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Old July 16th, 2014, 09:35 PM   #2261
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
I think this perfect connections only works perfectly in a relatively small country where hardly any rail journey is more than 3 h. In a larger country where you have true long distance traffic, regional traffic plus the local one it becomes a bit more complicated. Traffic patterns are also different (meaning where people want to go) so I don't think there is a one size fits all model.
However, Germany really is a collection of small countries... I doubt many trips are over 3 h in Germany as well.
And it's about using infrastructure efficiently. There are trains passing through Switzerland that have total travel time of 8+ hours as well. By having on each line a set of repeating paths for locals, for freights and for long distance trains you can more easily accommodate them.
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Old July 17th, 2014, 12:30 AM   #2262
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By having on each line a set of repeating paths for locals, for freights and for long distance trains you can more easily accommodate them.
the whole point is: for a country like Germany, just these 3 categories of trains are not enough to provide services for different markets. Especially when considering the need to run fast long-distance trains calling at far less places than the faster-of-two system used by Switzerland or Netherlands.

Countries like Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark can afford to have just two train categories repeating patterns. Germany cannot, at least not without giving up hopes of providing very fast service between cities far apart like Berlin, Frankfurt and München.
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Old July 17th, 2014, 02:06 PM   #2263
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
I doubt many trips are over 3 h in Germany as well.
I know these aren't daily commute iteneraries, but there are plenty of longer examples possible, even between the major cities:
Hamburg - Munich: 5h50m
Berlin - Munich: 6h5m
Berlin - Freiburg: 6h31m

or extremer ones between smaller cities:
Flensburg - Garmisch-Partenkirchen: 10h44m
Nordeich Mole - Passau: 11h55m

All these routes still only require 2 changes at most: RB/RE => ICE => RB/RE and do not include extremely long stopovers along the way.
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Old July 17th, 2014, 03:53 PM   #2264
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Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
I know these aren't daily commute iteneraries, but there are plenty of longer examples possible, even between the major cities:
Hamburg - Munich: 5h50m
Berlin - Munich: 6h5m
Berlin - Freiburg: 6h31m

or extremer ones between smaller cities:
Flensburg - Garmisch-Partenkirchen: 10h44m
Nordeich Mole - Passau: 11h55m

All these routes still only require 2 changes at most: RB/RE => ICE => RB/RE and do not include extremely long stopovers along the way.
I was of course referring to passenger trips, not train running times. I often start my day on the Interlaken - Berlin train. A train that has a long trip ahead of it. When it arrives in Bern in the morning almost everyone gets out. The train then fills again with commuters to Basel... Actually not many people do travel Interlaken - Frankfurt (or even Interlaken - Berlin) on that train.
Personally I think it would be better to run a half hourly service Basel - Frankfurt (that's what SBB wants) with half of the trains going to Hbf, and the other half to the airport. There is really not much case for through trains at Basel.
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Old July 17th, 2014, 03:59 PM   #2265
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the whole point is: for a country like Germany, just these 3 categories of trains are not enough to provide services for different markets. Especially when considering the need to run fast long-distance trains calling at far less places than the faster-of-two system used by Switzerland or Netherlands.
Wel, Switzerland has about 7 train categories, and Germany has quite a few as well. In Switzerland it's not uncommon to have three or four stopping patterns (as well as freights) on the same line. This is possible with interval timetables.

What I would like to see happen is for the European railways to get together and design a kind of European base high speed network, with a couple of hubs linked at regular intervals with trains meeting at agreed times in those hubs.
Lille would be a good choice for a hub, as would Basel, Frankfurt airport, Köln, Brussel, Lyon etc... Try to run trains as fast as possible between those hubs, and then coordinate local and intercity services in the same hubs, and you could get a smooth and ifficient network that links the whole of Europe...
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Old July 17th, 2014, 07:01 PM   #2266
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Belgium has these train catagories:

IC: Inter City
IR: Inter Region
L: Local
P: Piekuurtrein (Rushour Train)
ICT: Inter City Tourist
-----------------------
Two classes becoming nearly obsolete with the TGV,Eurostar, Thalys and ICE connections:

INT: Classic International (sleep) train.
EC: Euro City train
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Old July 17th, 2014, 09:46 PM   #2267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
What I would like to see happen is for the European railways to get together and design a kind of European base high speed network, with a couple of hubs linked at regular intervals with trains meeting at agreed times in those hubs.
Lille would be a good choice for a hub, as would Basel, Frankfurt airport, Köln, Brussels, Lyon etc... Try to run trains as fast as possible between those hubs, and then coordinate local and intercity services in the same hubs, and you could get a smooth and efficient network that links the whole of Europe...
That really is following the Swiss model, where the journey times between hubs neatly fall into approx 27 or 57 minute multiples, so multiple interchanges can be made at each hub every hour or half-hour. However at the Europe-wide level it will never happen, as the political mind dictates that companies compete against one another, rather than co-operating. In particular, SNCF and DB have different timetabling and commercial philosophies that are almost impossible to reconcile. Over the years SNCF has moved slightly more towards regular interval timetabling, but away from the main lines their timetabling and resourcing of both secondary passenger and freight services is a total lottery.
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Old July 21st, 2014, 10:16 PM   #2268
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Can somebody explain me why Thalys trains take twice the time of RE trains for the trip between Köln and Dusseldorf ?
I have done the trip and here it how it happens :

- The Thalys train first stops for 15 minutes in the station Leverkusen, where
after 10 minutes it is finally overtaken by a RE service
- Then it stops again for 15 minutes in Köln Deutz and there at least 10 trains
overtake before it restarts.
- At both those stops the train crew apologised and explained that the stop was
"imposed by the german railways".

Two other facts worth mentioning :

- The Thalys train is not advertised in the main departure board in Düsseldorf station.
You have to find one of those printed yellow boards to find which track the train starts from.
- At the last minute, there was a track change, and it has not been announced
on the PA. It was just displayed on the departure board of the new track. I'm sure
I've seen on the platform people who wanted to travel with this train and
missed it because of that.

If this is not plain sabotage, it looks very much like it.
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Old July 21st, 2014, 11:30 PM   #2269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
If this is not plain sabotage, it looks very much like it.
One of the disadvantages of an integrated railway structure which some member states seem to desire so much. It makes this kind of subtle sabotage oh so easy, yet nobody does anything about it.
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Old July 22nd, 2014, 12:30 PM   #2270
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
I have done the trip and here it how it happens :

- The Thalys train first stops for 15 minutes in the station Leverkusen, where
after 10 minutes it is finally overtaken by a RE service
- Then it stops again for 15 minutes in Köln Deutz and there at least 10 trains
overtake before it restarts.
- At both those stops the train crew apologised and explained that the stop was
"imposed by the german railways".

Two other facts worth mentioning :

- The Thalys train is not advertised in the main departure board in Düsseldorf station.
You have to find one of those printed yellow boards to find which track the train starts from.
- At the last minute, there was a track change, and it has not been announced
on the PA. It was just displayed on the departure board of the new track. I'm sure
I've seen on the platform people who wanted to travel with this train and
missed it because of that.

If this is not plain sabotage, it looks very much like it.
Wow, thanks for telling!

I personally am in favour of a separation of infrastructure and operation company. However, regular and integrated services and a homogeneous ticket fare system have to be ensured. So I imagine a system where there is a state-owned infrastructure company and private and state-owned operating companies. A third company could then ensure a homogeneous ticket sytem for all operating companies. I haven't thought it through myself, but there has to be some regulation so that not every operating company has its own vending machines and tariffs and so on.
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Old July 22nd, 2014, 03:10 PM   #2271
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Originally Posted by telemaxx View Post
I personally am in favour of a separation of infrastructure and operation company. However, regular and integrated services and a homogeneous ticket fare system have to be ensured. So I imagine a system where there is a state-owned infrastructure company and private and state-owned operating companies. A third company could then ensure a homogeneous ticket sytem for all operating companies. I haven't thought it through myself, but there has to be some regulation so that not every operating company has its own vending machines and tariffs and so on.
That's already the case in some countries. For example, in the UK, despite many companies, there is still one national ticketing system.

In this case with Thalys there is more going on of course. One of the areas of contention is that DB doesn't like trains with compulsory reservation much.
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Old July 22nd, 2014, 03:16 PM   #2272
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Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
One of the disadvantages of an integrated railway structure which some member states seem to desire so much. It makes this kind of subtle sabotage oh so easy, yet nobody does anything about it.
France or Belgium would of course never dream of doing such a thing, right :-)

OTOH, it could also be Thalys refusing to accommodate itself with German practices. Given that Thalys has a fast path from Köln to Essen one in the other direction must exist as well. I have already given my theory as to why Thalys choose/could not to use that path

The other matter is one of integration. If you look for example at the Zürich - Paris TGVs you will notice that they get a fast, IC path between Zürich and Basel. They got that path because TGV Lyria allows passengers with domestic Swiss tickets to take this train.

Thalys could have done the same thing, offer to integrate it's services in the DB network, where their services also could server as additional fast connections on the Essen - Köln line. Then they could have just been timetabled to replace another fast service.
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Old July 22nd, 2014, 03:30 PM   #2273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
The other matter is one of integration. If you look for example at the Zürich - Paris TGVs you will notice that they get a fast, IC path between Zürich and Basel. They got that path because TGV Lyria allows passengers with domestic Swiss tickets to take this train.

Thalys could have done the same thing, offer to integrate it's services in the DB network, where their services also could server as additional fast connections on the Essen - Köln line. Then they could have just been timetabled to replace another fast service.
This is not viable as Thalys operates reservation-only trains. TGVs are comfortable train sets, but they don't have much space for people standing or even a lot of movement around the cars as passengers with reservations take their seats and dislodge passengers without reservation. So the experience of the international passenger is degraded by the use of a train like that as a medium-distance fast train for part of the journey.

We'd also need to look at how full are trains when they depart from Essen. If there is a lot of international traffic originating there, there would be difficult to open the train for domestic services, even if operating as reservation-only.
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Old July 22nd, 2014, 08:17 PM   #2274
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
France or Belgium would of course never dream of doing such a thing, right :-)
France is even worse, as they have not allowed any open competition for
their passenger trains yet. They'll do it only when they'll have no choice, and
in the mean time, lobby the hell out of the European Union to make this
moment as late as possible...

In Belgium, I don't think there is any kind of sabotage against any foreign
operator going on. DB ICE trains receive the same equal treatment as any
other train on their rails. There have been rumors of sabotage when the ICE
trainsets were limited to 250 km/h on the L2 rather than 300 for Thalys, but
it has been well proven later on that there were good reasons for doing so.
Since that incident has been closed, there have been no other conflicts that I
know of.

And by the way, even if the path problem can be explained, the other problems
I reported remain totally unacceptable.

The load I observed on this particular Thalys train I used were rather low, I
estimate less than 50 people before reaching Köln, 10 of which in 1st class.
Load increased significantly once Köln was reached. Not sure this service
beyond Köln will ever be profitable...
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Old July 23rd, 2014, 01:18 PM   #2275
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Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
In Belgium, I don't think there is any kind of sabotage against any foreign operator going on.
Belgium may not oppose, but they're not exactly cooperative either.
The certification of the AB V250 in Belgium didn't go that smooth (yes, the V250 wasn't that good, but it was regulatory compliant). Also once the project was cancelled an alternative quick reintroduction of the Benelux-train wasn't possible either, because all of sudden there weren't any train paths available. For no reason the train running the Amsterdam-Brussels service at the moment is much slower then the old Benelux used to be.
Usage of HSL4 by slower trains is discouraged by hefty usage fees, despite sufficient line capacity.
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Old July 23rd, 2014, 02:40 PM   #2276
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Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
Also once the project was cancelled an alternative quick reintroduction of the Benelux-train wasn't possible either, because all of sudden there weren't any train paths available. For no reason the train running the Amsterdam-Brussels service at the moment is much slower then the old Benelux used to be.
I think the problems about the re-introduction of the Benelux train are genuine
and not made up. It will be much better as of next year, when the full
reorganization of schedules expected for december will be in operation.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 07:43 AM   #2277
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Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
France is even worse, as they have not allowed any open competition for their passenger trains yet. They'll do it only when they'll have no choice, and in the mean time, lobby the hell out of the European Union to make this moment as late as possible... In Belgium, I don't think there is any kind of sabotage against any foreign operator going on.
There are at the moment no foreign operators operating passenger trains in Belgium.
Quote:
DB ICE trains receive the same equal treatment as any other train on their rails.
The Brussel - Frankfurt ICE is operated by NMBS till Aachen. It's not an open access operation. When DB tried to run the Jan Kiepura in open access to Brussel they did encounter all kinds of resistance, mostly from the unions. A bit like the way the unions tried to sabotage private freight operators in the beginning.


Quote:
fAnd by the way, even if the path problem can be explained, the other problems I reported remain totally unacceptable. .
The problems you reported could be explained by the path. Your Thalys probably had a freight path, either because a fast path that would allow a 15 minute stop in Köln wasn't available, or because Thalys wouldn't pay for it. If it really is sabotage Thalys should just sue. But I suspect it isn't. Germany actually has other access operators, and I don't hear complaints from them. HKX did get a fast path on Essen - Köln...
A similar thing would happen in Switzerland. If you wanted to run a train in open access Basel to Interlaken you would either use one of the relief IC paths on the route, but that would entail stopping and reversing in Bern. If you wanted to bypass Bern all you would be able to get is a freight path, and this would see you spend some time in sidings along the route...

Last edited by K_; July 24th, 2014 at 08:33 AM.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 08:39 AM   #2278
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
I have done the trip and here it how it happens :

- The Thalys train first stops for 15 minutes in the station Leverkusen, where
after 10 minutes it is finally overtaken by a RE service
- Then it stops again for 15 minutes in Köln Deutz and there at least 10 trains
overtake before it restarts.
- At both those stops the train crew apologised and explained that the stop was
"imposed by the german railways".
Did the train arrive late in Köln, or did it arrive as planned?

Quote:
- At the last minute, there was a track change, and it has not been announced
on the PA. It was just displayed on the departure board of the new track. I'm sure
This is quite a regular occurrence with the ICE in Brussel as well. I've know it being displayed as delayed in the hall, whereas on the platform it was on time, and left on time. People believing the display board in the hall did subsequently miss it. Then there is the confusion caused by a TGV and an ICE on the same track...
In this case however I suspect incompetence, not sabotage...

Quote:
I've seen on the platform people who wanted to travel with this train and
missed it because of that.
I hope they hopped on the next available train to Köln, and caught the Thalys there. It's what I would have done.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 11:28 AM   #2279
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Did the train arrive late in Köln, or did it arrive as planned?
As planned.


Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Then there is the confusion caused by a TGV and an ICE on the same track...
Nothing specific to Belgium here... This is a technique used almost
everywhere. Köln, many dutch stations, France... And with the destination of
the train posted at every train door, I cannot see where there could be any
confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
In this case however I suspect incompetence, not sabotage...
Right on. Incompetence, or just plain carelessness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
I hope they hopped on the next available train to Köln, and caught the Thalys there. It's what I would have done.
They could just have taken the RE that oveertook us in Leverkusen...
provided that DB people let them do it !
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Old July 24th, 2014, 01:47 PM   #2280
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Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
As planned.
Then there's no sabotage. Thalys bought a path, and got it.

Quote:
Nothing specific to Belgium here... This is a technique used almost
everywhere. Köln, many dutch stations, France... And with the destination of
the train posted at every train door, I cannot see where there could be any
confusion.
One part of the problem is that destination only appears on the trains' own displays about 10 minutes before departure. Many passengers are already on the platform before that. That's DB's fault however.
However, that NMBS doesn't put up train omposition info is again a different matter.

Quote:
They could just have taken the RE that oveertook us in Leverkusen...
provided that DB people let them do it !
DB is usually quite flexible. And if I'm not mistaken there is nobody to keep you from taking that train anyway...
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