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Old July 30th, 2011, 09:19 PM   #41
railzilla
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Originally Posted by Restless View Post
SE Asia is going with standard gauge for the new lines. As is Kazakhstan when they finally get going.
Malaysia is improving its metre gauge now. I doubt they want to change the gauge after the work is done. They run Intercity trains at 160 km/h on metre gauge. Even express freight wont be faster. Technically container trains could run also 160 km/h on metre gauge. So need to rebuilt the entire network.
India is doing the Unigauge Project to re gauge most of their lines to broad gauge. Pakistan and Bangladesh also use the Indian Broad gauge. Those countries have a very large population.

Sure there will be one standard gauge Link from China to Europe following the silk road. But there will be still need facility to allow transshipment to other rail gauges and oder modes.

If we even think further and include Africa.Then such facilities become inevitable
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Old July 30th, 2011, 09:19 PM   #42
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Even that ain't needed in these days - there are variable gauge trains which can run on both 1435mm & 1520mm tracks,given that gauge changers have been installed on tracks.
That's theoretically possible, however the cost of those systems, specially the cost of the freight cars (around 40% more), is way too high and maintenance costs are also higher (around 15%), plus those variable-gauge cars weigh slightly more (around 2 to 3 tonnes) and so they can carry less goods by the same volume and that's highly undesirable for such a long service. It makes more sense for relatively short trips, e.g. 2 hours cargo transfer over a total of 6 hours trip is a lot of time, but losing 2 hours over a trip of 144 hours (6 days) is not much.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 12:28 AM   #43
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If we even think further and include Africa. Then such facilities become inevitable.
Northern African lines are already standard gauge (from Mauritania to Egypt), they are located quite near to each other but are not phisically (or politically...) interconnected. The whole network of the south is cape gauge (South Africa and nearby countries), with some metre gauge just to the north. Between them, there is nothing but some isolated lines here and there.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 02:00 AM   #44
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With China and Europe using standard gauge there is just one way to make a eurasian rail-link viable, create a standard gauge route from one end to the other. Whether this means re-gauging existing lines or constructing a complete new one is a different matter. Extending broad gauge to Vienna, however, seems rather pointless to me.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 11:09 AM   #45
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Only a small share of the traffic will be transit. a lot of the cargo will come from or go to destinations in the ex USSR and central Asia.
So a broad gauge to Vienna still makes sense because it is a good location for a inter modal terminal. Standard gauge and Broad gauge as well as Trucks and and there is also quite an amount of cargo on the Danube. It makes more sense to place the transshipping facility near an economic center than just in the middle of nowhere on the border.

Of course re gauge the entire network is technically possible but i don't think it is politically viable. Just take the city Lviv in western Ukraine. A Hundred year ago it was called Lemberg and Belonged to Austria-Hungary. Of course the rails where standard gauge. Than it become a part of the USSR and gauge changed to Russia gauge. During WW2 the Germans changed the track to standard gauge and at the end the soviet used their gauge again.
Or the first Transib passed trough China to Port Arthur (Dalian) this was regauged by the Chinese to unify their gauge.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 05:27 AM   #46
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Don't forget there is a Russian gauge extension being made up to Vienna. This method could be very useful for shipments to Eastern and Central Europe from there.
I had no idea. Thanks for the info.
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If traffic builds up, it would make more sense to make the Russian gauge track dual-guage. Then both types of trains can just run as normal.
I don't think that's possible. IIRC standard-Russian are just far enough apart that they're not interoperable (like e.g. Finnish-Russian) and just close enough together that it's impossible to lay standard-Russian dual-gauge track.
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Or just build a new standard gauge trunkline like Kazahkstan is thinking about, that is designed for much longer trains.
Even if it only got to the Caspian for the moment, it should still be time-competitive with the various routes that involve gauge conversion to Russian and back again. (Especially if there's a standard-gauge railhead in Azerbaijan.)
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There are all sorts as benefits as standard gauge is what North America, Europe, China and the Middle East use. It costs less to build, the rolling stock is cheaper and more readily available etc etc
Quoted for truth. If the line were privately financed, built, and operated, it would likely use standard gauge equipment (initially acquired used) with the widest possible dynamic envelope to make the most generous possible use of equipment derived from NA, European, Chinese, and Australian sources. This being the cheapest way to get the trains going.
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The new railway lines in South East will be standard gauge instead of the existing narrow gauge for these reasons.
I thought e.g. Malaysia just finished a refurbishment of their Cape gauge lines? So conversion's at least a generation off.

But in the long sense, agreed. Cape gauge is more useful on islands, where space is most constrained and intragauge connections don't normally exist. On mainland Indochina, southward creep of standard-gauge railheads from China (to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and eventually Singapore) is probably inexorable.
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 06:17 PM   #47
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Malaysian railways are metre gauge. Cape gauge is 3 ft 6 in (1067 mm).

Dual Russian and standard gauge track is possible with four rails laid so that the tracks overlap each other.
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 07:20 PM   #48
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Isn't the proposed Penang-Kuala Lumpur-Singapore railway supposed to be a new standard gauge line?
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Old August 4th, 2011, 01:45 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Gag Halfrunt View Post
Malaysian railways are metre gauge. Cape gauge is 3 ft 6 in (1067 mm).
Ah. Thanks. These narrow gauges are impossible to keep track of! Three-foot, meter, Cape...next thing you know, some genius up in Maine will develop a two-foot gauge railroad! Ah crap...
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Dual Russian and standard gauge track is possible with four rails laid so that the tracks overlap each other.
Like an extended gauntlet track? True, that's possible, but that's got to be really expensive to implement and requires a little extra electronic equipment for the signaling and dispatch (again, like gauntlet tracks). Given how open the land is in (e.g.) interior Kazakhstan, and therefore how cheap ROW acquisition ought to be, laying a standard-gauge line side-by-side with a Russian-gauge one is, in the long run, probably less expensive (less wear and tear) and hence more feasible.

Last edited by hammersklavier; August 4th, 2011 at 01:51 AM.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:21 AM   #50
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I can't stop thinking about an extreme wide gauge for very long distance cargo. I've imagine wide enough for two containers beside each others, at least two containers high, I imagined 3 actually. Combining all larger European industries areas, with an link trough the Russian steppes to Asia, and in far away future, a link to Africa.

Just some facts, an ISO standard container 2,44 meters width (8 feet) and 2,6 meters high (8,5 feet) and variable length.

The Nazi regime had plans for everything, and they also had a plan for this. They called it Breitspurbahn (Broad Gauge Rail) originally it should be 4 meters gauge, in 1942 they decided for a 3 meter gauge. It actually was one of Hitler's "favourite plans". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breitspurbahn
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Old August 9th, 2011, 08:47 PM   #51
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I was just going to write something similair.
If we're about to create rails for shipping; to compete with trans-oceanic ships; then the broader the gauge, the better. Right?
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Old August 9th, 2011, 11:11 PM   #52
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First regularly scheduled Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe freight service started on July 30th. Final stop will be Duisburg in Germany.

Chongqing, bridgehead of New Eurasian Continental Bridge
2011-08-01 16:26:47

CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- Filled with electronic products, the 41-container international freight train headed for Duisburg, Germany along Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe International Railway from the railway container terminal of Tuanjie Village, Shapingba District, Chongqing at 20:51 on July 30, 2011. Most of the products are collected from coastal regions, which symbolizes that Chongqing has become an important hub and bridgehead for exports from China's coastal regions to Europe and Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe International Railway, the New Eurasian Continental Bridge, will thus change China's logistics pattern gradually.
Because of this railway, less delivery time is needed to Europe than that from coastal regions. In future, more goods in coastal regions will be transported through this railway. Meanwhile, Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe International Railway will make Chongqing the transportation frontier of China's foreign trade exports and the bridgehead of Sino-European trade.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 07:09 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I think land, border, gauge and tax issues all come to play against such alternative in the short term.

The US freight system is unique in its design meant to deal efficiently with long-distance freight.
And don't forget the "Jones act", which also puts rail at an advantage in the US.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 03:09 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by 1772 View Post
I was just going to write something similair.
If we're about to create rails for shipping; to compete with trans-oceanic ships; then the broader the gauge, the better. Right?
I'm sorry, but that's just daydreaming.

A new international railway from Europe to China (and India?) will take ages
and cost a fortune to build, and will never be profitable quick enough to
attract private inverstors. Don't dream about states building it, most states
in this world are just almost bankrupt, without even the money to maintain
correctly the infrastructure they already own.

A new railway with a different, wider gauge would not be able to carry any
local traffic, because it would not be able to interchange with the local
rail networks. So it would have to rely only on the long-distance traffic for
its revenues, and this traffic only will never use the total capacity of the
line, so it would never pay for itself.

The only possibility is to use the networks already in place, smoothen the
operations, eliminate the bottlenecks, eradicate the border formalities,
increase the speeds, may be enlarge the loading gauge to allow double
stack operation like in the US, and that's about it. That's already more
than what most of the concerned railways can afford without external
financial assistance.

All studies about Eurasian landbridge show that the break of gauge is the
most significant barrier. You are not going to make anything better by
creating yet another one. If there are tons of money available somewhere,
the best way to spend it would be to create a standard gauge link all the
way.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 04:02 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
And don't forget the "Jones act", which also puts rail at an advantage in the US.
Could you expand on this?
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Old August 11th, 2011, 04:10 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
I'm sorry, but that's just daydreaming.

A new international railway from Europe to China (and India?) will take ages
and cost a fortune to build, and will never be profitable quick enough to
attract private inverstors. Don't dream about states building it, most states
in this world are just almost bankrupt, without even the money to maintain
correctly the infrastructure they already own.

A new railway with a different, wider gauge would not be able to carry any
local traffic, because it would not be able to interchange with the local
rail networks. So it would have to rely only on the long-distance traffic for
its revenues, and this traffic only will never use the total capacity of the
line, so it would never pay for itself.

The only possibility is to use the networks already in place, smoothen the
operations, eliminate the bottlenecks, eradicate the border formalities,
increase the speeds, may be enlarge the loading gauge to allow double
stack operation like in the US, and that's about it. That's already more
than what most of the concerned railways can afford without external
financial assistance.

All studies about Eurasian landbridge show that the break of gauge is the
most significant barrier. You are not going to make anything better by
creating yet another one. If there are tons of money available somewhere,
the best way to spend it would be to create a standard gauge link all the
way.
I think there's probably enough traffic to justify a new standard gauge between China and parts of Kazakhstan

That still leaves Russia, the Ukraine and a big swathe of sparsely populated Kazakhstan...
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Old August 11th, 2011, 06:20 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Restless View Post
I think there's probably enough traffic to justify a new standard gauge between China and parts of Kazakhstan

That still leaves Russia, the Ukraine and a big swathe of sparsely populated Kazakhstan...
Not Russia nor Ukraine. The nearest narrow gauge railhead is on Iran-Turkmenistan border, in Sarakhs.

Kazakhstan has little to gain by simply regauging, because that would mean huge cost, no intrinsic improvement in railways and losing the working rail connections to Russia and Central Asia.

Would Kazakhstan, however, gain by allowing China to build "Silk Railway" of 1435 mm gauge, next to 1520 mm route that stays functional, and through major business centres? This way, there is still need to transload to get things delivered to 1520 mm network, but transloading is not limited to remore border posts - it can be done in freight yards at suburbs of major cities, and the goods can be loaded to trucks as well, or consumed/produced/processed in the city?

How is the Žetigen-Khorgos railway on Kazakh side progressing?
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Old August 13th, 2011, 01:45 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Restless View Post
Could you expand on this?
The Jones act requires that transportation between to US ports is done by US flagged and build ships. Especially the requirement that domestic trade is carried on US _build_ ships makes that domestic shipping by sea is more expensive in the US than it is for example in Europe. This skews the market in favor of rail.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 07:18 PM   #59
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Hi! Maybe you can help me guys. I need drawings and tables of different clearances and loading gauges in use now all around the world. In particular for 1000, 1435 and 1676 mm gauges. If anyone have this info post it here or send me a private message...
Sorry for my english, I don't use it often. Thanks!
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Old March 26th, 2012, 09:46 PM   #60
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Do you need the trans-siberian loading gauge?
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