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Old March 1st, 2014, 06:21 PM   #2341
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Zurich-Munich upgrade would definitely be useful, but as far as I understand the "problem stretches" are really in Germany not Switzerland...
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Old March 1st, 2014, 08:12 PM   #2342
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Last time in Sants I only needed 5 minutes to find out how I could have gotten whatever I wanted on an AVE to Madrid.
I donīt know, I just donīt go abroad looking for the weak security points in places.

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The thing is to keep important connections cross platform. For example, in Basel any Zürich - France or Zürich - Germany train will have a Brig - Bern - Basel, or Interlaken - Bern - Basel on the side of the platform when it stops in Basel.
The thing is that this isnīt feasible everywhere. For instance Barcelona Sants is an underground station, with a very limited number of tracks. It would be extremely expensive to expand the station to add more platforms, and itīs very likely that the neighbours wouldnīt tollerate that.

But even in that case, a limited number of cross-platform connections can be done (and are done). That could be improved (flyovers), but at a high cost, not only of money, but of long cuts (although it wouldnīt be very expensive, it would be technically... not really difficult, but very very tricky to build).

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How is Sagrera going to be?
Underground. Not very different to Sants, although I expect a better accessibility (hard to do worse, even a horror station like Montpellier St Roch is better than Barcelona Sants in this). Btw the minister said that something must be done about the Sants overcrowding problems.

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No, in Switzerland this would go completely against the whole principle of making public transit easier.
In Switzerland it's common for train platforms to be integrated in the public space. I know of places where restaurants are directly at the platform, and even people's front doors (I want to live in such a flat :-).
Surprising. I guess itīs your choice. I wouldnīt have that at all.

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There areas little barriers as possible between platforms and their surroundings. For example, when a platform runs parallel to a street the Swiss will not put a fence between the street an the platform. People can access the platform along it's whole length. This is Zürich. You can actually see the trains from the street, and just cross it an board one...
Didnīt see that in Basel. Oh, yeah, of course, it was the Elsässer Bahnhof, how silly of me.

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Adding gates would mean a complete redesign of most stations.
Weīve done that in many stations, to little or no real complain.

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Something that is also very un-swiss is making a distinction between different types of trains tariff wise. If you buy a ticket from Zürich Airport to downtown you can use it on any train, from S-Bahn to Eurocity on that route, and even on the tram or bus. When you buy a ticket from Zürich to Basel you can again take any train, even the Zürich - Paris TGV...
Do people stand on Swiss trains when itīs full?

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It's all about making the threshold to taking public transport as low as possible. And it's quite successful...
I prefer the Japanese way. There are likenesses with Switzerland, but also many big differences.

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In the Netherlands they are adding gates, and everybody is unhappy about it. It's cutting of peoples walking routes for example, and cities are contesting them, with the argument that stations are public places, just like squares and streets are.
Here the contestation is really very much smaller, since people see them as a means to stop fraud. Actually people who protest against the fare barriers are seen as potential fare drifters.

I donīt see that as better or worse, but just a different take on things.

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There are railway systems which are faster than the Swiss one (no real HS here) and many are cheaper, but I'm not aware of any which would be more frequent, better integrated or easier to use.

This is something other countries could learn from Switzerland not the other way around.
Will I ever find a modest Swiss? Japan, hands down.

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As for gates they are fine for long distance trains wherever those are completely segregated from the suburban traffic (like in Spain) or for subway systems where everyone has to access through 2-3 points anyway.
Thatīs the thing. You canīt have everything.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 08:52 PM   #2343
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Do people stand on Swiss trains when itīs full?
Sure, but how does that relate to this discussion?


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I prefer the Japanese way. There are likenesses with Switzerland, but also many big differences.

Will I ever find a modest Swiss? Japan, hands down.
I've never been to Japan and don't know much about their railway system beyond Shinkansen. I do have a fair bit of experience in Europe and North America, though. In that way do you think is their system better than the one in Switzerland?

P.S. I'm not a native of Switzerland, but I do live in Basel and am impressed with a public transportation system here.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 09:05 PM   #2344
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Sure, but how does that relate to this discussion?
To stand in an AVE is seen as unconceivable (excepting in case of serious disruptions in the service).
I guess itīs all a matter of size of countries and travel times: you wouldnīt want to stand on an AVE Barcelona-Malaga (more than 1000 km).

Of course the approach is different. I wouldnīt even discard that laws have made the differences.

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I've never been to Japan and don't know much about their railway system beyond Shinkansen. I do have a fair bit of experience in Europe and North America, though. In that way do you think is their system better than the one in Switzerland?
Step free in almost its entirety (and Japan is much bigger than CH). Shinkansen.
Cleaner. Fare barriers. High speed. Bigger metro. Bigger commuter trains. Bigger everything. Platform screen doors in progress. Just as frequent if not more.

Do follow the Japan threads of rail and public transport. Youīll just:

In SSC Spain to name these Japan things we use the term "aņoslucismo" (literally translates into English as "light-yearism").

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P.S. I'm not a native of Switzerland, but I do live in Basel and am impressed with a public transportation system here.
Itīs good, the best in Europe for a country of its size, and in many respects (not all though), the best in Europe overall.

But thereīs no need to splatter it on our faces every single time, you know.

We already knew, most of us.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 09:18 PM   #2345
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Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
To stand in an AVE is seen as unconceivable (excepting in case of serious disruptions in the service).
I guess itīs all a matter of size of countries and travel times: you wouldnīt want to stand on an AVE Barcelona-Malaga (more than 1000 km).
True, it wouldn't be appropriate for long distance travel. It's pretty rare though that one would have to stand in a long distance IR/IC train in Switzerland. Usually happens only when there are some service disruptions.

And that goes back to what I said previously that big and sparsely populated countries like yours require different solutions than small and densely packed ones. Still that doesn't mean we can learn nothing from each other...
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 01:08 PM   #2346
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I donīt know, I just donīt go abroad looking for the weak security points in places.
Neither do I. I more or less stumbled upon it by accident. I arrived in Barcelona on the night train from A Coruņa, and when I alighted I found my self looking at an Velaro going to Madrid, and decided to just have a look inside, as it wasn't going to leave for another 15 minutes. Then it hit me. I was standing in this train, with my luggage, and without it having been scanned!
O the horror. The whole Spanish Railway System just ground to a standstill!

No not really, but it did illustrate that the system is really rather pointless.
I later that day boarded the train for Alvia for Figueres, and there the TGV to Montpelier, and again found it odd that my luggage was scanned, but the guard had no interest in what I could have hidden in my coat...



Quote:
The thing is that this isnīt feasible everywhere. For instance Barcelona Sants is an underground station, with a very limited number of tracks. It would be extremely expensive to expand the station to add more platforms, and itīs very likely that the neighbours wouldnīt tollerate that.
There's 3 platforms for high speed services, with six tracks. I think quite a few connections could already be organised. Anyway, allowing stairs to be used in both directions would already be a huge improvement...

Quote:
Do people stand on Swiss trains when itīs full?
Yes.

Quote:
Here the contestation is really very much smaller, since people see them as a means to stop fraud. Actually people who protest against the fare barriers are seen as potential fare drifters.

I donīt see that as better or worse, but just a different take on things.
It depends on what place public transit has in your society. Many countries still see public transit as something for people who can't afford cars. The Swiss however van afford cars, and will nevertheless use public transit. Because it's mostly wealthier people taking trains there is less fraud.

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Will I ever find a modest Swiss? Japan, hands down.
The Swiss are very modest. And complain about their trains all the time. It's the foreigners that are always very enthusiastic about the Swiss trains..
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 05:16 PM   #2347
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There's 3 platforms for high speed services, with six tracks. I think quite a few connections could already be organised.
Not yet. All high speed trains except for those coming from France (and not all of them allow for good connections) are terminus Barcelona Sants or Figueres Vilafant. Only when the trains from Valencia are diverted to the HSL between Barcelona and Camp de Tarragona will that be more common.

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Anyway, allowing stairs to be used in both directions would already be a huge improvement...
The lot of the access to the platforms must be upgraded.

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It depends on what place public transit has in your society. Many countries still see public transit as something for people who can't afford cars. The Swiss however van afford cars, and will nevertheless use public transit. Because it's mostly wealthier people taking trains there is less fraud.
But it depends on the population served by the line and particular stations, doesnīt it?

I mean, here in Spain (and in France too) you just donīt find the same kind of passengers on every line.
Some have working-class passengers as the dominant segment, others are mixed, others are posher...

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The Swiss are very modest. And complain about their trains all the time. It's the foreigners that are always very enthusiastic about the Swiss trains..
Itīs a mix of everything, of course, like everywhere else.

Donīt mind me on that, I was pulling his leg.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 05:16 PM   #2348
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I arrived in Barcelona on the night train from A Coruņa, and when I alighted I found my self looking at an Velaro going to Madrid, and decided to just have a look inside, as it wasn't going to leave for another 15 minutes.
And didn't you go through security in A Coruņa?
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 05:22 PM   #2349
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He did, for sure.

But on other smaller stations in the same route you donīt go through anything.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 05:56 PM   #2350
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Timetables Spain <--> France from March 31 to July 5:

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Old March 2nd, 2014, 08:41 PM   #2351
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which will use AVE and which will use TGV?
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 08:47 PM   #2352
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which will use AVE and which will use TGV?
Barcelona-Paris always TGV, the others always AVE (Barcelona-Toulouse, Barcelona-Lyon, Madrid-Marseille). Like now.
Exception made of occasional technical problems (the other day for instance, a Lyon-Barcelona was done by a TGV as the AVE went broke in the Lyon depot -a problem with a door).
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 09:02 PM   #2353
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What will happen when they introduce Madrid-Paris trains?
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 09:49 PM   #2354
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What will happen when they introduce Madrid-Paris trains?
The question right now is "will they?".

Marseille-Madrid is more than 7 hours.

Paris-Madrid would be like 10 hours. Very much too long, for a route that wouldnīt go through the straight line (that is, via Valladolid-Burgos-Hendaye-Bordeaux-Tours).

The travel time of Alvia + TGV via Hendaye is equivalent to that of a direct Madrid-Paris.

Youīve seen the table Iīve posted, thatīs what weīll get, and itīs not bad at all (I can do a return trip Tarragona-Grenoble on the same day now! ).

The next novelties in July will probably be a fourth TGV to Paris and maybe an increase of the AVE offer to either Marseille, Lyon and/or Toulouse.

Pity that the works will keep the Geneva train from running till December (I donīt think theyīd start the train from Bellegarde or Annemasse, it would be an unpractical way to restart the service Switzerland-Spain).

Pity too that they didnīt consider an extension to Bordeaux of the AVE Barcelona-Toulouse.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 10:04 PM   #2355
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Maybe they could extend the trains that go to Marseille to Aix-en-Provence or Nice.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 10:38 PM   #2356
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Maybe they could extend the trains that go to Marseille to Aix-en-Provence or Nice.
They already call at Aix-en-Provence TGV.

Nice is not an option, the way things are now. Not even Toulon. It would only be feasible when the Nimes-Montpellier HSL will open, allowing the current Corail Intercités (former Téoz) to be morphed into TGVs.

That would allow a coupling of TGV Duplex between Nice and Narbonne, from where one branch could continue to Bordeaux and the other to Barcelona.
The French Riviera line is saturated from end to end.

Having said that, even though Nice, Antibes, Cannes and Toulon are big cities and lots of tourists, Iīm not sure that the travel time would be attractive enough to fill a TGV Duplex...

=================================================

On the other hand, and being much more cheeky, I wonder if the AVE Barcelona-Toulouse could be extended to Irun instead of Bordeaux.

That would make a longer travel time Barcelona-Irun, yes (but not extremely long, 8 hours -the current travel time via Zaragoza is 6 hours in average), and youīd have stops at Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Biarritz, Bayonne (compulsory for reversal), Orthez (not sure about this one), Pau, Lourdes, Tarbes, Saint-Gaudens (very practical to reach the Spanish Val dīAran and its ski resorts), Toulouse Matabiau, and the current stops till Barcelona.

What do you think about this?
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 11:07 PM   #2357
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I think it might make more sense to extend the AVE Barcelona-Lyon to Torino and Milano (vis HSL).
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 11:25 PM   #2358
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I think it might make more sense to extend the AVE Barcelona-Lyon to Torino and Milano (vis HSL).
I donīt think so: the travel time would be much longer.
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 07:49 AM   #2359
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He did, for sure. But on other smaller stations in the same route you donīt go through anything.
I didn't go through security in a Coruņa. I arrived on a train from Vilagarcia de Arousa, and saw the Trenotel to Barcelona just standing opposite me when I got of. So I did the obvious thing. Walked across to the car I had reserved a seat in, and got on. Quite nice trains btw. Again, Spain has great trains, and the infrastructure is impressive. But having to reserve a seat on a local train is silly. Running diesels on the HSL to A Coruņa as well...
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 03:12 PM   #2360
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I didn't go through security in a Coruņa. I arrived on a train from Vilagarcia de Arousa, and saw the Trenotel to Barcelona just standing opposite me when I got of. So I did the obvious thing. Walked across to the car I had reserved a seat in, and got on.
I would have done that, too.

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Quite nice trains btw. Again, Spain has great trains, and the infrastructure is impressive.
Not all of it...

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But having to reserve a seat on a local train is silly.
Indeed. Tīhatīs something weīve complained about many times, and itīs something that wouldnīt be accepted in some regions (so it hasnīt been applied in there), but in some others like Galicia this measure can be a headache.

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Running diesels on the HSL to A Coruņa as well...
Thatīs provisory, when the upgrade between Santiago and Vigo is finished they will be electric, and besides, strictly speaking, the section Santiago-Corunna (and Santiago-Vigo) is not a full HSL like Ourense-Santiago.
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