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Old October 11th, 2010, 12:25 AM   #921
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That's my point, crashes WILL happen, they just do, there are so many ways that something could go wrong so it's better safe than sorry. Why not just be extra safe and try and avoid accidents and all that while at the same time being safe it they do.


I don't really get the "Let's just try not to make anything go wrong, but if it does we are all screwed" approach. These are people's lives we are talking about.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 01:08 AM   #922
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Not really, as I said before, Sapsan, Zefiro and Italian ETR are all just a few examples of heavy high speed trains.

These trains have more like, say, the body of a commercial aircraft (or maybe tougher) rather than a tin can.

There is never any excuse for building a flimsy train. That's absurd.
Sure there is- just reduce the external causes of accidents and a lighter train will go faster.

And BTW, I think Acela could reach up to 2X the speeds it operates at...
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Old October 11th, 2010, 03:17 AM   #923
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So what was exactly the reason for not buying new TGVs? I mean the company is partially owned by the French and buying German trains by a French owned company is just very very strange.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 03:56 AM   #924
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So what was exactly the reason for not buying new TGVs? I mean the company is partially owned by the French and buying German trains by a French owned company is just very very strange.
Aren't the "new" TGVs like five years old? The next generation is AGV, which is not due for a couple of years.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 05:35 AM   #925
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^ Yea I'm pretty sure trains with Power cars or locomotives are a thing of the past, at least for very high speed passenger trains.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 06:07 AM   #926
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But what happened to Alstom anyway? They didn't seem active in the Chinese HSR bids (by far the largest HSR projects to ever take place), we don't hear much about their other initiatives and their AGV trains are a little late compared to the competitors. Are they loosing competitiveness or what?
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Old October 11th, 2010, 06:29 AM   #927
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That's my point, crashes WILL happen, they just do, there are so many ways that something could go wrong so it's better safe than sorry. Why not just be extra safe and try and avoid accidents and all that while at the same time being safe it they do.


I don't really get the "Let's just try not to make anything go wrong, but if it does we are all screwed" approach. These are people's lives we are talking about.
You could similarly criticize the other approach with "Let's let things go wrong and hope our trains survive them, but if they don't we're screwed". Obviously the choice between a preventative and protective approach isn't that simple.

Still, the Shinkansen network has over nearly half a century transported several billion people without a single collision or derailment fatality. I think it's safe to say that their safety plan works pretty damn well.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 08:21 AM   #928
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No offense but that's kind of stupid to build a flimsy train, I know Shinkansen has a great accident record but still. Bad call. Structural integrity is important.
You know what is flimsy? An aircraft. Airliners are built as flimsy as possible, and still they are considered safe. Nobody considers this stupid.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 08:24 AM   #929
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Originally Posted by Jay View Post
That's my point, crashes WILL happen, they just do, there are so many ways that something could go wrong so it's better safe than sorry. Why not just be extra safe and try and avoid accidents and all that while at the same time being safe it they do.
Crashes do indeed happen. However so far no person has died in a high speed TGV crash (and there have been a few), so I'd say that the concept is sound.

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I don't really get the "Let's just try not to make anything go wrong, but if it does we are all screwed" approach. These are people's lives we are talking about.
There are as always trade-offs to be made. At the one hand one wants to travel in safety. On the other hand one wants to travel. Spending lots of money to reduce the risk from "too small to worry about" to "too small to worry about"/2 is a waste. Such money is better spend on expanding services.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 08:47 AM   #930
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But what happened to Alstom anyway? They didn't seem active in the Chinese HSR bids (by far the largest HSR projects to ever take place), we don't hear much about their other initiatives and their AGV trains are a little late compared to the competitors. Are they loosing competitiveness or what?

Alstom CEO couldn't do his job and pissed Chinese and now Chinese do not even see them They have already absorbed best technology out there from Kawasaki and Siemens. Chinase are actively cooperating with Bombardier too, so last chance has been gone for Alstom in China.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 10:32 AM   #931
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So what was exactly the reason for not buying new TGVs? I mean the company is partially owned by the French and buying German trains by a French owned company is just very very strange.
European laws oblige all public companies to bid and in this case Siemens presented the best offer They cannot choose themselves what to buy. At least in theory.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 10:05 PM   #932
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You know what is flimsy? An aircraft. Airliners are built as flimsy as possible, and still they are considered safe. Nobody considers this stupid.

Gotta disagree... A commercial aircraft??

They are not flimsy at all

You can see they actually have metal frames in them, not just thin skin.








This one crashed into water and was fine, no one was killed.




Quote:
There are as always trade-offs to be made. At the one hand one wants to travel in safety. On the other hand one wants to travel. Spending lots of money to reduce the risk from "too small to worry about" to "too small to worry about"/2 is a waste. Such money is better spend on expanding services.
You don't really have to spend that much more money. It really wouldn't be hard to do both.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 11:07 PM   #933
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Gotta disagree... A commercial aircraft??

They are not flimsy at all
As an aircraft engineer told me: An aircraft is a cloud of aluminium, stretched thin enough to still hold together. Just see what happens when an aircraft hits something solid. You end up with lots of little pieces spread over a large area.

The average airliner weighs about as much as one or two railway carriages...
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Old October 11th, 2010, 11:09 PM   #934
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You don't really have to spend that much more money. It really wouldn't be hard to do both.
Well, we only have to look at the US to see that it isn't that trivial.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 12:50 AM   #935
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But what happened to Alstom anyway? They didn't seem active in the Chinese HSR bids (by far the largest HSR projects to ever take place), we don't hear much about their other initiatives and their AGV trains are a little late compared to the competitors. Are they loosing competitiveness or what?
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Alstom CEO couldn't do his job and pissed Chinese and now Chinese do not even see them They have already absorbed best technology out there from Kawasaki and Siemens. Chinase are actively cooperating with Bombardier too, so last chance has been gone for Alstom in China.
Don't forget the Chinese Pendolino. Alstom sold it to Chinese. Now they have the technology.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 01:07 AM   #936
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Siemens is playing a LOT smarter than Alstom. In fact, Siemens allows China to tell the world that CRH380B is China-made, while they quietly maintains the control of some very key technologies. That's why they will have business for some time to come in China.

Japan is eating the sour grapes precisely because they are regretting having handed over all the technologies for E2-1000. Even though the E2 was not cutting edge, completely transferring the technologies have allowed China to come up very fast with their own vastly improved designs.

Alstom.... well, what can I say, outdated technology, a CEO who cares more about his ego than about the public relations of his firm, ... Short Alstom if you can.

I say this even though I am personally absolutely no fan of Siemens. All the Siemens products I bought I ended up sending for repair multiple times. As a matter of fact, the ICE3 - for which Siemens was partly responsible - had quality problems every now and then. But somehow they are doing smart business with their Velaros.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 07:46 AM   #937
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As an aircraft engineer told me: An aircraft is a cloud of aluminium, stretched thin enough to still hold together. Just see what happens when an aircraft hits something solid. You end up with lots of little pieces spread over a large area.

The average airliner weighs about as much as one or two railway carriages...

I mean compared to a loaded mining truck maybe, but 747's can take off with over 350 tonnes of weight and A380's nearly twice that much.

My point is that metal can be extremely strong yet be not even a couple inches thick. Aircraft have extremely strong metal compared to most machines so they just don't fall apart in air.

Proportionately I would say an 85 foot rail car that's 10 feet wide and 45-50 tons would be close to similar is strength and weight to an aircraft.

I think some people underestimate how powerful a train is. If you were to drive even a light shinkansen train into a battle tank at full speed that tank would be destroyed along with probably the front car of that train. But since the train is so much heavier it is possible that it could be engineered to absorb that impact. Even a light bullet train is 4-700 tonnes of weight that is more or less a solid mass since the cars are nearly permanently connected.

It's all about the right engineering and trains where the wagons share axel loads like TGV and the new AGV have the right idea.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 10:31 AM   #938
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I mean compared to a loaded mining truck maybe, but 747's can take off with over 350 tonnes of weight and A380's nearly twice that much.

My point is that metal can be extremely strong yet be not even a couple inches thick. Aircraft have extremely strong metal compared to most machines so they just don't fall apart in air.

Proportionately I would say an 85 foot rail car that's 10 feet wide and 45-50 tons would be close to similar is strength and weight to an aircraft.

I think some people underestimate how powerful a train is. If you were to drive even a light shinkansen train into a battle tank at full speed that tank would be destroyed along with probably the front car of that train. But since the train is so much heavier it is possible that it could be engineered to absorb that impact. Even a light bullet train is 4-700 tonnes of weight that is more or less a solid mass since the cars are nearly permanently connected.

It's all about the right engineering and trains where the wagons share axel loads like TGV and the new AGV have the right idea.
But you previously said an aircraft is better built than a train.

Anyway, if a train hit a tank at 175mph the train would come off worse. Tanks are much denser, and are also designed to take a large amount of beating, because they are war machines. The train would bounce off in all directions, the tank would be bounced about too, but I'd wager you'd get the engine started and it it might even drive off provided you could get in it and if the tracks didn't take a direct hit, and the train would most likely go up and over the tank so the tank's drive train might get away with it.

The metal of an aircraft is designed specifically to bend, to just the right amount to absorb the tortional effects of the forces applied to the body without causing too much tension in the material, balancing resistance to deformity with resistance to stress fractures.

Interestingly trains are built in exactly the same way. And cars. And skyscrapers. Everything actually. (soft top versions of cars have their suspension adjusted due to the decreased rigidity in tortional stiffness of the body)

As I've said before, you've got to let go of this concept that strength is directly linked to weight. You are in effect saying that you understand mechanics better than the designers and engineers of these trains, and the evidence you provide is pictures of the inside of planes and some confused concepts.

Meanwhile the actual trains in Japan continue to transport millions of people and killing absolutely none of them.

I feel that you cling on to your concepts of rail safety despite all of the arguments presented to you over the years merely because you want to believe it.

Last edited by makita09; October 12th, 2010 at 10:44 AM.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #939
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Aircraft have extremely strong metal compared to most machines so they just don't fall apart in air.
Actually they do sometimes "just fall apart in the air". Not as much as they used to, but it is still possible for a pilot to get his plane to break up if he forgets his maneuvering speed.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 03:15 AM   #940
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But you previously said an aircraft is better built than a train.

Anyway, if a train hit a tank at 175mph the train would come off worse. Tanks are much denser, and are also designed to take a large amount of beating, because they are war machines. The train would bounce off in all directions, the tank would be bounced about too, but I'd wager you'd get the engine started and it it might even drive off provided you could get in it and if the tracks didn't take a direct hit, and the train would most likely go up and over the tank so the tank's drive train might get away with it.

The metal of an aircraft is designed specifically to bend, to just the right amount to absorb the tortional effects of the forces applied to the body without causing too much tension in the material, balancing resistance to deformity with resistance to stress fractures.

Interestingly trains are built in exactly the same way. And cars. And skyscrapers. Everything actually. (soft top versions of cars have their suspension adjusted due to the decreased rigidity in tortional stiffness of the body)

As I've said before, you've got to let go of this concept that strength is directly linked to weight. You are in effect saying that you understand mechanics better than the designers and engineers of these trains, and the evidence you provide is pictures of the inside of planes and some confused concepts.

Meanwhile the actual trains in Japan continue to transport millions of people and killing absolutely none of them.

I feel that you cling on to your concepts of rail safety despite all of the arguments presented to you over the years merely because you want to believe it.
I'm not confusing the concepts, I'm just saying it's better safe than sorry. You say Shinkansen can never have a crash but it definitely can, even a Maglev train crashed in Germany and many people died. You would have never thought that could happen, but it did. I never said strength was directly linked to weight, it's just part of it, I said you need a balance. Obviously you can build light and strong structures like an aircraft or railroad car.

Don't think you would be able to drive anything away from anything after a collision of such huge machines at 175 mph. The train would come off worse but anything it hit would still be a goner, trains can rip steel bridges in half. If a tank was rightside up after the collision maybe you could drive it away provided that the treads were not ripped off, however any occupant of even that war machine would be dead. The train wouldn't have to suffer as much if the entire structure, all hundreds of tons, took the load of the impact together, rather than just the front car. Trains do that to some extent yet not all the way.

TGV is a good example of a train that does well in crashes because it can't jackknife, at least not easily. Look at TGV crashes, one time the TGV hit an 80 ton asphalt paving machine and no one died because the cars cannot jackknife due to the fact that the cars are permanently connected. That is the most intelligent way to design a train.

EMD locomotives foot per foot are about as dense as tanks, and they can often move pretty fast too, sometimes as fast as 100+ mph. however the right structural engineering could make even light trains this strong. The metal should bend and twist you're right, however the train car should not be able to rip open or be easily (relatively) destroyed.
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