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Old January 8th, 2015, 05:01 PM   #221
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What about the general population? Is the rail lobby weak in Austria?
Not really, no.
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Old January 28th, 2015, 09:32 PM   #222
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American muscle pulling containers. Videos by YT user MsTallink:

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Old January 29th, 2015, 12:02 AM   #223
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That's not an accurate map.

The route will go Tallinn-Pärnu-Riga-Panevežys-Kaunas. This is a more accurate representation of the route:
http://i.imgur.com/Zky64cu.jpg
Great map. Is this route set in stone? Or ist there still uncertainty about it? I am surprised that the went for almost a straight line and an extremely direct corridor.

What was the reasoning for choosing the option via Panevezis instead of connecting Siauliai and Jelgava directly to Rail Baltica at a modest detour. Is it because there is already today a rail connection along this line and going the more direct route through Panevezis actually makes the rail network denser, not only faster?

Another question is, if it is already known what kind of passenger train connections there will be on Rail Baltica. Will there be direct trains from Vilnius to Riga and Tallinn, via that Vilnius rail branch (or is the gauge incompatible?)

Is there, will there be a direct passanger rail connection between Tartu und Riga via Valmiera?
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Last edited by Slartibartfas; January 29th, 2015 at 12:10 AM.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 11:15 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
Is there, will there be a direct passanger rail connection between Tartu und Riga via Valmiera?
Today and tomorrow are the last weekdays when Tartu-Rīga is possible with a single train change in Valga. Starting 1st of February on weekdays trains will only run on parts Rīga-Valmiera and Valga-Tartu. To get from Tartu to Rīga would mean changing to a bus in Valga and then changing back to a train in Valmiera


On weekends there will still be trains Rīga-Valmiera-Valga and Valga-Tartu

EDIT: There will still be one train per day on Valmiera-Valga stretch but not the one which makes transfer to Valga-Tartu train possible

Last edited by BriedisUnIzlietne; January 29th, 2015 at 12:07 PM.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 10:06 PM   #225
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So the network gets worse, not better? I can't imagine a lot of people using that bus madness. If you have to change like that, it would better to take a direct bus from Tartu to Riga, if such a thing exists, wouldn't it? But then, I also don't know how much potential there is on such a cross border connection in first place.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 10:52 PM   #226
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The (St. Petersburg - ) Tartu - Rīga bus completes the whole journey in 3:50 compared to the train+train journey 4:55....

But they say that this change to bus nonsense is only temporary - until August - due to delayed delivery of modernized trains.

EDIT: The Rīga-Valga railway line gets slowly upgraded from 100 km/h to 120 km/h. And the passenger train currently does little over 70 km/h. I hope that they finally will use the trains to the maximum 120 km/h when the modernized trains are delivered.

And they should get rid of some stops. The Valga-Rīga train stops even at Silciems which is in the middle of a forest with no houses for kilometers!

Last edited by BriedisUnIzlietne; January 29th, 2015 at 11:04 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 12:14 AM   #227
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You are right of course… Would be interesting to know how many people a day buy tickets to/from Silciems.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 12:26 AM   #228
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Silciems (and Krievupe) is probably most active in Autumn when people go to pick berries and mushrooms. But in that case only Rīga-Sigulda trains should stop there. I can't really imagine an Estonian waking up one day and saying: "Yes, today I will pick berries in a forest near Sigulda in Latvia! And I will use a train to get there"
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Old January 30th, 2015, 07:44 PM   #229
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So they have a track which supports 100 km/h but only drive 70 km/h?
Well hopefully new train material is going to change that. Wheras, the way I read it, one would have to hope that there would be a train in first place ...

And yes, stops in the middle of nowhere should be up for debate.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 08:27 PM   #230
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Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
So they have a track which supports 100 km/h but only drive 70 km/h?
Well hopefully new train material is going to change that. Wheras, the way I read it, one would have to hope that there would be a train in first place ...
There were talks about Elron wanting to start a 120 km/h service Tallinn-Tartu-Rīga on the line when all the repairs are done. Perhaps that Estonians could help with information about current situation in that plan

We also spent money upgrading the line from Latvia to Lithuania to 120 km/h, but it only has freight trains which are limited to 80 and usually do around 50
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Old January 30th, 2015, 08:38 PM   #231
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Tallinn-Tartu-Riga train service would not be profitable without subsidies. Besides, Elron doesn't have enough trains even for increasing train service within Estonia so it is quite unlikely that they will start an international train service any time soon.

Sure, they could buy new (or used) trains but the whole situation with railways is a bit complicated at the moment. Transit from Russia has dropped so much that Eesti Raudtee cannot function on its own funds anymore so they have to increase infrastructure fees for passenger trains and the state also has to start direct investments into the railway infrastructure (which until now they have not done). To counterbalance the increase in infrastructure fees, the govenrment will increase Elron's subsidies (effectively shoving money from one pocket to the other since Eesti Raudtee belongs to the state). This is not good news for international trains, however, since they solely rely on ticket revenue to cover their cost.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 12:03 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by BriedisUnIzlietne View Post
Silciems (and Krievupe) is probably most active in Autumn when people go to pick berries and mushrooms. But in that case only Rīga-Sigulda trains should stop there. I can't really imagine an Estonian waking up one day and saying: "Yes, today I will pick berries in a forest near Sigulda in Latvia! And I will use a train to get there"
How many trains daily should run Riga-Sigulda, how many should run Riga-Valka and how many Riga-Tartu or Riga-Tallinn?
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Old January 31st, 2015, 12:43 AM   #233
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How many trains daily should run Riga-Sigulda, how many should run Riga-Valka and how many Riga-Tartu or Riga-Tallinn?
Currently there are only 10 trains per day until Sigulda - one train every 1-2 hours.
5 of those trains continue to Cēsis.
4 continue to Valmiera.
1 (as of 1st February) continues to Valga (+2 replacement buses).

But Sigulda, being just 50 km from Rīga, should have trains every half hour. Cēsis - a train every hour. Valmiera - a train every two hours (with current trains it's hard to compete with the more direct and faster Rīga-Valmiera buses. With new trains the service should be hourly).

From Valmiera there should be at least 4 trains to Tartu (and none to Valga).

Because I think that it would be more logical if from Valmiera was the midpoint, not Valga. Since Valmiera is midway from Rīga to Tartu, the large city that is closest for all southwards is Rīga and for all northwards is Tartu. Currently people in Latvia are forced to travel to Rīga although Tartu is closer.

IMO of those 4 trains on part Valmiera-Valga:
2 should be Rīga-Tartu
2 should be Valmiera-Tartu



I don't think that Rīga-Tallinn would be attractive for passengers because the bus runs on a much much more direct route and every hour. And after a decade there will be the 240 km/h Rail Baltica railway for that route. But there should be at least one express train per day on the Rīga-Tartu-Tallinn route.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 01:09 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by BriedisUnIzlietne View Post
Currently there are only 10 trains per day until Sigulda - one train every 1-2 hours.
5 of those trains continue to Cēsis.
4 continue to Valmiera.
1 (as of 1st February) continues to Valga (+2 replacement buses).

But Sigulda, being just 50 km from Rīga, should have trains every half hour. Cēsis - a train every hour. Valmiera - a train every two hours (with current trains it's hard to compete with the more direct and faster Rīga-Valmiera buses. With new trains the service should be hourly).

From Valmiera there should be at least 4 trains to Tartu (and none to Valga).

Because I think that it would be more logical if from Valmiera was the midpoint, not Valga. Since Valmiera is midway from Rīga to Tartu, the large city that is closest for all southwards is Rīga and for all northwards is Tartu. Currently people in Latvia are forced to travel to Rīga although Tartu is closer.
Yes. But for someone in Valka, or Lugaži, although Tartu is nearer, Riga is the bigger city - and Latvian speaking.

Someone in Lugaži or Seda may well need a train that stops at his home station and goes to Riga (or Zemitani, or Ciekurkalns). Someone in Sangaste is not so awfully likely to want to travel to Ropaži.

So: it is important that the small stations between Valmiera and Valka, like Brenguli or Strenci, should have direct service to Riga. It is not so vital that they should have direct (but slow) service to Tartu.

IMO, Valka-Riga should have both all-stop trains and express trains. And it should be the express trains that run through, Riga to Valka, perhaps beyond... and the all-stop trains gain little by running through.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 11:12 AM   #235
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Yes. But for someone in Valka, or Lugaži, although Tartu is nearer, Riga is the bigger city - and Latvian speaking.
Rīga is larger, but I don't think that there is a difference in what services can you get. And Tartu obviously has the better university.

People near the border usually know at least the basics of Estonian. And in any case it might be possible to communicate in Russian.
Quote:
Someone in Lugaži or Seda may well need a train that stops at his home station and goes to Riga (or Zemitani, or Ciekurkalns). Someone in Sangaste is not so awfully likely to want to travel to Ropaži.
All Rīga-Tartu trains should be expresses on part Rīga-Valmiera and then stop at all stops. That would allow for the best service for Valmiera and beyond. It would stop in Sangaste not because of people wanting to go from/to Latvia, but because of people wanting to go to/from Tartu.

Quote:
So: it is important that the small stations between Valmiera and Valka, like Brenguli or Strenci, should have direct service to Riga. It is not so vital that they should have direct (but slow) service to Tartu.
I just realized that I meant 1 instead of 2 trains Valmiera-Tartu. It would be an early morning service Valmiera-Tartu and a late evening service Tartu-Valmiera.

And the reason is time. Yes, there is Zilupe-Rīga which allows the people of Zilupe get to work in Rīga because the train arrives in Rīga at 8:27. But how many people from Zilupe use it? It departs at 3:30! Similarly, an early Rīga-Tartu train would be too early for most people until Valmiera. So I have shortened it to be just Valmiera-Tartu. (Though perhaps it could also be Cēsis-Tartu)

Quote:
IMO, Valka-Riga should have both all-stop trains and express trains. And it should be the express trains that run through, Riga to Valka, perhaps beyond... and the all-stop trains gain little by running through.
I think that all Rīga-Sigulda trains should be all-stop trains (except the tiny ones)
That all Rīga-Valmiera trains should be expresses till Sigulda and then all-stop services till Valmiera.
That all Rīga-Tartu trains should be expresses till Valmiera and then all-stop services till Tartu.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 12:13 PM   #236
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I don't think that Rīga-Tallinn would be attractive for passengers because the bus runs on a much much more direct route and every hour. And after a decade there will be the 240 km/h Rail Baltica railway for that route. But there should be at least one express train per day on the Rīga-Tartu-Tallinn route.
That is a good argument. How long does it take by car and how long by bus to get from Riga to Tallinn? And how long would a train need on the existing (partly upgraded) infrastructure, using its ful potential?

If the train is significantly slower than the bus, then it is probably not competitive indeed. I just fear that with this kind of attitude one could read above, they might build Rail Baltic but then not invest in passenger train service because of costs or because of insufficient ridership estimates.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 12:58 PM   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
That is a good argument. How long does it take by car and how long by bus to get from Riga to Tallinn? And how long would a train need on the existing (partly upgraded) infrastructure, using its ful potential?

If the train is significantly slower than the bus, then it is probably not competitive indeed. I just fear that with this kind of attitude one could read above, they might build Rail Baltic but then not invest in passenger train service because of costs or because of insufficient ridership estimates.
Google says that by car it's about 4hrs 15mins (though it's probably faster because in summers the speed limits get raised and people break the speed limits and go even faster)
The bus journey times range from 4:15 to 4:30.

Now that I have found the data again it seems that the train wouldn't be much slower if it stopped only in Tallinn, Tartu and Rīga.
I'm not sure how the situation has changes since 2012, but I guess that the travel time would be around 4:50

So I guess that the main problem would be frequency. Though I'm not sure if that applies to international services, but in commuter services people tend to take the more frequent option instead of the fastest.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 03:13 PM   #238
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Listing the stations:
In Riga:
  1. Riga Central
  2. Zemitani
  3. Ciekurkalns
  4. Jugla
To Sigulda:
  1. Baltezers
  2. Ropaži
  3. Krievupe
  4. Vangaži
  5. Incukalns
  6. Eglupe
  7. Silciems
  8. Sigulda
To Valmiera:
  1. Ligatne
  2. Ieriki
  3. Melturi
  4. Araiši
  5. Cesis
  6. Janmuiža
  7. Lode
  8. Bale
  9. Valmiera
To Valga:
  1. Brenguli
  2. Strenci
  3. Seda
  4. Saule
  5. Lugaži
  6. Saule
  7. Valga
The distance Riga-Valga I know to be 168 km. Could you give numbers for the distances Riga-Jugla, Riga-Sigulda and Riga-Valmiera?
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Old January 31st, 2015, 04:15 PM   #239
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Rīga-Jugla is 10,6 km
Rīga-Sigulda is 53,1 km
Rīga-Valmiera is 120,8 km
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Old January 31st, 2015, 04:49 PM   #240
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Thanks!
On Estonian side, the distances are:
Tallinn-Vesse 8,5 km
Tallinn-Aegviidu 56,7 km
Tallinn-Tartu 190,1 km
Tartu-Valga 82,5 km

Present travel times:
Tallinn-Aegviidu: electrified double track line, 50 minutes for 56,7 km with all intermediate stops (3 of them in Tallinn). Compare Riga-Sigulda, not now electric, 53,1 km with 10 intermediate stops, 3 of them in Tallinn. 13 such runs on workday, 12 on weekend.
Same Tallinn-Aegviidu, diesel milk runs to Tartu and Narva: 3 stops between Tallinn and Aegviidu, of which 2 are in Tallinn (Kitseküla and Ülemiste, skipping Vesse) and 1 outside (Kehra) - 41 minutes. Between Aegviidu and Tartu (thus 133,4 km) 13 intermediate stops, trip time around 1:50. Total 17 stops between Tallinn and Tartu, trip time around 2:30, 4 such trips daily.
Express trains to Tartu: 1 stop in Tallinn (Ülemiste, so also skips Kitseküla), then 3 more stops before Tartu (Aegviidu is not among these). Trip time 2:02 to 2:07. 4 such expresses daily.
So... what should be a proper express train schedule Riga-Valga? It´s about 11 % shorter than Tallinn-Tartu, so 1:50 should be reasonable. Stops... Tallinn-Tartu has 3 outside Tallinn, and on Valga-Riga there are 3 obvious candidates. Valmiera, Cesis, Sigulda. Then maybe 1 station in Riga? Which of the 3 stations in Riga would be best placed for a stop of an express train that skips the other two? Jugla, Ciekurkalns or Zemitani?
That 121 km Valmiera-Riga is about 63 % of Tallinn-Tartu. So how would Valmiera like an express train which reaches Riga in about 1:17, with the stops aforesaid - one which originates in Estonia, makes previous stop in Valga and is not the only option because milk runs stopping at Brenguli, Bale etc. also operate?
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