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Old June 26th, 2013, 12:10 AM   #361
AlexNL
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Some pictures of a working NMBS ticket vending machine can be found at HGBTF.
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Old June 26th, 2013, 12:28 AM   #362
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Machines work great for tourists as well. It is not the case when I travel to Belgium, but I'd take interaction with a machine with English translation and city names I can read and displayed train schedule anytime over asking that to a counter agent.
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Old June 26th, 2013, 12:38 AM   #363
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A machine is easier to approach indeed. It should also be faster for frequent travellers who know exactly which ticket they want and need. For people who don't know which ticket is best for them or which ticket(s) they need or general information, the counter would be the best bet from then on.

EDIT: today I finally found some time to play around on one of those new machines. The touch screen is a lot better and the reaction time is very good. Sadly enough, you need to know yourself which type of ticket you need, as you can't enter any origin and destination and let it calculate your options, it seems
Currently, the flow seems to be:
1. Choose your type of ticket
2. Further details to set for ticket (age, date, ...)
3. ... (didn't go any further than that)

The perfect flow in my opinion would be this:
1. starting screen which lets you enter your destination (origin is pre-selected as the current station but should be changeable)
2. date selection screen, including a calendar which allows you to specify more dates than just one (as there are several tickets that can be used more than once, which might be a better deal)
3. passenger info: amount of passengers per age category - 1 adult ticket pre-selected
4. display of all ticket options, sorted in ascending order on price, with a short explanation of the ticket type
5. payment
6. possibility to print itinerary with alternative routes

But sadly enough, that's not the case here. I did notice that a lot of options were being suggested as they are commonly used, so that's already an improvement.
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Last edited by Glodenox; June 26th, 2013 at 10:34 AM.
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Old June 26th, 2013, 11:42 AM   #364
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I've used the new machines several times now (they're full operational in Brussels South since a few weeks) and I'm quite happy with them.
They're a lot faster than the old ones and have a more responsive touchscreen, but there's still room for improvement:

It's still not possible to buy several different tickets at the same time (no shopping cart) and you have to run trough too many screens (i had to run trough the same screen twice and information that was spreaded over two screens could easily be fitted into one).
The good thing: when selecting your destination, it automaticly gives a few propositions (basicly the most used stations from your point of departure) witch makes it a lot easier and faster, you can finally pay with credit cards (Visa, MC, AE) and it's ready for MOBIB.
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Old July 5th, 2013, 10:09 AM   #365
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http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/2...an_NMBS__.html

Utrecht court of justice in the Netherlands decided that Belgian railways must
get their money back.

It also dismissed AlsaldoBreda's claim that another independent examination
of the Fyra problems should be made by a different expert company.

At least we can now think about spending this money on serious products.
How much was the last bid for those new Alsthom AGVs that NTV wants to
buy ?
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Old July 5th, 2013, 02:36 PM   #366
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Alsaldo doesn't have the money to pay everything back. The court can rule anything, Belgian railways won't see a cent sadly enough.
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Old July 5th, 2013, 02:42 PM   #367
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshsam View Post
Alsaldo doesn't have the money to pay everything back. The court can rule anything, Belgian railways won't see a cent sadly enough.
That's a rather pessimistic point of view... I don't know how bank guarantees usually work, but from what I've gathered in the media, the NMBS/SNCB is quite certain that it'll get its advance payments back. Anyway, we'll get to know soon enough how this soap is going to unfold.
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Old July 5th, 2013, 03:32 PM   #368
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshsam View Post
Alsaldo doesn't have the money to pay everything back. The court can rule anything, Belgian railways won't see a cent sadly enough.
AnsaldoBreda does not have the money yet. This amount was deposited in
an ING bank account in the Netherlands and would only be paid to AB after
the final delivery. The court ruled that ING must give the money back.
ING already officially said they would execute as ruled. AnsaldoBreda has no
means to oppose against this.
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Old July 5th, 2013, 05:56 PM   #369
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Is NS on a similar situation?

What happened, technically, to HSA? Was it dissolved?
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Old July 5th, 2013, 07:38 PM   #370
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HSA still exists, they own the HSL-Zuid concessies. NS operates it on behalf of HSA.

I don't know about the financial arrangements made by NS and NSFSC, but they're probably similar to SNCB's situation.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 09:50 AM   #371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Is NS on a similar situation?
Unfortunately for them, no.

NS has already accepted some of the trains (7 or 9, can't remember exactly)
and paid AB for them. Those trains they will either keep, and kiss their
money good-bye, or fight in court to force AB to take them back, but then
I wish them good luck to get their money in return. For the other sets still on
order they haven't paid anything yet, as far as I know.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 08:02 PM   #372
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Global Rail News
http://www.globalrailnews.com/2013/0...nel-completed/

Quote:
Belgium’s longest rail tunnel completed
28 AUG, 2013


Photo: TUC Rail/ Steven Vandenhoeck.

Major construction work on the Liefkenshoek rail link, the new direct freight link between the left and right banks of Antwerp in Belgium, is now complete.

The newly-constructed twin tunnels under the Scheldt River and Kanaaldok are about six kilometres long, which makes them the longest rail tunnels in Belgium.

It is also the biggest railway construction site in the country, with several hundreds of people working there at peak times.
Tunnel construction works started in November 2008 and have now been largely completed, although some work is still going on in the right hand bank.

Belgian rail infrastructure manager Infrabel has already started laying the tracks and installing the signal system and overhead lines on the section between the South yard and the Beveren rail tunnel, with a view to begin testing next spring.

Financing, design, construction and maintenance is being undertaken by a PPP contract with Locorail, a joint venture of BAM PPP, CFE and Vinci Concessions.

Locorail has shouldered most of the cost of the new tunnel, ploughing 690 million euros into the project. Additional funding, including 107 million euros from the Flemish Region, has also come from European Investment Bank (EIB) and six other commercial banks

The 16.2 kilometre, double-track rail link consists of 4.8 kilometres of embankment, 4.2 kilometres of open and covered trench, 1.2 kilometres of existing tunnel – reopening of the already built but never used Beveren rail tunnel – and almost six kilometres of double-bored tunnel with an internal diameter of 7.3 metres.

The new route is due to come into service in September 2014.

Report from The Rail Engineer – edited by GRN
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Old August 29th, 2013, 08:24 PM   #373
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This link was needed! It will do the port of Antwerp good.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 10:37 PM   #374
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What's the cause of the Beveren rail tunnel being unused for so long?
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Old August 29th, 2013, 10:50 PM   #375
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I can't find any information on it but it seems to be build in the same complex as the R2 motorway tunnels under the port build in 1978, yet never went in to use for whatever reason.

Here is some video about the project, however onldy Dutch but has some nice immages. The first part also speaks about the upgrade of the motorways(Like completion of the R1 ringroad and the R11 motorway wich will disapear in a tunnel over its full lenght and the construction of the A102 motorway in order to get a step closer to a second ringroad around Antwerp)

Railways are shown in red on the map and motorways in grey.


Last edited by joshsam; August 29th, 2013 at 10:57 PM.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 12:10 AM   #376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TedStriker View Post
What's the cause of the Beveren rail tunnel being unused for so long?
Because untill 10 years ago it wasn't that urgent to use the tunnels. Same story for the Beveren Higway tunnel, who layed there a few years before it was finally used.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 12:14 AM   #377
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And the money for building it was spent just like that - maybe useful some day in the future? That doesn't sound like things are usually done. In most places such infrastructure is built because there is a great need for it...
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Old August 30th, 2013, 12:20 AM   #378
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I think the main reason for it being built and then being underutilised was that several projects on the left bank of the Scheldt were suddenly postponed or cancelled. If I'm not mistaken, around that time the whole issue of the Doeldock was taking place. The tunnel was probably anticipating the increase in traffic there that never really came.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 12:30 AM   #379
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glodenox View Post
I think the main reason for it being built and then being underutilised was that several projects on the left bank of the Scheldt were suddenly postponed or cancelled. If I'm not mistaken, around that time the whole issue of the Doeldock was taking place. The tunnel was probably anticipating the increase in traffic there that never really came.
Indeed, there where plans for the 'Baelhoekkanaal', a channel that was planned for making a connection between the Baelhoek in Holland and the 'Waeslandkanaal'. And of course the Doeldok, Verrebroekdok who are allmost unused untill now, and the never build Kieldrechtdok.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 11:55 AM   #380
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Thanks for all of the above posts.

It's been ages since I've been to Antwerp, I must go back soon I think.
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