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Old October 20th, 2010, 07:39 AM   #981
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I took nighttrains only twice so far. The first experience was a school trip to Padova in the middle of the 90's. We took a nightrain from Hamburg to Munich with the cheapest possible category. Retrospectively it was not a pleasant trip as it was loud and uncomfortable.

The second experience from Hannover to Basel 3 years ago was the complete opposite when I moved to Italy for a job. I was unfit for flying and had about 60 Kg of luggage. I booked a single bed in a economy class 4-bed cabin for 100 € one-way. Luckily I was the only one in the cabin. The bed was comfortable and the train was driving very smooth. So I had no problem to fall asleep. The next morning I got a small breakfast and had the possibility for hygiene (no shower tough). Finally the train arrived punctually in Basel.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 10:48 AM   #982
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First DB train at St Pancras, as French protests grow

THE first foreign train was due to arrive in London at about 02.00 today, in preparation for a formal reception ceremony which will be attended by the transport minister Theresa Villiers. The Deutsche Bahn ICE set travelled through the Channel Tunnel after several tests, including a full-scale evacuation on Sunday, but was expected to be hauled powerless to London by Eurotunnel locomotives.

Its arrival will be welcomed by some, including DB chief executive Rüdiger Grube, but the event will also be accompanied by high-level controversy.

The French government and train-builder Alstom have launched a vigorous campaign of opposition to the use of Siemens-built ICEs in the Channel Tunnel, and their anger has been heightened by the decision of the Eurostar board earlier this month to proceed with the acquisition of ten German-built Siemens Velaro-D sets for new routes from 2014.

Eurostar is planning to run beyond its present main termini in Paris and Brussels to Amsterdam, Geneva and Lyon, and destinations in other countries, including Germany, are not being ruled out.

http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/gener...man-train.html

Last edited by Marie-Joseph-Paul; October 20th, 2010 at 04:00 PM.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 11:51 AM   #983
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A bit more on-topic: Deutsche Bahn has announced they want to start running ICE trains through the Channel Tunnel from London to Frankfurt and from London to Amsterdam.

Se this article on the BBC news website. It has maps, graphics, etc.

It shows:
- Brussels being 2 hrs from London (London - Brussels is now 2h 4 mins with Eurostar)
- Rotterdam as 3 hrs from London (Brussels - Rotterdam is currently 1h 12 mins with Thalys - with the short stretch from Antwerpen to Brussels taking 42 mins!)
- Amsterdam as 4 hrs from London (Rotterdam - Amsterdam will be 35 mins, or even 28 when it terminates in Amsterdam-Zuid).
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Old October 20th, 2010, 01:30 PM   #984
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woutero View Post
A bit more on-topic: Deutsche Bahn has announced they want to start running ICE trains through the Channel Tunnel from London to Frankfurt and from London to Amsterdam.

Se this article on the BBC news website. It has maps, graphics, etc.

It shows:
- Brussels being 2 hrs from London (London - Brussels is now 2h 4 mins with Eurostar)
- Rotterdam as 3 hrs from London (Brussels - Rotterdam is currently 1h 12 mins with Thalys - with the short stretch from Antwerpen to Brussels taking 42 mins!)
- Amsterdam as 4 hrs from London (Rotterdam - Amsterdam will be 35 mins, or even 28 when it terminates in Amsterdam-Zuid).
Actually the fastest timetabled Brussel - London service currently takes 1h51. That is without calling at Lille Europe. So if DB chooses to go non stop from Brussel to London too, they ought to be able to do it in that time too.
Brussel - Rotterdam is currently 1h12, but DB could opt not to call at Antwerpen (saveing a few minutes) plus in 2013 the new line from Mechelen to Brussel will probably be ready, cutting time further, so an hour could be doable.
So Amsterdam - London in under four hours is possible.
Question is what will happen with the security check. Will DB be able to do away with it?
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Old October 20th, 2010, 03:02 PM   #985
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
new line from Mechelen to Brussel will probably be ready
What? What line is that?
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Old October 20th, 2010, 03:35 PM   #986
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Originally Posted by Slagathor View Post
What? What line is that?
Infrabel, the Belgian infrastructure operator is currently building a new line from Mechelen to Brussel on the median of the Antwerpen - Brussel motorway. This line will als connect with the airport. You can read more about it here:

http://www.infrabel.be/portal/page/p...projet_diabolo
http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoorlijn_25N

This is a conventional fast line. But it will speed up travel time for the high speed trains. One of the current issues with the Antweerpen - Brussels railway is that the "fast" tracks are connected to the eastern tracks through the North-South railway in Brussel. The high speed terminal in Brussel Zuid however uses the Western tracks. This means that either the high speed trains have to cross a lot of tracks to get to the western side (leading to a lot of conflicting movements and delays) or that they have to use the slow tracks, which is what they as far as I know now do...
The new line now being build will allow high speed trains from Antwerpen and beyond to get to the Brussel Zuid high speed tracks without conflicting any other train movements, and it will allow for a higher speed. It will also make it possible for many IC services to stop at the airport.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 03:46 PM   #987
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So it's supposed to be a noticeable improvement? Without touching the Mechelen-Antwerp part? That seems... utopian.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 03:58 PM   #988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slagathor View Post
So it's supposed to be a noticeable improvement? Without touching the Mechelen-Antwerp part? That seems... utopian.
Not utopian. As I explained, the problem is one of capacity and movement conflicts, not speed. The line solves that.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #989
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Originally Posted by Slagathor View Post
So it's supposed to be a noticeable improvement? Without touching the Mechelen-Antwerp part? That seems... utopian.
Of course it will improve travel time, ont he current line speed is limited to 140 km/h with a further speed limit at some stations (now 100km/h or even less).

The new line will also include a bypass of Mechelen station, so it will definatly save some minutes, but this part will only be ready in 2015.

There are also improvements underway near Duffel, where the speed will be upgraded from 90 to 160 km/h so that the entire line from Schaarbeek (near Brussels) to Kontich (near Antwerp) will be 160 km/h.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 09:28 PM   #990
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 10:02 PM   #991
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Will Brussels Airport (Zaventem) also be a stop for the high speed trains, or just for domestic trains? And maybe the Fyra?
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 10:34 PM   #992
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Will Brussels Airport (Zaventem) also be a stop for the high speed trains, or just for domestic trains? And maybe the Fyra?
Nothing is known yet. What would make sense in my opinion would be domestic IC services Antwerpen - Mechelen - Airport - Leuven, and an airport stop for the Fyra services that then also could serve as a Schiphol - Zaventem shuttle. The airport station could also be used as an origin for some TGV services. And of course lots of local services, part of the proposed Brussels suburban network wil call there.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 12:54 AM   #993
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I actually saw the ICE parked in St Pancras in the flesh on Wednesday evening as I got off the train from Nottingham - looked very fresh amongst the standard Eurostar stock. Such a shame when I went back the next day it had gone

Then of course an article in the FT about opposition to Valero order and DB operation by Alstom and the French government was a rather amusing read.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 02:37 AM   #994
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The new TGV Duplex of 400meters "unbreakable" should have be a better solution for passengers increase. The safety specifications will have been respected.

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Old October 23rd, 2010, 02:44 AM   #995
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Quote:
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The Velaro D was specifically designed for international services. The older models do not meet the Tunnel rule of being able to split a train in the tunnel. One of the reasons the Eurostars are so long.
From what I read, there was a review that recommended changing the rules to allow non-splittable trains to use the channel. Hopefully the rules will be changed.

I know one great feature of the Siemens train sets are the glass operator doors that allow a driver's eye view. Do TGV's have this feature too?
Two notes here:


I just hope they also change the humans rights rules ... I 'd Luv to see mass murderings everywhere ... just a hint of what it would meant "changing the rules" about passenger travell in the eurotunnel.

And no ... aparently glass window was not preserved in any of the newer Velaro trains sold by siemens ... much less it would be advisable in a Velaro going in the eurotunnel.


The rules for SAFETY are there for a reason in large tunnel crossings ... namely passenger safety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
TGVs do not have that feature, as the first and the last car of a TGV trainset are its locomotives. The current Eurostar trainsets are TGVs as well so the same applies.

Up until recently, several rules were placed upon passenger trains wanting to go through the tunnel:
* The train should be able to be split in the middle
* The minimum length should be 400 meters so there is always a door opposite or close to an emergency exit, 2 doors if the driver stops his train well
* The train manager should be a certified train driver who resides in the other cab car during the tunnel crossing, so that in case of an emergency he can drive the splitted part back to where they came from

Because in 15 years of operating the Channel Tunnel none of these measures have ever been required, most of them are being looked into and altered or dropped. The 400 meter length is likely to stay, but the splitting rule is to be dropped.

I am not quite sure what restrictions would be in place which would make the E320 unsuited for the Channel Tunnel. I guess it's French protectionism.
Not entirelly correct:

Quote:
At the end of 2009, extensive fire-proofing requirements were dropped and Deutsche Bahn received permission to run German Intercity-Express (ICE) trains through the Channel Tunnel in the future. On 19 October 2010 Deutsche Bahn ran the first ICE train through the channel tunnel arriving in St. Pancras after evacuation tests in the tunnel were a success.
So fireproofing is no longer a limitation but the train reversinon is still a very important one (?) as we can see by the previous cases:

Quote:
There have been three fires in the Channel Tunnel that were significant enough to close the tunnel—all on the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) shuttles—and other more minor incidents.

During an "invitation only" testing phase on 9 December 1994, a fire broke out in a Ford Escort car whilst its owner had been loading it on to the upper deck of a tourist shuttle. The fire started at approximately 10:00 with the shuttle train stationary in the Folkestone terminal and was extinguished around 40 minutes later with no passenger injuries.[82]

On 18 November 1996, a fire broke out on a heavy goods vehicle shuttle wagon in the tunnel but nobody was seriously hurt. The exact cause is unknown,[83] although it was not a Eurotunnel equipment or rolling stock problem; it may have been due to arson of a heavy goods vehicle. It is estimated that the heart of the fire reached 1,000 °C (1,800 °F), with the tunnel severely damaged over 46 metres (151 ft), with some 500 metres (1,640 ft) affected to some extent. Full operation recommenced six months after the fire.[84]

The tunnel was closed for several hours on 21 August 2006, when a truck on an HGV shuttle train caught fire.[85][86] On 11 September 2008, a fire occurred in the Channel Tunnel at 13:57 GMT. The incident started on a freight-carrying vehicle train travelling towards France.[87] The event occurred 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from the French entrance to the tunnel. No one was killed but several people were taken to hospitals suffering from smoke inhalation, and minor cuts and bruises. The tunnel was closed to all traffic, with the undamaged South Tunnel reopening for limited services two days later.[88] Full service resumed on 9 February 2009[89] after repairs costing €60 million.
The actuall train erupting in flames needs those closeness to the doors rules ... headng in the tail of another train who itself caught fire needs a rapid reversing rule ... let's hope that ICE trains don't start to get themselves immulated inside the tunnel in the next years.


Looking back ... the ideal trains for the tunnel would be some ICE1/2 or even something like the danish IC3 with groups of 4 car trains heading each to a different destination as soon as they passed Lille or London.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 10:46 AM   #996
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The rules for SAFETY are there for a reason in large tunnel crossings ... namely passenger safety.
Actually many safety rules are there for another reason: Ass covering. The current airport security theatre is a goog example.
When the rules for Eurotunnel were drawn up there were little precedents to draw from. After 20 years of operation we now know what worked and what didn't in real emergencies, so the rules can be adapted. With passenger safety in mind, true. But rules that have so far shown not to contribute to safety can be changed or dropped.

We now know for example that the biggest risk in the tunnel are the Lorry shuttles...

Quote:
So fireproofing is no longer a limitation but the train reversinon is still a very important one (?) as we can see by the previous cases:
Reversing is not a problem with the E320 sets. You can solve the need to reverse rapidly in different ways.
The Swiss Alpine tunnels (Lötschberg and soon Gotthard) also have the requirement that a train should be able to reverse rapidly.
The way they solved it is have a modification to the ETCS signallin system that allows a train to be driven "backwards" blind at full speed, where the driver gets the signals as seen at (now) head of the train mirrored to his cab at the (now) back. In the first year of the operation of the Lötschberg tunnel however this ETCS feature was not yet fully debugged, so the SBB ran trains with an extra driver in the rear cabin for a while. Just as Eurostar does now. Just as DB could do.
This way a train can stop and immediately depart in the other direction if needed.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 02:01 PM   #997
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You could always train a guard/train manager to do it.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 02:14 PM   #998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Nothing is known yet. What would make sense in my opinion would be domestic IC services Antwerpen - Mechelen - Airport - Leuven, and an airport stop for the Fyra services that then also could serve as a Schiphol - Zaventem shuttle. The airport station could also be used as an origin for some TGV services. And of course lots of local services, part of the proposed Brussels suburban network wil call there.
Short answer... NO.

There is simply no capacity at the station to do the required "security" checks or border control. Besides... it would take another 11 or 20 minutes and that is exactly what you don't want if your in competition with easyJet or Ryanair.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 02:22 PM   #999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Actually many safety rules are there for another reason: Ass covering. The current airport security theatre is a goog example.
When the rules for Eurotunnel were drawn up there were little precedents to draw from. After 20 years of operation we now know what worked and what didn't in real emergencies, so the rules can be adapted. With passenger safety in mind, true. But rules that have so far shown not to contribute to safety can be changed or dropped.

We now know for example that the biggest risk in the tunnel are the Lorry shuttles...



Reversing is not a problem with the E320 sets. You can solve the need to reverse rapidly in different ways.
The Swiss Alpine tunnels (Lötschberg and soon Gotthard) also have the requirement that a train should be able to reverse rapidly.
The way they solved it is have a modification to the ETCS signallin system that allows a train to be driven "backwards" blind at full speed, where the driver gets the signals as seen at (now) head of the train mirrored to his cab at the (now) back. In the first year of the operation of the Lötschberg tunnel however this ETCS feature was not yet fully debugged, so the SBB ran trains with an extra driver in the rear cabin for a while. Just as Eurostar does now. Just as DB could do.
This way a train can stop and immediately depart in the other direction if needed.
Everyone must follow the same rules (namelly the rules wich aply at the time of it's introduction in service)

Some 10 years ago the 1st car in a HST was still mandatorily devoid of passengers ... it took a big fight for Virgin to manage to put passengers in the Pendolinos and DB also had to shuffle a little weight with the ICE2 ... nowadays it's a given that 1st coaches can carry passengers in ultra hgh speed trains.

The teory that each and every restrictive (or should we say over-zealous?) rule is a BAD rule usually leads to a large period of prestine safety records ... then the usual process is to over deregulate and create a couple of unseeen grave safety traps ... in time it usually leads to a series of accidents ocurring preciselly because the true availability of those prestine conditions ceased to exist the same day the BAD rules were overuled.

About the Velaro Trains ... any as in ANY train that meets the Eurotunnel safety dictatorial/draconian rules can pass there ... so if DB/Eurotunel (or whatever) complies to the standards there is nothing barring them from using such trains there.


Those TGV vs "true HST" discussions (or japanese vs. european HST , or even MAglev vs. HST) always seem so paranoid and devoid of any technical credibility.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 02:24 PM   #1000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maarten Otto View Post
You could always train a guard/train manager to do it.
Since the tunnel crossing sit's in the middle of the trip you could as easily send an engineer to man the end CAB and at the destination it would replace the 1st one (wich would became the end CAB engineer) ... a 6h or 7h trip could then be handled by both without needing a second BASE.
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