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Old October 7th, 2016, 04:53 AM   #921
00Zy99
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ICE4 isn't a permanent, eternal state of affairs-a faster train will almost certainly follow.
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Old October 7th, 2016, 10:12 PM   #922
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Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
My gut tells me that ICE trains in Germany will be smoother than TGV, because.... well, Germany, but I'd be curious to know if anyone has compared the actual ride quality in various countries.
I have:
  • TGV Atlantique on Dutch classic tracks: Worse ride then the regular ICM sets, cramped seats
  • ICE1 (pre rebuild) from Hanover to Fulda: Very good ride, most comfortable seats
  • Thalys PKBA from Amsterdam to Paris Nord: Annoying hum a high speed, still cramped seating
  • Thalys PBA from Paris Nord to Amsterdam: Better ride then the PKBA, but again cramped seating
  • N700 from Kyoto to Tokyo: Best ride, seats marginally worse then the old ICE1 seats, because of less seating depth, but that may also come from the fact that I'm much taller then your average Japanese.
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Old October 8th, 2016, 06:08 PM   #923
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TGV seating quality has increased considerably on more recent models. I think traveling on a TGV Lyra Duplex for example is a nice experience.
ICE 3 was the best Siemens ever built, the paneling gives it a warm feeling, and it returned to a mix of compartments and open seating, which is (except for ICE1) unique on high speed trains.
Thalys trains are at present the worst I have seen on wheels. The train sets are extremely run down, toilets constantly blocked and stinking, and the claustrophobic feeling of early TGVs has been perfectly conserved. Hope somebody will either take up a new management of Thalys or let SNCF take over their lines, this company no longer makes any sense.
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Old October 8th, 2016, 06:26 PM   #924
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[*]Thalys PKBA from Amsterdam to Paris Nord: Annoying hum a high speed
In my memory the engine sound inside the ICE 3(M) is much louder. Really loud in fact.
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Old October 8th, 2016, 06:57 PM   #925
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TGV seating quality has increased considerably on more recent models. I think traveling on a TGV Lyra Duplex for example is a nice experience.
ICE 3 was the best Siemens ever built, the paneling gives it a warm feeling, and it returned to a mix of compartments and open seating, which is (except for ICE1) unique on high speed trains.
Thalys trains are at present the worst I have seen on wheels. The train sets are extremely run down, toilets constantly blocked and stinking, and the claustrophobic feeling of early TGVs has been perfectly conserved. Hope somebody will either take up a new management of Thalys or let SNCF take over their lines, this company no longer makes any sense.
I agree with that albeit ICE 3 is still the best long distance train (high speed or not) I've used. I've found Spanish AVE trains (used Madrid-Sevilla and Barcelona-Madrid) to be very nice as well. Older TGV's on the other hand are well below average on my totem pole. Don't have a very good memory of regular Belgian trains either. No experience with Thalys, though.
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Old October 8th, 2016, 06:58 PM   #926
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Originally Posted by Autostädter View Post
In my memory the engine sound inside the ICE 3(M) is much louder. Really loud in fact.
Well the hum seemed like some kind of resonance to me, that changed volume and pitch with the speed of the train, so probably from the wheel sets. You could hear it in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, so it couldn't have been caused by the tracks. It couldn't have been motor sounds either, because just like the ICE1 and 2 the passenger carriages of TGVs don't have motors.
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Old October 8th, 2016, 07:07 PM   #927
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Older TGV's on the other hand are well below average on my totem pole. ... No experience with Thalys, though.
A Thalys is basically a TGV Réseau with different interior colours, so you do the math.
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Old October 8th, 2016, 07:43 PM   #928
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Well the hum seemed like some kind of resonance to me, that changed volume and pitch with the speed of the train, so probably from the wheel sets. You could hear it in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, so it couldn't have been caused by the tracks. It couldn't have been motor sounds either, because just like the ICE1 and 2 the passenger carriages of TGVs don't have motors.
It could be a AC/DC converter or some other power unit that generates a big annoying hum.
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Old October 8th, 2016, 10:56 PM   #929
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I would have to agree, ICE 3 are by far the best experience inside, they just lack free wifi.
I have never been on the AVE, so I can't comment on that but the TGV/ Thalys are terribly cramped compared to all versions of ICE and the Eurostar trains, well the less said the better.
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Old October 9th, 2016, 04:02 PM   #930
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I would have to agree, ICE 3 are by far the best experience inside, they just lack free wifi
Hum? But the ICE3s have free wifi. (I think.) So do the trains between Paris and Frankfurt
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Old October 9th, 2016, 04:04 PM   #931
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I would have to agree, ICE 3 are by far the best experience inside, they just lack free wifi.
I have never been on the AVE, so I can't comment on that but the TGV/ Thalys are terribly cramped compared to all versions of ICE and the Eurostar trains, well the less said the better.
DB is in the process of upgrading the Wi-Fi on most ICE trains through a project from Icomera and Ericsson. Expect all ICE trains to have good Wi-Fi service by end 2016.

I was on an ICE train Frankfurt to Aachen with excellent Wi-Fi service last month.
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Old October 9th, 2016, 11:51 PM   #932
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I would have to agree, ICE 3 are by far the best experience inside, they just lack free wifi.
I have never been on the AVE, so I can't comment on that but the TGV/ Thalys are terribly cramped compared to all versions of ICE and the Eurostar trains, well the less said the better.
I have been on both the German ICE 3 (Br403) and the corresponding AVE Series S103 and I have to say that the AVE was quite a bit more comfortable, cleaner and generally better equipped than the German ICE3
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Old October 10th, 2016, 12:59 PM   #933
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My experience on routes where I could take both TGV and ICE:

1) Basel-Zurich, ICE 1 vs TGV Lyria
2) Frankfurt-Strasbourg, ICE 3 vs TGV Duplex
3) Frankfurt-Paris, ICE 3 vs TGV Duplex

In each of these cases I find the ride quality of TGVs better compared to ICEs, probably due to the stiffness of TGVs and their lower weight (and if there is something French know how to do well, it is suspension). The one case where I have found TGV ride quality unsatisfactory was on LGV Atlantique, with Atlantique sets. Ina addition, those trains don't seem to be airtight enough since my ears were popping every time we went through a tunnel.

On the other hand, ICEs offer much more space and nicer interior. Although, I don't find seats on ICE that comfortable. Probably depends on person's build, but in my case, TGV seats produce less back strain on long rides.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 01:49 PM   #934
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Notably, Atlantique sets are much older-the second-oldest in the fleet.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 02:11 PM   #935
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Notably, Atlantique sets are much older-the second-oldest in the fleet.
The only notable difference between Atlantique and Réseau sets is that Réseau sets are pressure sealed and the Atlantiques are not. That makes Réseau sets a bit more friendly on the ears when passing trains and entering tunnels.
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Old November 21st, 2016, 03:54 PM   #936
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Not so long ago I had a discussion with a lady in a Parisian cafe. Sensing that I'm North European she drew me into a discussion about German labour market reform (Harz; raising the retirement age...). She argued passionately that, so what, the Germans like working, fine, it's their right, but it does not mean that other Europeans should do likewise. After this earful I told her coolly: "Madame, please don't argue that making and effort and NOT making an effort are morally equivalent!"

When it comes to HS rail, the arrow points in the opposite direction. France is one step away from having connected the country East-West and North-South with 300 km/h lines. It's an achievement. It's the fruits of an effort. What tires me most is not the recurring discussion per se. It is having to listen to the repeat protestations from German railway buffs that "in OUR country it wouldn't be a good idea because of our geography..." Frankly, that argument is equivalent with the ramblings of the lady in the cafe.

hans280, in a lot of your contributions you endorse the concept of bypassing agglomerations to enable direct faster connections between big cities - just as France does it with Lyon in Paris-Marseille whereas you criticise the german "tram-like"-concept.

I agree with you that Germany should invest far more money in its rail infrastructure and that "we" (... yes I am German living in a smaller city between Frankfurt and Mannheim) need more high speed rail sections.

But I seriously doubt the usefulness of direct connections of let´s say Hamburg-Stuttgart or Cologne-Munich bypassing areas like Frankfurt. The current rail infrastructure is already overcrowded and that problem -even political commitment provided - will not be solved for the short or medium-term. You may consider your proposal "desirable", but unfortunately for a longer period of time it stays quite unrealistic as the number of trains per hour on a lot of sections is simply limited. And this fact given: having to choose between air-travel-concept and tram-concept (automatically together with shorter feeder services) I am absolutely convinced that the latter will generate far more passengers.

But I would like to point to something else. In another thread (right now i don´t find it, sorry) there was the discussion about investments in infrastructure in rural versus urban areas. You proposed investing in speeding up the infrastructure between big urban areas and mentioned that sooner or later people will move out of rural areas into the big cities anyway.

Yes indeed, we have this tendency here in Germany. People move away from the countryside, but not just into the big cities but also to the medium-sized-ones (besides a general move roughly from north and east to south and west, but with a lot of exceptions). The reasons for it: employment and - a lack of good infrastructure (traffic, shopping, medical services etc)

The big question is: is this really desirable? Should politics just accept what seems in your eyes inevitable anyway or should it at least try to slowdown this process?

My opinion is clear. And it has to do with politics. Look at the results of elections in the USA, look at the Brexit or polls in many european countries: the tendency to vote for populist or radical parties.... it´s no more just a matter between rich and poor, having higher or simple education... but very often between urban and rural conditioning.

Concentrating on big urban areas and thereby neglecting not just the countryside but also these many cities of 50000 - 100000 inhabitants which are so peculiar in Germany will pay off its political prize.

And, getting back to the german railway net, IMHO following your focus would go into the wrong direction. The tram-concept is okay for Germany. I don´t mind to stop in Kassel and Göttingen when going to Hamburg. What we do need is speeding up entries and exits of the cities and yes - still speeding up some sections in between.
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Old November 21st, 2016, 07:24 PM   #937
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Well, in order not just to discuss the question out of the blue, let's take an example. DB a year ago did away with the surcharge and obligatory reservations on its ICE-Sprinters and added a few new ones (although some were mere renamings). Can anyone say whether this policy has been a success and whether this has added to their popularity? That should be the indicator, whether passenger turnover justifies an ICE stop in say Fulda or Siegburg every 20 minutes, or whether passengers crowd onto the few trains a day that do not and make them a success.
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Old November 21st, 2016, 08:47 PM   #938
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Baron, I don't have the numbers. BTW both Siegburg and Fulda don't have an ICE every 20 minutes. Besides my argument was about the issue of bypassing important agglomerations, such as Frankfurt/M. And with favouring the tram-concept, I mean the existing one (with some trains making stopovers and others passing through in cities like Fulda).
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 01:46 PM   #939
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But I seriously doubt the usefulness of direct connections of let´s say Hamburg-Stuttgart or Cologne-Munich bypassing areas like Frankfurt. The current rail infrastructure is already overcrowded and that problem -even political commitment provided - will not be solved for the short or medium-term.
I wouldn't be in favour of bypassing the FFM area and I haven't said any such thing. But just like not every train between Paris and Marseilles has to stop in Lyon, surely not every train between Cologne and Stuttgart has to stop in Frankfurt? Anyway, the way I read the planned rail infrastructure development in Germany the outlook is for a HS station at Frankfurt airport on a line connecting Cologne with Bavaria? I have no idea whether this is an optimal solution, but I would argue that in the longer run high-speed trains shall not stop underways at terminal stations (Kopfbahnhöfe), because this compels them to spend around 10 minutes changing direction. - Which in itself contradicts the notion of "high speed".

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People move away from the countryside, but not just into the big cities but also to the medium-sized-ones (besides a general move roughly from north and east to south and west, but with a lot of exceptions). The reasons for it: employment and - a lack of good infrastructure (traffic, shopping, medical services etc)

The big question is: is this really desirable? Should politics just accept what seems in your eyes inevitable anyway or should it at least try to slowdown this process?
I would agree that it's always dangerous to assume too rapidly that something is inevitable. That tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But if hard-nosed analysis shows that a societal, demographic or geographic development IS in fact unavoidable, then my instincts are all for taking the "bull by the horns" sooner rather than later. Trying to avoid (or delay) the unavoidable is not a good use of taxpayers' money.

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And, getting back to the german railway net, IMHO following your focus would go into the wrong direction. The tram-concept is okay for Germany. I don´t mind to stop in Kassel and Göttingen when going to Hamburg. What we do need is speeding up entries and exits of the cities and yes - still speeding up some sections in between.
Perhaps, but I would stand the argument upside down. If there is indeed a difference between France and Germany in this respect then it does not mostly reflect the preponderance of medium-sized Germany cities (although you do indeed have many), but rather the overwhelming dominance of Paris within France. Paris has a fifth of the population, almost a third of the economy and way over half of the modern/international business sector. Which being so, a clear majority of TGV passengers (where business people and well-heeled single travelers predominate) have Paris as either beginning or end of their journey. It's not difficult to fill a number of trains with people travelling from the centre of Paris to Lyon or from Bordeaux to the centre of Paris - and mostly they would not at all welcome intermediate stops.

According to studies I have read, even the connection between Lyon and Marseilles (which are quite large cities by European standards) only made some kind of financial sense because they have Paris as a backstop. The traffic between the two cities themselves was not at all sufficient. The HS network in Japan shares some characteristics of this with the colossal Tokyo agglomeration at its centre. Germany, it must be recognised, has no such metropolis.

Last edited by hans280; November 23rd, 2016 at 04:08 PM.
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Old November 25th, 2016, 12:13 PM   #940
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I wouldn't be in favour of bypassing the FFM area and I haven't said any such thing. But just like not every train between Paris and Marseilles has to stop in Lyon, surely not every train between Cologne and Stuttgart has to stop in Frankfurt? Anyway, the way I read the planned rail infrastructure development in Germany the outlook is for a HS station at Frankfurt airport on a line connecting Cologne with Bavaria? I have no idea whether this is an optimal solution, but I would argue that in the longer run high-speed trains shall not stop underways at terminal stations (Kopfbahnhöfe), because this compels them to spend around 10 minutes changing direction. - Which in itself contradicts the notion of "high speed".
Nothing that wouldn't already exist. From Köln to München there are hourly trains via Frankfurt main station and Nürnberg, and two-hourly trains via Stuttgart that avoid the main station and only stop at the long distance station at the airport (HSL Köln-Frankfurt ends there and connects with the (currently only semi) HSL Frankfurt-Mannheim). This two-hourly line will be brought to 60mins interval once HSLs Frankfurt-Mannheim and Stuttgart-Ulm are completed. If there's enough demand we might see additional sprinter trains that avoid Frankfurt completely anytime in the future.
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