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Old November 20th, 2014, 08:25 AM   #501
MarcVD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
IS it really lacking? The subway/pre-metro is respectable in size for its population.
The network looks fine, yes (although I believe there are vast areas of the
city that are not properly covered) but frequencies and capacity are not
there. The tram fleet is currently being renewed, but not with enough vehicles
to cover all the needs ; buses are too small and too slow, because engulfed
in the traffic ; and for an in-between solution between tram and bus, the
trolleybus is completely ignored. In addition, local authorities refuse to
dedicate enough street space to public transport, and refuse to give public
transport priority over cars.
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Old November 20th, 2014, 08:39 AM   #502
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Depends on the line. Look for "S-Bahn Bern"..
Just wanted to know how many lines...

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
These extra trains are a problem. If you look at SBB you'll see that they hardly run peak hour extras. Neither does NS. It is far more efficient to just run a high level service the whole day..
It's a trend on the SNCB network as well. Several peak hour services will be
transformed in full day services at the next schedule change (less than one
month to go now). But to go further in that direction, there is a resource that
SNCB is severely lacking : train drivers... SNCB management, pushed that way
by the past governements, who couldn't care less for mass transit, let the
train drivers population get too old, and now the learning capacity of SNCB is
just barely enough to replace those who are retiring. They have no way to
increase the number of active drivers. It's made even worse by the law still
allowing train drivers to retire early, as if they were still driving steam engines.
All of that also makes significant increases of services almost impossible.

And it's true that the position of SNCB is indeed that they prefer running a
peak hour train coming from another city with 1200 people on board than a
local with only 300. And the network capacity does not allow them to run
both... To some extend, I can understand.
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Old November 20th, 2014, 09:09 AM   #503
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The North-South Junction line is the focal point of local, international and local passenger rail traffic in the Brussels area



The order for RER stock will mean the withdrawal of several old classes of electric multiple unit stock



Artist's impression of forthcoming Siemens Desiro ML stock; the first tranche will go to the Brussels RER

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Old November 20th, 2014, 09:19 AM   #504
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephendavion View Post
Artist's impression of forthcoming Siemens Desiro ML stock; the first tranche will go to the Brussels RER
No need for an artist's impression when you can see plenty of them plying
the belgian rails already... There were 305 units ordered, out of which about
200 have been delivered today. And yes indeed, it means the remaining
200 2-cars EMUs will all be sent to the scraper. Personally I won't regret
them, even if this type of train was emblematic of the SNCB for more than
half a century, the same as "hondekoppen" for NS or "caravelles" for SNCF...
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Old November 20th, 2014, 01:03 PM   #505
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
And it's true that the position of SNCB is indeed that they prefer running a
peak hour train coming from another city with 1200 people on board than a
local with only 300. And the network capacity does not allow them to run
both... To some extend, I can understand.
This also has to do with what Infrabel charges for train paths and stops at stations: a lot. In some way this is a means to keep open access operators out of Belgium: access charges are very high, SNCB is subsidised to pay for the paths.

This makes running now trying expensive as Infrabel is bound by regulations, they can't offer additional paths for less money. And when SNCB's budget is yet again reduced by the government this directly impacts the number of trains that can run. This is why lots of early and late trains are being axed.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 10:38 AM   #506
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
This also has to do with what Infrabel charges for train paths and stops at stations: a lot. In some way this is a means to keep open access operators out of Belgium: access charges are very high, SNCB is subsidised to pay for the paths.

This makes running now trying expensive as Infrabel is bound by regulations, they can't offer additional paths for less money. And when SNCB's budget is yet again reduced by the government this directly impacts the number of trains that can run. This is why lots of early and late trains are being axed.
I think personally the best model to organise the railway system in a country is a like this:
1) Set the track access charges at a level that IC and INT services (and freight) can survive on a purely commercial basis. These can be operated by the incumbent, or other companies, and they can just try to make money on it.
2) The infrastructure gets direct subsidies to make 1) possible.

Then Let the most efficient train company be the most successful one.

3) Regional services are te responsibility of regional authorities, who contract them out. They set the tariffs. The operators are just subcontractors providing trainkm.

In Belgium however it seems that the main purpose of the way the railways are organised is sluicing state subsidies to building firms...
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 01:18 PM   #507
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As this subject has just been touched in the Switzerland thread...

In Belgium too, there is a long term program aiming at concentrating the
signal houses. Mechanic signalling has entirely disappeared, but there
are still many cabins (around 200 today) around. When the first phase
of this program will be finished - 2016 is the date currently retained - there
will be only 31 cabins to manage the belgian network. Then a phase 2 will
start, and around 2020, only 12 cabins will remain.

Two interesting documents about that (in french, sorry) :

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0T8h15a1k4
- http://ecms.infrabel.be/DMS/ds/fr/6658905

There are several advantages to this new signalling system, one being that
it can automatically provide usage statistics for every track and switch. So
the network will now undergo a severe trim-down campaign, with every track
and switch too lightly used becoming a candidate for removal. I have already
witnessed that done to a mid-size station, reduction from 4 tracks to 3, and
from 20 switches to 12...

I also had the opportunity, a few weeks ago, to observe the switch-over
operation of one entire station from its own local switchbox to remote
control. It was done in the night, station totally isolated from the network,
and with a loco to test all the itineraries. The engineer responsible for the
operation was in the loco, with his laptop connected to the internal network
of Infrabel over 4G, monitoring the display of the station in the remote control
centre 50 km away. So any defect could immediately be detected. Doing the
same operation with older technology would have required at least twice the
time and people...
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 06:13 PM   #508
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Cab ride Brussels-Liège-Eupen, featuring :

- Six-tracks tunnel under Brussels
- The triple-stack north of Schaerbeek
- Four tracks section to Leuven
- 200 km/h running on the L2, with cab-signalling
- the 3,3% slope into Liège
- Liège-Guillemins
- Going through hilly terrain between Liège and Welkenraedt
- Single track running to Eupen
- Signalling explained all the way

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7y020Q_2bA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoqgkSBFTW0

Enjoy !
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 06:55 PM   #509
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I've taken the liberty to include the actual videos directly in this post. There is also this video that goes before the actual train ride:

Description of the cab of class 13 of the SNCB/NMBS and start at Brussels-South (this is also shown in video 2):


Cab ride between Brussels-South and Liège-Guillemains:


Cab ride between Liège-Guillemains and Eupen:
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 08:08 PM   #510
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Thanks ! Two remarks, though :

- Although the train was indeed powered by a HLE 13, the cab ride was
actually taken from a HV I11 Bdx driving cab. The loco was pushing behind.
But the driving post of a HV I11 Bdx is essentially the same as in a HLE 13.
All trains on this line are oriented the same way, so that the ascend from
Liège Guillemins to Ans can be done with the regular loco pulling in front,
and a banking loco pushing from behind. This is necessary for all heavy
trains and for all of them in case of bad weather. You can see this banking
operation from the rear loco's driving post here, but the video is quite bad :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMTyMzeDSpY
In the early days of the railways, trains on this stretch were cable-hauled !

- Today HLE 13 locos don't operate on this line anymore, they have been
replaced by HLE 18.
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Old December 4th, 2014, 05:57 PM   #511
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i found this old documentary about Belgian railways. It's made 20 years ago or even longer.

It features a lot of classes no longer in service but for rail enthousiasts a must watch!

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Old December 10th, 2014, 04:13 PM   #512
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From Railway Gazette:

Quote:
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/i...nel-opens.html

Antwerpen’s Liefkenshoek tunnel opens
10 Dec 2014









BELGIUM: The 16·2 km Liefkenshoek rail link between the left and right banks of the River Schelde in the north of Antwerpen was officially opened on December 9, ahead of the start of commercial freight services on December 14.

The electrified rail link including a 6 km twin-bore tunnel under the river is designed to increase freight capacity by reducing transfer times by 40 min, eliminating the need for trains to negotiate bottlenecks including the Kennedy tunnel to the south and the Berchem – Schijnpoort line. It provides more direct access to the Deurganck dock which is expected to handle 70% of containers passing through the port, and will support infrastructure manager Infrabel’s aim of increasing rail’s share of container traffic from 8% to 15% by 2030.

The line has been developed through the second Belgian railway public-private partnership project after the Diablo link to Brussels Airport. The design, build, finance and maintain contract was awarded in November 2008 to Locorail, a company formed by BAM PPP Investments Belgium, CFE and Vinci Concessions

...
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Old December 12th, 2014, 02:05 PM   #513
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Track plan of main tracks in Belgium : not 100% up to date, but reasonably
accurate. Liefkenshoekspoortunnel is not shown yet, the last signal house
concentrations neither. But it gives a good idea...

http://www.infrabel.be/sites/default...art_9700_0.pdf
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Old December 18th, 2014, 02:41 PM   #514
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From Railway Gazette:

Quote:
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/i...ct-delays.html

Infrabel warns of project delays
18 Dec 2014



BELGIUM: Meeting on December 16, the board of infrastructure manager Infrabel approved a 2015 budget incorporating savings of €170m. Given the ‘very difficult’ economic climate, spending has been reduced across all categories with the exception of safety investment where €332∙4m is to be spent on programmes including the installation of TBL1+ and ETCS.

Infrabel says that €45m will be saved through internal economies including the deferral of buildings and structures maintenance, a reduction in the training budget and lower IT costs. With the aim of saving €30m without the need for compulsory redundancies, staff recruitment is to undergo a major freeze with only key posts in engineering disciplines to be filled.

While insisting that no line closures are planned for 2015, Infrabel has warned of delays to major investment projects as spending is targeted on safety programmes. Such projects are likely to include the upgrade of the Namur – Luxembourg route and four-tracking between Ottignies and Brussels for RER services, although Infrabel says it would be ‘premature’ to specify the extent of the delay
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Old December 25th, 2014, 04:23 PM   #515
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Between Liège and Angleur

http://youtu.be/8_hLW_JvAQg
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Old December 25th, 2014, 04:30 PM   #516
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You're linking to a video called "Tour de chauffe", which has nothing to do with the Belgian railways...

EDIT: I presume you wanted to link to the following video:
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Old December 25th, 2014, 04:48 PM   #517
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No, it was this one,

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Old December 26th, 2014, 12:21 AM   #518
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koekskensmonster View Post
For those interested, I made a diagram showing all regular train services that will be active after the schedule change mid-December feedback is always welcome.

Excellent


Now add the P-trains that you skipped on top of that - let's see how "fat" certain stations truly become
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Old December 26th, 2014, 12:23 AM   #519
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koekskensmonster View Post
For those interested, I made a diagram showing all regular train services that will be active after the schedule change mid-December feedback is always welcome.

Excellent


Now add the P-trains that you skipped/removed.


Let's see how truly "fat" certain stations become
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Old January 10th, 2015, 03:45 PM   #520
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It's official: Belgian trains are too old and stinky and squalid even in the eyes of Belgian politicians (who have now started to take pictures of exteriors and interiors and spread them on social media (which is odd: politicians are the ones who are authorized to do something about it)































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