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Old January 26th, 2010, 04:13 AM   #221
hans280
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Originally Posted by JoKo65 View Post
City of Cologne: 1 Million inhabitants.
Agglomeration Cologne: More than 3 Million inhabitants.
OK, perhaps Cologne is a tad bigger. But to get anywhere near 3 million you'd need to add Bonn and I daresay a chunk of the Ruhr district as well.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 06:18 AM   #222
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OK, perhaps Cologne is a tad bigger. But to get anywhere near 3 million you'd need to add Bonn and I daresay a chunk of the Ruhr district as well.
No, not really.

Cologne/Bonn is 3,8 Million.

Rhine-Ruhr is 7,5 Million.

Together more than 11 Million.

Whole NRW is 18 Million, the biggest state of Germany, bigger than eastern Germany plus Berlin.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #223
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No, not really.

Cologne/Bonn is 3,8 Million.
Well, yes. I went on Wikipedia to check, and it appears that, in order to get to 3 million inhabitants (let alone 3.8 million) you'll have to include towns like Leverkusen and Gladbach in the Cologne/Bonn figure. Fair enough, but then you can attribute just under 2 million people to the larger Lille region. I'm not pulling this figure out of a top hat: there are more than 1.9 million people in the "Euroregion Lille" that the authorities in Departement Nord and the neighbouring Belgian municipalities like to talk about.

To get back to my main point, I also went on Google Maps, and I may inform you that the distance from Hamburg to Munich is almost identically the same as the distance from Paris to Marseille. I remind you that the fastest trains between the two French cities take just over 3 hours and stop nowhere. (This is commonly considered as being too slow, and upgrades are planned.) To my knowledge - but I'm ready to be taught if others know better - DB is nowhere near lowering the travel time from the Elbemetropole to the Isar to three hours? Or, perhaps they'll want to start with the new connection Berlin-Munich which is considerably shorter and hence can be easily brought within the 2-2.5 hours band?

My childish provocation is not JUST a childish provocation. I feel that our German friends on this forum are getting a tad schitzophrenic in their argumentation. It would be perfectly respectable to say "we are against modern highspeed train travel. It's not a good solution for our country". (Americans, for example, say this all the time.) But instead we get these half-baked explanations according to which Germany and DB is in favour of highspeed traffic, but.... when someone dares to point out that the effective speed on much of the network falls way short of what most people would consider as HS then the answers become increasingly shrill and aggressive-defensive.

It sometimes remind me of the argumentation of the arch-spoilers from VIEREGG-RÖSSLER who, back in the 1990s would again and again propose alternative high-speed concepts. When someone dared to point out that their concepts often fell short of the performance benchmarks applied elsewhere, the response was equivalent to "Huh!? It's FAST ENOUGH, yes it is!!!" (Scowl....)
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Old January 26th, 2010, 08:56 AM   #224
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The "problem" is that a TGV train loses almost 10 minutes each time it stops. In my book HS is for people who travel at least 400 km without change of train. It is unfair to these people to stop the train once every 100 km. (Yes, I know... you'll now be telling me "my book" is unprintable...)
The solution is to do like the Japanes, and run both non stop and local services. Between Tokyo and Osaka there is a station about every 25km or so, and they run both "locals" and "express" trains there.

So if you have a line A - B - C -D you run a train that stops everywhere, and one that goes not stop, not A - C - D and A - B - D which is less usefull.

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I don't think that's true. You have connections doing Brussels-Lille in 35 minutes. Since the Northern French connections from Lille to the surroundings have - to my knowledge - not been cut back the opening of the new line to Brussels must have improved connections, if perhaps not DIRECT connections, between the Belgian capital and northern France.
The problem is that the Brussels - Lille trains all halt at Lille Europe. Furthermore most of them are Eurostars, which you need to turn up for 20 minutes in advance for the stupid check in. The trains to other parts of Northern France leave from Lille Flandres. So you have an extra station transfer to make, and you have the extra check in.
A direct train Brussel - Lille via the existing line could do it in 1h25. To Lille Flandres that is as fast as the Eurostar if you inlcude the extra friction...

That's where DB is far better. By integrating long distance and regional trains in such a way that you can easily transfer from one to the other you save time too.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:12 AM   #225
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To get back to my main point, I also went on Google Maps, and I may inform you that the distance from Hamburg to Munich is almost identically the same as the distance from Paris to Marseille. I remind you that the fastest trains between the two French cities take just over 3 hours and stop nowhere.
It's true that the trains run faster, but do the passengers travel faster? Don't just compare trip times major station to major station, but consider minor stations too.

Just compare for example Holzkirchen - Elmshorn with Gisors - Fos-sur-mer. I picked these paris because the distances are similar, and the proportion fo the trip on high speed is also the same. DB easily beats SNCF here. And the reasons are that changing trains in a major German city does not involve a 50 minute trip on the underground, nor do you have to wait two hours for a connecting regional train...

In the German approach the investments benefit larger areas, because the system is better integrated.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:24 AM   #226
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The solution is to do like the Japanes, and run both non stop and local services. Between Tokyo and Osaka there is a station about every 25km or so, and they run both "locals" and "express" trains there.
You're preaching to a converted man. I'm very much against this idea that every train shall stop everywhere. It's also how lines such as Paris-Marseille and Paris-Strasbourg operate.However, the remaining issue is where the on-route stations are located and how fast the non-stop trains can pass through them. The French solution, having "pendler stations" outside the major cities, is not merely motivated by knee-jerk centralism. There's a very real problem in that almost every station located in a large French town is a terminus ("Kopfbahnhof"). So, if you service the city centres then you REALLY lose a lot of time. This is one main reason why we have much less "Taktverkehr" in France and a lot of towns serviced by 2-5 dedicated, direct trains to Paris per day - which then DO start and end in the city centres.

My understanding (do you know more?) is that the Japanese have dedicated HS stations that can be passed at close to Vmax? The main problem as I see it in Europe (we'll see about the new Stuttgart, but my main concerns right now are Antwerp and Rotterdam....) is that these city stations invariably involve using, at least for a few miles, the legacy railway architecture. Which in turn compels the train to slow down dramatically and lose a lot of time - even if it happens to be non-stop.


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That's where DB is far better. By integrating long distance and regional trains in such a way that you can easily transfer from one to the other you save time too.
I understand your point, and I myself have quietly admired the extreme efficincy - and, hence, intermodality - with which stations like FFM operate. The contrast with places like Gare du Nord is crass. At GdN TGVs and Thalyses routinely clutter up the tracks for 40-50 minutes before even being readied for use. This is ridicuously inefficient and could easily be used to create a better integration with the local hub. Having said that...

...I look forward to the extremely interesting experiment that will be the opening of competition in 2011. It is a foregone conclusion that DB and SNCF will start competing on each others' networks. The French rail magazines are already busy (1) moping; and (2) crowing. Moping because France has invested much more in modern HS tracks close to Germany than vice versa. It's perceived as the neighbour now reading himself to "parasite" on French investment. Crowing because they expect to use the line prolongation to Strasbourg (Paris-Strasbourg in 1h50 - you must admit it's great!?) and the new bridge at Kehl to punch a French fast-nonstop concept through to Stuttgart and Frankfurt.And this time, THIS TIME (so they tell each other...) we'll be our own masters and not have to consent to idiotic stops in "Milchkannen" like Kaiserslautern and Mannheim. Well...

...I think they could be in for a rude surprise. OK, when I travel Paris-FFM (which is quite often) I often figure the stop in Kaiserslautern, where very few people get in and out, must be motivated by politics plus the fact that the train anyway drives so slowly there that there's little to lose. However, Mannheim is a BIIIIG junction where German people change for trains to all over the nation. But.... we'll see. Maybe the French concept will be successful in Germany. Maybe not.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 10:26 AM   #227
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It's true that the trains run faster, but do the passengers travel faster? Don't just compare trip times major station to major station, but consider minor stations too.

Just compare for example Holzkirchen - Elmshorn with Gisors - Fos-sur-mer. I picked these paris because the distances are similar, and the proportion fo the trip on high speed is also the same. DB easily beats SNCF here. And the reasons are that changing trains in a major German city does not involve a 50 minute trip on the underground, nor do you have to wait two hours for a connecting regional train...

In the German approach the investments benefit larger areas, because the system is better integrated.
It's certainly not wrong to connect intercity services with local trains conveniently. This, however, can't be an excuse for the lack of a sophisticated high-speed network. Germany spends as pretty much on high speed lines as France does. It just doesn't get it right. The German high speed network is just a collection of fractions which are aimlessly spread all over the country.

Germany needs to aspire competitive travel times on key connections. Hamburg-München in less than 4 h would be one of them. Traveller from Holzkirchen to Elmshorn would benefit of such improvements as well.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 11:37 AM   #228
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My understanding (do you know more?) is that the Japanese have dedicated HS stations that can be passed at close to Vmax? The main problem as I see it in Europe (we'll see about the new Stuttgart, but my main concerns right now are Antwerp and Rotterdam....) is that these city stations invariably involve using, at least for a few miles, the legacy railway architecture. Which in turn compels the train to slow down dramatically and lose a lot of time - even if it happens to be non-stop.
Well yes, the Shinkansen are entirely new lines and are a different guage to the rest of the network so must be new lines the whole way. And yes, apart from the really major stations they are pretty much Vmax the whole way as well.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #229
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Once again, the reason is that the German rail network is completely different from those of centralised countries like France or Spain. We don't have central axises like Paris-Lyon, Paris-Brussels or Madrid-Barcelona! On lots of corridors, building a massive HSL isn't justifieable because the passengers spread on various routes, and therefore, only a few corridors have a really high volume of traffic. HSL make more sense on "core lines" where several lines meet and run on the same route for some time. There's a good reason why the first really long HSL in Germany connected the quite unimportant cities Hannover andWürzburg (where the main corridors split to Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Munich) or to build a relatively short HSL between Cologne and Frankfurt (again, the traffic splits there to Basel, Stuttgart and Würzburg-Nuremberg/Munich). That's the explanation why the system seems to be fractioned and spread across the country if you look at the HSLs only. The most important stretches were buildt first, that's the easy explanation. Time will show if and when the so-called gaps (which often are conventional lines allowing trains to go 200 or more km/h!) ar filled.
Another issue is that there are numberous smaller and medium hubs. In an integrated network, some main HSL corridors don't make sense for the majority of travellers: If you want to go from a less important place A to B, and you can choose between a conventional train going slowly on a direct route or using a fancy 360km/h high speed service for a stretch - which means that you have to do a detour and change trains twice and loosing therefore the time you save on the HSL - what's the better choice? Germany has its HSR integrated in the "normal" rail services which isn't the worse choice. It's simply another approach and leads to better services for large regions, and not only some few cities.
Besides,you have to keep in mind that constructing a HSL is much more expensive in Germany because of the mountaineous terrain than in France, so the same amount in investments doesn't result in the same length of tracks.

Btw.: When the new HSLs Ulm-Stuttgart and Nuremberg-Erfurt(-Leipzig) will be finished, Germany has three parallel running high speed corridors from the north to the south of the country. That's not exactly an incomplete network, is it?
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Old January 26th, 2010, 01:28 PM   #230
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...I look forward to the extremely interesting experiment that will be the opening of competition in 2011.
It will be interesting indeed. One clever thing the DB could do is not only run trains to Paris, but run them to Lille Europe as well, to connect with Eurostar services...
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Old January 26th, 2010, 01:51 PM   #231
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Actually, that is not what DB has planned. On the one hand, it wants to operate on the Channel Tunnel itself, probably in extension of its present Frankfurt-Colgne-Brussels line (so Frankfurt-London via Brussels). How the security arrangements could be made is an open question (the check-in procedure used by Eurostar could not be copied 1:1.)
The other line they have sometimes boasted they will one day run is Frankfurt - Marseille (I suppose via the ring line around Paris). SNCF on the other hand has threatened to barge in on DB's core business and to run Frankfurt-Göttingen-Berlin, a much frequented rail connection (I do not know whether as an extention of present services Paris-Frankfurt or as a seperate line).
However, in recent days, it looks like DB and SNCF are once again looking for a cooperation, both in organization of services and buying new stock. Ultimately I believe this will be of more use for passengers, as we can see on the Paris-Frankfurt/Stuttgart lines, which are much more interconnected and offer more attractive ticket prices than the Thalys network, which DB sees more like a rival, despite the fact that they own a 10% share of it.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 02:27 PM   #232
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The other line they have sometimes boasted they will one day run is Frankfurt - Marseille (I suppose via the ring line around Paris). SNCF on the other hand has threatened to barge in on DB's core business and to run Frankfurt-Göttingen-Berlin, a much frequented rail connection (I do not know whether as an extention of present services Paris-Frankfurt or as a seperate line).
They wouldn't need to go via Paris. They can use the LGV Rhin-Rhone once that's finished, and in the mean time use the same route Strassbourg - Marseille TGVs take...
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Old January 26th, 2010, 03:17 PM   #233
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They wouldn't need to go via Paris. They can use the LGV Rhin-Rhone once that's finished, and in the mean time use the same route Strassbourg - Marseille TGVs take...
Yes, thank you, I guess that is what they are waiting for, to then run Frankfurt-Mannheim-Karlsruhe, turn over the Rhine somewhere around Mulhouse or Basel and then continue along the Rhin-Rhone and Marseille LGVs.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 05:30 PM   #234
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Besides,you have to keep in mind that constructing a HSL is much more expensive in Germany because of the mountaineous terrain than in France, so the same amount in investments doesn't result in the same length of tracks.
Thun, I agree with many of the points you made (perhaps unfairly I have not bothered to quote them), but I think some of your arguments come a bit cheap at the price. I might counter that Spain, Japan and now China have had to overcome much more formidable mountains than the German "Mittelgebirge". But, you're right, France has it easier.

Another point that annoys me a bit is the way excuses tend to morph over time. We had heard about the difficult topography for 15 solid years by the time DB started on a new(ish) line between Hamburg and Berlin. HERE - or so we thought - Germany finally had an equally easy landscape to work with as the French. But... alas, no new 300+ km/h line was build because an "Ausbaustrecke" was en-tire-ly sufficient. (Although DB officials privately admit it would have been so much better if the train were 10 minutes faster - allowing a "Vollknote"....)

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Btw.: When the new HSLs Ulm-Stuttgart and Nuremberg-Erfurt(-Leipzig) will be finished, Germany has three parallel running high speed corridors from the north to the south of the country. That's not exactly an incomplete network, is it?
Well, China has a totally incomplete network. The "completeness" is not just about the number and length of tracks but how well they are tied together. The most "complete" stretch I know of is Hannover-Würzburg, which geographically is in the wrong place, but nobody could have foreseen the reunification when it was built. What are the other north-south corridors? Munich-Nürnberg? Not much of a corridor. Or Cologne-Frankfurt?
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Old January 26th, 2010, 05:37 PM   #235
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Once again, the reason is that the German rail network is completely different from those of centralised countries like France or Spain. We don't have central axises like Paris-Lyon, Paris-Brussels or Madrid-Barcelona! On lots of corridors, building a massive HSL isn't justifieable because the passengers spread on various routes, and therefore, only a few corridors have a really high volume of traffic. HSL make more sense on "core lines" where several lines meet and run on the same route for some time. There's a good reason why the first really long HSL in Germany connected the quite unimportant cities Hannover and Würzburg (where the main corridors split to Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Munich) or to build a relatively short HSL between Cologne and Frankfurt (again, the traffic splits there to Basel, Stuttgart and Würzburg-Nuremberg/Munich). That's the explanation why the system seems to be fractioned and spread across the country if you look at the HSLs only. The most important stretches were buildt first, that's the easy explanation. Time will show if and when the so-called gaps (which often are conventional lines allowing trains to go 200 or more km/h!) ar filled.
That tells me how little you know about the German high speed network. You furthermore misjudge the distribution of population in this country. There are very well axes of aggregations which included the 5 or 6 cities of national importance.
Now, high speed railways are meant to connect exactly these main conurbations, not small and medium sized towns. They are served by slower trains. And this is where the German high speed networks fails to deliver. High speed services are simply not quick enough.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 06:38 PM   #236
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I guess you didn't get my point. In what way, according to you, I don't have knowledge of the German HS network exactly? Population distribution is not the main criteria for the layout of the high speed network, the amount of travelers and how to provide good services for most of them are.
German HSR does connect the main cities, too. But it doesn't necessarily on dedicated HSLs, but on a combination of upgrated lines and new lines. And these new lines are primarily situated where they make most sense - the point is that these locations do not automatically have to be the largest cities (If it would be that way, the Ruhr region would be full of HSLs - in fact, there isn't a single one). In fact, there's not a single ICE line Würzburg-Hannover or so, but these are the hubs where several lines meet and share the HSL between the two cities.

@ Hans: I didn't mention Spain or China with a single word. However, there's obviously no way to argue on that fact. i honestly can't judge the Chinese situation, but the Spanish: Yes, terrain is quite mountaineous there, too. And building a "French-styled" high speed network makes perfect sense because there's little between Madrid and the coasts where it would make sense to stop. Besides, Spain doesn't have a real rail network (where cross-connections would make sense) to integrate in the new HSLs, so you really can focus on connecting the largest cities and densely populated regions (=coasts) amongst each other as fast as possible).

The three HSL north-south connections we'll see in the future are (from west to east) Munich-Stuttgart-Mannheim-Frankfurt-Cologne(-Brussels), Munich-Nuremberg-Kassel-Hannover-Hamburg and Munich-Nuremberg-Erfurt-Leipzig-Berlin. Each one a combination of dedicated HSLs and upgrated stretches resulting in more than 200km/h on the largest part and including some stretches of the newest HSLs with 300km/h top speed. In the northern part, east-west connections are quite good already (Berlin-Hannover-Ruhr, Hamburg-Münster-Ruhr). The largest gap in the future will be the central east-west connection (Frankfurt-Erfurt(-Leipzig-Dresden).
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Old January 26th, 2010, 08:49 PM   #237
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I guess we shall then just have to agree to disagree. As I see it, Germany has the following pieces of HS track: (1) Hannover-Wurzburg; (2) Berlin-Wolfsburg; (3) Cologne-Frankfurt; (4) Ingolstadt-Nurnberg; and (5) Mannheim-Stuttgart. This is based on the EU Commission's definition of high-speed rail as offering continuous track with service speeds of no less than 250 km/h. Of course there are several quite serviceable "Ausbaustrecken" here and there allowing (except where they doodle through old city centres at speeds rarely exceeding 120 km/h....) quite decent effective travel speeds. However, this does not in my definition (nor in that of the EU) qualify as a HS network.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 08:00 AM   #238
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I guess we shall then just have to agree to disagree. As I see it, Germany has the following pieces of HS track: (1) Hannover-Wurzburg; (2) Berlin-Wolfsburg; (3) Cologne-Frankfurt; (4) Ingolstadt-Nurnberg; and (5) Mannheim-Stuttgart. This is based on the EU Commission's definition of high-speed rail as offering continuous track with service speeds of no less than 250 km/h. Of course there are several quite serviceable "Ausbaustrecken" here and there allowing (except where they doodle through old city centres at speeds rarely exceeding 120 km/h....) quite decent effective travel speeds. However, this does not in my definition (nor in that of the EU) qualify as a HS network.
Semantics don't matter really. What matters is how fast you move people from where they are to where they want to go to. And there integration is the key.

A case to illustrate the differences, and how they affect the passengers. I often have to travel from Switzerland to Belgium. That involves getting from Basel to Brussel.
There are basically three routes from Basel to Brussel. There is the traditional route via Strassbourg and Luxembourg. I never take this route anymore, as it is the slowest, and the SNCF really is going to extrem lenghts to make this train unattractive.
There is the route via Paris. Technically this is the fastest. Shortest trip time 5:43, but involving a change of stations in Paris.
Via Köln with the ICE is 6:20.
Now there are two interesting notes to make here:
- The route via Köln has could be made half an hour faster by better coordinating connections in Köln. That makes it as fast as via Paris, but with a lot less high speed track...
- From most places in Switzerland you are actually as fast in Belgium via Köln as via Paris, as the trains to Germany have easier connections with the Swiss network in Basel...

In France SNCF is only interested in transporting people to/from Paris. In Germany DB must operate a network however, because the population distribution is o different.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 12:07 AM   #239
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Today construction started at Stuttgart HBf.

http://www.spiegel.de/video/video-1044166.html

Only in Germany: There were 1500 protestors against that project.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 11:27 PM   #240
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There is an awesome video that shows a ride on the tracks of the new line from Ulm to Stuttgart21.

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