cost that renders the marginal cost of travel lower or zero, in exchange from a commitment and/or pre-payment. Much like operating your own car also works (around 50-60% of car operation costs are related to items that don't vary directly with traveled distance such as depreciation of the value of the car itself, insurance, registration etc).
Sweden is bigger than Switzerland in terms of rail travel? Am I wrong in saying that most fares in Switzerland are not yield managed or has this changed recently too?

If that is the case in The Netherlands, then in my opinion they've got a much better value railway than us if it is how you describe it. Also, is Germany really truly yield managed these days? I didn't realise that they got rid of flat fares as I was sure they kept them for most things except for offering an advance booking reduction, the fare doesn't increase incrementally unless I am wrong, so you still know how much your fare would be even if you did not book the advance ticket (unless things have changed since I looked at things). To me that might be the best of both worlds. There you can have your incentive for travelling earlier, but still have a fixed price for those who want to travel on the spur of the moment so that they can budget properly and not feel the pressure of the unknown with a price.

Also, I don't operate my own car, I would rent rather than take the train because it is a LOT cheaper most of the time at least in Sweden. This means, in my mind, yield management is being done wrong.

Also, I just read the fine print on the "sista minuten" on the SJ website in Sweden. OnTheNorthRoad is actually wrong - unless you are under 26, a student or a pensioner you cannot use the last minute travel discounts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJ.se
"Last minute
ticket for those who are not yet 26 years of age, who are students or pensioners. Tickets can be purchased up to 24 hours before departure. Price from 155 SEK."
Ooops. No flexibility for those who fall outside those realms.
Svartmetall está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 03:07 PM   #178
Suburbanist
on the road
 
Suburbanist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: the rain capital of Europe
Posts: 27,536
Likes (Received): 21244

Sweden have more long-distance travel than Switzerland. It must have, Switzerland doesn't have any pair of cities 500km apart, as far as I know!
__________________
YIMBY - Yes, in my backyard!
Suburbanist está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 03:08 PM   #179
Svartmetall
Ordo Ab Chao
 
Svartmetall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Past: Northampton, UK (19 years), Auckland NZ (7 years), Now: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 14,074
Likes (Received): 8811

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Sweden have more long-distance travel than Switzerland. It must have, Switzerland doesn't have any pair of cities 500km apart, as far as I know!
Not in modal share and even passenger numbers, though, and that's far more important than distance in this case.
Svartmetall está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2015, 03:33 PM   #180
K_
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,744
Likes (Received): 243

Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
But it costs 10 times more than if you book 1 month in advance. Of course you can get the ticket, but why would you? It is cheaper to rent a car and drive.
Can you give me an example of a pair of Swedisch cities, 50 km apart, where a walkup fare is more expensive than renting a car and driving?

You complain that a walk up fare is more expensive then an advance purchase fare. Well, until recently one frequently heard complaint about the Swiss railways were that there weren't even advance purchase discounts. Only expensive walk up fares. Would that be your preference?
K_ no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Related topics on SkyscraperCity


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 01:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

tech management by Sysprosium