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Old April 26th, 2010, 12:29 PM   #641
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Night trains are an oddity anyway... They have a core group of user who are somehow rail fans and will ignore or downplay any problems related to it, starting with ridiculously low speeds. There used to be a CLN (DB owned) train from Amsterdam to Milano, calling in Basel , Bern and Lugano if I'm not mistaking it. But I'm pretty sure about the total travel time, which was 14h30. Unacceptable, as a regular private car would do this journey in 12 hours at most, and an airplane would fly the route in less than 90min.

Berlin-Paris in 9h is also unacceptable. This is worth of crap rail service from early 20th Century. A car trip in a good (traffic) day would take no more than 10h with full flexibility. An airplane takes less than 85min gate-to-gate. They should build a freaking high-speed line between Hannover and Köln, and from there to Aanchen, linking with Belgium HSL 4, so this trip could be made in 5h30 instead of 9h and, more important, during daytime. But the DB has no intent of rapidly expanding its dedicated and segregated HS system, even the much traveled München-Frankfurt has not a high-speed link yet.

So it would be more likely that a London-Amsterdam service gain life as suggested by this thread than a true high-speed service Berlin-Paris.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 12:53 PM   #642
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Night trains are useful for people that can't fly for health reasons or that have fear of flying. And also some night trains may be useful for business travel (leaving at 22 and arriving at 7, this save time and allow a full day of work in another city - even if this certainly difficult with trains like the Milano 21.00-Amsterdam 14.00).

(by the way, a sort of Milano-Amsterdam still exist today, going to Zürich first and taking the night train there)
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Old April 26th, 2010, 12:59 PM   #643
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Originally Posted by SagaCity View Post
added: Waterloo International is not being used at the moment - I think it would make an ideal terminal for international sleeper train services from London.
The Eurostar platforms will eventually be altered for use by South West Trains, and even the link from Waterloo to the Victoria-Bromley line is likely to be removed eventually, as it reduces the Windsor lines from 4 tracks to 3 to allow that junction to fit in, ultimately the local services need this reinstating. Meaning in the future it is unlikely Waterloo will even be able to send trains to the Channel Tunnel.

I don't understand why not use St Pancras for sleepers - surely all 6 platforms won't be needed for day trains at 9'o'clock in the evening when the sleepers pull up to the station?
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Old April 26th, 2010, 01:35 PM   #644
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Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Night trains are useful for people that can't fly for health reasons or that have fear of flying.
There is no helicopter or horse chariot replacement service for those who, in any European city, are afraid to take tram/subway/buses.

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I don't understand why not use St Pancras for sleepers - surely all 6 platforms won't be needed for day trains at 9'o'clock in the evening when the sleepers pull up to the station?
Does St Pancras platforms have enough length to accommodate sleeper trains?
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Old April 26th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #645
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There used to be a CLN (DB owned) train from Amsterdam to Milano, calling in Basel , Bern and Lugano if I'm not mistaking it. But I'm pretty sure about the total travel time, which was 14h30. Unacceptable, as a regular private car would do this journey in 12 hours at most, and an airplane would fly the route in less than 90min.
Can you tell me where I can buy this car that drives Amsterdam - Milano in 12 hours while I am sleeping?

BTW, the Amsterdam - Milano train had only one stop in Switzerland, Lugano, For Basel you took the Amsterdam - Zürich train, which still runs. That the train doesn't run anymore is entirely Trenitalia's fault.

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Berlin-Paris in 9h is also unacceptable. This is worth of crap rail service from early 20th Century. A car trip in a good (traffic) day would take no more than 10h with full flexibility.
That is of course again assuming that magic car that drives itself...
You forget that even on routes where train and car take more or less the same time that train has the advantage that you don't have to drive it. And with clever schedules the train is quite flexible too. I have a train from Basel to Köln every hour for example.
I would really like to see you drive Amsterdam - Zürich overnight, and see how well you conduct business at 9AM in the morning...

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An airplane takes less than 85min gate-to-gate. They should build a freaking high-speed line between Hannover and Köln, and from there to Aanchen, linking with Belgium HSL 4, so this trip could be made in 5h30 instead of 9h and, more important, during daytime. But the DB has no intent of rapidly expanding its dedicated and segregated HS system, even the much traveled München-Frankfurt has not a high-speed link yet.
Actually you don't want a night train to be too fast. In the UK the Caledonian Sleeper lets you stay in the cabin for more than an hour after arrival in London, so you can get a good night's sleep.

I've traveled on the Amsterdam - Zürich night train quite a few times, and it is quite popular with businessman. Why? Because it's the only mode of transport that makes it possible to still spend your evening dinner with your family and still make a 9AM appointment in Zürich.

That's why a night trains make sense. They allow you to use unproductive time to go somewhere.

Last edited by K_; April 26th, 2010 at 02:06 PM.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 02:01 PM   #646
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Does St Pancras platforms have enough length to accommodate sleeper trains?
Sure they do. They have been build to accomodate 400m long trains.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 03:26 PM   #647
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Night trains are an oddity anyway... They have a core group of user who are somehow rail fans and will ignore or downplay any problems related to it, starting with ridiculously low speeds.

My word you're an angry Dutchman! I thought the land of porn and cannabis bred laid back 'Dudes'...

Only kidding.

Certainly sleeper trains are slow beasts. However, not everyone is in a rush.

I have in mind the leisure travellers when I think of sleeper trains, plus those business or professional people who do have to be somewhere, but can afford to be a little flexible with their schedule and might prefer the train to the aeroplane or car options.

I agree that a large amount of support for sleeper trains comes from pro-rail people like me. However, the trains cannot be operating across Europe just because we exist.

Take, for example, the 'Caledonian Sleeper' running between London and Scotland. This is run by a private sector firm, First Group, and I can assure you that most of the people using it are 'normal', as in, not particularly prone to being pro-rail in any way.

I know as I've been a traveller on the service myself. Also, I regularly see the disembarking passengers in the morning at Euston, and passengers leaving on the Northbound trains in the evening, and you can tell by how they look that they represent a broad cross section of society.

The same must be true for the patrons sleeper trains in mainland Europe, such as those using the extensive City Night Line network.

A point I think worth bearing in mind is that many people do not like driving, and a few, like me, do not have a driving licence and have no intention of getting one. I also prefer train travel to the commercial air travel, and again, I don't think I'm the only one who does.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 04:06 PM   #648
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Take, for example, the 'Caledonian Sleeper' running between London and Scotland. This is run by a private sector firm, First Group, and I can assure you that most of the people using it are 'normal', as in, not particularly prone to being pro-rail in any way.
The Lowland sleeper takes 7 hours from Edinburgh to London, and allows passengers to stay on board for 9 hours in total. That proves that you can make money with a service that actually tries very hard not to be too fast :-)
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Old April 26th, 2010, 04:19 PM   #649
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Edinburgh to London is only 500Km on the map that's equivalent to Tokyo to Osaka. On the Shinkansen it only takes 2hours and 30 minutes to travel that distance even if you make a stop at Nagoya and Kyoto.
The distance between Paris and Berlin is about 700Km that's about the same distance between Tokyo and Hiroshima again about 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Really those are prime distance for HSR.
Sleeper trains have disappeared from Japan except for couple of routes to Hokkaido which will also probably disappear as soon as they develop the Hokkaido Shinkansen.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 07:04 PM   #650
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The distance between Paris and Berlin is about 700Km that's about the same distance between Tokyo and Hiroshima again about 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Don't forget that trains or cars are not like planes and that they must follow roads and tracks. According to viamichelin.fr, there are:
- 1056 km via Brussels, Liege, Köln and Hanover: it's closed to Thalys route.
- 1121 km via Reims, Frankfurt and Leipzig: it's closed to ICE route.
- 1018 km: shortest distance via Soisson, Aachen, Magdeburg

So, it would take at least 4 hours without stopping to go from Paris to Berlin by HSR (average speed: 264 km/h).

From London to Berlin, it's 1042 km: a bit less but the speed is limited to 120 km/h during Eurotunnel crossing. The shortest way is 862 km if you take a boot between Harwich and Den Haag.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #651
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Especially in Europe where international trains have to make use of the national networks that aren't always the shortest and lines for international routes. A good example of this is the gap on the Paris - Berlin route between the Ruhr Area and Hannover, simply because the line was already (only) 200 km/h fast before Germany joined the HSR club they didn't plan a new faster line.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 08:08 PM   #652
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eomer View Post

From London to Berlin, it's 1042 km: a bit less but the speed is limited to 120 km/h during Eurotunnel crossing. The shortest way is 862 km if you take a boot between Harwich and Den Haag.
Speed limit in the tunnel is 160km/h, which is the speed Eurostar passes through at.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 09:50 PM   #653
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Quote:
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Does St Pancras platforms have enough length to accommodate sleeper trains?
As K said, 400m, same as at Waterloo. Eurostar sets are 394 metres.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Can you tell me where I can buy this car that drives Amsterdam - Milano in 12 hours while I am sleeping?
I know someone who did Maastricht to Milan in under 9 hours in a Toyota Celica overnight. He's an italian policeman.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 09:52 PM   #654
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... duplicate
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Old April 27th, 2010, 12:18 AM   #655
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It is often impossible as nearly all modern trains have seats placed near the walls and not by the windows. This is incredibly stupid and claustrophobic (at least for me).
Modern trains, particularly HSR, don't allow for "sightseeing". Most lines have noise barriers, artificial tunnels, etc. So a lack of window just by your seat is not the end of the world. Indeed, they should start selling full-window-view seats for a premium, like emergency exit row seats on airplanes Possibilities to extract extra money from passengers are endless.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 08:24 AM   #656
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Originally Posted by Stainless View Post
Speed limit in the tunnel is 160km/h, which is the speed Eurostar passes through at.
Yes, that's right: 160 km/H for Eurostar
120 km/h is the general speed limit inEurotunnel.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 08:35 AM   #657
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Modern trains, particularly HSR, don't allow for "sightseeing". Most lines have noise barriers, artificial tunnels,
That's why I like SBB IC2000 style doubledeckers. From the upper deck you can see over the sound barriers...
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Old April 27th, 2010, 09:18 AM   #658
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eomer View Post
Yes, that's right: 160 km/H for Eurostar
120 km/h is the general speed limit inEurotunnel.
Correction:
Eurostar = 160
Car train = 140
Lorry train = 120
Freigt = 80/120 dependend on engine and wagon capabilities.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 09:25 AM   #659
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The distance between Paris and Berlin is about 700Km that's about the same distance between Tokyo and Hiroshima again about 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Really those are prime distance for HSR.
The railway from Tokyo to Hiroshima would never have been built just to link those two cities. The Shinkansen owes its success to the simple fact that you can serve most large main metropolitan areas in Japan with one mainline. This because of the geography.
The correct comparison is with a Line like Brussels - Paris - Marseilles where travel speeds are as good as on the Shinkansen.

Germany is geogrhapically very different from Japan or France. Germany is not as centralised as Paris. Berlin is the political capital, but Frankfurt is the economical one. München is an important town, in what is for all practical purpose a different country :-) A lot of industry and population is concentrated in the Rhine valley, which is basically at the edge. So Germany builds it's high speed network as a "mesh", which means that indeed average speeds are lower than in France. However, with France's centralized network the moment you want to go from "somewhere not Paris" to "somewhere else not Paris" travel times become a lot longer, and DB's approach doesn't look bad at all...
There are currently about 8/10 direct flights from Paris to Berlin daily. Most are with A320/321, but Lufthansa uses a Canadair 200, a 50 seater. Al together a bit over 1000 seats are offered daily. It appears that there is not enough demand to justify a dedicated high speed service. Paris and Berlin are in different countries, don't underestimate the effect of that.
It makes a lot more sense for DB to concentrate on getting Germany better connected. Bascially in Germany the aim is to connect everywhere with everywhere every half hour via a route that is not to circuitous. That is a good strategy for Germany.
If at the edges, where the German and the French networks connect this creates opportunities to travel Paris - Berlin by rail in a convenient way then that is a good thing, but it's not something that should have priority.
The logical route for Paris - Berlin is via Brussels and Köln. Currently Paris - Köln takes 3h15. I don't expect it to become a lot faster in the near future, as almost all projects along that route are now finished, or nearly finished. Köln - Berlin takes 4h20. I don't think this will improve a lot in the near future, as a new line Köln - Dortmund - Hannover is not yet even being planned...
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Old April 27th, 2010, 09:59 AM   #660
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2. London-Zurich
If you would have a direct train with a stop in Paris (Nord or Est) you could cut the travel by almost 2 hours alone by not have to change trains in Paris. I would use this line.
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