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View Poll Results: Should the US build or improve it's HSR network?
Yes 249 89.57%
No 29 10.43%
Voters: 278. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 23rd, 2015, 10:22 AM   #5381
bluemeansgo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
You forgot two details: No matter which manufacturer is chosen it will be a custom design, because no existing design will meet the specific requirements.

All HSR systems have to be custom to a certain extent but when the CAHSR went out to tender the exact specifications went out for things like min and max carriage weight/dimensions loading gauge / etc and they fit a few already existing systems with little to no modifications. I believe the short list was mentioned a few pages ago.

Things like interior finish is also usually built to suit the customer.

You're right about trains being custom, but it is often more about customization rather than custom-designed. The CAHSR bid seems to be designed with a few manufacturers already in mind.

The U.K. Rules on having fluorescent yellow fronts comes to mind.
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Old February 23rd, 2015, 02:10 PM   #5382
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I don't think the e5/e6 have been running for long enough. The 5 year cut off is to weed out specific bids. Remember that the n700-I is not the same n700 that is running in Japan. It has borrowed components from newer Shinkansen train sets like the e5/e6 series.

Japanese train makers don't rest on their laurels and the n700-i isn't the n700 series built in 2007 for the Tokaido/Sanyo line. Max Speed is 330km/h instead of 285km/h. I saw a listing of other differences somewhere online before but can't find it now.

I'd be surprised if the Korean ktx trains stood a chance. They're essentially reskinned TGV and there would likely be patent challenges from the French. While it is challenging to fight a Korean company in Korea, fighting one in the USA is a different matter (Unless you're Apple that is. Ha! )

China is too big to really hit with patent infringement suits. They would just shrug it off.

This, in my opinion, is a two man race and I'd give a slight lead to the Japanese due to the general good relationships between the nations, the timing (Japan's never needed other countries to put its trains but will be almost built out in Japan in a decade or two), and Japan's financial state needing all the help it can get. In short, great product — highly motivated seller. They also have been doing EMUs for much much longer which is what all the manufacturers are moving to.
That's a good point. However, what I was also trying to get at is that buying the real "meat" (the signaling and other technology) a company like JR East would allow them to adopt such innovations quite easily in the future...

Even if they're not going to start out with the rolling stock to do it, the potential for efficient through-running alone would make their bid stand out.

That's CNR/CSR's problem: they can do the rolling stock, but they don't yet seem to have the same level of expertise yet in the actual systems behind it.
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Old February 23rd, 2015, 08:31 PM   #5383
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You think none of the European companies are likely to be competitive? Why would that be?
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Old February 24th, 2015, 05:28 AM   #5384
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Bombardier pulled out due to "change in specifications" or something, Alstom is MIA, Siemens is perhaps putting all its eggs in the CAHSR project, so that leaves Rotem, and perhaps one of the Japanese builders? It's not a good situation when you have only one or two bidders. I wonder if all the past problems with Acela has made Amtrak sour on Bombardier/Alstom. I would like to see an upstart like CAF join the fray, though maybe they don't meet the requirements stipulated by Amtrak.
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Old February 24th, 2015, 05:39 AM   #5385
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I thought Bombardier pulled out of the Northeast Tender not the CA tender because of how much of a PIA the Acela Project was and they were not redoing it. I really hope they didn't withdraw their tender from the CA Project because I really want to see the Zefiro in the US!
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Old February 24th, 2015, 01:30 PM   #5386
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Aren't Alstom out due to some crazy law about companies that were involved in the holocaust being unable to compete? Unless that was an Onion piece I'd read and have conflated the facts...
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Old February 24th, 2015, 03:29 PM   #5387
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
You think none of the European companies are likely to be competitive? Why would that be?
I don't personally think they're uncompetitive...I just think the authority isn't too caught up on the actual rolling stock, but is thinking ahead to the actual systems behind it. JR has a huge lead in the actual signals and technology, and I think that bears a lot of weight (i.e. they're not really as cost conscious as we think they are...having really good systems - and leap-frogging on the back of that firm's future R&D - is worth a lot more to them than getting a really low bid on the rolling stock).

I think we're just focusing on totally different things than the authority is, here.

For what it's worth, I do think Bombardier will have among the strongest bids, since they'll have the easiest time actually deploying (since they're so near already and have a good deal of assets in the US). Siemens probably has another strong advantage in that regard.

Those three are who I see in the top tier....it's kind of a tossup between Alstom, CSR/CNR.
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Old February 24th, 2015, 05:15 PM   #5388
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The most stupid thing you can do is to couple the choice of operating principles and safety system to your rolling stock supplier. That's a sure way for vendor lock-in. There is no reason why you for instance couldn't implement Shinkansen-style operating principles with a Siemens safety systems and Alstom trains.

JR (which one?) doesn't have a huge lead in signals and technology. They just currently have systems that are very optimised for their use. Any foreign signalling system must be optimised for US use, regardless if it's ERTMS, CTCS or NS-ATC.
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Old February 24th, 2015, 11:04 PM   #5389
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
JR (which one?) doesn't have a huge lead in signals and technology. They just currently have systems that are very optimised for their use.
Tomato, tomato...
"Lead" in terms of this bid, not absolutely. That's not what I meant...

There are certain things that they could manage only with their systems and rolling stock (specifically, the hitched, through-running of multi-speed rolling stock), which I think the authority is interested in from what they've been expressing, thus far.

I don't think the authority is basing their judgement solely on the merits of the rolling stock (or, rather, the cost savings of various vendors), but seem interested in the efficiencies of having a complete package. That's all.

I think you may be overemphasizing the threat of vendor lock in, in any case...
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Old February 25th, 2015, 03:09 AM   #5390
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Vendor lock in isn't as big a deal as one thinks. Typically you will get better pricing with the partner who helped build the system. They want a long term relationship. However in the world of HSR all trains and systems are BTO, vendor lock in or not. Besides the more closely you car wed your rolling stock to your rails the more efficiencies you can find making vendor lockin not a big deal.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 08:45 AM   #5391
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Vendor lock-in completely eliminates competition, so you run the risk that when for instance maintenance contracts expire you have no choice but to extend the existing contracts. Would you raise or lower your prices when you know you are the only one able to provide a certain product or service?
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Old February 25th, 2015, 09:00 AM   #5392
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post
Tomato, tomato...
"Lead" in terms of this bid, not absolutely. That's not what I meant...
But that's what you wrote. Remember that this is a forum visited by users of which English isn't there mother tongue. Language nuances tend to get lost.

Quote:
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(specifically, the hitched, through-running of multi-speed rolling stock)
The fact that only JR East does it doesn't mean others couldn't. For instance: Any type of TGV can be coupled. If they still existed an original 270 km/h TGV Sud Est could be coupled to a brand new 320 km/h EuroDuplex and it would work. It also wouldn't surprise me that coupling a TGV and an AGV would also work.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 02:17 PM   #5393
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Quote:
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But that's what you wrote. Remember that this is a forum visited by users of which English isn't there mother tongue. Language nuances tend to get lost.
Yes, that's why I clarified.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
The fact that only JR East does it doesn't mean others couldn't. For instance: Any type of TGV can be coupled. If they still existed an original 270 km/h TGV Sud Est could be coupled to a brand new 320 km/h EuroDuplex and it would work. It also wouldn't surprise me that coupling a TGV and an AGV would also work.
I should suspect so, but the train would need to be specially engineered, no?...Otherwise, I don't know what all the fuss was about with Amtrak trying to coordinate with CAHSRA on procurement; why people thought it was so strange.

It certainly seems to possible, if not tenable.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 04:27 PM   #5394
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Quote:
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Any type of TGV can be coupled. If they still existed an original 270 km/h TGV Sud Est could be coupled to a brand new 320 km/h EuroDuplex and it would work. It also wouldn't surprise me that coupling a TGV and an AGV would also work.
Does it work at it's full potential though?
I am not familiar with AGV's acceleration profile but since it is a MU I believe it has a much higher acceleration rate compared to the old push-pull type TGV so the AGV's full potential would be held back if the two different types were to be coupled together.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 08:02 PM   #5395
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
Vendor lock-in completely eliminates competition, so you run the risk that when for instance maintenance contracts expire you have no choice but to extend the existing contracts. Would you raise or lower your prices when you know you are the only one able to provide a certain product or service?
I understand the concerns to vendor lock-in, but I honestly don't think it affects future costs as much as is thought when it comes to HSR. Standards like gauge and electrical supply are based on the environment it will run in. Not much is off-the-shelf, so there is generally engineering required. You will be "somewhat" locked in no matter which vendor you choose. But only in terms of costs. Generally, the original manufacturer will be able to extend contracts for much cheaper than 3rd parties, because they have invested in the tooling. HSR is as much about good partnerships as it is about choosing the right technology.

That being said, these projects are built to the CAHSR spec and though CAHSR may fashion the specs to favor one vendor over another, it is still the CAHSR spec.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 08:07 PM   #5396
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Can someone give a brief synopsis of HSR development over the past month or two here?
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Old February 25th, 2015, 08:30 PM   #5397
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Does it work at it's full potential though?
I am not familiar with AGV's acceleration profile but since it is a MU I believe it has a much higher acceleration rate compared to the old push-pull type TGV so the AGV's full potential would be held back if the two different types were to be coupled together.
This argument reminds me of the constant issues the Shinkansen has with older trains running on the network. For example, it wasn't until they got rid of all the older 700-series and replaced with newer N700s that they were able to increase the speed of the busy Tokaido line from 270km/h to 285 km/h.

When the Seikan tunnel opens up to Shinkansen soon, they will only be able to run a couple of HSR trains per hour because they will catch up to the freight trains already running through.

Speeds are limited in the tunnel because passing a freight train inside the tunnel has a slight chance of derailing it.

Any time you introduce mixed traffic or mixed technology on a line, your efficiency and flexibility decreases, sometimes dramatically.

CAHSR won't live up to its billing on day 1 but over time, it will get better and better. That works for a culture like Japan, which welcomes continuous small improvements and celebrates the small victories because they see each increment is important. I feel the American public has a longer memory for bad experiences and tends to like massive jumps over little bits and pieces.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 08:59 PM   #5398
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Does it work at it's full potential though?
Obviously not. The combo will have to adjust it's performance to the weakest link, which is not necessarily the train set you would expect. The train with the higher top speed probably has taller gear and therefore might also have slower acceleration, even despite a higher power rating.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 09:02 PM   #5399
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Watching all this with a lot of interest.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 09:20 PM   #5400
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For example, it wasn't until they got rid of all the older 700-series and replaced with newer N700s that they were able to increase the speed of the busy Tokaido line from 270km/h to 285 km/h.
When did they get rid of the 700?

As far as I know they have started to eliminate the 700 from Nozomi services, because the 700 lacks the tilting needed to go 285 km/h on the Tokaido (without tilting you're limited to 270 km/h, just like the 300 and 500 were) and it's 285 km/h top speed causes time loss on the 300 km/h Sanyo sections. As far as I know the 700 is still used for Hikari and Kodama services, but given the congested situation on the Tokaido it wouldn't surprise me if they have started to eliminate the 700 from the Tokaido completely.

Note that a N700/N700A is only a few minutes quicker over the entire Tokyo to Hakata stretch compared to a 700. That a good indication that raising speeds further on the Tokaido/Sanyo will only yield minimal gains. That in turn explains why so much effort is put into building the Chuo Shinkansen.
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