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Old June 4th, 2014, 07:57 PM   #2181
Rohne
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But the most important line (Frankfurt - Mannheim) might not going to be built anymore after this silly study. And the second most important one (Frankfurt - Fulda) might not come as well.

200km/h on the old tracks and additional stop in Darmstadt. That would even lead to longer travel times between Frankfurt and Mannheim than we have now. And somewhat reasonable travel times Frankfurt to Stuttgart or even Munich will be impossible if they follow these stupid suggestions. Don't even speak of those who don't live in the city center, going to be a world tour for them. So Lufthansa can already start planning to introduce dozens of new flights between Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Cologne and Düsseldorf
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Old June 4th, 2014, 08:53 PM   #2182
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If there is huge demand for better services, than people from Frankfurt and Mannheim should lobby local and central governments.
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Old June 4th, 2014, 09:39 PM   #2183
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
For the sake of economic efficiency, Germany needs to go through a process where middle-size towns lose a lot of population and some economic activity for bigger agglomerations. But that is something no politician can openly speak about.
Suburbanist calling out agains suburbanization. Who would have thought....

Sorry, but this is actually bullshit. With modern technology the modern mega city will actually become less relevant economically.
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Old June 4th, 2014, 09:44 PM   #2184
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In certain corridors Germany has the distances where 320 km/h over 200 km/h really helps getting passengers from door A to door B faster. Improving existing passenger services is indeed often a good option, but it's not either one or the other. In Germany, both can be necessary for certain corridors. Doing just 200 km/h will only lead to more and more stops being added along the routes, because "it will only add a few minutes to the total trip!". And before you know it, you have a vmax 200 km/h ICE line with stops every few minutes and an average speed of about 80 km/h. 200 km/h vmax might be enough for IC trains, but for certain distances you still need 320 km/h ICE's to blast past more towns and do the long distances in a respectable time. Otherwise Germany will always remain an unnecessarily large country, while it really doesn't need to be when viewed from a 320 km/h ICE perspective.
It still has to be possible. And there remains the question of wether it's needed.

The value of a transportation system lies in how many options it gives you, how many destinations you can reach within your time budget. That is what matters.

Of course, Germany should also stop financing everybody else's railways, and invest more in its own network...
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Old June 4th, 2014, 09:54 PM   #2185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohne View Post
But the most important line (Frankfurt - Mannheim) might not going to be built anymore after this silly study. And the second most important one (Frankfurt - Fulda) might not come as well.
Calm. This study favours a rather questionable concept. It is far from certain that it is going to be implemented.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 04:13 AM   #2186
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Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
Germany is too big to just rely on 200 km/h services.
evergy usage for 300 and more is too high. Though I agree, getting to 250 should be easy.

While rails should still be built for 300, just trains should go slower.

Train in germany is expensive, even coach busses are getting in, from the bottom.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 05:00 AM   #2187
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Coach buses has been around for while in other countries, but it hasn't led to the demise of the passenger rail network unless it's the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Last edited by LtBk; June 5th, 2014 at 05:40 AM.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 08:40 AM   #2188
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At the risk of being shouted at, I'm going to suggest that the distance between Frankfurt and Mannheim is so small that the lack of a full-blown HSR between the two areas is hardly catastrophic.

As someone wrote a few posts back, Germany's geography is not the same as that of France, for example, and not every corridor may need the TGV-style treatment.

(Cue critical onslaught...)
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Old June 5th, 2014, 10:50 AM   #2189
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I think most people here would agree with that to some extent, but what I mainly replied to was the following:

"Very important to mention that this study is going to set an example for all future DB HSR-projects and its general strategy. "
If that's the case, that would be very bad, because some corridors just require 320 km/h to make travel time acceptable, and 200 km/h would not suffice.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 01:23 PM   #2190
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I don't understand a point of that plan. How can the Mannheim - Frankfurt ICE route run through Darmstadt?
That means reversing in Mannheim, or skipping it.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 02:17 PM   #2191
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How can the Mannheim - Frankfurt ICE route run through Darmstadt? That means reversing in Mannheim, or skipping it.
Good point.

Presumably there'll be some more details of the proposals zooming around the web soon. I can't see that ICE reversals would be under consideration.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 06:02 PM   #2192
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Originally Posted by TedStriker View Post
At the risk of being shouted at, I'm going to suggest that the distance between Frankfurt and Mannheim is so small that the lack of a full-blown HSR between the two areas is hardly catastrophic.

As someone wrote a few posts back, Germany's geography is not the same as that of France, for example, and not every corridor may need the TGV-style treatment.

(Cue critical onslaught...)
The distance might "only" be ~70km but trains on existing tracks are so slow that building the HSL together with the Mannheim bypass would save up to 20 minutes (Frankfurt - Stuttgart would be possible in less than 1 hour, currently 78 minutes). Also, this HSL is the most important one in Germany which will see more traffic than any other HSL (including Frankfurt - Köln, Frankfurt - Fulda or Stuttgart - Ulm, not to speak of hardly busy lines in remote locations such as Nürnberg - Erfurt).
If there are any corridors in Germany (and indeed there are some) that 1. cry for high speed rail all the way and 2. provide enough demand that building dedicated HSR tracks is justified, than it's Köln - Frankfurt - Stuttgart - München as well as Hamburg - Frankfurt - Basel. Both corridors would use the HSL in discussion here.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 06:15 PM   #2193
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Why is everybody so fatalist? You should all relax.

Its not as bad as you make it look like.

Lets look at this thing:

1) nothing has been decided yet!

2) Frankfurt-Mannheim is an exeptional case in whole Europe! Both are centers of metropolitain regions that are very mighty economically. They just happen to be so close to each other. Also Darmstadt is the center of a strong metropolitain region (named Starkenburg with a population of close to 1 million inhabitants!). So I wouldnt compare it to Limburg or Montabaur. This constellation with three great metropolitains right next to each other appears nowhere else in Germany! So dont be afraid ICEs will now stop at every city with over 100 000 inhabitants.

3) What is the biggest problem of German railways? Delays and slowness.
Why are German trains delayed? Because the tracks are overcrowded.
Why are they overcrowded? Because of the heavy freight traffic.
What to do with them? Put them on their own tracks, so they wont bother anyone.
What to do with NIMBYs? Spare yourself of the trouble and build these new projects along the autobahns and dont have them run into the cities at all.

So I want to ask you, is this trend really bad? Or is it rather reasonable?

4) Dont compare German HSR with France or Spain! A much better comparison would be Japan.
Whats the average speed of Shinkansen trains? 320km/h, or rather 220 km/h?
Are Shinkansen trains famous for delays? No, their service and their system are excellent!
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Old June 5th, 2014, 06:17 PM   #2194
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The problem is not about a top speed of 250 instead of 330km/h, but an average speed of well below 90km/h instead of average speed near 170km/h.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 06:29 PM   #2195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohne View Post
But the most important line (Frankfurt - Mannheim) might not going to be built anymore after this silly study. And the second most important one (Frankfurt - Fulda) might not come as well.
The Frankfurt-Fulda HSR seems to get cancelled as well (regardless of this study). It seems the NIMBYs were the problem here again. It is sad indeed.

This study would actually be new hope for this project since they could fit this new project along the A66 somehow and have it for freight rail also. They then could give the old tracks an overhaul and have it for ICEs with a much increased capacity.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 06:35 PM   #2196
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The problem is not about a top speed of 250 instead of 330km/h, but an average speed of well below 90km/h instead of average speed near 170km/h.
I dont think we can speak of a problem here. Rather its a solution.
The alternative would be the current state with no movement at all. The current state is a massive problem.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 09:59 PM   #2197
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Originally Posted by maniei View Post
3) What is the biggest problem of German railways? Delays and slowness.
Why are German trains delayed? Because the tracks are overcrowded.
Why are they overcrowded? Because of the heavy freight traffic.
What to do with them? Put them on their own tracks, so they wont bother anyone.
This has also the advantage of getting freight out of build up areas. Good for safety.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 01:18 PM   #2198
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maniei, you only look at the capacity side. But the major problem for ICE trains in Germany is that they are running at too slow speeds. If you need nearly an hour for not more than 100kms you'll never be an alternative to car and to planes even less. Average speed from start to stop when travelling along an HSL should always be well above 150kph, but for this to achieve you'll mostly need lines allowing 250kph. But if trains Frankfurt - Fulda and Frankfurt - Mannheim, the most important and most busy gaps in Germany's HSR network that need to be accelerated, shall use the old tracks, they will never achieve more than 200kph, mostly not even 160kph. That's nothing more than a bad joke! Germany is not Switzerland!
You also seem to forget that the worst capacity killer is different speed profiles of trains sharing the same tracks. So you will gain the largest increase of capacity not by building new freight tracks (freight trains have a rather similar speed profile as regional trains on the old tracks), but by building new tracks for high speed rail. Of course, these should be usable for freight traffic as well whereever possible, at least during night times.

Btw. Starkenburg is not a metro area in its own right, that's just what some Darmstädters want it to be. But in fact, Darmstadt, Bergstraße, Odenwald all are part of the RheinMain metro area, with Frankfurt in its very middle. The Frankfurt urban area nearly reaches out to Darmstadt, Darmstadt can be reached even by S-Bahn from Frankfurt (and also from Mannheim in the future), regional trains just need a few minutes. It absolutely makes not the slightest sense to have high speed trains stop in Darmstadt. IC trains as existing are ok and (what Darmstadt most urgently needs) regional shuttle trains to the airport, but not high speed trains - named ICE in Germany - as this would reduce HSR to absurdity.
Currently travel times Frankfurt - Mannheim (82km) are ~ 40 minutes, Frankfurt - Stuttgart (189km) even ~80 minutes. These travel times could be reduced easily to less than half an hour for Frankfurt - Mannheim, and for Stuttgart - Frankfurt to less than one hour for those hourly trains that in future could avoid stopping in Mannheim (would not downgrade Mannheim at all as most possibly we will see several additional trains using this line, so Mannheim would still have at least hourly ICEs to Frankfurt and to Stuttgart(-München)). Stuttgart - Frankfurt airport in one hour might even be possible when stopping in Mannheim. Together with Stuttgart 21, Stuttgart - Ulm, etc, travel times for the 400km between Frankfurt and München can be reduced to just 2.5 hours (currently nearly 4 hrs) making trains via Stuttgart much faster than via Nürnberg (3:20 currently, I would even be happy if we could see 2:45 anytime in the future). But when some (or even all) ICEs have to stop in Darmstadt, you will be back to the slow average speed of today, leading to too long travel times at least for Frankfurt Hbf/Airport - Mannheim - Stuttgart.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 01:32 PM   #2199
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The lack of a high-speed solution between Fulda and Frankfurt, where tracks are very slow as they follow those narrow valleys, would seriously undermine, for decades to come, the potential of the Berlin-Hannover-Wüzburg HSL.

Nothing short of an entirely new alignment there will solve the problem. Tracks are just too curvy to accommodate higher speeds, even if you tackle in costly high-speed trains with tilting mechanism. With a HSR between Fulda and Frankfurt, and some reconfiguration of Frankfurt Hbf. access, or the creating of a new main station for Frankfurt, it should be possible to achieve Frankfurt-Berlin travel times of 160min, and Frankfurt-Hannover 95min.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 05:10 PM   #2200
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maniei, you only look at the capacity side. But the major problem for ICE trains in Germany is that they are running at too slow speeds. If you need nearly an hour for not more than 100kms you'll never be an alternative to car and to planes even less. Average speed from start to stop when travelling along an HSL should always be well above 150kph, but for this to achieve you'll mostly need lines allowing 250kph. But if trains Frankfurt - Fulda and Frankfurt - Mannheim, the most important and most busy gaps in Germany's HSR network that need to be accelerated, shall use the old tracks, they will never achieve more than 200kph, mostly not even 160kph. That's nothing more than a bad joke! Germany is not Switzerland!
You also seem to forget that the worst capacity killer is different speed profiles of trains sharing the same tracks. So you will gain the largest increase of capacity not by building new freight tracks (freight trains have a rather similar speed profile as regional trains on the old tracks), but by building new tracks for high speed rail. Of course, these should be usable for freight traffic as well whereever possible, at least during night times.

Btw. Starkenburg is not a metro area in its own right, that's just what some Darmstädters want it to be. But in fact, Darmstadt, Bergstraße, Odenwald all are part of the RheinMain metro area, with Frankfurt in its very middle. The Frankfurt urban area nearly reaches out to Darmstadt, Darmstadt can be reached even by S-Bahn from Frankfurt (and also from Mannheim in the future), regional trains just need a few minutes. It absolutely makes not the slightest sense to have high speed trains stop in Darmstadt. IC trains as existing are ok and (what Darmstadt most urgently needs) regional shuttle trains to the airport, but not high speed trains - named ICE in Germany - as this would reduce HSR to absurdity.
Currently travel times Frankfurt - Mannheim (82km) are ~ 40 minutes, Frankfurt - Stuttgart (189km) even ~80 minutes. These travel times could be reduced easily to less than half an hour for Frankfurt - Mannheim, and for Stuttgart - Frankfurt to less than one hour for those hourly trains that in future could avoid stopping in Mannheim (would not downgrade Mannheim at all as most possibly we will see several additional trains using this line, so Mannheim would still have at least hourly ICEs to Frankfurt and to Stuttgart(-München)). Stuttgart - Frankfurt airport in one hour might even be possible when stopping in Mannheim. Together with Stuttgart 21, Stuttgart - Ulm, etc, travel times for the 400km between Frankfurt and München can be reduced to just 2.5 hours (currently nearly 4 hrs) making trains via Stuttgart much faster than via Nürnberg (3:20 currently, I would even be happy if we could see 2:45 anytime in the future). But when some (or even all) ICEs have to stop in Darmstadt, you will be back to the slow average speed of today, leading to too long travel times at least for Frankfurt Hbf/Airport - Mannheim - Stuttgart.
I know, I live in the Rhein/Main area myself.
Darmstadt is a sub-metropolis within the Rhein/Main region. It doesnt matter. In 40 years Rhein/main and Rhein/Neckar will be merged into one metropolitain region anyway.
Whats important is that its the strongest economic region of Europe, which means that DB has a lot of potential customers here. Naturally they want to stop in both Darmstadt and Mannheim to gather passengers.

This proposal is good because it solves all the issues at once. It even speeds up the ICE a bit, and doesnt make it slower than it is. The ICEs in each direction will only stop in Darmstadt every 2h.
I want to make clear that currently the old HSR proposal has a cost/efficacy relation below 1 and it would only relieve the Riedbahn. The Main-Neckar-Bahn would run over its capacity, regardless of the few freight trains shifted to the new HSR. There cant be something right about this.

Though I have to say that I feel you and would love German ICE to be better and faster than it is, I'm afraid it is not possible in this case.

Again its only the problem with the Rhein/Main region, which is so dense. This whole project runs entirely through densely populated area. Of course its hard to realize.
HSR is only high-speed between bigger agglomerations where the stops are. This HSR-projects never gets out of the agglomeration.

Its true that the article says there will be no more 300 km/h projects in future, but if you look what future projects would be effected, its not much.
München-Erfurt-Berlin will be high-speed, same as Stuttgart-Ulm, cecause they dont run through that dense areas.

This new method is good for projects that were on hold because of too high obstacles, such as Frankfurt-Mannheim.

As for the speed issue, there will still be a reasonable acceleration, and ICEs will still be faster than plains.
The new freight-track would be filled with freight trains all running at the same speed making maximum use of the capacity.
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