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Old August 25th, 2011, 06:33 PM   #601
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It is not about wasting public money, but building infrastructure without micro-managing its use.
Building something which is useless 99% of time is a waste of money.

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In Switzerland, a company like NTV would never have any chance to operate because of the oppressive system in which every bit of rail infrastructure is taken by centrally defined scheduled trains.
Thankfully. The result is that Swiss use public transport 3 times more than Italians, even if Switzerland has built much less new infrastructure.

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Cisalpino is a good late example of that. They wanted to kill Cisalpino before the new Gotthard tunnel entered operation, to avoid it taking a higher share of a market (Ticino - rest of CH) SBB wants to fierce control as a monopolist.
Cisalpino wasn't killed in a normal sense, it was more a sort of euthanasia. Cisalpino did its best to be hated by everyone. But I agree that SBB wanted to make it disappear.

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Non-sense! It would be like building a new runway only after careful planning, in a monopolistic way, with airlines interested in operating previously defined routes 2 years in advance of the opening of a new terminal!
If the runway is built with private funds, then no problem. If it is built with my money, then no thank you, think 100 time before spending it.

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They are overstretching the rail lines' capacity. Should a problem, weather or technical, happens, the whole system is bring to a halt because of the use of every single bit of track and path to its maximum.
Yes, it would be a problem, but everything is done so as no faults happens (well...this is becoming less true in recent years).

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Anyway, the idea of building infrastructure for previously defined use is keen to communist countries and their centrally planned approaches. It doesn't fit the otherwise business friendly atmosphere of CH.
Avoiding waste of taxpayer's money is not communism.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 07:18 PM   #602
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What a mess! Sure it is good to have the project completed on time, before major renovation on the Gotthard road tunnel begins. However, why in this Earth would someone plan a timetable two years ahead of time?
Because you need to decide about things like where you're going to put signals, sidings, switches etc. And these things have lead times.

You don't want to find out after the fact that you could run one train per hour more if only you'd have placed a particular signal somewhere else, or build a siding in a different place...
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Old August 25th, 2011, 07:28 PM   #603
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In Switzerland, a company like NTV would never have any chance to operate because of the oppressive system in which every bit of rail infrastructure is taken by centrally defined scheduled trains. Even hostile competition of International trains is difficult there unless SBB collaborates.
A timetable with fixed slots makes it actually easier for private companies to run trains, as they can just ask for the catalogue, buy a slot for a particular period and be guaranteed that slot. It's probably one of the reason why more privately run trains operate in Switzerland than in most European countries.

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Cisalpino is a good late example of that. They wanted to kill Cisalpino before the new Gotthard tunnel entered operation, to avoid it taking a higher share of a market (Ticino - rest of CH)
You don't know what you write about.
There was no competition between Cisalpino and SBB on the Ticino - rest of Switzerland market, as the Cisalpino trains were always integrated with the rest of the offer. Normal domestic tarif applied to trips from Chiasso to points north.
There was no competition. Someone travelling from Lugano to Zürich would just take whatever train was convenient. The Cisalpino brand only mattered in so far as it was a train to avoid, as the trainsets were so unreliable.

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Non-sense! It would be like building a new runway only after careful planning, in a monopolistic way, with airlines interested in operating previously defined routes 2 years in advance of the opening of a new terminal!
You really think that airport expansion is not done in a carefully planned way?
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Old August 25th, 2011, 07:39 PM   #604
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Anyway, the idea of building infrastructure for previously defined use is keen to communist countries and their centrally planned approaches. It doesn't fit the otherwise business friendly atmosphere of CH.
So you need a certain amount of communism to avoid problems with runaway national debts, it seems. Is that what you are implying?
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Old August 31st, 2011, 09:25 AM   #605
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SBB plans to run Zürich - Ticino trains half hourly from 2019 onwards (when the Ceneri tunnel opens). To make this possible the capacity of the Zug - Arth Goldau line needs to be increased.
So from 2016 on this line will be closed for two years, to allow it to be reconstructed and partly double tracked.
Long distance trains will be rerouted via the western bank of Lake Zug. Thanks to the opening of the Gotthard Base tunnel in 2016 this will not lead to longer travel times on the Gotthard route. Even though every train will have to reverse in Rotkreuz travel times will already be 20 minutes faster from 2016 onwards. In order to prepare for the closure of Zug - Arth Goldau the last single track section on Zug - Rotkreuz will be double tracked, and an extra track for reversing trains will be installed in Rotkreuz.
http://m.sbb.ch/news.newsdetail.2011-8-2908_45_01.html
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Old August 31st, 2011, 02:06 PM   #606
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Can't they just build the missing part of the T on that line? Looking on Google Earth, it looks like there is a good alignment for the gap to be closed with demolition of fewer than 12-15 houses, and that would also leave a permanent direct connections that could be used by future trains between Cham and Küssnatch.

And why will they make the line only "partly doubled" instead of "entirely doubled"?
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Old August 31st, 2011, 10:06 PM   #607
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Can't they just build the missing part of the T on that line?
It was once planend, but now with the partial "doubling" (only less than 2 km, actually) of the Zug - Arth Goldau line there is no need for it.

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And why will they make the line only "partly doubled" instead of "entirely doubled"?
Because it would cost much for a little utility. It is useless to double a line in a point where trains aren't planned to cross each other (except to reduce propagation of delays).
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Old September 1st, 2011, 08:30 AM   #608
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Can't they just build the missing part of the T on that line? Looking on Google Earth, it looks like there is a good alignment for the gap to be closed with demolition of fewer than 12-15 houses, and that would also leave a permanent direct connections that could be used by future trains between Cham and Küssnatch.
Interestingly there was once a chord there. It was removed when Gotthard route was separated from the Zürich - Luzern route.
(For Cham - Küssnacht trains you would also have to build a new chord where the Luzern -Immensee line joins btw...)
I don't think there is enough demand for direct trains on that relation to justify building the chord.
As far as I know building it was once considered. Earlier plans for the northern approach to the Gotthard once considered running southbound trains on the eastern bank, and northbound trains on the western bank of the Zugersee. However the solution now chosen (upgrading and partly doubling the eastern bank route) has the advantage to allow half hourly local service on the eastern bank of the Zugersee too.
To make efficient reversal of the Gotthard ICs in Rotkreuz possible the station will get an extra track, and the last single track section between Zug and Rotkreuz will be eliminated, which will make it possible to run the locals on the west bank of the Zugersee in nice 15 minute intervals in the future. So you see that SBB has choosen to only build stuff that will have utility beyond 2019.
Eliminating the reversal in Rotkreuz would have limited utility anyway, as the train has to meet with the Basel - Gotthard trains in Arth Goldau anyway, so minutes saved there would mostly end up being spend standing in Arth Goldau.

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And why will they make the line only "partly doubled" instead of "entirely doubled"?
Because that would cost more and not bring any extra utility.
One advantage of interval timetables is that trains always cross at the same points. So you only need to build double track at those points. That is one of the reason why SBB is already working on the post Gotthard timetable. This way they know exactly how much they need to invest in infrastructure to get the service level they think they can make most money with...
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Old September 1st, 2011, 10:01 AM   #609
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And what happens if a foreign operator, open-access one - say DB - wants to run some 3 daily Milano-Zürich-Basel-Frankfurt trains, for instance? "Not possible because our infrastructure doesn't allow for it"?
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Old September 1st, 2011, 10:15 AM   #610
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"Not possible because our infrastructure doesn't allow for it"?
Basically, yes. But thankfully Switzerland isn´t part of the EU and for the moment is not obliged to allow other operators.

However, in this case, is in interest of DB searching some collaboration with the SBB, as a non integrated operator (if ever permitted) would hardly attract swiss passengers.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 10:41 AM   #611
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Basically, yes. But thankfully Switzerland isn´t part of the EU and for the moment is not obliged to allow other operators.

However, in this case, is in interest of DB searching some collaboration with the SBB, as a non integrated operator (if ever permitted) would hardly attract swiss passengers.
As they already do with through freight traffic, the Swiss are again plotting against foreign traffic, even if they are highly dependent on other European countries from EU's economies.

They want to force international rail operators to "fit" their own schemes for rail schedules and not disrupt any service.

As for an hypothetical Milano-Frankfurt train via Switzerland, I was thinking of international traffic to/from CH. It is possible even to forbid the operator to sell tickets for inta-Swiss relations.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 01:40 PM   #612
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They want to force international rail operators to "fit" their own schemes for rail schedules and not disrupt any service.
Well, it is SBB who's building the infrastructure to cover its own needs. I'm pretty sure that if DB wants to run a service between Milano and Frankfurt via ZH and BS and the company offers to double all single tracks on the route, their investments would be very welcomed.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 01:54 PM   #613
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Well, it is SBB who's building the infrastructure to cover its own needs. I'm pretty sure that if DB wants to run a service between Milano and Frankfurt via ZH and BS and the company offers to double all single tracks on the route, their investments would be very welcomed.
That is the problem of collusion between infrastructure building decisions and service operating decisions. Works like the Gotthard tunnel and its complements should be done to increase capacity.

When they first announced the Gotthard project, I was younger but I already got frustrated that they said they were not planning to carry whole trucks in RO-RO trains, but only piggyback ones. And because infrastructure and service are colluded against free market, it is very unlikely that any private operator could try to run RO-RO trains, let alone because of the tunnel specifications and because the are not implementing safety measures needed to accommodate 100 trucks with tanks full of diesel (= fire hazard) there, but only their trailers.

At the same tame, they don't build the 2nd Gotthard road bore. They are essentially forcing through freight traffic to do transshipment in both Germany and Italy.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 02:16 PM   #614
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They are essentially forcing through freight traffic to do transshipment in both Germany and Italy.

Isn't the promotion of unaccompanied intermodal systems (semi-trailers/swap bodies) a good thing?
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Old September 1st, 2011, 03:12 PM   #615
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As for an hypothetical Milano-Frankfurt train via Switzerland, I was thinking of international traffic to/from CH. It is possible even to forbid the operator to sell tickets for inta-Swiss relations.
I don't think that a Zürich-Milano service could survive with only international passengers (except on very peak days during holidays, the same when the motorway is full of tourists), without considering that a non SBB service would not accept its discoutns, and thats means losing a lot of users.

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Isn't the promotion of unaccompanied intermodal systems (semi-trailers/swap bodies) a good thing?
Yes it is, unlike RoRo trains, which cannot cover their costs and are subsidized, also because only a third or so of the train's weight are goods. The problem is not the risk of fires...

The only partial exception is the Eurotunnel, where road vehicles don't have a road alternative, but again, Euroshuttles cannot repay their infrastructure.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 04:23 PM   #616
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And what happens if a foreign operator, open-access one - say DB - wants to run some 3 daily Milano-Zürich-Basel-Frankfurt trains, for instance? "Not possible because our infrastructure doesn't allow for it"?
"not possible because or infra doesn't allow it" is an excuse that RFI will use, even when it's not true (Milano Centrale at capacity? Really?) SBB works differently. I don't know how many paths will be timetabled on the Arth Goldau - Zug line after 2018, but I'm sure it will have some spares, as SBB itself likes to have some operational flexibility too. The paths will likely be bundled at half hour intervals though.
So yes, DB would have to confirm to the timetable. But that is the case everywhere. There is not a single network operator in Europe where you can just request to be allowed to run a train at your own convenience. Everywhere the procedure requires that you buy a path in the current or future timetable.

DB would however not want to run a train. Milano Zürich - Basel - Frankfurt.
Milano - Basel - Frankfurt maybe, but such a train would go via the Simplon.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 04:28 PM   #617
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As they already do with through freight traffic, the Swiss are again plotting against foreign traffic, even if they are highly dependent on other European countries from EU's economies.
There are already today many foreign operators running trains through Switzerland. More than in many other countries. I don't get the impression they are "plotting against" them. It's more like "plotting to make them feal as welcome as possible".
Switzerland has implemented the EU railway directives. Better then some EU countries even.

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They want to force international rail operators to "fit" their own schemes for rail schedules and not disrupt any service.
The requirement to make your trains fit a schedule is one that _every_ network operator in Europe makes.

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As for an hypothetical Milano-Frankfurt train via Switzerland, I was thinking of international traffic to/from CH. It is possible even to forbid the operator to sell tickets for inta-Swiss relations.
If DB wants to run a Milano-Frankfurt train their biggest problems will be with the Italians, not the Swiss.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 04:49 PM   #618
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That is the problem of collusion between infrastructure building decisions and service operating decisions. Works like the Gotthard tunnel and its complements should be done to increase capacity.
The collusion between service operating secisions and infrastructure building exists everywhere. RFF is forcing SNCF to adopt a fixed interval timetable for example. Timetabling has a lot of influence on capacity, and thus also on how much revenue a line can generate.

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When they first announced the Gotthard project, I was younger but I already got frustrated that they said they were not planning to carry whole trucks in RO-RO trains, but only piggyback ones. And because infrastructure and service are colluded against free market, it is very unlikely that any private operator could try to run RO-RO trains, let alone because of the tunnel specifications and because the are not implementing safety measures needed to accommodate 100 trucks with tanks full of diesel (= fire hazard) there, but only their trailers.
I don't know where you have this from, but it is intened to run RoLa trains through the Gotthard base tunnel, just like they already do through the new Lötschberg tunnel.


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At the same tame, they don't build the 2nd Gotthard road bore. They are essentially forcing through freight traffic to do transshipment in both Germany and Italy.
A bit like the UK "forces" most freight to be transhipped too... Anyway, Trenitalia/RFI want to turn Italy in to an Island. They should not have a problem with transhipment then...
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Old September 1st, 2011, 06:50 PM   #619
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A bit like the UK "forces" most freight to be transhipped too... Anyway, Trenitalia/RFI want to turn Italy in to an Island. They should not have a problem with transhipment then...
Trenitalia has nothing to do with it. The issue is whether RFI should accelerate ERTMS-2 when countries like French, Germany and Austria are dragging their feet on their "superior" and "time-proven" signaling systems.

But I agree there is still undue influence of Trenitalia on RFI. That is why I favor dismantling Trenitaltia into 17 regional railways for the public service contracts, and having it operate only profitable free market, unsubsidized trains. The regional operators of Piemonte, Lombardia, Trentino and Friuli shall be then forbidden to operate any international train to avoid them becoming international carriers since they are subsidized.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 08:19 PM   #620
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Trenitalia has nothing to do with it.
Trenitalia tried to boycott TILO and DB-ÖBB services, even when they weren't in "competition" with their own service. Not to forget the Cisalpino disaster.

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The regional operators of Piemonte, Lombardia, Trentino and Friuli shall be then forbidden to operate any international train to avoid them becoming international carriers since they are subsidized.
Some international services can and have to be subsidized: TILO and Nord-Südtirol services for instance, but also PACA-Liguria or FVG-Slovenia regions may be well suited for this kind of services (these two latter examples are only hypothetical, as Liguria is doing nothing for regional transport, while FVG not much more).
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