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Old March 7th, 2012, 09:08 PM   #201
Suburbanist
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The Benelux coaches have the following problems:

- precarious connections between cars
- insufficient thermal weather control (arico) for summer days
- toilets that flush onto the tracks
- poor noise insulation, which would make the ride at 250km/h in the long tunnels in NL and the "semi-tunnel" in BE noisy as a city tram
- bad seats, lacking modern innovation
- no wi-fi, no power outlets, even in 1st class AFAIK
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Old March 7th, 2012, 09:24 PM   #202
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I can't really vouch for the noise insulation quality being poor. While there is indeed a lot of noise when you're in the corridors, the actual seating area is quite silent in my opinion. The carriages themselves generate a whole lot of noise though from the outside. I can hear at home (about 3 kilometers away from the track) whenever there's a Benelux train passing by (and we get all kinds of trains on that track, so I can compare very easily). In general, I fully agree with you though: it's about time that those carriages get replaced.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 12:53 PM   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
The Benelux coaches have the following problems:

- precarious connections between cars
They have the standard gangways. I see nothing "precarious" there. However the newer gangways as used on ICE and Railjet trains are an improvement, that is true.
Quote:
- insufficient thermal weather control (arico) for summer days
Compared to most currently running stock they do perform allright
Quote:
- toilets that flush onto the tracks
- poor noise insulation, which would make the ride at 250km/h in the long tunnels in NL and the "semi-tunnel" in BE noisy as a city tram
Both these items fall under "can't run on the HSL" as I mentioned.
However, retrofitting toilets with holding tanks is not a problem, and is actually being done.

Quote:
- bad seats, lacking modern innovation
- no wi-fi, no power outlets, even in 1st class AFAIK
The seats are actually better than in Thalys. More legroom for starters.

But my proposal for the replacement Benelux would have been to just kpee it integrated in the NS/NMBS IC network, and use 200kph locomotives and carriages, of which NMBS has quite a few, and which can easily be bought if more are needed.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 01:04 PM   #204
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NS already "degraded" the paths north and south of Rotterdam on the old line. Unless they run over HSL Zuid+HSL 4, they'd not pose a travel time gain.

Now if SNCB wants to keep the cars operating within Belgium, that is fine.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 03:23 PM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
NS already "degraded" the paths north and south of Rotterdam on the old line. Unless they run over HSL Zuid+HSL 4, they'd not pose a travel time gain.
Which is why I keep repeating that anything that replaces the Benelux must travel over the HSL. Are you paying attention?
NMBS series 18, plus Siemens Viaggio coaches (as used in the railjet) would, in hindsight, been a far better choice than the Ansaldo - Breda V250 sets.

Quote:
Now if SNCB wants to keep the cars operating within Belgium, that is fine.
The benelux coaches are owned by NS, and yes, NS will run them on domestic services once they're no longer needed.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 09:05 PM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Why is that? The V250s are finally arriving And that will put the Benelux train to rest for good, that shameful train running on Dutch tracks (only the aberration called IC Lige-Maastricht is worse than the Benelux trains). So we'll have cool stuff from the Belgians running here now

Let's hope the train operates normally and sooner rather than later.
I offered my condolences because it has turned out to be a very ugly train and a horribly constructed piece of scrap.

There is no way it can start operating "sooner", because it is already way overdue
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Old March 8th, 2012, 11:15 PM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
I offered my condolences because it has turned out to be a very ugly train and a horribly constructed piece of scrap.
And the remembrance of sweet prices will long be forgotten while we will,
every day, have to endure as a pain in the ass its substandard (to say the
least) quality. Anything else would have been better than this monstruosity.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 06:50 AM   #208
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Anything else would have been better than this monstruosity.
Anything else would have costed more. Ansaldo Breda undercut the price per train more than 24% compared to Bombardier, which was trying to shift some Zefiros to HSA at the time of the tender.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 08:30 AM   #209
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Quote:
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Anything else would have costed more. Ansaldo Breda undercut the price per train more than 24% compared to Bombardier, which was trying to shift some Zefiros to HSA at the time of the tender.
Sure. But how much of that have we already lost in delays - remember that those trains should have entered service years ago already - and in tests,
and how much will we still lose in dealing with all the problems caused by the
low quality ? I pretend that it will be way above the 24% of savings on the
purchase price ! And we can't even reclaim some of this money in fines
because it would cause AnsaldoBreda to go bankrupt.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 09:00 AM   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
Sure. But how much of that have we already lost in delays - remember that those trains should have entered service years ago already - and in tests,
and how much will we still lose in dealing with all the problems caused by the
low quality ? I pretend that it will be way above the 24% of savings on the
purchase price ! And we can't even reclaim some of this money in fines
because it would cause AnsaldoBreda to go bankrupt.
And I wonder what it would have cost if they just had ordered a 200kph (or 249 kph) conventional train.
NMBS already had material suitable for this. Ordering some more I11 coaches (or cascading them from other services as more M6 becomes available) would have been one option.
Another option would have been to just order new VIRM sets in a a 200kph multi standard version. The main mistake was to at all cost want to rebrand the Benelux in to something special.
The HSL should be (and actually will be) integrated in the domestic IC network in the Netherlands, but also in Belgium.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 12:45 PM   #211
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Between Rotterdam and Hooffdorp the speed gain of a HST over a high-performance 200km/h train is 170 seconds, roughly. But between R'dam Lombadijen and Antwerpen it means full extra 6 minutes.

Moreover, the Fyra trains have superior, far more superior interior design and amenities (like any other train that got the tender would have). Interior noise insulation and vibration dissipation design are much higher than "normal" locomotive-pull trains. They have wi-fi and other stuff as well.

Without such superior train, the prospect of paying extremely high access fees to HSA would be non-existent which in turn means HSA wouldn't have been able to bid 4x above the minimum to get hold of HSL Zuid first place.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 01:34 PM   #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Between Rotterdam and Hooffdorp the speed gain of a HST over a high-performance 200km/h train is 170 seconds, roughly. But between R'dam Lombadijen and Antwerpen it means full extra 6 minutes.
On R'dam Antwerp these extra 6 minutes compared to a Thalys are not really an issue. There is a huge market for something a little slower and a lot cheaper than Thalys. I suspect that quite a bit of the Belgium - Netherlands market will shift to the Local service to Roosendaal if Fyra really tries to run its service like a ground level airline.

Quote:
Moreover, the Fyra trains have superior, far more superior interior design and amenities (like any other train that got the tender would have). Interior noise insulation and vibration dissipation design are much higher than "normal" locomotive-pull trains. They have wi-fi and other stuff as well.
At the moment some of those trains don't even have an interior at all. And there is no reason why a conventional trains can't have those ameneties as well. And locomotive pulled trains have lower noice and vibration levels than trainsets anyway.

Quote:
Without such superior train, the prospect of paying extremely high access fees to HSA would be non-existent which in turn means HSA wouldn't have been able to bid 4x above the minimum to get hold of HSL Zuid first place.
HSA is gone (or going) anyway, proving that the business case for the HSL was as thin as the oppononts claimed a decaded ago. Even with superior trains...
The HSL Zuid is now going to be integrated in the Dutch domestic network. In a rational world the HSL Zuid wouldn't even have been build.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 10:40 PM   #213
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HSL will accommodate other trains, but they will have to be retrofitted. And the speed differential between trains using HSL at 160 and 250 (28/day when all Fyra trains will be operating + Thalys) reduces the total capacity of the line. Fortunately, capacity is not an issue at HSL Zuid - for now.

But you were the one whining that the Kln-Lige HSL was useless one year ago. Just because you couldn't get your connection.
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Old March 10th, 2012, 09:36 AM   #214
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[QUOTE="Suburbanist"] HSL will accommodate other trains, but they will have to be retrofitted. And the speed differential between trains using HSL at 160 and 250 (28/day when all Fyra trains will be operating + Thalys) reduces the total capacity of the line. Fortunately, capacity is not an issue at HSL Zuid - for now.[quote]
I'm not talking about running 160 kph trains. I'm talking about 200 kph. You can still run quite a few trains over the HSL even if most of them are limited to 200 kph.
Quote:
But you were the one whining that the Kln-Lige HSL was useless one year ago. Just because you couldn't get your connection.
Yep. I maintain that a well integrated network is of more value to the customer than one where the aim seems to be primarily to dazzle the likes of Suburbanist.
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Old March 11th, 2012, 11:53 AM   #215
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I have never used the Turin-Milan HSL exactly because of the lack of connecting trains. I would have used the HST a dozen of times paying 20 € more each time, but I had to take the interregional trains because if I had used the HST the trip would have lasted one or two hours more. So it's completely in the interests of railway companies to assure connections.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 06:41 PM   #216
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And now, they are already some Desiro trains in service. Hopefully they are a big success.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 11:53 PM   #217
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And now, they are already some Desiro trains in service. Hopefully they are a big success.
Yeah, but still in "test" mode, although with passengers. Only 5 sets have
a temporary certificate that allows them to operate commercially. Hopefully
the whole series will receive the final certificate for the June schedule
change. But this is still not guaranteed. They took how long to certify the
HLE 18 ? 3 years ?

You can see them for now on 2 local services : Charleroi-Erquelinnes and
Aalst-Braine l'Alleud. Only a few journeys per day or week.

Pictures on http://www.wallorail.be/actu/0112/26.htm
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 04:35 AM   #218
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The benelux coaches are owned by NS, and yes, NS will run them on domestic services once they're no longer needed.
My guess is that those coaches will be sent to the shredder immediately once they return from their HSA duties - if they ever will in the first place.

The coaches are starting to fall apart: every rake has at least one broken door on either side, there are lots of minor interior defects such as inner doors that don't close automatically anymore, and the heavy vibrations the sets have to endure with each run can't be good for the structural integrity as well.

Other than that: it's currently estimated that the ICRm coaches will retire around 2020. This means that if HSA would return their ICRm coaches at the end of the year, it'd only be 7 years until they'd be retired anyway.

However, since NS Reizigers has different standards for their rolling stock, the coaches will need to be modified. A new paint job, a completely redone interior, changes to the technical components, et cetera. This will be a rather costly undertaking, and NS is not exactly known for wasting money.

On the other hand, it may very well be that the Prio coaches will spend the rest of their lives on the HSL. Given the new connections that NSR wants to offer starting from 2015, the V250 fleet might not be enough, and I doubt that VIRM will be retrofitted. The ICRm Prio coaches will come in handy then for some of the services that only partially use the HSL (such as The Hague - Eindhoven over HSL-South).
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Old April 10th, 2012, 02:38 AM   #219
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The Desiro trains finally entered service

image hosted on flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/trainsp...57629383152462

image hosted on flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/trainsp...57629383152462
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 12:36 AM   #220
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Any more news as to when Fyra (V250) trains will run to Brussels?
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