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Old September 22nd, 2016, 08:15 AM   #841
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I keep reading this, but there is a lot of self-fulfilling prophecy on that: the lack of really fast links between major population centers make very long distance train travel not competitive with flying and prevents a recurrent business demand for fast rail travel from emerging.
If it were possible to travel between Frankfurt and Berlin in 2h, I'm sure there would be far more passengers in that route! Imagine Frankfurt-München in 2h as well...
Sure. And if we reduce it to 30 minutes there would be even more passengers.

What you always ignore is that the answer to "should this be done" not only hinges on the benefits, but also on the costs.

And the benefits of a transportation system do not primarily depend on its speed. From the point of view of a transportation provider your aim should be to provide value to your passengers. And the value to passengers depends mostly on how many interesting destinations you serve within the time budget of your passengers. So in areas with closer spaced population centres (like Germany) you do not need such high speeds.
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Old September 22nd, 2016, 08:22 AM   #842
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I keep reading this, but there is a lot of self-fulfilling prophecy on that: the lack of really fast links between major population centers make very long distance train travel not competitive with flying and prevents a recurrent business demand for fast rail travel from emerging.

If it were possible to travel between Frankfurt and Berlin in 2h, I'm sure there would be far more passengers in that route! Imagine Frankfurt-München in 2h as well...
Currently the fasted between Frankfurt and Munich is 3:10h with one stop in Nuremberg (metro 3.5 million/ city 500,000 population).

Without that one stop you could probably save another 10 to 15 minutes?

I think eliminating those stop will only really benefit travel time on the long distance routes (eg Hamburg-Munich. Cologne-Berlin, Cologne-Munich etc) and of course euro routes such as Paris-Vienna etc. But then you have to ask yourselve is it economically feasible to pass cities like Frankfurt, Stuttgart or Nuremberg on such routes?

In the end its all about economics.
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Old September 22nd, 2016, 08:15 PM   #843
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Sure. And if we reduce it to 30 minutes there would be even more passengers.

What you always ignore is that the answer to "should this be done" not only hinges on the benefits, but also on the costs.

And the benefits of a transportation system do not primarily depend on its speed. From the point of view of a transportation provider your aim should be to provide value to your passengers. And the value to passengers depends mostly on how many interesting destinations you serve within the time budget of your passengers. So in areas with closer spaced population centres (like Germany) you do not need such high speeds.
You are right about costs, but I'm not convinced about the bolded part. China, Japan and South Korea are as dense an a true high speed rail works great there. Germany could have a use for more of it as well, but the country has become pretty timid for bold projects in the last few decades. Even comparing to Switzerland and Austria. Just look at the debacle of the new airport in Berlin...
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Old September 22nd, 2016, 09:28 PM   #844
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The trains would have to slow down anyway to pass thru all these large urban areas you want to skip, unless of course you plan on building a whole load of avoiding lines. The cost of this would no doubt leave no money for the rest of the network.
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Old September 23rd, 2016, 11:14 AM   #845
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How come we have this debate every 3 weeks and how come it becomes ideological every time? Just click on departures at berlin airports and count the flights to Cologne, Munich and Frankfurt and then come back and tell us again that there is no demand for direct fast metropole to metropole transport. Whatever one things of the former DB CEO Mehdorn, at least he took up this challenge and pushed for 300 kmh routes as standard. Nowadays, the DB executives buy rolling stock that is not even capable to use this more expensive infrastructure to its full extent (ICE 4 even remains below the ICE 1's potential, which can run at 280 kmh, and the IC doubledeckers run at 160 kmh, although many of its routes are capable of 200 kmh). This failed investment is not only to the detriment of traveling speeds, slower trains also mean that the infrastructure is occupied longer, which increases congestion on the very busy routes, such as the Ruhr, around Hannover etc.
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Old September 23rd, 2016, 12:38 PM   #846
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I don't think anyone here is against the idea of really fast tyrains between each city. But every project should proceed on its cost/ benefit; and most people here see the costs out weighing the benefits. As for airline connection between these city pairs, a plane (especially a regional jet) carries far less passengers than an train. I would also argue a large percentage of the passengers are connecting to other flights.
But I (and many others, I suspect) are open to persuasion. If somebody can demonstrate a positive ROI from a 2 hour Frankfurt Munich project, then I would say go ahead and build it.
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Old September 23rd, 2016, 12:51 PM   #847
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The complicating issue is that transportation doesn't exist in a vacuum, it helps shape the urban settlement forms and more. A very high speed network (maglevs) that left local transport in the states a little less funded would help Germany to accelerate the process of concentrating business activity and population around major population centers. Like in France although without a single centrality.
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Old September 23rd, 2016, 04:10 PM   #848
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A very high speed network (maglevs) that left local transport in the states a little less funded would help Germany to accelerate the process of concentrating business activity and population around major population centers. Like in France although without a single centrality.
What possible benefit could there be had from doing this?? You do realise that these places are important commercial/ cultural centres. Is there any socio-economic need for such a plan other than to fufill some fantasy about a network of maglev trains.
Citys for the most part have evolved naturally at their current location for a whole raft of reasons and you want to reorganise all this to be more like France
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Old September 23rd, 2016, 09:57 PM   #849
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Suasion, there is no "natural" evolution of cities. Transport has always been a factor in shaping them: important port cities such as the Hanseatic Leagues developed because of it, and Paris's (or the Ile de France's) position is was also made by its railways connections, just as Germany's peculiar conglomerations, such as Bonn-Köln, Ruhr, Rhein-Main, and Main-Neckar evolved because of their tight and multiple rail connections. HSR has in turn inspired new forms of commuting, such as people living in Berlin and working at VW in Wolfsburg (as Wolfsburg is too boring to live) or people living in Siegburg and working in Frankfurt (as Frankfurt is too expensive to live).
On the other hand, Germany's very good public support to regional transport has for example led to an enlarged regional commuting. For example as Bochum as a university town is short of affordable housing, students from that university also live in Duisburg, Wanne-Eickel, even Hamm.
However it is questionable whether the public sector should support suburbanisation, which after all leads to a greater consumption of resources and space, pollution, stress for the commuters and erodes the cities' public spaces. Instead it would be a worthwhile goal to further the attractiveness of small and mid-size cities, before the provincial-metropolitan divide becomes too big.
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Old September 24th, 2016, 01:16 AM   #850
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Suasion, there is no "natural" evolution of cities.
Everything in your post points to how cities naturally evolve based on their location and peoples needs. Certainly they have not been developed in accordance with some nutty centralised plan to reshape the whole country in order to build a shiny new railway system.
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Old September 24th, 2016, 02:02 AM   #851
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The point is, that high speed rail will never be able to compete with the plane on the longer distance routes (Ham-Muc, Cologne-Ber) unless there is a straight 300km/h line without any stops. In case of Germany this would mean having rail connections that don't stop in (and also pass around) cities like Berlin or Frankfurt both (the) major business and population centers. It just doesn't make sense.

And then you have all the second tier cities in between like Kassel, Hanover, Nuremberg etc which would have to be served by additional connections unless you are willing to reduce frequency. And second tier cities in Germany still have metro population between 1 and 3 million and in case of Hanover a major business centers with international trade fairs etc. So its not like we are talking about some unimportant provincial towns here.

Also keep in mind, that the major advantage of the German high speed rail network is frequency. You can basically catch a train every 30 minutes or so to go nearly everywhere. This is the major draw card compared to the plane.
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Old September 24th, 2016, 09:31 AM   #852
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The point is, that high speed rail will never be able to compete with the plane on the longer distance routes (Ham-Muc, Cologne-Ber) unless there is a straight 300km/h line without any stops. In case of Germany this would mean having rail connections that don't stop in (and also pass around) cities like Berlin or Frankfurt both (the) major business and population centers. It just doesn't make sense.
Let's not exaggerate here. Hamburg-Munich, for example, could take a near straight line alignment with stops in Nuremberg, Wurzburg (not all trains), Gottingen (also not all trains) and Hanover. That's about 750 km. On a brand new line and with stop only in Nuremberg and Hanover the average would be ca 230 km/h and the travel time 3.5 h. A bit on a limit but still fully competitive.

This line would certainly not pass via Frankfurt. There would be no need because one would reach it on another HS line from Munich branching in Wurzburg and continuing to Cologne and Dusseldorf.

That's all of course only thinking of what could have been. Just to prove a point that technically it's all possible and no great metropolis needs to be left out.
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Old September 24th, 2016, 10:43 AM   #853
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The complicating issue is that transportation doesn't exist in a vacuum, it helps shape the urban settlement forms and more. A very high speed network (maglevs) that left local transport in the states a little less funded would help Germany to accelerate the process of concentrating business activity and population around major population centers. Like in France although without a single centrality.
Explain to me what this would be a good thing...

The future is decentralisation, not concentration.
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Old September 24th, 2016, 04:49 PM   #854
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Currently 1.3 million people fly Hamburg-Munich annually. do you think that even if 100% of these defected to the train, it would be worth building?
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Old September 24th, 2016, 05:16 PM   #855
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Currently 1.3 million people fly Hamburg-Munich annually. do you think that even if 100% of these defected to the train, it would be worth building?
World experience shows that you usually get about 70-80% share since some people need to fly for further connections or happen to live close to the airport. However, extra traffic is generated simply because travel is easier plus there will be 4-5 intermediate stations which also generate traffic. So about 1.5 million passengers a year for rail would be a reasonable assumption. That's about 10 full trains (assuming 400 seats) per day per direction. I think those are solid numbers for a HSR route. It doesn't even take into account that part of the route will be shared by trains leaving this particular route part way to serve other destinations.

Whether economics would work out, how much would it cost and where the money would come from I can`t answer in just 5 min. It does work in France though and Germany is more wealthy.
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Old September 24th, 2016, 05:17 PM   #856
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Explain to me what this would be a good thing...

The future is decentralisation, not concentration.
Ecologically concentration would be better due to efficiency of scale. Whether it's going in that direction or not is another question.
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Old September 24th, 2016, 06:58 PM   #857
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There is only one reason to make a train travel from A to B without any intermediate stop: the train gets full in A and empty in B. Since this won't be feasable at any scenario, it's worthless to talk about it.
And when no train can fullfill that condition, talking about infrastructures allowing that is completely mindless.
And when I say "train", I mean a vehicle capable to transport 800-1000 passengers!
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Old September 24th, 2016, 07:38 PM   #858
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There is only one reason to make a train travel from A to B without any intermediate stop: the train gets full in A and empty in B. Since this won't be feasable at any scenario, it's worthless to talk about it.
And when no train can fullfill that condition, talking about infrastructures allowing that is completely mindless.
And when I say "train", I mean a vehicle capable to transport 800-1000 passengers!
That's a fantasy. I know of no HS train in Europe transporting that many passengers. If that's the criteria we might as well close down the whole railway system
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Old September 24th, 2016, 07:46 PM   #859
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That's about 10 full trains (assuming 400 seats) per day per direction. I think those are solid numbers for a HSR route.
Um, a station with 2-hour intervals between long-distance trains would be about the lowest hub category in Germany. It's about the point where DB will consider taking a station off the long-distance grid even if it doesn't cost them much in infrastructure.

Munich-Nuremberg as an example operationally was designed with hourly intervals for initial and 30-minute intervals at full operations, since expanded to virtual 20-minute intervals. Passenger number planning for the route was for 6 million initial expanding to 8 million within 3 years (exceeded at then 10 million on ICE + 2 million on RE).
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Old September 24th, 2016, 07:49 PM   #860
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GERMANY | High Speed Rail

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That's a fantasy. I know of no HS train in Europe transporting that many passengers. If that's the criteria we might as well close down the whole railway system
That's why trains normaly don't run only between A and B, but proceed to C, D, E and s.o..
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