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Old November 7th, 2017, 02:10 AM   #701
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingrotra View Post
Cant imagine someone not being in love with such a magnificent train station!
It's magnificent on that level. The thru platforms in the nether regions of the station are another matter entirely.




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Old November 12th, 2017, 11:41 PM   #702
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingrotra View Post
Cant imagine someone not being in love with such a magnificent train station!
My post was actually not about the station but about the train looking like a Minion (but the image of the Minion fails to show apparently...)

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It's magnificent on that level. The thru platforms in the nether regions of the station are another matter entirely.
Well, obviously. But I don't think there's anything wrong with it.


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Old November 13th, 2017, 11:57 AM   #703
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Some fancy lighting for good pictures doesn't alter the fact that they are barren, souless areas devoid of facilities; a stark contrast to the upper levels.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 12:21 PM   #704
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I don't see the reason for all the hype around Antwerpen C. It is a nice station, sure, but not something that really stands out in Europe. A Belgian station that really stands out? That would be Liège-Guillemins.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 04:39 PM   #705
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Stands out how exactly? It's hardly more unique, considering that Europe has so many Calatrava-designed train stations. They've become as trivial as 19th century canopies. They're just a little newer and shinier.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 06:51 PM   #706
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For me Antwerpen Centraal is a much more welcoming and passenger friendly station than Liège Guillemins, which is far too cold and windy to begin with. And then I really like a lot the happy marriage of the old canopy and station building with the new style of the levels below.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 09:21 PM   #707
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Me too. I like how they searched for a completely different language in its lower levels, instead of mocking the old style.

19th century style applied to a modern deep level station would have probably been quite unwelcoming, a sort of dark crypt.

The great canopy overground appears so gracious also because it's huge and leaves a lot of free room under it, not forcing the building and its heavily detailed decorations into a visually tiny space.

Underground, and with the single deck available overhead, the same decorations would be suffocated.
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Old December 20th, 2017, 01:50 PM   #708
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As many of you may know, the (in)famous V250 trainsets are being revised and will be used by Trenitalia on its high speed services.

This is a low cost acquisition, so the bare minimum will be changed in order to keep within the original homologation as much as possible.
The main difference will be the removal of NS and SNCB signalling equipment, being replaced by their Italian counterpart.

The trains were homologated for a Vmax = 250 km/h (with 25 kV) and were said to reach 200 max under the Belgian 3 kV.
Now, there's some curiosity among railfans whether these trains will be legally or technically capable of reaching 250 under 3 kV as well, and maybe here someone has info about it.

Could it be that they were limited @200 just because the Belgian ATP wouldn't go further? Or maybe due to mechanical or power limits of the overhead line?
After all, there was no need for anything more between Antwerpen and Mechelen.
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Old December 20th, 2017, 11:06 PM   #709
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There is no track in Belgium electrified in 3kV= that allows more than 200 km/h running, and will probably never be.
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Old December 20th, 2017, 11:36 PM   #710
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Belgium is doing things the right way, converting lines into 25kV AC. ProRail should take notice of Infrabel in that regard...
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Old December 21st, 2017, 07:08 PM   #711
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The trains were homologated for a Vmax = 250 km/h (with 25 kV) and were said to reach 200 max under the Belgian 3 kV.
Now, there's some curiosity among railfans whether these trains will be legally or technically capable of reaching 250 under 3 kV as well, and maybe here someone has info about it.
The ERA limits DC powered trains to 200 km/h, but a few exceptions were made. In case of Italy, they already had 3 kV high speed lines at 250 km/h when those regulations came into effect. So there doesn't seem to be a legal problem.

Consulting this map you can see most lines in Belgium are limited to 2400 A, so they're able handle a single set at full power (5.5 MW equals 1833 A at 3000V), but not a dual set (11 MW equals 3667 A at 3000 V). You could however program the train to stay within a prescribed limit. Imposing this limit could also prevent a dual set from having different speed characteristics compared to a single set, which is an operational advantage. At the same time, because DC power distribution components are heavy and expensive, they could however also have chosen to make that limit in hardware, to save weight or cost.

Assuming they didn't use the hardware limited option, in Italy the high speed lines where the ETR 500 can run probably have a beefier power feed, so a V250 may be able to run completely unrestricted there and thus be capable of 250 km/h under 3000 VDC.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 02:13 AM   #712
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Belgium is doing things the right way, converting lines into 25kV AC. ProRail should take notice of Infrabel in that regard...
Only Namur to Luxembourg. There are no plans to convert other lines. And there are still 3kV electrifications going on today. The electrification of Namur Luxembourg was done on the cheap and today it is life expired. As it is quite isolated from the rest of the belgian network and in a place where other lines already use 25 kV- the conversion make sense. In less favourable situations there would be no business case.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 10:52 AM   #713
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The Netherlands in first instance has to fix the ridiculously low 1,5kV voltage and go towards 3kV. That is cheaper but gives a very significant advantage over the current low voltage. Overhead wires can remain more or less the same so there will not be an extensive overhaul along the tracks.

Though in new cases and there where the overhead wires reach their maximum lifetime it is of course wise to have all equipment ready for 25kV AC.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 12:59 PM   #714
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The Netherlands is an interesting story. They started of with 10 kV 25 Hz AC in 1907. In 1920 they had the choice to stick with that system or to switch to 1.5 kV DC, 3 kV DC or 15 kV 16 2/3 Hz AC. Of course they chose the worst option: 1.5 kV DC.
In the next 25 years the limitations of 1.5 kV DC already became clear, yet after the second world war, with pretty much all the overhead lines destroyed and no working rolling stock left, they still stuck to 1.5 kV DC, despite it being the ideal moment to at least switch to 3 kV. They didn't, because the Netherlands has lots of short bridges, were the overhead line is interrupted and you could do maintenance on a 1.5 kV line under power using wooden ladders. Most interruptions are being bridged and current safety rules don't allow work on powered 1.5 kV lines anymore. Unlike the French they stuck to a single system, so now 70+ years later they're still considering whether to switch to 3 kV DC or 25 kV 50 Hz AC, with 3 kV currently having the advantage. This is for two main reasons: European law doesn't allow changes to ATB-EG for use with AC power anymore and lots of infrastructure (bridges, viaducts and tunnels) don't have enough clearance to support voltages over 3 kV.

The Belgians started electrification later (in 1931) and had the option between several DC and AC systems. They chose 3 kV DC, because AC systems still had to many snags at that time. Would 25 kV AC be better. Yes, but at the nominal voltage of 3.3 kV a 4 kA feeding station can deliver over 13 MW of power, which should be enough to power most regular trains up to 200 km/h. This system has to few real life limitations for a small country like Belgium to make a switch really necessary, unless you have to really update your infrastructure like many eastern European countries are doing.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 01:29 PM   #715
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AC has the advantage of making it easier to integrate the railway electrical feed and the national electricity grid.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 05:44 PM   #716
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AC has the advantage of making it easier to integrate the railway electrical feed and the national electricity grid.
Just the opposite, my friend (electricity engineer speaking here). AC electrification is very difficult to integrate in a 50Hz national grid because AC traction is single phase, while all grids are 3 phase. So all substations are creating terrible unbalanced loads on the network. This can somewhat be supported by solid grids like in Europe but much less if the current drawn becomes a significant part of the total grid output. Opposed to that, a 3 phase AC to DC rectifier creates a perfect symmetric load an is therefore much easier to absorb. The first HST substations created in France in 1981 have been a nightmare for EDF to integrate...
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 07:11 PM   #717
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AC has the advantage of making it easier to integrate the railway electrical feed and the national electricity grid.
Not really, the risks associated with HV AC are much greater (flashovers, electrical insulation), it needs bigger clearances than DC and neutral sections are needed to prevent desynchronised power sources from interfering with each other through the OHLE.

That's not to say AC is bad, it does have significant advantages over a DC solution. In a greenfield situation you should definitely go for AC nowadays, but the Netherlands does not have a greenfield situation - far from it!
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 09:52 PM   #718
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AC electrification is very difficult to integrate in a 50Hz national grid because AC traction is single phase, while all grids are 3 phase. ... Opposed to that, a 3 phase AC to DC rectifier creates a perfect symmetric load an is therefore much easier to absorb.
This brings me to an interesting thought: One of the parameters for the size of a transformer core is the power frequency. They decrease in size with higher frequencies. I've read an article by ABB of a test locomotive where they changed the frequency from the 15 kV 16,7 Hz AC overhead lines to something in the order of 1000 Hz, transformed it down to a lower voltage and converted it to DC to power the inverters. Despite all the steps needed the equipment was much smaller, lighter and more efficient.

Would it make sense to change 3 phase AC into DC and then into a higher frequency single phase AC and put that on the overhead wires? Because you're in full control of the invertion, you do not need phase breaks anymore. Also the AC to DC step eliminates the uneven grid load.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 11:40 PM   #719
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The DC intermediate step bas been done - to connect together the two otherwise disconnected power grids of Japan, one 50 Hz and the other 60 Hz. But good luck to introduce a fifth catenary system along the 4 already existing standards in Europe. Also, the possible EM side effects of power lines running at x000 Hz ? And lots of losses from the skin effect...
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Old December 23rd, 2017, 12:32 PM   #720
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It is obviously to late to use this in reality. I wasn't thinking about x000 Hz, but more in the x00 Hz range, for instance the same 400 Hz they use on airplanes.

The purpose of the ABB test was to show that with modern technology the voltage and frequency of the overhead lines do not matter anymore. I don't know if any further equipment was ever built. I guess not, because the railway industry tends to be very conservative.
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