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Old April 20th, 2014, 10:13 PM   #2101
thun
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The point is long distance coach travel isn't very attractive when you have other options available.
Maybe to you, but in general that's plain wrong. Have a look on Madrid - Barcelona for example: There's a very fast train connection, yet it is the best served coach line in all of Spain, too. Both modes of transport apparently complement each other and take their share of the market - as economic theory suggests.
This principle works in Germany, too. Like it would in any other country in the world.

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Putting beds on coaches would reduce pax capacity so would bump up prices thus negating any financial savings using the coach instead of the train.
Yet it would be a viable way to serve routes which don't have the high demand you need to make an overnight train work. E.g. there are no overnight trains to the Bavarian Alps although these are amongs the most popular tourist destinations of Germans - why shouldn't it work? You certainly would pay extra (like you do on an overnight train) but effectively save a day of travelling? Again, it works around the world, why shouldn't it here?
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Old April 20th, 2014, 10:19 PM   #2102
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Keep in mind that the US doesn't have much of passenger rail network.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 10:44 PM   #2103
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Yet it would be a viable way to serve routes which don't have the high demand you need to make an overnight train work. E.g. there are no overnight trains to the Bavarian Alps although these are amongs the most popular tourist destinations of Germans - why shouldn't it work? You certainly would pay extra (like you do on an overnight train) but effectively save a day of travelling? Again, it works around the world, why shouldn't it here?
I'm not sure "it works around the world".

There is a fundamental problem with night trains:

- to be comfortable enough to attract high-paying costumers, you need individual/family suites with their own bathroom, separated and locked - that is expensive and reduces the train capacity. These costumers can fly to MUC and take a short train or ski resort bus to their final destination...

- to be 'efficient' (aka couchettes) you need to reduce the level of comfort to the point where people wouldn't be willing to use anyway (e.g., people who don't consider a night surrounded by strangers as a "substitute for a hotel's night").
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Old April 20th, 2014, 10:47 PM   #2104
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You heard that trains are composed of different wagons, haven't you?
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Old April 20th, 2014, 11:16 PM   #2105
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Yes, but he is not wrong really as is evident by the continuously diminishing number and traffic share of night trains. I don't think they will go completely extinct just yet, but it will be a tiny niche market unless something drastic changes in the overall economic landscape making flying unaffordable.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 11:52 PM   #2106
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Again, it works around the world, why shouldn't it here?
Night buses with beds? Likely because they would be forbidden by road safety laws...
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Old April 20th, 2014, 11:55 PM   #2107
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Night buses with beds? Likely because they would be forbidden by road safety laws...
Apparently not :

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...otland-15.html
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Old April 21st, 2014, 12:06 AM   #2108
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I didn't know that, thank you. However, I wonder for how long they will be allowed (as will non-urban buses without mandatory seat belts).
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Old April 21st, 2014, 12:10 AM   #2109
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The point is long distance coach travel isn't very attractive when you have other options available. Hamburg to Berlin would take approx 9 hours by coach and is probably on the limit to which people would want to travel.
It takes 3h10' form Berlin to Hamburg by coach. That's twice the travel time as the fastest rail service but nowhere near 9 hours.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 12:31 AM   #2110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thun View Post
Maybe to you, but in general that's plain wrong. Have a look on Madrid - Barcelona for example: There's a very fast train connection, yet it is the best served coach line in all of Spain, too. Both modes of transport apparently complement each other and take their share of the market - as economic theory suggests.
This principle works in Germany, too. Like it would in any other country in the world.
The two most important, and largest, cities in Spain. Not hard to see why you've picked them as your example. How many people travel by coach the whole journey as opposed to how many travel only part of the whole journey? Any other examples?
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Old April 21st, 2014, 12:37 AM   #2111
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It takes 3h10' form Berlin to Hamburg by coach. That's twice the travel time as the fastest rail service but nowhere near 9 hours.
Its a mistake, I meant Munich. Never noticed it myself either.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 01:46 AM   #2112
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The two most important, and largest, cities in Spain. Not hard to see why you've picked them as your example. How many people travel by coach the whole journey as opposed to how many travel only part of the whole journey? Any other examples?
Most important point: Two cities where all modes of transport (train, plane and coach) can compete with each other and you can observe that every single one has its market share (and hence justification). ALSA runs up to seven coaches per hour. So there's definitely a market for coaches despite fierce competition by train and plane.

And we didn't even talk about the hundreds of routes where decent direct train connections between big and medium cities don't exist. There are plenty of those in Germany, too, by the way.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 02:01 AM   #2113
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There is a potential for a cheaper high-speed service (that takes 2h30 instead of almost 8h by bus). However, the tricky thing about low-cost high-speed rail is that it might cannibalize the 'flagship' service.

Most passengers of the Ouigo, for instance, I think around 55%, would have used the TGV had Ouigo been not in place.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 11:13 AM   #2114
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Originally Posted by thun View Post
Most important point: Two cities where all modes of transport (train, plane and coach) can compete with each other and you can observe that every single one has its market share (and hence justification). ALSA runs up to seven coaches per hour. So there's definitely a market for coaches despite fierce competition by train and plane.

And we didn't even talk about the hundreds of routes where decent direct train connections between big and medium cities don't exist. There are plenty of those in Germany, too, by the way.
Can you answer the two questions I posed? Also are there any other routes in Spain with the same criteria as Barcelona-Madrid? Can you also give me some examples of the German routes too?
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Old April 21st, 2014, 11:15 AM   #2115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
There is a potential for a cheaper high-speed service (that takes 2h30 instead of almost 8h by bus). However, the tricky thing about low-cost high-speed rail is that it might cannibalize the 'flagship' service.
You should never be afraid to cannibalise your own products. Steve Jobs already knew that :-)
Better you do it, then someone else.

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Most passengers of the Ouigo, for instance, I think around 55%, would have used the TGV had Ouigo been not in place.
That means that the Ouigo made SCNF a lot of new customers...

Important is that there is a clear distinction between the products.

I would really welcome someone setting up a cheap long distance bus network in Switzerland. even though I would personally never use it.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 05:52 PM   #2116
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There are two things at stake here. For big city to big city connections, ICE will always be the faster connection (Berlin to Cologne or Munich), but big cities will always have a high number of poorer residents (students, large families, recent arrivals) who together make up enough customers to fill some buses that will not appeal to middle-class travelers at all. Then again there are the mid- to small-size towns not on the HSR grid where bus speed is competitive (Berlin-Stralsund for example) and many passengers will not want to pay the extra price for a train just for the comfort. These are also the kind of relations where DB has started to introduce buses.
And in one thing K is right: DB had better come up with some offer for the rock-bottom passengers if it does not want to lose more customers, even if some regular passengers will switch to cheap offers too if a kind of 3rd-class long distance train is introduced.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 07:40 PM   #2117
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But how could DB come up with a high-speed/low-cost product without jeopardizing its existing business?

It can run some 2nd-class only ICEs, without a Bistro car (just vending machines), with seats with reduced pitch.

As for students, they have little income but they can plan their travels far in advance, usually, thus benefiting from discounts.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 10:44 PM   #2118
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Yes, the answer is not exactly easy. Like SNCF run nofrills ICEs? Except for the comfortable space, there is anyways not so very much you could save on.
Have some artifically slow Services like the new IRE Hamburg-Berlin? Making Trains extra slow involves extra costs too.
But another Thing would be to have Prices start at more competitive Levels. I just checked Prices for Berlin-Munich by ICe or IC. At full Price they would be 140 E, then a saving Price for a ride 3 days away would be 100, but for a ride 3 months from now (Maximum advanced booking time) it is still between 75 and 100 Euros. If I was in desparate Need for saving Money, that would not be the way to travel.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 11:29 PM   #2119
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Can you answer the two questions I posed? Also are there any other routes in Spain with the same criteria as Barcelona-Madrid?
Madrid - Seville for example. Nevertheless it should be true for 95% of cities between which AVEs run. You can google coach schedules yourself.
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Can you also give me some examples of the German routes too?
In Germany the coach market is developing quickly. Just search www.busliniensuche.de for connections between any given two cities to compare coaches with train schedules from bahn.de. E.g. I found 7 coaches and 24 trains between Hamburg and Munich for tomorrow. The train is at least double the price of the most expensive coach.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 11:39 PM   #2120
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For big city to big city connections, ICE will always be the faster connection (Berlin to Cologne or Munich)
It is not true. Airlines are faster, even if you measure it point to point (e.g. Berlin Alexanderplatz to Munich Theresienwiese). And there are lots of domestic flights in Germany. E.g. from Cologne to Berlin, tomorrow, Air Berlin has 9 flights, Germanwings has 11 flights.
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