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Old April 26th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #61
jrawle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Welshlad View Post
ive been on some DMU's that are really quiet, arriva trains have them running manchester to carmarthen, they used to be called commonwealth cruisers. Also, arent voyagers classed as dmu's? they're quiet too
Voyagers might be quieter than the grotty "Sprinter" type trains that are used on local routes, but they are still not nearly as comfortable as the HSTs. If you haven't been on a non-DMU train for years, you probably wouldn't even realise. When I first travelled from Leicester to London, I thought the train must be electric, as there was no engine revving as it pulled away. Later I realised there are no power lines!

Not only are DMUs noisier for passengers on-board, they are also noisy when they are standing at a platform. Often when I'm waiting for a train at Oxford station, a Voyager will stop there, and I can't hear the station announcements.* On the rare occasion I see an HST there, the engines are at the far ends of the platform, so aren't a problem.

* assuming the passenger information system is even working at Oxford, as more often than not it isn't
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Old April 27th, 2007, 04:34 AM   #62
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Well the Chinese now have bullet trains from the major producers of HSR now this will tell who has the best reliability.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 05:16 AM   #63
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Does Britain have any national producers of trainsets?

Or are France, Germany, Italy and Spain the main source of train service from the UK (especially French and German).
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Old April 27th, 2007, 09:51 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UD2 View Post
Bombardier and the Japanese met their deadlines, which are the same deadlines that Alstom had to meet.

The project wasn't forced up them, the companies bid for it and they all knew the deadlines. And the Chinese didn't ask for the latest design, the CRH1 is a very close cousin of the Bombardier Regina and the CRH2 basicaly a Japanese E2 with a Chinese style train hook and power collecter.

The only victums here are the poor guys in the Railway Department who are going to be sacked for something that is not really their fault.

Alstom (divisions) have had a history of missing their deadlines in China. One of Shanghai's subway lines (forgot which, there's only one that uses Alstom trains) was delayed opening for two years because the trains weren't ready.

And the Alstom subway trains running in China has always had problems with its doors, a problem that the CRH5 shared.
I didnt know Alstom trains had so many problems.Thanks for your infos.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 11:43 AM   #65
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One passenger recalled the CRH5 had multiple door failures, in one case the technician had to open the door from outside using the emergency release.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 11:35 PM   #66
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Railways at East Kent

Last april I was in Canterbury (East Kent) and, as railway fan, I used the train to visit the surrounding areas, including London.


That's how I arrived to Canterbury from Donostia (Basque Country, Spain). I used Euskotren, SNCF, Paris Metro, Eurostar, and Southeastern Railways. 12 hours travelling and 75€ expended.


Ashford International: change between Southern Railways, Eurostar and Southeastern Railways.


Eurostar at Ashford International.


Southern Railways at Ashford International.

Photos of Southeastern Railways:


Canterbury West station.


Canterbury-Whitstable railway line plaque at Canterbury West station.


Canterbury West signal box.


Crab&Wincle plaque at Whitstable harbour.


Whitstable station.


Train to Ramsgate in Whitstable.


Biritish Railways signal at Herne Bay station.


Herne Bay station.


Victoria station (London).


Southeastern Railways train at Victoria station.


Southeastern Railways train at Victoria station.


Southeastern Railways train at Victoria station.


Canterbury East station.


Signal box at Canterbury East.


Southeastern Railways train to Dover at Canterbury East.


Station signal at Sandwich.


Sandwich station.


Ramsgate station.

My blog about railways.

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Old May 1st, 2007, 11:55 PM   #67
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You spent only €75 to get from Spain to the UK by train?
I find that very very difficult to believe... For instance, the cheapest ticket price for the Eurostar between Paris and Ashford is about €60 and the cheapest tickets from Hendaye to Paris approximately €40. Don't you mean €175, that would seem more reasonable to believe...
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 12:10 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nefast View Post
You spent only €75 to get from Spain to the UK by train?
I find that very very difficult to believe... For instance, the cheapest ticket price for the Eurostar between Paris and Ashford is about €60 and the cheapest tickets from Hendaye to Paris approximately €40. Don't you mean €175, that would seem more reasonable to believe...
Hendaye to Paris: 15 €
Paris to Ashford International: 50 €
Local trains between Donostia and Hendaye, between Ashford and Canterbury, and Paris Metro ticket: 10 - 15 € +/-



Travel between Ashford International and Paris was more cheap (38,50€) and between Paris and Hendaye 20€. I booked one month and a half later.
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Last edited by Xabi; May 2nd, 2007 at 04:42 AM.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 01:04 AM   #69
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That's really cheap for a journey like that!!
15€ for a ticket in a couchette between Hendaye and Paris!! That's really cheap!!

PS: Your blog seems to be very good, but it's kind of hard to read it in basque!
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:45 AM   #70
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Quote:
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That's really cheap for a journey like that!!
15€ for a ticket in a couchette between Hendaye and Paris!! That's really cheap!!
Yes, but let's talk on trains. I don't like to talk about money.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 04:27 PM   #71
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Nice pics, good to see a Southern train there as I usually travel on those
what was your general impression of the railways?
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Old May 5th, 2007, 01:35 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frog View Post
Nice pics, good to see a Southern train there as I usually travel on those
what was your general impression of the railways?
Really nice railway system!

Very helpfull staff, good indicated stations and trains, confortable trains... Maybe frequencies on sundays and bank holidays could improve.

I got impressed with train toilets. Toilets of intercity trains here are not prepared for disabbled.

Generally speaking it's a good railway system. Better than our railways, without a doubt.

There is one thing that I didn't understand: why does the train decreases its speed some kilometres before arriving to London? I traveled two times to London from Canterbury and the last 20 minutes of the travel were exasperating.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 01:57 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xabi View Post
Really nice railway system!

Very helpfull staff, good indicated stations and trains, confortable trains... Maybe frequencies on sundays and bank holidays could improve.

I got impressed with train toilets. Toilets of intercity trains here are not prepared for disabbled.

Generally speaking it's a good railway system. Better than our railways, without a doubt.

There is one thing that I didn't understand: why does the train decreases its speed some kilometres before arriving to London? I traveled two times to London from Canterbury and the last 20 minutes of the travel were exasperating.
I'm not completely sure but usually the last part of the journey into London can be slow due to congestion, it can be annoying when it keeps stopping and starting i've noticed this in rush hour sometimes. But also speed limits inside the city are generally slower which might make the journey seem longer
Glad you liked the system though, from my experience I find the commuter system out of London pretty good, nice trains and usually on time. Next time you are here you should try our regional railways, they're usually a different story!
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Old May 7th, 2007, 01:16 AM   #74
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Nice photo tour... Not many places in SE England still have semaphore signalling (Cantebury East Signal Box)... can they be found anywhere else in Europe still?

I love watching a 'proper' signalman throwing points and lowering signals from a traditional signal box... I only really get this opportunity at St Erth in Cornwall when I'm changing from the GWR mainline to the St Ives branch line and vice versa. I think the only remnant of semaphores left in London is the Acton Wells Junction to Cricklewood freight line (or 'Dudding Hill Loop'), but this might have been resignalled since I last saw it.

I'm glad your impression of the South-east's railways were favourable, I think the mainline network of Southeast England is excellent. The slow going into London was probably congestion: usership is still climbing and the current infrastructure is struggling to cope even though most main routes are quadrupled with Waterloo and Victoria having 8 approach roads each and London Bridge having 11 roads stretching all the way to North kent Junction (near Millwall FC).
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Old May 7th, 2007, 01:20 AM   #75
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BTW the map's a little awry... You've got Canterbury roughly where Norwich is! Canterbury is to the South-east of London.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 11:22 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubeman View Post
BTW the map's a little awry... You've got Canterbury roughly where Norwich is! Canterbury is to the South-east of London.
Sorry...
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Old June 30th, 2007, 12:30 AM   #77
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Should Britain Renationalise its Railways

Watching a report on Tony Blair's resignation on a foreign news channel, they mentioned his failure to renationalise British railways, whilst being no great surprise it made me think of that very question.

Railtrack, the regulating body, was renationalised back in 2002, in reaction to a series of terrible accidents since privitisation. Many argued that cut backs and lay offs by the new companies was the cause.
But there were also serious accidents under British Rail.

Trains haven't got cheaper either, and the banks that lease out the trains to the companies try and cut back, limiting services. But isn't this just a different form of what was the constant battle between the old public corporation and a government increasingly unwilling to provide adequate funds?

I don't remember much when the railways were still nationalized, but a lot of people have seen no improvement since.
Perhaps both setups were bad, its just people have nostalgia for British Rail.

Others have argued that like nationalisation, privitisation began amidst euphoria but sank back to accepted, inefficient norms.

What are your thoughts/ experiences?
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Old June 30th, 2007, 11:23 AM   #78
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The current set-up (Public track private train operations) could be the optimal route to follow... It will take many years to undo the damage done by Railtrack, but already safety and punctuality are both improving.

British railways, be they mainline or The Tube, err toward heavy unionisation so having private companies more inclined to tell the likes of Bob Crow (RMT) to **** off gets a better deal for the customer. They are better-run as businesses (generally) and I think that where it works well (e.g. Chiltern, C2C) the current set-up gives some of the best railway service in the world. We just need to ensure that poorly-performing contracts get terminated, like Connex did, to send a clear message to the TOCs that their days are numbered if they don't manage their franchise effectively.

Having the infrastructure in private hands was lunacy though, and we paid with the blood of scores of passengers and in real terms billions of pounds which was funneled straight into fat cat salaries and shareholder dividends.
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Old June 30th, 2007, 12:05 PM   #79
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This is interesting to we here in Victoria, where operation of public transport was privatised about ten years back, by the State Government of the time: under Premier Kennett.

The transport system was essentially split into four components: freight, country (regional) passenger, suburban rail, and metropolitan tramways. The latter two were both divided somewhat arbitrarily into two operating units each: pretty much along the British Model. Some marginal freight and passenger services were sloughed off as smaller operations.

That meant six contracts. National Express (I know you've heard of them) ended up with 3 contracts: the passenger rail network (V/Line), half of the suburban rail network ("Bayside Trains", which became "M/Train") and half of the tram network (Swanston Trams, which became "M/Tram")

Connex (which you've also heard of) took "Hillside Trains" and just repainted them "Connex": as they remain today.

I'm not sure of the exact order here, but the "West Coast Railway" (a group originating from the operators of a steam-hauled tourist railway) ceased operation and the service was taken over by "V/Line". So far as I can determine the bus company formerly operating the service to Shepparton is no longer operating the service either.

Three (?) years back National Express announced that it wanted out of the contracts. The Government, which had since changed from Conservative to Labour, let them go. Connex took over their suburban rail operations, Yarra Trams, who operated the other half of the tram network took over "M/Tram", and so far as I can understand the country/regional rail network is now operated by the Government again. Certainly they paid for all the new trains and the new track.

Connex now says it wants out of it's contract too. There has been a 20% increase in patronage over the past two years (a stark contrast to when the system was privatised, and there were fears of line closures and service reductions everywhere). Connex is very unpopular, because the trains are so overcrowded, and the trains don't run on time: and Connex doesn't like the Government fining them for poor performance.

edit: I'm wrong about this: despite having been fined $62 million for poor performance, Connex is requesting its contract should be extended to 2011.

Freight? Well, some operators are running huge trains of containers out of Melbourne (hard to see for most Melburnians) but the Privatised freight handler ("Pacific National") was on the agenda of both sides of politics in the state election last year: they both promised to buy it back.

So what's going to be left of Kennett's privatization plans if Connex throws in the towels? Yarra Trams and the profitable long-haul inter-state freight business. On the other hand, both the metropolitan and regional freight services are booming, old rolling stock is being bought back from collectors, and new cars ordered so people don't need to make the 110 km trip to Ballarat sitting on the floor (i.e. not enough seats).

On my observation, the people running the show were basically the same crowd, anyway (and the only stopwork I recall was over shutting down services).

Last edited by Yardmaster; July 2nd, 2007 at 09:54 AM.
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Old June 30th, 2007, 05:43 PM   #80
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Quote:
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Having the infrastructure in private hands was lunacy though, and we paid with the blood of scores of passengers and in real terms billions of pounds which was funneled straight into fat cat salaries and shareholder dividends.
Yeah, I totally agree. It was a complete exercise in futility putting the infrastructure in private hands. After all, how can you not have a monopoly?
Its impossible for two companies to 'compete' over the same bit of track. They had no one to answer to anymore. Huge cutbacks to bolster the new companies profits margins I think definitely lead to a serious decline in safety.

I mean what was it? - a £160 pound signal replacement could have avoided the Paddington disaster? The damn company in control of that line spent 7 years trying to blame the dead driver! It was only settled this year, and now the fine had to be taken from the network rail's funds- tax payers money.

Interesting to read about Melbourne's experience too. Seems to be a pretty similar situation.
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