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Old September 27th, 2016, 10:20 PM   #881
bluemeansgo
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Originally Posted by hans280 View Post
I am sure Germany can learn a lot from Japan. I myself am a bit tired of hearing German apologists explain that with the dense population in Germany a true high-speed concept is not feasible. In these situations I catch myself thinking "what about Japan, which has a much denser population?".
Yeah, stations are quite close to one another in the densest parts of Japan. There's only ~180 km between Tokyo and Shizuoka, yet there's 6 stations. Some are 40–50km apart. However, most trains rarely stop between these locations:


Keep in mind that the Tokaido line is the World's original HSR line ( intended for maximum 210 km/h ) and currently limited to 285 km/h due to a 2500m curve radius (and tunnel boom)... which would have influenced how many stations were built. Newer lines have a lot fewer stations and rely on regular trains to feed HSR.

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But there is one important difference. The Japanese HS "network" is basically one long string branching out in two directions from Tokyo. (The one exception is the tracks via Takasaki.)
The train to Niigata was actually a Pork-barrel politics mistake. That line would not have been built were it not for the PM at that time being from that area. And even still, those trains go to Tokyo. They will eventually be a 3rd route between Tokyo and Osaka through Kanazawa.

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In my opinion that makes it a lot easier to run trains stopping at every second or every third station, for a couple of reasons: (1) a very large proportion of the passengers come from, or travel to, the enormous Tokyo agglomeration so a top priority is to maximise travel speeds on a point-to-point basis between various cities and Tokyo;
Almost. There are essentially two major population centres. Kanto (Tokyo) and Kansai (Osaka). North and East Japan identifies and connects with Tokyo. West and Kyushu are more connected with Osaka. Still, though you're right. It's essentially one line into either Osaka or Tokyo. Saying that, All trains North of Tokyo require a transfer to get to anywhere West. The lines are in the same station but not physically connected. So, you can't actually get on a train in Hakodate, Hokkaido and end up in Kagoshima, Kyushu... it would require ( at minimum ) 2 transfers. It would also be 2200 km! Think Berlin to Madrid, with a transfer in Belgium and southern France (Brussels and Bordeaux?).

Very few Japanese will take a train like that for 13 hours and I suspect very few Europeans make this journey as well. They will fly.
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and (2) the Japanese passengers are far more likely to need only one train (here I guess. I haven't seen statistics, but it seems highly probably given the shape of the country) than in Germany where long-distance travel very often means than one has to change.
Well, it depends on where one wants to go, to be honest. Japanese are used to transferring because a major disadvantage... before the Shinkansen, most of Japan used narrow gauge rail. So, the high speed rail lines are completely in their own ROW, not shared with regular rail and have NO crossings.

Transfers are made as painless as possible due to accurate timetables and an integrated fare gate system across the country.

Also, people in the smaller cities will get on an all-stops train and in many cases transfer to a faster train when they get to a major city.

The line between Berlin and Frankfurt is interesting to me. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's a pretty important link, connecting the Political capital to the Financial capital. It's between 550–600km which is a little longer than the Tokaido line in Japan ( ~510 km ) between its capital (Tokyo) and Osaka (the 2nd largest city in Japan).

According to a quick search on Google, the Berlin-Frankfurt line take 3h40min and only makes two stops.

The Tokyo – Osaka line has a max speed of 285km/h, makes 4 stops ( Shinagawa, Yokohama, Nagoya and Kyoto ) and does this run as fast as 2:22.

Although I realize Frankfurt is further away, that train which left Tokyo will be in Hiroshima ( 900 km away from Tokyo ) in 4 hours. This is all with a max speed of 285km/h along most of the line, and 300km west of Osaka. I'm not sure why the ICE can't seem to come remotely close to these kinds of times. It seems like it should be able to easily break the 3hr mark (and I apologize if I'm wrong on this time). I know the Japanese trains along the Tokaido are some of the fastest accelerating trains in the world, but still that's a big gap.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great network in Germany that's slowly but surely building up, but it seems very piecemeal and lacking focus. One clear link that's missing is Berlin-Munich. Perfect distance for a line and it would complete the HSR loop around Germany. It seems that there just isn't the stomach to connect large cities together. I would assume a considerable number of people just fly when when they want to travel any longer than about 4 hours.

Then again, I'm not completely familiar with the travel patterns inside Germany either.
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Old September 27th, 2016, 10:22 PM   #882
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Don't forget one thing: Germany in its present form has only existed for about 25 years. building a world class high speed railway network takes longer than that. That Germany suffers from powerfully nimbyism doesn't help...
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Old September 27th, 2016, 10:39 PM   #883
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Originally Posted by hans280 View Post
What is the distance between Hamburg and Munich? French SNCF manages the 730 km between Paris and Marseille in (just over) 3 hours.
How many stops is that French train making?

It sounds like approximately the same distance as Tokyo-Okayama which does the 730km run in 3h17–3h25 (7 stops)
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Old September 28th, 2016, 12:49 AM   #884
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None and the time is 3:05 minutes. (direct train)

The distance also seems a bit different, I get 790km between both stations by car...
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Old September 28th, 2016, 12:50 AM   #885
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Originally Posted by goschio View Post
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.
You took a very bad example with Frankfurt - Nürnberg - München. More than 3 hours for a distance of less than 400km is not competitive at all, not even compared to the car. It would be a different story, if travel time was reduced to 2:30 at max. You could easily achieve this via Stuttgart as well as via Nürnberg just by closing the gaps in the HSR network - and don't even need to skip a single stop compared to today. But then again you have Metropolises like Mannheim, Darmstadt, Aschaffenburg and even Günzburg, whose mayors want every single HSR trains to stop in their towns, considerably slowing down the planning processes first and achievable time savings once the lines are completed.
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Old September 28th, 2016, 01:21 AM   #886
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But then again you have Metropolises like Mannheim, Darmstadt, Aschaffenburg and even Günzburg, whose mayors want every single HSR trains to stop in their towns,
It would be very remiss of mayors in such cities not to canvass for every transport connection they can. I'm not saying their demands should be met but wouldm't you want your mayor to do the same. If your town get skipped that is a very real loss of service unless the skipping trains are additional services
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Old September 28th, 2016, 09:26 AM   #887
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Don't forget one thing: Germany in its present form has only existed for about 25 years. building a world class high speed railway network takes longer than that. That Germany suffers from powerfully nimbyism doesn't help...
25 years before opening of Tokaido Shinkansen was 1939.
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Old September 28th, 2016, 02:41 PM   #888
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25 years before opening of Tokaido Shinkansen was 1939.
And your point is?
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Old September 28th, 2016, 02:50 PM   #889
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You took a very bad example with Frankfurt - Nürnberg - München. More than 3 hours for a distance of less than 400km is not competitive at all, not even compared to the car. It would be a different story, if travel time was reduced to 2:30 at max. You could easily achieve this via Stuttgart as well as via Nürnberg just by closing the gaps in the HSR network - and don't even need to skip a single stop compared to today.
Closing the gaps is an on-going process. But Germany has powerfull oposition to deal with. Remember Stuttgart?

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But then again you have Metropolises like Mannheim, Darmstadt, Aschaffenburg and even Günzburg, whose mayors want every single HSR trains to stop in their towns, considerably slowing down the planning processes first and achievable time savings once the lines are completed.
The thing is: Is there enough demand to fill trains that run non stop, and are therefore a bit faster? I have the impression that where there is DB does run such trains (the ICE Sprinters).
One of the reasons why the trains form Frankfurt to Munich make these stops is that there is a big market for transport from places in between to Franfurt and Munich, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was even a bigger market than the Frankfurt to Munich market. One thing I always notice in Germany is how at every stop easily about a third of the passengers get off (and others get on).
So you need a mix of trains, like they do in Japan, but think for a moment. Suppose there was only enough market for one train on hour on Tokyo - Osaka. Would you run a Nozomi? Or a Kodama ...

You also need to keep the network in mind. Otherwhise you end up like France where only train travel to/from Paris is getting better.
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Old September 28th, 2016, 10:08 PM   #890
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Originally Posted by bifhihher View Post


None and the time is 3:05 minutes. (direct train)

The distance also seems a bit different, I get 790km between both stations by car...
790km between Paris and Marseille or between Tokyo and Okayama?

I get about 770km from station to station (by car) in France, but I'm not sure if the roads are longer or shorter.

I wonder what a non-stop train could do between Tokyo and Okayama could do (or between Tokyo and Osaka for that matter). 7 minutes stopped at the station comes right off.

Due to the N700s Shinkansen's faster acceleration, slowing stops make less of an impact but I remember about 5 minutes each side of a station when riding from Osaka to Kyushu.

I suppose there's not much point to a direct train as trains are required to slow down when entering busy the urban areas of Tokyo–Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto–Osaka to something around 100km/h due to noise laws.

I don't know if similar restrictions are placed on the TGV line though.
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Old September 29th, 2016, 02:10 AM   #891
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790 from Paris to Marseille;
In France trains don't have to slow down for noise because the through stations are build just outside the city.
Some Eurostars fly through Lille a couple of meters from the platform.

Germany should have done the same, keep the stations in the city center (for high-speed trains stopping in the city) and build a station right outside of the city where the train can fly through.

France is updating it's railway to make Paris a little less central, the connection Bordeaux - Montpellier is being build
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Old September 29th, 2016, 02:11 AM   #892
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Double post, please delete
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Old September 30th, 2016, 08:17 AM   #893
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All the major German cities (Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne/Dusseldorf, Munich, Stuttgart) are growing.
5-15% in 18 (!) years aren't really growth, that is barely keeping up the population on an annual basis.

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Originally Posted by hans280 View Post
I haven't seen statistics, but it seems highly probably given the shape of the country) than in Germany where long-distance travel very often means than one has to change.
The system realistically is built in such a way that one has to change long-distance trains at most once (plus from feeder traffic at either end of course).

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But then again you have Metropolises like Mannheim, Darmstadt, Aschaffenburg and even Günzburg
At least one bad example in there. Because DB shapes its entire nationwide timetable around only two hubs in Germany. Cologne and Mannheim. That's due to these two being the branch points for the main HSR connection.

Darmstadt has a grand total of six ICE trains stopping there per day, two thirds of which are of the sprinter variety that connects urban regions by making typically three closely-spaced stops at either end of the line and not stopping inbetween (for Darmstadt: daily Rhein-Main / Berlin and Rhein-Main / Hamburg sprinters).
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Old October 1st, 2016, 08:19 AM   #894
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790 from Paris to Marseille;
In France trains don't have to slow down for noise because the through stations are build just outside the city.
Some Eurostars fly through Lille a couple of meters from the platform.
Yeah Japan is similar but it's more built up in general.

Slowing down is partly noise (there are strict noise pollution laws) and partly the product of it being a major metropolitan centre. Many stations are not built downtown but it is still entering an urban area which is a planned stop anyhow.

Note that trains are not limited between major cities just in them, which ends up not being a big deal as trains would make the these stops anyhow. It doesn't make sense to bypass large population centres without stopping as that's where the people want to go. Greater Osaka is around 16 million ppl. No surprise that there are three stops every train makes: Kyoto, Kobe, and Osaka. Greater Nagoya is the smallest around 11 million, a little smaller than Greater Paris.

In addition, travel from Tokyo past Osaka is more rare. Essentially the Japanese system is like taking Paris, Germany and England, adding a few more 1million+ cities to fill the gaps in and stringing a train line between them.

And it's 80% mountains. Different problems than France which really has 2 or maybe 3 major population centres separated by countryside.

Also the noise laws are much stricter in Japan in general.

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Germany should have done the same, keep the stations in the city center (for high-speed trains stopping in the city) and build a station right outside of the city where the train can fly through.
I think Germany has more large cities though. 4 cities over 1 million people. I think this image illustrates it well.


It's easy to bypass small provincial French towns on your way to large population centres when those centres are essentially countryside towns. I think that fits into the HSR model nicely. Japan seems to be a better model for Germany than France. Densely packed distributed population centres. Germany just needs to invest in faster accelerating trains, make most of the trains direct between these cities and focus on keeping trains running at higher speeds. A trains between Paris and Birmingham wouldn't avoid London and likewise it doesn't make sense for German trains to avoid many of these cities. They're all bigger than Marseille, for example.

It's a shame Germany never could get its Maglev off the ground there. It would seem that given the distances between cities it would offer Germany a great system.
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Old October 1st, 2016, 09:12 AM   #895
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It's a shame Germany never could get its Maglev off the ground there. It would seem that given the distances between cities it would offer Germany a great system.
Yes, that would have been an awesome system. Unfortunately, that train has left the station.

Since Germany doesn't really plan to upgrade its high-speed rail network to 300km/h throughout, the next step in about 20 to 30 years could be the hyper-loop. Who knows. Another competition could be dedicated high speed roads for automated electric cars.
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Old October 1st, 2016, 09:27 AM   #896
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Yeah Japan is similar but it's more built up in general.

Note that trains are not limited between major cities just in them, which ends up not being a big deal as trains would make the these stops anyhow. It doesn't make sense to bypass large population centres without stopping as that's where the people want to go. Greater Osaka is around 16 million ppl. No surprise that there are three stops every train makes: Kyoto, Kobe, and Osaka. Greater Nagoya is the smallest around 11 million, a little smaller than Greater Paris.

In addition, travel from Tokyo past Osaka is more rare. Essentially the Japanese system is like taking Paris, Germany and England, adding a few more 1million+ cities to fill the gaps in and stringing a train line between them.

And it's 80% mountains. Different problems than France which really has 2 or maybe 3 major population centres separated by countryside.
That´s about Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen, though. Northern Japan is densely settled, but not so densely.
Tohoku/Hokkaido Shinkansen is 824 km. With 6 stops that all trains make: Tokyo, Omiya, Sendai, Morioka, Shin-Aomori, Shin-Hakodata.
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Old October 1st, 2016, 12:05 PM   #897
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It does work in France though and Germany is more wealthy.
Germany is much more federalised and de-centralised compared to France though. It's more densely populated and has a bunch more agglomerations and pop centers.
It also isn't as easy as in Japan, where all the trains just need to go up and down the coastline. Germany is much more intertwined and needs a spider net of trains to work, that's the challenge.
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Old October 1st, 2016, 12:27 PM   #898
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At least one bad example in there. Because DB shapes its entire nationwide timetable around only two hubs in Germany. Cologne and Mannheim. That's due to these two being the branch points for the main HSR connection.

Darmstadt has a grand total of six ICE trains stopping there per day, two thirds of which are of the sprinter variety that connects urban regions by making typically three closely-spaced stops at either end of the line and not stopping inbetween (for Darmstadt: daily Rhein-Main / Berlin and Rhein-Main / Hamburg sprinters).
You can expect so many trains between Frankfurt and Mannheim once the HSL is built (but it's especially Darmstadt and Mannheim with their 100% demands why there's no progress since more than a decade now), there wouldn't be any lack in connectivity by skipping Mannheim with some of these trains. Most other trains would still stop there for O&D traffic and connections. But less than 1hr travel time between Frankfurt Hbf and Stuttgart is only possible when you don't have to stop in Mannheim. And now Mannheim's Mayor gets scared because he forgot about the freight trains that will all run through his town if no bypass is built
And Darmstadt, those out-of-regular-interval trains don't really count. They should concentrate on keeping their hourly ICs and improving fast regional connections to Mannheim, Frankfurt, Wiesbaden and Frankfurt Flughafen. And maybe some of these kind of "regional ICEs" stopping everywhere between Köln and Frankfurt can be extended to Darmstadt. But there's no reason for any single long distance ICE which doesn't end in Rhein-Main to stop in Darmstadt, just 20km south of Frankfurt. Those trains wouldn't even reach the maximum speed allowed before having to break again. Using high speed trains for this is just absurdity and wasting potential.

Don't underestimate the potential for those few-stop-trains. Very most passengers are not entering or leaving trains in Ulm or Ingolstadt, but in Frankfurt, München or Hamburg. Travel times that are competitive to flights are possible, and the passenger potential is huge (you could easily fill hourly sprinter trains only stopping in Düsseldorf, Köln, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and München just from the current airline passengers on this corridor) - not even thinking about 'induced traffic' and the potential from getting former car travellers to travel by train.
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Old October 1st, 2016, 05:07 PM   #899
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Yes, that would have been an awesome system. Unfortunately, that train has left the station.

Since Germany doesn't really plan to upgrade its high-speed rail network to 300km/h throughout, the next step in about 20 to 30 years could be the hyper-loop. Who knows. Another competition could be dedicated high speed roads for automated electric cars.
Hahaha. Ah, yeah.

As multiple other posters have noted, Hyperloop is nothing but snake oil (a complete fraud). There are so many problems at the technical, economic, and conceptual levels that its just laughable. And "high speed roads" would never have enough capacity for the land they would require-besides they already exist in the form of the Autobahn.
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Old October 1st, 2016, 06:03 PM   #900
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5-15% in 18 (!) years aren't really growth, that is barely keeping up the population on an annual basis.
Where are you getting the figure from? Goscho is right that most German cities are growing.
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