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Old July 27th, 2015, 11:19 PM   #21
Robi_damian
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Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
Given the distances and/or faster speeds, I don't think dinning cars make much sense these days IMO. BTW, what is the food like?
True, and you see more and more restaurant cars replaced by bistros. Dining on a train is a really nice feeling though, the proper tables and/or greater seat pitches make a better experience than eating on a plane, for example. The best of the above were for me pasta on the Sydney-Melbourne XPT and goulash on a short Hungarian service (Budapest-Szeged).
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Old July 28th, 2015, 10:43 AM   #22
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One trend is seats becoming harder and harder on many short-distance but even some mid-distance rolling stock. This is not the case in all countries (the UK does not seem to have this issue, for example, neither Italy to such a great extent - but I have traveled less there). Often, this trend includes the replacement of regular seating by folding seats.
When NMBS ordered new rolling stock a couple of decades ago they tested different types of seats by fitting them to existing trains, and asking the passengers about their experiences and preferences. It turned out that the passengers had a slight preference for the harder seats...

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Another issue is noise. Compartments are going if not completely gone, and now even gangways between cars are no longer separated. This brings some annoying issues of noise, both made from the gangways themselves but also from the increased capacity of one noisy passenger to bring "joy" to way more fellow travelers.
That is a consequence of several evolutions.
- There is the evolution to larger open spaces in trains. You see the same in trams and metros. Passengers feel safer in open space interiors than in compartments.
- There are the requirements for accessability.
- Railways want trains that are cheaper to maintain and clean.
- Railways are being pressed to provide as many seats as possible.
- Railways are buying lightweight EMUs in stead of loco's and carriages.

As nice as the old fashioned UIC standard compartment coaches were, there is really no place for them in modern railway operations anymore...
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Old July 28th, 2015, 10:46 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post
Translation: by eliminating your leg space, separate compartments for those who prefer to sit with 5 other people rather than 100, luggage space, and the corridors which gave some semi-privacy to people on the phone or who want to stretch their legs, our company can hope for more profits with less services. We have also reduced the dining car even further, from a full car to a tiny little segment. However, how is a dining car with only four tables ever going to earn any money? Only by reducing service and variety, of course.
Translation: By offering what the average passenger wants, in stead of what the self declared rail experts and railfans want we hope to be able to gain more customers.

:-)
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Old July 28th, 2015, 11:17 AM   #24
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Perhaps trains served with coffee could help enhance passenger experience.
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Old July 28th, 2015, 12:57 PM   #25
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When NMBS ordered new rolling stock a couple of decades ago they tested different types of seats by fitting them to existing trains, and asking the passengers about their experiences and preferences. It turned out that the passengers had a slight preference for the harder seats...



That is a consequence of several evolutions.
- There is the evolution to larger open spaces in trains. You see the same in trams and metros. Passengers feel safer in open space interiors than in compartments.
- There are the requirements for accessability.
- Railways want trains that are cheaper to maintain and clean.
- Railways are being pressed to provide as many seats as possible.
- Railways are buying lightweight EMUs in stead of loco's and carriages.

As nice as the old fashioned UIC standard compartment coaches were, there is really no place for them in modern railway operations anymore...
True, but did they also prefer them to be upright?

I am not arguing for the plush 1960´s style "sink-in" seats, but for a comfort level at least similar to what UK trains have going for them, rather than some of the crap rolling stock being phased in on the continent.

And, actually, there are some new passenger cars built with compartments, including new PKP rolling stock for IC trains. Since in some countries safety might be a passenger concern, I think DeutscheBahn´s mixed saloon/compartment cars bring about the best balance.

Anyway, the difference in comfort is, I think, really starting to be a minus for railways for distances above 2 hours. I for one have found myself flying for much shorter distances than before, even for short advantages in time, due to the lower difference in comfort between planes and trains (trains are still better, in most places, though).

Last edited by Robi_damian; July 28th, 2015 at 01:13 PM.
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Old August 3rd, 2015, 02:37 PM   #26
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In my opinion the seats are actually getting slightly better these days, we've got the worst behind us. Still, it largely depends on the operator, but late refurbishments like the DB ICmod and the NS DDAR > DDZ show that seats are becoming better. At this moment my favorite is the ÖBB Railjet. To be honest, I prefer a 4-seater 'großraum' to a 6-seater compartment, especially if it has a large table (like the Railjet and DB IC(E)).
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Old August 4th, 2015, 02:06 AM   #27
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Speaking of passenger comfort, one of the things I noticed in Australia was the obsessions for seats to be facing forward. On Sydney local and regional trains, passengers can move the backrest manually to seat forward, and on the Sydney-based cross-country services they kept telling you when booking that seats are only forward-facing, being reversed at each end of the route.

E.g. (for local trains):

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Old August 4th, 2015, 02:54 AM   #28
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MISC | Passenger comfort discussion

Who wants to spend more money for less comfort on a train in an age of low cost flights?

What will happen when self driving cars come out?

Rail operators are digging their own grave. Investments in trains is politically popular now and ridership could be up due to fuel costs, demographics, and the economy, but that could mask actual desire and when change comes it could be ugly.
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Old August 4th, 2015, 04:34 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robi_damian View Post
Speaking of passenger comfort, one of the things I noticed in Australia was the obsessions for seats to be facing forward. On Sydney local and regional trains, passengers can move the backrest manually to seat forward, and on the Sydney-based cross-country services they kept telling you when booking that seats are only forward-facing, being reversed at each end of the route.

E.g. (for local trains):

Those seats look very small , should have stuck with a 2x2 seating layout.
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Old August 4th, 2015, 10:58 AM   #30
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Those seats look very small , should have stuck with a 2x2 seating layout.
The guy is probably on the plus size. Aussie trains have wide loading gauges (well, in NSW). The shocking use of 3+2 is in the UK, with their narrow trains.
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Old August 5th, 2015, 03:51 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robi_damian View Post
Speaking of passenger comfort, one of the things I noticed in Australia was the obsessions for seats to be facing forward. On Sydney local and regional trains, passengers can move the backrest manually to seat forward, and on the Sydney-based cross-country services they kept telling you when booking that seats are only forward-facing, being reversed at each end of the route.

E.g. (for local trains):
I live in Sydney and I actually love those seats! I'm quite proud that Sydney innovatively adopted this (or invented this?). Different types of those reversible seats exist across the fleet, from quite new ones on the Waratah train sets (the ones in your video) to old but still plush leather ones on the interurban sets.

When I head to the Blue Mountains to bushwalk with a group of friends, for example, its quite nifty to be able to sit facing each other and socialise for 2 hours. On the other hand, I prefer not to sit facing the reverse direction when travelling in the city. Having the option to move seats around is nifty which is why I quite like this obsession Sydney seems to have And it sucks when you get on an XPT train and you realise that you're facing backwards for the entirety of a 13-hour journey

So far, I've only noticed that Japanese trains (and derivatives) seem to have this option to reverse seats around, but in a different manner. The cleaners do it as part of their routine on the Shinkansen too. I wonder... where else in the World do trains have reversible seats?

From 00:50:
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Last edited by stingstingsting; August 5th, 2015 at 03:57 AM. Reason: video
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Old August 5th, 2015, 11:13 AM   #32
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Japan has two types of reversible seats. The system shown in the video , and the flip-over system used in many types of commuter trains, specially in Kansai and Nagoya area:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/225_series


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/313_series
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Old August 5th, 2015, 01:28 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by stingstingsting View Post
I live in Sydney and I actually love those seats! I'm quite proud that Sydney innovatively adopted this (or invented this?). Different types of those reversible seats exist across the fleet, from quite new ones on the Waratah train sets (the ones in your video) to old but still plush leather ones on the interurban sets.
The problem with seats all facing the same direction is that when the person sitting at the window wants to get up the one sitting next to the corridor needs to get up to. And with three seats abreast there is even a middle seater to content with. With seats facing each other in bays of 4 like is common in Switzerland passenger movements are more efficient.
One of the things I noticed in Sydney was that the trains had quite long dwell times at the stations. There is a lot room for improvement there.
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Old August 6th, 2015, 03:02 AM   #34
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True. I experience that chaos every day.

I believe it is the result of many factors, including:
- Trains do not (and probably cannot) stop at the same exact spot at each station to assist with passengers preparing to board.
- No signs/maps telling people which exits are best for which stations.
- Signalling could be improved, which would greatly help the first two issues.
- A legacy network with stations with narrow platforms (although probably not as narrow as in Japan!)
- Successive governments not following John Bradfield's original plan
- PEOPLE. Well some people anyway. Some people just choosing not to be aware in situations where there are a billion people trying to get off and on a train at peak hour

That being said, they did try to put in a new seating arrangement. I don't know why it was not fully adopted. I guess the trial must have failed.

http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/medi...w-look-tangara



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Old August 6th, 2015, 06:42 AM   #35
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Korean trains have reversible seats

almost all korean trains have reversible seats. We have both revolvable seats(on newer versions of High speed trains and intercity trains) and simething you can see on that australian train(on older provincial trains) some limited express trains that run on busy commuter line have automatic rotatable seats :l
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Old August 6th, 2015, 08:05 AM   #36
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Another advantage of vis-a-vis seating (as oppposed to airline style seatin) is that it creates space for luggage between seat backs.
When I was travelling on Sydneys' cityrail form the airport to my relatives I really wondered what you were supposed to do with your luggage...

And vis-a-vis seating is very comfortable when loading levels are low, as they for example usually are on Swiss Trains. An efficient conventional railway only needs about an average load of 30% to break even. So it makes sense to asume that most seats will actually be unoccupied most of the time.
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Old August 6th, 2015, 12:13 PM   #37
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I personally find it uncomfortable when there's a stranger sitting in the opposite seat facing me. That's why I always try to avoid seats which face another one...unless I'm travelling with company.
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Old August 6th, 2015, 02:01 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stingstingsting View Post
- Trains do not (and probably cannot) stop at the same exact spot at each station to assist with passengers preparing to board.
- Signalling could be improved, which would greatly help the first two issues.
Train can stop at the exact same spot each time, in fact in Japan trains must stop within a meter or so of the designated stopping position, otherwise they are not even allowed to open the doors.

Also in Japan the length of the approaching train is known in advance and shown on the information sign. For every type and length of train there are markings on the platforms where the doors are going to be, so people can prepare themselves for the arrival of the oncoming train.

In the Netherlands on some stations they are testing a system that indicates the occupancy rate of the next train by means of coloured light strips along the platform roof.

One of the problems in the Netherlands is that train length is not announced in advance. If for instance a train is usually 12 cars, but is shortened to 9 because of rolling stock shortage, all the passengers that assumed a longer train have to walk back some 80 meters and all squeeze themselves in the first carriage to not delay the departure to much. It is also not uncommon for trains to overshoot their stopping location by 50 meters or more.

Another annoyance is that in Germany ICE and IC trains run in fixed composition, usually with first class concentrated on one end and second at the other. Sometimes for no reason trains run the wrong way around without announcement. Very annoying when you have a seat reservation.
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Old August 6th, 2015, 05:02 PM   #39
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I personally find it uncomfortable when there's a stranger sitting in the opposite seat facing me. That's why I always try to avoid seats which face another one...unless I'm travelling with company.
And this is the genius of the Sydney seats, you make your own sitting arrangements, unless very crowded.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 02:17 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
Train can stop at the exact same spot each time, in fact in Japan trains must stop within a meter or so of the designated stopping position, otherwise they are not even allowed to open the doors.
I was actually talking about trains in Sydney that don't stop at the exact same spot every time. Japan trains are great in that respect.

Another question I have - how comfortable do people get leaving their luggage on the racks in the train? Anyone know of horror stories of people getting up to exit the train at their destination only to find that their luggage has been nicked at some other station along the way? This seems like such a likely occurrence. If I had to leave my bags at the racks and was unable to lock them, I would personally feel very uncomfortable sitting down. However, I don't live in Europe so I wonder if most passengers are just used to it or if it is fortunately, a very minor and unlikely risk.

Again with the amazing Japanese railways setting the standards ...
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