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Old September 30th, 2010, 01:52 PM   #821
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
But you have never
boarded such a train, have you ?
Nope, but I've driven as much as 3.800km in 3 days (with deserved stops to sleep in a comfortable, stationary bed at a hotel ), so I know how it feels to be "on the road".

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Why is it that your faith in free market suddently disappears for subjects like
this ? You don't believe in regulation, do you ? Well, let the free market take
care of that too ! If it does not meet basic cleanliness standards, it will lose
its customers...
People derive the wrong conclusions! I NEVER said I'm strictly libertarian or a "let's play with life and death" hardcore free marketeer. My fierce opposition, the one that motivates me to write emails, post on forums and run angry campaigns is against a narrow, defined and undesirable feature: the involvement of government in setting up schedules of public transportation vehicles and regulating fares or forcing coordination in quasi-monopoly companies. I don't even oppose public spent on TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE as long as there is not one dime flowing to subsidize public transport vehicle purchase, maintenance and operation. Doesn't seem that hard to understand...

What I'm certainly am is a hardcore promoter of private transportation and the cultural appendices that surround it, like increased individualism and disdain for "let's live closer in denser places" philosophies. I also hopes a cheaper and feasible version of private airplane appears on the market in 30-50 years too, so we can start flying smaller planes like we drive our cars (ok, with far more training and strict licensing process).

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Conventional coaches with tilting mechanism do not exist yet. Tilt trains
only exist in the form of MU sets or talgo rakes. This train isn't anything
like that.
So it's a crap train. Conventional rail is outdated IMO. If a track is not outright HSL, it should be fitted at least with tilting trains on long-distance routes. Otherwise, as I said, it is a vintage service, like the "Orient Express" in the 90's.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 03:41 PM   #822
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... - and the idea of sharing compartments with strangers - are dreadful...
This is one of the things I like about night trains. I can have a whole compartment to my self. (Or to me and my wife). There is something about having your own little private bubble travelling from one end of Europe to the other while hundreds of km of scenery pass by. Start your evening with a good meal in the restaurant. Have a drink. Then retire to your cabin to read a bit. Then sleep and wake up a 1000km further.
I've spend 24+ hours on the same train, and somehow I still never get around reading all the books I want to read.
Anyway much more agreable than a cramped seat on an airplane, and the missus agrees with me.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 05:13 PM   #823
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
This is one of the things I like about night trains. I can have a whole compartment to my self. (Or to me and my wife). There is something about having your own little private bubble travelling from one end of Europe to the other while hundreds of km of scenery pass by. Start your evening with a good meal in the restaurant. Have a drink. Then retire to your cabin to read a bit. Then sleep and wake up a 1000km further.
I've spend 24+ hours on the same train, and somehow I still never get around reading all the books I want to read.
Anyway much more agreable than a cramped seat on an airplane, and the missus agrees with me.
I couldn't agree more. I have taken many in my time and had some great journeys. I would have missed something by not using them and going by day train or flying. Last year I took the Koln-Wein sleeper and even though there were 2 strangers it was quite pleasant. Also took the Budapest-Belgrade and it was almost empty, which was good for us (not very free market but sure it would have been in summer). If/When I move to central Europe I will be looking for places I can visit easily using a night train.

I think some night trains slow down so they don't arrive somewhere too early, I have been on some in the past and they have spent some time in sidings or crawling. Also the sleeper from Berlin-Copenhagen takes a much longer route than the day one that takes the ferry as it has the time and doesn't want to disturb passengers too much by loading them in the night.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 10:49 PM   #824
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
So it's a crap train. Conventional rail is outdated IMO. If a track is not outright HSL, it should be fitted at least with tilting trains on long-distance routes. Otherwise, as I said, it is a vintage service, like the "Orient Express" in the 90's.
It does not fit your needs. Fine ! That doesn't make it crap, if you're not
forced to use it. It has a purpose : proposing an enjoyable way to travel
for people who like it, that's all. This is similar to cruises, people spending
two weeks doing horseback riding, or a trek in the mountains. It does not
require speed, that not's what customers want. Call it vintage if you whish,
but certainly not crap !

You know, next summer, I'm going to Pekin. From Brussels. By train, all
the way. Stopping en route in Moscow, Sverdlovsk, Baïkal lake, and
Mongolia. It will take me 4 weeks. And I will actually enjoy it.
And I'm not alone : in summer, transsiberian, transmongolian, and
transmandchourian trains are actually packed with vacationers.
I'm even learning russian, in a class, to enjoy that trip even more...
And at the end, as I will have exhausted my vacation time, I will indeed
take a flight to come back. The purpose of this return trip will be totally
different. Can you actually understand that ?
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Old October 1st, 2010, 12:14 AM   #825
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If you are talking about a touristic leisure product, fine. But some people start daydreaming of a 70's heyday comeback of an European-wide network of night trains, subsidized, to haul people here and there, which is not your case.

I, for instance, love car trips. I'd take the highway to Italy from Netherlands instead of flying because I enjoy the road. It costs more (~€ 180 with gas and tolls instead of ~€ 80 with EasyJet), but I enjoy the ride. As I'm paying for car/gas/tolls, it's fine. The government is not marginally subsidizing my leisure.

If that is the case of this train, then fine. If it is been subsidized by Russian treasury, EU should take a hard look. If it relies on subsides from the countries where it passes, it is unfair as it is, like you defined, leisure.

I think it is crap as I'd think that a beach filled of students on Spring Break binge drinking is crap too, for instance. That doesn't mean none should be disallowed but also doesn't mean I can't wish for the doom and failure of what I consider irrelevant and outdated (I'd scrap most embarrassing folk stuff (dances, plays, clothes) of my country also, if I could).

So I guess you understood my point. I already have a negative view on trains that are not high-speed (those are cool), put it like a vintage tourist activity and I'll not like them like I don't like vintage chariots in Wien, for instance
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Old October 1st, 2010, 12:50 AM   #826
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Oh come on. I think you forced everyone here to read your ideas about 10 times now. It starts to get boring...
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Old October 1st, 2010, 01:07 AM   #827
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
If that is the case of this train, then fine. If it is been subsidized by Russian treasury, EU should take a hard look. If it relies on subsides from the countries where it passes, it is unfair as it is, like you defined, leisure.
Russia is not part of the EU and this trains is mainly dedicated to Russian people so I don't see the problem anyway. RZD pays the other railways the cost for running the train (it is not my opinion, I'm sure about that).
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Old October 1st, 2010, 06:10 AM   #828
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let's just block or report the troll!
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Old October 1st, 2010, 10:23 AM   #829
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
If you are talking about a touristic leisure product, fine. But some people start daydreaming of a 70's heyday comeback of an European-wide network of night trains, subsidized, to haul people here and there, which is not your case.
This line *IS* a touristic leisure product.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 12:42 PM   #830
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RZD pays the other railways the cost for running the train (it is not my opinion, I'm sure about that).
Then there should be no problems running such train. It would be a just a service I personally dislike but it's been provided for a specific market at fair conditions, so be it.

Are they allowed, as an external (non-EU) operator, to carry passengers, say, between Nice and Innsbruck, or between Genova and Wien? I have no idea about how regulations are in respect of non-European carriers transporting passengers within 2 EU points in routes that otherwise involve a non-EU (technically, a non-EEA) start or end point.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 01:06 PM   #831
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I don't know if it accept passengers from and to a city outside Russia.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 02:39 PM   #832
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Are they allowed, as an external (non-EU) operator, to carry passengers, say, between Nice and Innsbruck, or between Genova and Wien? I have no idea about how regulations are in respect of non-European carriers transporting passengers within 2 EU points in routes that otherwise involve a non-EU (technically, a non-EEA) start or end point.
I suppose they would be. The Basel - Moscow train can be used to travel from Basel to Berlin, for example.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 03:43 PM   #833
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I'm pretty sure that that's allowed. Free markets, you know.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 12:40 AM   #834
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It's not always like that. It's not allowed to use the 2 Talgo trains that go through France to or from any stations in this country:
Salvador Dali: Barcelona-Milano and Pablo Casal: Barcelona-Geneva-Bern-Zurich. The SNCF website doesn't even mention them.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 12:52 AM   #835
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UPDATE

Quote:
Eurostar set to order non-French trains

By Robert Wright, Transport Correspondent
Published: October 1 2010 13:49 | Last updated: October 1 2010 19:54

Eurostar looks poised to defy French government opposition by becoming the first affiliate of SNCF, France’s state-owned train operator, to order non-French high-speed trains.

A board meeting on Friday afternoon of Eurostar, which is controlled by SNCF, decided to press on towards a final contract, likely to be worth more than €600m ($826m), for Velaro-D trains from Germany’s Siemens. Eurostar runs high-speed trains between the UK and mainland Europe.

Paris has been working hard in the past week to persuade the tunnel’s safety authorities to overturn a change in rules, people involved said. The change made it possible for the first time for the German-built trains to use the tunnel.

SNCF and its international joint ventures – which include Eurostar and Thalys, which runs from Paris to Brussels, Cologne and Amsterdam – previously ordered high-speed trains from Alstom, widely seen in France as a national champion. Alstom builds SNCF’s flagship 300kph TGV trains.

Eurostar selected the Velaro-D, the latest version of Germany’s ICE high-speed train family, over Alstom’s AGV, as its preferred option in June, but the deal became public only on Friday. The Velaro-D and AGV are now seen as Europe’s leading competitors for large high-speed train orders. SNCF has a record of buying trains built by non-French companies, including Canada’s Bombardier, but previous orders have been built at the contractors’ French factories.

Two of the parties involved told the Financial Times that French authorities were exerting pressure for a renewal of a recently-removed ban on the use of the tunnel by trains with “distributed traction”, where electrical equipment is hidden under the floor and the motors are distributed throughout the train.

Until earlier this year, the tunnel safety rules said all trains using it had to have electrical equipment and motors concentrated in power cars at either end, the arrangement on Euro-star’s existing trains, built in the early 1990s.

Both parties believed it reflected official frustration that Eurostar had opted for the German product. “What they are saying is that they will not endorse trains with distributed traction going through the tunnel,” one person familiar with Eurostar’s position said of the French authorities’ stance.

An international trainmaker confirmed the French authorities had been campaigning on the issue.

Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president, has regularly expressed his pride in his pivotal role, when economy minister, in arranging a state-backed rescue for Alstom when it was in danger of collapse in 2004. When Alstom unveiled the AGV in 2008, Mr Sarkozy questioned the right of Alstom’s competitors to sell trains in France.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 02:05 AM   #836
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But that doesn't have to be because of EU regulations, but on some national norms that still apply (as we know, France is quite late in liberalising its rail traffic) or because the operator has chosen.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 04:32 AM   #837
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Actually tgv-europe.com is willing to sell me a ticket Perpignan-Milano on the Salvador Dali elipsos hoteltrain for EUR 69. (Tuesday 5 Oct, as it only runs every other day)

Last edited by JeroenMostert; October 2nd, 2010 at 04:33 AM. Reason: only running on some days
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 11:00 AM   #838
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Quote:
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On the flop side, their trains suffered during winter with a 5-days cancellation and there was that accident in Brussels with a local train that forced the cancellation of many Brussels services for 2 or 3 weeks.
What happened to flights during the Icelandic volcano? I do believe that other modes of transportation are affected by adverse conditions too. You just seem to love pointing out problems with trains in particular.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 02:29 PM   #839
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I'm pretty sure that that's allowed. Free markets, you know.
Sururbanist is from the Netherlands. The Dutch (not all but a substantial part of them) don't like the free markets anymore...... Actually, they are against everything which is connected with foreign countries. In this perspective, I can understand why Suburbanist doesn't advocate a train from Moscow to Nice.

I use the overnight trains in Eastern Europe several times a year, also for business trips. I really enjoy them.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 02:46 PM   #840
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Sururbanist is from the Netherlands. The Dutch (not all but a substantial part of them) don't like the free markets anymore...... Actually, they are against everything which is connected with foreign countries. In this perspective, I can understand why Suburbanist doesn't advocate a train from Moscow to Nice.

I use the overnight trains in Eastern Europe several times a year, also for business trips. I really enjoy them.
Suburbanist lives in The Netherlands but he is Italian I believe.
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