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Old May 10th, 2015, 09:24 PM   #641
PredyGr
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I am not aware which study you are referring, there are many on UIC's website, but the chart that I posted can be found in UIC brochure “High-Speed Rail: Fast Track to Sustainable Mobility” on page 8. It should be noted that the chart shows passenger-km and not seat-km. That's why the significantly higher average load factor of high speed trains compared to conventional trains is the main reason behind the higher energy efficiency of HSR. If you want to compare high speed and conventional rail on kWh/seat-km basis, I consider a good source the RSSB publication "T618 - traction energy metrics".
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Old May 10th, 2015, 09:45 PM   #642
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I was reading this one, focused on energy consumption and emissions:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...92885102,d.bGg
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Old May 13th, 2015, 04:17 AM   #643
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I'm surprised France took lead of HSR in Europe. Germany has much better demographics, it has several major cities which are too close for air travel but to far for bus, and good population densities and a liberal population.

Why such slow development?
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Old May 13th, 2015, 12:15 PM   #644
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France has a central large capital city with a few large secondary cities spread far and wide with not much between in many cases. It has a large civil service which tends to stay on course between changes of government, meaning projects are typically completed once underway.

On the other hand, Germany is a federalist country with power devolved to individual states, many coalition governments with differing opinions in power and many more large towns and cities all wanting trains to stop there. There is also a large green lobby which means that building an HSR line attracts significant opposition and when they are build, very expensive environmental protection measures are needed. This means that few lines can be afforded and it takes a lot longer to get the consensus to bring a project to fruition.

Germany also seems very much to build lines for its own needs rather than in the broader European context. For example, look at the "Magistrale for Europe". In France the lines are built for 350 km/h and trains will get from Paris to the border in 2 hours. In Germany, it's a patchwork of 250 km/h lines and a few upgrades and it will take a further 3.5 hours to reach Munich, roughly the same distance.
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Old May 13th, 2015, 01:55 PM   #645
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Quote:
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France has a central large capital city with a few large secondary cities spread far and wide with not much between in many cases. It has a large civil service which tends to stay on course between changes of government, meaning projects are typically completed once underway.

On the other hand, Germany is a federalist country with power devolved to individual states, many coalition governments with differing opinions in power and many more large towns and cities all wanting trains to stop there. There is also a large green lobby which means that building an HSR line attracts significant opposition and when they are build, very expensive environmental protection measures are needed. This means that few lines can be afforded and it takes a lot longer to get the consensus to bring a project to fruition.

Germany also seems very much to build lines for its own needs rather than in the broader European context. For example, look at the "Magistrale for Europe". In France the lines are built for 350 km/h and trains will get from Paris to the border in 2 hours. In Germany, it's a patchwork of 250 km/h lines and a few upgrades and it will take a further 3.5 hours to reach Munich, roughly the same distance.
You say France has several secondary cities, but Germany essentially has several cities with substantial populations which are far bigger and more important that any French city except Paris. Maybe the system of government plays a bigger role-

Germany must also have the only green lobby in the world HINDERING development of railways! I think we saw the lobby in action during the nuclear power stoppage in 2011.

I hope Germany sees sense soon, DB is the most famous rail operator in EU!

Meanwhile, at least Germany is more progressive than countries such as UK ...
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Old May 13th, 2015, 07:57 PM   #646
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It is hard to say why HSR never became a serious obsession in Germany, even though it would have been good for Siemens and other parts of German industry. I do not buy the argument that Germany is too densely populated. While that might hold true for some regions, there are plenty of others where trains go slow even without the need to stop (Berlin-Dresden maybe the obvious example). Some say the powerful automobile industry does not want serious competition from a railway that would clearly outshine the highways. It is hard to understand why new rail lines see long and tedious discussions about noise and environmental impact, while highways continue to be built against all resistance. Unfortunately Germany's Greens tend to romanticize about "deceleration" and lobby for trams instead of subways and S-Bahns instead of HSR, while in everyday life they are the part of the population making most use of air travel.
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Old May 13th, 2015, 09:50 PM   #647
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Germany had a golden opportunity with an all-new Transrapid network, but they blew it (literally)
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Old May 13th, 2015, 10:57 PM   #648
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post
It is hard to say why HSR never became a serious obsession in Germany, even though it would have been good for Siemens and other parts of German industry. I do not buy the argument that Germany is too densely populated. While that might hold true for some regions, there are plenty of others where trains go slow even without the need to stop (Berlin-Dresden maybe the obvious example). Some say the powerful automobile industry does not want serious competition from a railway that would clearly outshine the highways. It is hard to understand why new rail lines see long and tedious discussions about noise and environmental impact, while highways continue to be built against all resistance. Unfortunately Germany's Greens tend to romanticize about "deceleration" and lobby for trams instead of subways and S-Bahns instead of HSR, while in everyday life they are the part of the population making most use of air travel.
It's not the only country that has the same problems unfortunately.
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Old May 13th, 2015, 11:38 PM   #649
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Germany had a golden opportunity with an all-new Transrapid network, but they blew it (literally)
If you had ever ridden a Transrapid you would know it is a rather uncomfortable ride.
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Old May 14th, 2015, 12:59 PM   #650
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If you had ever ridden a Transrapid you would know it is a rather uncomfortable ride.
At first I thought how is this possible? But then I realised that for the transrapid during travel the distance between the guide rail and the train is only 10mm, instead of 10cm for the Japanese maglev. That may turn out to be its major design flaw.

Thus i can image the control systems regulating the levitation height and lateral guidance have to do so fast, often and very abrupt to avoid contact with the guide rail. After all it has to travel at 400+ km/h with only a few mm of 'suspension' travel in both the horizontal and lateral direction. Could you image what would happen if regular cars or trains had only one cm of suspension travel?
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Old May 14th, 2015, 07:52 PM   #651
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Quote:
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Germany had a golden opportunity with an all-new Transrapid network, but they blew it (literally)
As of now, the only countries willing to invest in Maglev in a grand scale are:
GCC
India
Japan
China

China is unlikely to invest in Maglev now as its economy transforms into a more money hungry machine and since it already has HSR.

India lacks money but also lacks HSR, and railways are an integral part of its culture. I haven't seen any lobbying yet however, and I presume any investment will need to be partially financed by private sector.

GCC and Japan are the most likely to build Maglev. They have money and want. Japan is already building one!
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Old May 14th, 2015, 07:54 PM   #652
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Under the descriptions given above regarding why Germany is behind France with HSR, Germany or Japan may well be able to finance the railway using government loans.
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Old May 15th, 2015, 04:36 AM   #653
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Japanese build rail because the options are expensive. Cars are not cheap to run and have to pay expensive tolls. The whole car lobby I don't buy because japan has a very strong domestic market with cars that are even purpose built and sold only domestically (kei class cars).

All JR are privately owned and Shinkansen line building accelerated when that happened. They build to a minimum speed I believe of 260kph by default for cost and if an era wants faster they incur costs from local gov't. My guess is that with current tech 260kph happens to be the most efficient speed.
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Old May 15th, 2015, 10:57 AM   #654
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Originally Posted by skyshakernowlive View Post
I'm surprised France took lead of HSR in Europe. Germany has much better demographics, it has several major cities which are too close for air travel but to far for bus, and good population densities and a liberal population.
The population distribution is very different, as is the way the country is structured.
In France the only city that really matters is Paris. The railways serve Paris. The moment you try to take a train from somewhere that is not Paris to somewhere else that is not Paris you notice how bad the French railway system is in some places. There are stations where there are only a handful of trains a day, and with abysmal connections. (Try getting from Troyes to Metz by train for example...)

So they build a HSR network that brings the country closer to Paris.

Germany is multi centric. There is no single most important city that all the rest of the country is subservient to. Also Germany now is a very different country (in a very literal way) than Germany 40 years ago, when both France and Germany were starting to think about HSR. If Germany hadn't been divided the
Hannover - Würzburg HSL would never have been built.

The different political and geographic structure of Germany means a different network.

When countries invest in a railways network they do that to get value out of it (at least, that's the way smart countries do it) The value of a railway network is not contingent on the speed of its trains, it depends largely on the number of destinations it offers people within their time budget. Because in Germany the major cities are are closer, and there is a lot of population living between the cities you a dense, well meshed medium speed network provides better value then a HSR network centred on a single city.
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Old May 15th, 2015, 11:01 AM   #655
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Quote:
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While that might hold true for some regions, there are plenty of others where trains go slow even without the need to stop (Berlin-Dresden maybe the obvious example).
I think this has mostly to do with the 4 decades that part of Germany had to wait for independence... Even so, travel times on Berlin Dresden are competitive with the car.

If Germany had not been divided we would probably have seen Berlin - Hamburg and Berlin - München as first HSRs...
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Old May 18th, 2015, 06:07 PM   #656
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You say France has several secondary cities, but Germany essentially has several cities with substantial populations which are far bigger and more important that any French city except Paris.
This is my point. It's easy to build a hub and spoke HSR system like France when there is one obvious connection point and it dominates the politics. It is not so obvious where to start when you have a many-to-many nodes requirement like Germany and they are all lobbying for their own HSR stops.

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Germany must also have the only green lobby in the world HINDERING development of railways! I think we saw the lobby in action during the nuclear power stoppage in 2011.
No, the Green Party in the UK is also fairly actively *opposing* the development of HSR.

The logic goes like this...

HSR uses more energy than conventional rail, therefore HSR is bad. (Nevermind that because of having less HSR, more people drive or fly).

I believe the same argument was used by Greens in Germany, except it was Transrapid uses more energy than HSR, therefore Transrapid is bad...
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Old May 19th, 2015, 07:46 AM   #657
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Old May 19th, 2015, 08:52 AM   #658
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Originally Posted by 33Hz View Post
No, the Green Party in the UK is also fairly actively *opposing* the development of HSR.

The logic goes like this...

HSR uses more energy than conventional rail, therefore HSR is bad. (Nevermind that because of having less HSR, more people drive or fly).
This is so typical of politics: They usually support their views by referring to a study released years before and then fail to recognize that in the meantime new studies have been published with different conclusions because progress has been made, but that progress in not supporting their views.
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Old May 19th, 2015, 05:25 PM   #659
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Indeed, the oft quoted data about HSR in the UK comes from a report released by a professor who prior to landing that position was (ironically) director of the Eurostar team at GEC Alsthom. The theoretical energy use figures in said report are not born out by measurements made by Eurostar since and take no account of improvements in technology.

The point of the report was probably to show that in order for high speed rail to lower carbon emissions, more nuclear power is needed - something the author also works on and the Greens conveniently forget.
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Old May 19th, 2015, 11:06 PM   #660
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GERMANY | High Speed Rail

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
The population distribution is very different, as is the way the country is structured.
Yeah. Germany shouldn't really be compared to France at all. Culturally and geographically it is much closer to a nation like Japan.

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Germany is multi centric. There is no single most important city that all the rest of the country is subservient to.
Although Tokyo is still the centre for much of Japan due to sheer population, there are several very distinct areas of Japan like Nagoya, Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe, Fukuoka and Sendai which are all distinct and large.

Station are much closer to each other than most other countries. To enable quick efficient speeds they simply in mostly express trains. Service to smallest stations are hourly and most riders will transfer to a faster service at the next large station.

I don't know the German system too well, but it seems that a similar system which relies more on scheduling than absolute speed to achieve would fit well with the German culture and way of doing things.

Tolling the autobahn might also help but I imagine that's a non-starter.
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