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Old August 30th, 2011, 02:21 PM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stingstingsting View Post
Presumably cos even the old one seems to be missing tarmac, gridlock and toll booths?

...
No, because it is a building out of proportion with the foreground, the main platform hall, and couldn't be less common than yet-another-copy of the same station style of which dozens of units were built between 1880-1910 from Charleroi to Leeuwarden.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 08:08 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by Maarten Otto View Post
Not entirely true...

This is the Diabolo project which allows trains from Brussels to travel to Mechelen via Zaventem airport. Lijn 25 will be upgraded to 160 km'h anyway so there is no benefit to use the Diabolo other then serve Brussels airport. Rumour has it that Fyra will use this line and serve both Schiphol and Brussels airport while Thalys will use the upgraded Lijn 25.
This is intended to be used by all Antwerp - Brussel IC and International services, not just those calling at the airport. Apart from being faster this line has the advantage of giving a better insertion in to the whole North-South complex, which means that IC services won't get in the way of local and IR services anymore.

The old fast Brussel - Antwerp line feeds the eastern tracks of the North South connection. The new line feeds in to the western tracks, which means there will be not as many conflicting movements anymore between Thalys and IC services, and locals.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 12:47 AM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maarten Otto View Post
Not entirely true...
I fail to see where I made a mistake...

As said by K_, there won't be as many conflicts (and I've seen plenty of those already) that way. Also, not the whole section of L25 can be made 160km/h. Near Vilvoorde and Mechelen, the train will always have to slow down, even after the addition of the bypass of Mechelen in 2014 (that's what the plans currently say), which won't be the case for the new line (it can connect directly to the bypass). So in the end, the new line should be a faster option if you look at the average travel time.

I was also aware of those rumours, but I don't like posting rumours since they're... well... rumours.

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Old September 1st, 2011, 09:12 AM   #144
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I was also aware of those rumours, but I don't like posting rumours since they're... well... rumours.
As to those rumours: Thalys will certainly use the new line (which is called 25N btw.). The new line offers a conflict free approach to the HSL terminal in Brussel Zuid. I doubt that Infrabel would even allow Thalys to still use line 25 once 25N is ready...
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Old September 7th, 2011, 10:01 PM   #145
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Also, not the whole section of L25 can be made 160km/h. Near Vilvoorde and Mechelen, the train will always have to slow down, even after the addition of the bypass of Mechelen in 2014 (that's what the plans currently say)
At the time being, the maximum speed in Vilvoorde is 140 Km/h. I do not think that we'll be needing a lot of works to raise the speed up.

Near Mechelen that could be more tricky indeed; anyway I do believe that the new station combined with a new track laying before and after the station could mean the end of the 100 Km/h restriction in the station. On line 25, of course. Maybe not up to 160 Km/h, but 20 or 40 Km/h can be won.

It is on the books that the new bridges in Duffel will also bring a speed increase to 160 Km/h from Nekkerspoel to Kontich. The whole line is already signalled for such speed.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 01:02 AM   #146
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Can someone give me a rundown on a report I saw on RTBF's midday news today (via TV5 Monde) about what the network operator plans to do over the next 10 years please?
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Old October 20th, 2011, 08:34 AM   #147
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Can someone give me a rundown on a report I saw on RTBF's midday news today (via TV5 Monde) about what the network operator plans to do over the next 10 years please?
Basically they intend to completely equip the network with ETCS over the next 10 years. Part of the network will see ETCS-LS though (makes sense).
At the moment Infrabel (the network operator) is busy installing TBL1+, which uses ETCS hardware, and is a little bit ahead of schedule here.

The end result is that probably ETCS will become mandatory for anyone operating on the Belgian network from 2025 on.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 09:22 AM   #148
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Basically they intend to completely equip the network with ETCS over the next 10 years. Part of the network will see ETCS-LS though (makes sense).
They also work on a plan to replace all existing signalling towers by only 10
signalling centres that will cover the whole country. This is supposed to be
finished by 2020, but I suspect 2022-2025 is a more realistic expectation.

This is not as difficult as it seems, as almost all mechanical signals and cabins have already disappeared. What remains is essentially all-relays interlockings,
which are easily operable remotely. So the interlocking rooms remain in place
where they are, but they become unmanned and remote-controlled.

I visited one of those regional signalling centers a few weeks ago, and the
level of control that they have from there is quite impressive, much more
detailed than from the control board of an all-relay interlocking tower.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 12:08 PM   #149
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I have a question: what is the next high-speed rail project in Belgium apart from Bruxelles-Antwerpen? Liége-Luxembourg?
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Old October 21st, 2011, 01:14 PM   #150
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It's not 'real' high speed, but the NMBS/SNCB is planning to use Pendolino-trains on the Brussels-Luxembourg line, because they run faster through the curves in the Ardennes.

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Old October 21st, 2011, 01:18 PM   #151
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They should build at at least a Bruxelles-Charleroi-Namur HSL system.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 08:45 PM   #152
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The one thing about high speed rail is that you don't build a full HSR for cities that are like 50 km's apart. You really only build a full new faster line if the traffic demand is big enough and I doubt that's the case in this particular example.

It's also very noticeable that the current lines are very international orientated. They didn't even bother to build a new High Speed Line between the 2 main cities Brussels and Antwerp. Why would they then build a new line in Wallonia? And why then not a HSL to Genth and Brugge (the economic hart of Belgium), either from Brussels or from Antwerp? But now it becomes political side to it, someone has to pay for a new line after all and Wallonia doesn't have the money.... But let's not get into that, it's already a big mess in the real political arena. No need to also bring that into here.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 01:55 AM   #153
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The Charleroi-Namur-La Louvière triangle is underserved by new infrastructure. Pretty much everything that exists today already existed in 1980, be it airports, highways, railways.

Anyway, the Bruxelles-Antwerpen like is a critical case. They need a 270km/h line between two cities. In the Netherlands, they built HSL-Zuid between Schiphol and Rotterdam, a distance shorter than Antwerpen-Bruxelles. Then, they could run Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Bruxelles Midi trains that don't stop in Antwerpen, for instance, like they have Bruxelles Midi-Paris Nord trains that don't stop in Lille.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 10:11 AM   #154
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It might be good if you for once look a bit more into the backgrounds of why things. Then you know that as much as the infrastructure of Wallonia needs upgrading it's never happened because infrastructure there is a political minefield. A look into the history of the Charleroi pre metro would be a good start, it's a good example of political decision making in this field going horridly wrong.

And skipping Antwerp is pure nonsense, you can only skip the 2nd biggest city if there's enough traffic for a train from Amsterdam to Antwerp on it's own. And even then the time that can be saved is only very limited and probably not worth it. Even only upgrading the Brussels - Antwerp line with more speed increases and by-passes at Mechelen and Kontich is already much more effective for both international and national services between Antwerp and Brussels.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 01:24 PM   #155
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The line straightening in Kontich reached a new milestone by having one line moved over to the straight bridge, and the bypass in Mechelen is coming in the next few years, with preparation works starting next year. Recently, the section between Mechelen and Brussels has become nearly completely 160 km/h as well.

There's no room for a dedicated high-speed line between Brussels and Antwerp. I do believe it should be possible to upgrade the lines further to 200 km/h though.

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Old October 23rd, 2011, 02:46 PM   #156
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It's also very noticeable that the current lines are very international orientated. They didn't even bother to build a new High Speed Line between the 2 main cities Brussels and Antwerp. Why would they then build a new line in Wallonia? And why then not a HSL to Genth and Brugge (the economic hart of Belgium), either from Brussels or from Antwerp?
Actually in Belgium they did build high speed railway from Brussel to Antwerpen, and from Brussel to Gent in the 30ies. They were quite ahead there.

These lines are still there. The Brussel - Gent line will be good for 200 kph once the works there are finished, and Gent - Brugge will be 200 kph too. That's all the high speed that part of the country needs.

On such short distances increasing the speed beyond 200 kph is not going to give any gains in travel time that cannot be achieved cheaper by better organisation.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 05:50 PM   #157
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Recurring issue: the configuration of line essentially prevents any rail service Rotterdam-Bruxelles that doesn't, at least, slow down to 80 km/h for 3 kilometers in Antwerpen.
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Old October 24th, 2011, 06:47 AM   #158
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Recurring issue: the configuration of line essentially prevents any rail service Rotterdam-Bruxelles that doesn't, at least, slow down to 80 km/h for 3 kilometers in Antwerpen.
Given that there are probably more people travelling Rotterdam - Antwerpen by train than there are travelling Rotterdam - Brussel by train this is not a real problem.
(There is btw a lot of opposition to the planned high speed services. It appears that those pesky customers prefer flexibility over speed...)
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Old October 24th, 2011, 09:23 PM   #159
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It appears that those pesky customers prefer flexibility over speed.
Customers?!?! Who needs em!
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Old October 24th, 2011, 09:40 PM   #160
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Are there any travel time improvements once the N25 project finishes? For example on Rotterdam - Brussels.
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