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Old May 19th, 2015, 11:47 PM   #661
Xoser_barcelona
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Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
Yeah. Germany shouldn't really be compared to France at all. Culturally and geographically it is much closer to a nation like Japan.....
I think Germany is Germany and France is France. Placing Germany culturally closer to Japan than France provokes a Wie Bitte (HUI BITTA in Romaji) Japan is an Island Nation with the transport onus on the Taiheyo(?) belt of cities stretching from Chiba pref. until Fukuoka afaik. Germany has lots of people, granted, but they are not all on the coast in a long line of cities.

Germany has Siemens and a great engineering mittelstand but they also have BMW, Mercedes, VW and OPEL which is a formidable car lobby to compete with when looking to obtain funds for infrastructure projects (Autobahn v. NBS).
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Old May 20th, 2015, 12:55 AM   #662
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Originally Posted by Xoser_barcelona View Post
I think Germany is Germany and France is France. Placing Germany culturally closer to Japan than France provokes a Wie Bitte (HUI BITTA in Romaji) Japan is an Island Nation with the transport onus on the Taiheyo(?) belt of cities stretching from Chiba pref. until Fukuoka afaik. Germany has lots of people, granted, but they are not all on the coast in a long line of cities.

Germany has Siemens and a great engineering mittelstand but they also have BMW, Mercedes, VW and OPEL which is a formidable car lobby to compete with when looking to obtain funds for infrastructure projects (Autobahn v. NBS).
Yes, there is the historic Tokaido route along which the big three cities (Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka) are built, but the point is that unlike France, which is a hub and spoke system around Paris, Germany and Japan have long strings of large cities. Yes, Japan is a narrower, longer country, but Shinkansen lines in Kyushu, for example, were built separate from the main system. Lines like the Hokuriku Shinkansen and Joetsu Shinkansen aren't along the main string of cities along the coast (though they do connect primarily with Tokyo).

Additionally, the cultural values that place an importance on scheduling, rules and efficiency, cleanliness and high-quality engineering, places Japan closer to Germany than its neighbour, France.

Japan also has to deal with a strong automotive sector and a very extensive highway system (pork-barrel politics aside), with powerhouses like Honda and Toyota, along with many successful manufacturers like Mitsubishi, Subaru, Nissan, Mazda. Japan's auto industry is one of top three in the world.

Both nations have a strong work ethic and highly value relaxation.

All I'm saying is that when it comes down to it, Germany has (perhaps surprisingly) more in common with Japan than France. I'm not saying they're the same in all ways (e.g. Germany has VERY little coast), but that they have enough in common for people to look East rather than West when comparing different country's train systems.
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Old May 20th, 2015, 02:15 AM   #663
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[QUOTE=bluemeansgo;124121757]Yes, there is the historic Tokaido route along which the big three cities (Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka) are built, but the point is that unlike France, which is a hub and spoke system around Paris, Germany and Japan have long strings of large cities...

Maybe Germany is a Hubs and Spokes system with various hubs and their spokes, but yes there is no German Paris or London equivalent for that matter.

Additionally, the cultural values that place an importance on scheduling, rules and efficiency, cleanliness and high-quality engineering, places Japan closer to Germany than its neighbour, France.Nope. Judeo Cristian background versus Sino Confucian background. I been to JP, GER and FR and still believe there is a bigger cultural similarity between the two European neighbours than Germany has with Japan.

Japan also has to deal with a strong automotive sector and a very extensive highway system (pork-barrel politics aside), with powerhouses like Honda and Toyota, along with many successful manufacturers like Mitsubishi, Subaru, Nissan, Mazda. Japan's auto industry is one of top three in the world.
Yup, and they make good cars. The difference might be that Japan's companies were/are more Japan inc. oriented and are more willing to take one for the team than say the Quant family would take in the German case.

Both nations have a strong work ethic and highly value relaxation.
I would say German workers have relatively good rights and in Japan people go on 5 day a year company managed holidays. High value relaxation is what exactly.. is it expensive Onsen and Bad wasweisich or are you talking about having few days of vacation?

All I'm saying is that when it comes down to it, Germany has (perhaps surprisingly) more in common with Japan than France.

I don't think this is true and hope some French forumer can big up great French Engineering expertise as this is now very off topic/hors topic I'm not saying they're the same in all ways (e.g. Germany has VERY little coast), but that they have enough in common for people to look East rather than West when comparing different country's train systems.
Some people... ;-) Please let the record show that Japan is Honto sugoi, Germany rules and France is fantastique..
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Old May 20th, 2015, 10:07 AM   #664
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Originally Posted by Xoser_barcelona View Post

I don't think this is true and hope some French forumer can big up great French Engineering expertise as this is now very off topic/hors topic
Some people... ;-) Please let the record show that Japan is Honto sugoi, Germany rules and France is fantastique..
Getting back on topic... it's pretty clear that the French hub rail system doesn't work in Germany as it has closely spaced medium-sized cities and the rail systems are run much differently.

I personally agree with the poster that said France and Germany are different beasts. And the rail problems Germany faces are more similar to a country "like" Japan with its closely spaced stations than France (one mega-city with spokes). Definitely would be a more appropriate system to emulate than the Paris-centric French system.
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Old May 20th, 2015, 10:47 AM   #665
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If any European nation can be compared to Japan in that respect, it's surely Italy. Long shaped, three major cities in a relatively straight line (Milan, Rome, Naples), nasty mountains getting in the way, earthquake zones causing headaches... It's got it all.

But I totally agree that Germany is probably the hardest country in Europe to build a high speed rail network just because of how its population is spread throughout the country. Unlike France, Spain and, to a lesser extent, the UK, it doesn't have a single very dominant capital city. If you wanted to connect all the significant cities of Germany with each other through high speed railway lines, you'd need a hell of a network. Certainly something vastly more complicated than the starfish networks of France and Spain.
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Old May 20th, 2015, 02:30 PM   #666
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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.
Quite the contrary. It is way simpler to build a network high-speed lines between the major cities in a country like Germany than it is to connect provincial towns of France to its capital.


With 4 of the 6 largest and most important cities being connectable by a single line it would have been quite obvious where to start implementing the high-speed technology in Germany.
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Old May 20th, 2015, 03:58 PM   #667
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Quite the contrary. It is way simpler to build a network high-speed lines between the major cities in a country like Germany than it is to connect provincial towns of France to its capital.


With 4 of the 6 largest and most important cities being connectable by a single line it would have been quite obvious where to start implementing the high-speed technology in Germany.
The problem is that when they started implementing the high speed system in Germany the country was very different than it is now. There was a pressing need for a new north-south corridor ever since the partition after WW-II, and thus that got build. But it would never have been build it Germany hadn't been partitioned.
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Old May 20th, 2015, 11:01 PM   #668
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The problem is that when they started implementing the high speed system in Germany the country was very different than it is now. There was a pressing need for a new north-south corridor ever since the partition after WW-II, and thus that got build. But it would never have been build it Germany hadn't been partitioned.
There was a strong discussion back in the 70s wether to take Cologne Frankfurt or Hannover Würzburg as first step oft HSR
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Old May 21st, 2015, 01:04 AM   #669
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The problem is that when they started implementing the high speed system in Germany the country was very different than it is now. There was a pressing need for a new north-south corridor ever since the partition after WW-II, and thus that got build. But it would never have been build it Germany hadn't been partitioned.
The country wasn't that different though. Major population centres in West Germany were on or near the indicated line. In fact the southwest of Germany has always been denser populated than the north.

Neither do I buy the argument that West Germany was in a dire need of additional north-south capacities due to the division of Germany. There was no part of West Germany which was actually cut off from anything essential. And the pre-war transport links had not only been restored, new ones had already been created by the construction of motorways. The North Sea ports were the gateways to the world before and after WW2 and all railway lines connecting southern Germany with Hamburg and Bremen ran entirely on West German territory.
Due to European integration sea ports in Italy and the Netherlands had even become increasingly important for German trade and therefore the need to ship goods to northern Germany had already diminished.
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Old May 24th, 2015, 07:51 AM   #670
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The country wasn't that different though.
If you call 40% smaller "not that different", then there isn't much point in debating I'm afraid....
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Old May 24th, 2015, 01:38 PM   #671
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Oh K, don't always be so dogmatic. The Anschluss added 20 % population to Germoney, but as the East German GDP and even that of West Berlin was rather adversely effected by the economic policies of reunification, there was little economic incentive to add mid-size Eastern towns via HSR. Almost all HSR investments have concentrated on connecting the new capital to West Germany: Hannover, Hamburg and 2 years from now Munich. Leipzig and Erfurt will benefit from the latter too. A short section of Leipzig-Dresden has been upgraded for 200 kmh. Otherwise it has been the policy to upgrade rails to mid-size Eastern towns to 160 kmh (Schwerin, Rostock, Cottbus etc.), usually from Berlin.
While these investments (especially the 3 Berlin HSR) might have gone to the detriment of investments into Western infrastructure, no North to South major line on Western territory had gone through Eastern territory before the war and even for towns somewhat close to the internal border, such as Hamburg-Munich, a detour through the East would never have made sense.
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Old May 24th, 2015, 08:19 PM   #672
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If you call 40% smaller "not that different", then there isn't much point in debating I'm afraid....
The country may have been divided but it was certainly not smaller.
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Old May 25th, 2015, 05:23 AM   #673
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Good discussion about German transport corridors and historical/geographic patterns that influenced it.

Quote:
in Japan people go on 5 day a year company managed holidays.
Maybe in 1968. Not anymore. Most now go out of their way to keep their holiday plans secret from their co-workers (to avoid having to buy souvenirs for everyone). I would say Japanese holiday patterns mimic the anglo-saxon pattern (i.e. very short) rather than continental patterns of month long leisure...
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Old May 25th, 2015, 10:56 AM   #674
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While these investments (especially the 3 Berlin HSR) might have gone to the detriment of investments into Western infrastructure, no North to South major line on Western territory had gone through Eastern territory before the war and even for towns somewhat close to the internal border, such as Hamburg-Munich, a detour through the East would never have made sense.
Germany was always a country far more polycentric than Great Britain or France. Berlin was the capital of Prussia and the merger called deutsches Reich still was a pattern of provinces with strong capitals. Anyway please note, that the first motorway for public use was Cologne-Bonn. Electrification of rail-lines in the former GDR didn´t took place first in Berlin due to technical reasons, it was Saxonia. This discussion of what would have been is always nice but not helpful for the present.

Germany falling apart in east and west after 1948 mainly affected west-german parts near the border (Hamburg, Braunschweig) and Berlin. Still people in Stuttgart or Cologne know little if anything about the former GDR because they never kept in touch with this system and the problems resulting from the partition.

Edit: Coming back to HSR in Germany, there is one specific thing which is only found in Germany. The main agglomerations of Rhein-Ruhr, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Berlin are near the border of Germany, not in the middle, except Frankfurt. There are several important minor towns in between but there is a strong need to link those big cities. From that point of view it made sense to create the north-south-link first, others followed. So a HSR-network makes sense in Germany but it has no core like Paris, it´s like a web linking important points at the border. A main hub is Frankfurt anyway as it lies in the middle. Frankfurt21 would have created a real solution for problems with HSR travel-speed and reliability.

New HSR-lines in Germany have to tasks:
1) Completing the links between the most important cities
2) Relieve existing lines by seperating freight/regional service from HSR

This is the so called Netz21-strategy and they have to do:
HSR Frankfurt-Mannheim
HSR Frankfurt-Fulda-Erfurt/Würzburg
HSR Hannover-Hamburg/Bremen

Kind regards

Last edited by tunnel owl; May 25th, 2015 at 11:19 AM.
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Old May 25th, 2015, 02:01 PM   #675
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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?
Unlike the posts above I think it has very little to do with geographical setup of Germany and 95% is down to politics.
France is building all these new HSR routes with PPP-investments at ridiculous levels. It is taking on huge dept out of some kind of prestige sentiment that will haunt them in 20 years (at least from my German penny pincher viewpoint).
It is clear with current low interest rates, that Germany could easily triple its railway investment without much effort or 'overspending'. But it is just not doing it, because there is little political will behind it. Politicians have different priorities and voters do not seem to care either.
They are not even sure what to do with DB in the future. Fully privatize it or not? Throw money at it or foster competition? The few actions they do are not particularly pro-rail, like allowing the intercity bus lines or lowering the subsidies for regional rail.
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Old May 25th, 2015, 02:34 PM   #676
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It is relatively difficult for developed countries to build new HSR routes. My impression for German HSR is that it sells well overseas.
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Old May 26th, 2015, 02:28 AM   #677
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My impression for German HSR is that it sells well overseas.
And this is probably the reason why high-speed sections in Germany are barely longer than test tracks.
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Old May 26th, 2015, 08:56 AM   #678
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'Made in Germany' is still a very very powerful brand almost anywhere across the globe.
However on the other hand consider this:
German HSR technology was sold to Spain, Turkey, Russia, China, Taiwan and Belgium (Thalys).
French HSR was sold to Spain, Italy, Tunesia, South Korea, China, USA and Belgium.
So the French aren't doing that bad either.
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Old May 26th, 2015, 09:03 AM   #679
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German HSR technology was sold to Spain, Turkey, Russia, China, Taiwan and Belgium (Thalys).
French HSR was sold to Spain, Italy, Tunesia, South Korea, China, USA and Belgium.
Thalys PBA and PBKA are part of the TGV family of high-speed trains built by Alstom in France.
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Old May 26th, 2015, 02:17 PM   #680
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Did you notice that Belgium was included for both the French and German list because of that?

Note that I also excluded the USA from the German list, despite that Bombardier Transportation is essentially a German company and was co-builder of the Acela.
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