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Old February 11th, 2010, 02:48 PM   #261
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... and whether railways can keep upt the uneven competition if airlines continue to be subsized by being granted tax-free petrol.
Actually railways don't pay taxes on their fuel or energy use either in most European countries, so air doesn't enjoy an unfair advantage here.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 03:14 PM   #262
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But most importantly: A station with only 4 tracks per direction forever prevents the meeting of a large number of trains that allows changeover from every train to every other train - a highly successful concept used in Switzerland.
A concept that doesn't work out in Germany anyway. Even if there were the funds that the Swiss could afford and the TOC was as reliable as the SBB there are still a lot of major stations that simply don't have enough platforms to serve all trains at the same time.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 01:14 AM   #263
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A concept that doesn't work out in Germany anyway. Even if there were the funds that the Swiss could afford and the TOC was as reliable as the SBB there are still a lot of major stations that simply don't have enough platforms to serve all trains at the same time.
So you're saying there's not enough money and not enough platforms? And spending lots of money to reduce the number of platforms is a good idea, then?

I agree, though, that Deutsche Bahn needs to improve punctuality for the meetup concept to work well. However the current station works better in the face of bad punctuality, since trains can wait for connections - which they can't in the underground one, because they have to clear the tracks for the next trains.

Note that the meetup concept is used more or less in other stations already, for example Mannheim and Ulm. Even if you can't do it perfectly everywhere, there's no reason not to do it as well as you can where you can.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 01:28 AM   #264
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So you're saying there's not enough money and not enough platforms? And spending lots of money to reduce the number of platforms is a good idea, then?
Maybe not this way. But providing a non-terminus station is basically a good idea.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 09:50 AM   #265
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However the current station works better in the face of bad punctuality, since trains can wait for connections - which they can't in the underground one, because they have to clear the tracks for the next trains.
It all depends how many trains/directions you need to serve during one timetable "pulse".
With the new setup they can have four trains arrive simultanously from four different directions. Two minutes later four more trains arrive. You then have eight trains standing at the platforms. You let them all stay four minutes, then you have four departures, and two minutes later another four departures. Every train has a six minute stop, but you only have used up about 10 minutes of station capacity, so you can repeat that six times. In practice you could have four "pulses" per hour. You could use two for long distance trains, and two for regional trains. That means that for transfers from regional trains to regional trains and from long distance trains to long distance trains transfer times will be short. Only from regional trains to long distance trains can there be a 15 minute wait, but that is acceptable.
(This is buy the way how the SBB runs Bern Hbf. The long distance trains arrive and leave on the top of the hour and the half hour, many regional trains however are bundled around the quarters.)

I think that thus used the eight tracks would be sufficient.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 11:50 PM   #266
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If you spend a little bit of energy on finding the right price, prices are competitive to flying.
Can you please give examples just for comparison? I'm really curious.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 01:14 AM   #267
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250 km/h ??? why

Why Stuttgart 21 is designed for top speed 250 km/h? Most new high speed lines around the world are designed now for speed even faster than 300 km/h. Most high speed lines in Germany are still for 250 km/h Have you got any plans about upgrade them to 300 km/h?
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Old February 21st, 2010, 02:31 AM   #268
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Why Stuttgart 21 is designed for top speed 250 km/h? Most new high speed lines around the world are designed now for speed even faster than 300 km/h. Most high speed lines in Germany are still for 250 km/h Have you got any plans about upgrade them to 300 km/h?
because they are cheap

of course being german, they have a thousand ways of justifying it, but basically they are too mean and cheap to do a proper job
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Old February 21st, 2010, 09:00 AM   #269
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I appreciate your little provocation, Gramercy. However, I think you're barking up the wrong tree: it's not because the Germans are cheap, it's because they are very provincial. Every well-functioning highspeed network that I know of works like an autoroute (Autobahn, freeway, watever...) on rails. Like the car on a fast road the highspeed train CAN always do a detour and visit a city centre, but it MUST never do this.

The Germans don't like the idea of train lines running around their medium-sized provincial cities. It wouldn't be "fair". It would mean the new investments are chiefly for some Germans rather than other Germans. On top of this comes one political and one practical constraint: (1) local politicians are much more powerful than, say, in France and Britain and they'll fight dirty to secure that every train on the line must stop in their city; (2) the Germans are European champions in changing trains. Almost every long-distance train travel involves changing at some junction, so designing the network for a fast passthrough of non-stop trains does not seem to make sense to them.

IMO both problems could be overcome if they put their minds to them. But, seeing as they do not, it would be madness to raise the line speed to 300 km/h. The trains have to slow down in order to drive through some city centre once every 100 km! This alone would pretty much eliminate any advantage of really high speeds. 300 km/h as opposed to 250 km/h makes a noticable difference only when you drive at least 300 km nonstop.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 11:56 AM   #270
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Oh god, didn't you learn anything on the last 5 pages? German HSR works different than the French or Spanish one, just like the rest of the German railway system does. That doesn't mean that it's worse, just that it fultills a somehow different purpose. Fullstop.

Its 250km/h because the plans are quite old, I think. And it passes a mountain range which means steep tracks. And finally Stuttgart - Ulm is so short that there'll practically no difference between 250 and 300km/h which would hardly justify a more expensive HSL.

And for your interest, hans: There'll be no stop on that route.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 12:06 PM   #271
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first of all, this line should connect to the french and the austrian border
we should think of this as a Paris-Istanbul connection, but everyone except the french are too short-sighted to do that
this line should be the high-speed backbone on the scale of europe from east to west
and thats why it should be 360 as opposed to 250

and for the record, i don't buy any of their excuses:
the line is only this long, because they are too cheap even to connect stuttgart with munchen, the terrain is nowhere near as difficult as it will be on the riviera or as it is in japan, and the fact that the plans are old just shows they don't have the balls to do it fast and good

the only countries that have what it takes are: France, Spain, Japan, China
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Old February 21st, 2010, 12:26 PM   #272
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Nobody in Germany needs a Paris-Istanbul high speed rail. 360km/h high speed rail is a waste of tax money. People can fly such distances.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 01:19 PM   #273
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Do we have to be dogmatic about everything in this forum? I find there are two main problems with the DB way of building & operating highspeed rails. The one is, as Hans mentioned: if you want to run a high-speed network, than it only pays off if the high-speed stretch is long. The 300 km/h Stuttgart-Ingolstadt HSL recently had to reduce its speed to 160 km/h temporarily, and this ran up only a ten-minute delay, as the stretch is too short to make any difference (Ingolstadt-Munich continues at a snail's pace). So to build short stretches of ultra-highspeed is really a waste of tax-payers money: the most comic example is Cologne-Düren (towards the Belgian border), where trains speed up to 250 kmh for all of 40 km!
The question of having or not having in-between stations on these long stretches of high-speed are not really to be solved by dogmatic debate (must stop - must not stop), but by flexible operation. The Berlin - Frankfurt non-stop train (ICE-Sprinter) runs the whole distance for little over 3 1/2 hours; it only runs twice a day and demands mandatory reservation and a stiff surcharge of 11,50 Euros. Still it manages to be crammed full. The ordinary ICE's need over 4 hours because they stop in several medium-size Lower Saxony and Hesse towns. While there is no reason to close down these cities to ICE traffic completely, there is also no need why every single ICE must stop in Fulda or Göttingen and people travelling from Berlin to southwestern Germany must choose between losing half an hour or paying a fine. The TGV Mediterranee for example runs a flexible progrma in sometimes stopping in towns like Aix and sometimes not, and does not demand extra if it does not. So build those in between stations, see if people use them, if not, reduce the stops accordingly. Flexible operating, some non-stop trains and careful planning in construction can do much more to improve German high-speed than a fetishism for speeds of 300 or 360 kmh.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 07:52 PM   #274
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Oh god, didn't you learn anything on the last 5 pages? German HSR works different than the French or Spanish one, just like the rest of the German railway system does.
Thun, I wish you would relate to what I say rather than what you THINK I say. OK, so you may have taken offence from the word "provincial", but I'm not advocating a French/Hispanic solution for Germany. I'm a fluent German speaker and a monthly reader of German railway magazines, so please don't tell me I haven't a clue.

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And it passes a mountain range which means steep tracks. And finally Stuttgart - Ulm is so short that there'll practically no difference between 250 and 300km/h which would hardly justify a more expensive HSL.
This is precisely what I'm talking about! If you bother to re-read my posting you'll see that the point about 250-versus-300 is exactly what I said. But, if you absolutely want confrontation, let me mention that there are no "mountain range" to cross between Berlin and Hamburg. One or two decades ago the whole world of highspeed lovers were waiting to see what ultra-highspeed solutions Deutsche Bahn would come up in this flat landscape where their habitual argument about "Mittelgebirge" for once did not apply. Well... the whole world was disappointed.

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And for your interest, hans: There'll be no stop on that route.
That route (between Wendlingen and Ulm) is 60 km long. Of course there are no stops. There are no stops on the 740 km between Paris and Marseille either.

And on that note...

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The question of having or not having in-between stations on these long stretches of high-speed are not really to be solved by dogmatic debate (must stop - must not stop), but by flexible operation. The Berlin - Frankfurt non-stop train (ICE-Sprinter) runs the whole distance for little over 3 1/2 hours; it only runs twice a day and demands mandatory reservation and a stiff surcharge of 11,50 Euros. Still it manages to be crammed full. The ordinary ICE's need over 4 hours because they stop in several medium-size Lower Saxony and Hesse towns. While there is no reason to close down these cities to ICE traffic completely, there is also no need why every single ICE must stop in Fulda or Göttingen and people travelling from Berlin to southwestern Germany must choose between losing half an hour or paying a fine. The TGV Mediterranee for example runs a flexible progrma in sometimes stopping in towns like Aix and sometimes not, and does not demand extra if it does not.
...I totally agree with the Baron about a need for flexible programs. The idea that every train must stop everywhere is IMO radically unsound. The only point I would say that his lordship passes over a bit too casually is the issue of dedicated versus legacy railway stations. Even if it were decided to send several sprinters, or quasi-sprinters with a few stops, down the line every day then the passtrough of city centres and old railway stations en route would be a serious drag. The TGV stops in Aix, Avignon and Valences take place in dedicated stations which can, if the train is NOT destined to stop, be passed through at 300 km/h. A TGV visits a city centre only if it has that city as its end station. IMHO this is the Achilles heel of the German system: even the "fast" trains lose so much time driving in slow-motion through towns such as, like you mentioned, Fulda and Kassel...

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Old February 21st, 2010, 08:27 PM   #275
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...I totally agree with the Baron about a need for flexible programs. The idea that every train must stop everywhere is IMO radically unsound. The only point I would say that his lordship passes over a bit too casually is the issue of dedicated versus legacy railway stations. Even if it were decided to send several sprinters, or quasi-sprinters with a few stops, down the line every day then the passtrough of city centres and old railway stations en route would be a serious drag. The TGV stops in Aix, Avignon and Valences take place in dedicated stations which can, if the train is NOT destined to stop, be passed through at 300 km/h. A TGV visits a city centre only if it has that city as its end station. IMHO this is the Achilles heel of the German system: even the "fast" trains lose so much time driving in slow-motion through towns such as, like you mentioned, Fulda and Kassel...
Cut DB some slack. This was the first highspeed route they built and they did not quite foresee the future of high-speed rail yet. They have learned from that to some degree. The Berlin - Hannover HSL, which otherwhise follows the 19th c. rail route, circles around Stendhal, so as not to pass by the city center (except in the early mornings and late at night).
The Cologne - Frankfurt HSL was built French style, avoiding medium-size cities such as Bonn and Koblenz, although they are far larger than Göttingen or Fulda. Granted, the in-between stops in Limburg and Montabaur were mostly to satisfy regional politicians, and to my knowledge see only a stop early in the morning and late at night. The stop in Siegburg, a remote suburb of Bonn, however seems to generate enough traffic for an hourly stop. To repeat, the problem is the hodgepodge of different systems not operated or built under a common concept.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 12:09 PM   #276
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While there is no reason to close down these cities to ICE traffic completely, there is also no need why every single ICE must stop in Fulda or Göttingen and people travelling from Berlin to southwestern Germany must choose between losing half an hour or paying a fine. The TGV Mediterranee for example runs a flexible progrma in sometimes stopping in towns like Aix and sometimes not, and does not demand extra if it does not.
There is however a very good reason for having a service pattern that repeats every hour. So a particular service either doesn't stop in a station, or it stops there every hour.
The irregular schedules on the French TGV network have as main disadvantage that a lot of the time gets lost due to the lack of tight coordination.
If I travel from Switzerland to some place in the Rhone - Alpes region I first need to take one of the two daily TGVs from Geneva to Avignon. This TGV stops at Avignon TGV. There I then need to take a bus to Avignon Centra, where i may or may not have a good connection with a regional train. Last time I went through there we lost all the time gained on the high speed line this way.
A more intelligently designed system would have hourly TGVs from Lyon to Avignon Centre, and hourly conventional trains from Geneva to Lyon. If you coordinate things properly you can save travelers a lot of time.

A good system gives the traveller the option to go when he wants. To the average traveller a train that takes 4 hours, but runs every hour, has a higher value than a train that takes 3 hours, but only runs twice a day.

The French can learn a lot from the Germans (and especially the Swiss) when it comes to network design.

When I want to travel from Switzerland to Belgium I'm often faster via Germany, even though the top speeds are lower in Germany. it's just that via Germany I waste less time in transfers...
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 01:59 PM   #277
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Cut DB some slack. This was the first highspeed route they built and they did not quite foresee the future of high-speed rail yet. They have learned from that to some degree.
I don't disagree with you, and I'd say the best is still to come. The Rhein-Main/Rhein-Neckar connection which DB is about to embark upon is apparently going to - after long and tortuous negotiations - going to bypass both Mannheim and Darmstadt, be laid out for 300 km/h, and connect with Frankfurt-Cologne line at Frankfurt Airport. That's going to create what we might call Germany's first "true" highspeed line from Cologne at full speed, avoiding all city-centres, until its next stop in Stuttgart.

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The irregular schedules on the French TGV network have as main disadvantage that a lot of the time gets lost due to the lack of tight coordination.
My personal perspective might be different. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I live in Paris?

But, of course you're right. The main advantage of the TGV concept can at the same time be a problem. The point-to-point concept implies that the trains running out of Paris in direction Marseille do one out of three things in Lyon: (1) pass by without stop at top speed; (2) stop at the highspeed station next to St. Exupery airport; (3) stop in the city centre - but in that case it's their end station. In terms of maximising the travel speed between any two points on the line it's ideal. But it doesn't allow "Taktverkehr". And it can be a royal pain if one needs to change trains. Luckily...

...most people in France don't need to change trains. Statistics show that a majority of medium to long-distance trips made by French people in France have Paris as either their starting or end point.

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Old February 22nd, 2010, 06:57 PM   #278
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I don't disagree with you, and I'd say the best is still to come. The Rhein-Main/Rhein-Neckar connection which DB is about to embark upon is apparently going to - after long and tortuous negotiations - going to bypass both Mannheim and Darmstadt, be laid out for 300 km/h, and connect with Frankfurt-Cologne line at Frankfurt Airport.
Well, you seem to know more than most of us. The most recent news was the drop of the proposed Mannheim bypass. I would be surprise but also delighted if it would go through nevertheless.

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That's going to create what we might call Germany's first "true" highspeed line from Cologne at full speed, avoiding all city-centres, until its next stop in Stuttgart.
All trains call at Frankfurt(M)Flughafen. There is no way and no need to skip this station.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 08:46 PM   #279
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I based my comment on the following document, posted by Deutsche Bahn: http://www.deutschebahn.com/site/sha...in__neckar.pdf.

But... if I'm mistaken, I'm mistaken. I'm also sorry to hear that, according to you, Frankfurt Flughafen is intended as a "Pflichthalt" on this line. I thought - naively perhaps - that it would serve in a capacity similar as St. Exupery on the Paris-Marseille line.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 09:14 PM   #280
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I based my comment on the following document, posted by Deutsche Bahn: http://www.deutschebahn.com/site/sha...in__neckar.pdf.

But... if I'm mistaken, I'm mistaken. I'm also sorry to hear that, according to you, Frankfurt Flughafen is intended as a "Pflichthalt" on this line. I thought - naively perhaps - that it would serve in a capacity similar as St. Exupery on the Paris-Marseille line.
It's not intended it is rather set in stone. There are no dedicated tracks to allow full speed through services in the first place. And the radius of the link to the Riedbahn just east of the station doesn't seem to be designed for too great velocity anyway.
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