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Old February 24th, 2010, 02:30 PM   #301
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The only time I ever had to travel standing on a high speed train was in France...
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Old February 24th, 2010, 02:39 PM   #302
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When you change in Basel and Köln so often you should have noticed that Basel SBB has a lot more platforms and probably less capacity constrains on the approaching rail line.
Being there quite often I wouldn't say that. Köln Hbf can have eight long distance trains in the station at the same time. This ought to make a nice "taktknoten" possible.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 03:47 PM   #303
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The only time I ever had to travel standing on a high speed train was in France...
Me too. But, then again, SNCF usually obtains a load factor on its trains above 75% (another thing they share with the passenger planes), whereas the ICEs "im Hochheiligen Stundentakt" are usually half-empty. Wonder why?
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Old February 24th, 2010, 05:24 PM   #304
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Being there quite often I wouldn't say that. Köln Hbf can have eight long distance trains in the station at the same time. This ought to make a nice "taktknoten" possible.
An Intercity hub has to provide interchanges not only between Intercity services but regional and local lines as well. Your suggested pattern fails that. There are furthermore capacity constrains on the Hohenzollern bridge that prevent properly synchronized services.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 07:58 AM   #305
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Germany needs more high speed rail lines. For a country of 80 million people, it is behind in the development. The current Hamburg-Munich line needs to be upgraded from Munich-Ingolstadt, Nurnburg-Wurzburg, and Hannover-Hamburg. There also needs to be a few west-east HSLs like Berlin-NRW. I think having faster connections around the country would help in bringing more people aboard and also helping the extension of the LGV Est Euro
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Old February 25th, 2010, 01:27 PM   #306
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Me too. But, then again, SNCF usually obtains a load factor on its trains above 75% (another thing they share with the passenger planes), whereas the ICEs "im Hochheiligen Stundentakt" are usually half-empty. Wonder why?
That's easy. It makes more sense to have your trains run, even half empty, than have them sit idle in a siding. SNCF obtains it's high load factor mostly by running less trains.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 01:36 PM   #307
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An Intercity hub has to provide interchanges not only between Intercity services but regional and local lines as well. Your suggested pattern fails that.
Dat depends. One solution the SBB uses is to have long distance trains meet on the xx:00 and xx:30 pulse, and have the locals meet on xx:15 and xx:45. That gives short transfer times when getting from one local to another (which is important, as these are short trips) and transfer times between local and long distance of at most around 15 minutes.

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There are furthermore capacity constrains on the Hohenzollern bridge that prevent properly synchronized services.
There are four tracks serving eight platforms. (and two tracks serving the S-Bahn platforms, but I'm keeping them out of it). That should not lead to capacity constraint. You can have trains depart at 2' intervals.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #308
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Germany needs more high speed rail lines. For a country of 80 million people, it is behind in the development.
In the race for the fastest trains it is indeed running behind. In the race for providing a system that is highly usable it is way ahead of the SNCF. It's not the train speed that is important, it's the travelling speed that counts. What matter is how quickly and how often one can get from one place to another. Just pick two random small towns 400km apart in Germany and in France and compare travel times by train. DB comes out ahead in most such comparisons.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 02:16 PM   #309
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K, you repeatedly make the point for 400 km destinations, where the network system rules, okay. But what about the 400k+ destinations? Say Vienna-Berlin (ca. 1000km), Cologne-Napoli? Leipzig-Bordeaux? Shall we just passively look on that such destinations are the almost exclusive resort of budget airlines - as market percentage-wise, this is definitely the case at the moment in Germany? Can we trust that one day, their bubble will burst, politicians will wisely tax flying as the environmentally hazardous and socially costly madness that it is? Or will we have to offer them some alternative in the next 10 years on rails?
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Old February 25th, 2010, 10:04 PM   #310
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There are four tracks serving eight platforms. (and two tracks serving the S-Bahn platforms, but I'm keeping them out of it). That should not lead to capacity constraint. You can have trains depart at 2' intervals.
The bridge carries just 2 trains at once apparently due to load restrictions. That makes it already difficult to get the 34 scheduled trains through this bottle neck continuously. There is simply no space for pulsative time table pattern.

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Dat depends. One solution the SBB uses is to have long distance trains meet on the xx:00 and xx:30 pulse, and have the locals meet on xx:15 and xx:45. That gives short transfer times when getting from one local to another (which is important, as these are short trips) and transfer times between local and long distance of at most around 15 minutes.
This requires a greater frequency of the services calling at the station. Something I can't see happening anytime soon.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 07:52 PM   #311
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K, you repeatedly make the point for 400 km destinations, where the network system rules, okay. But what about the 400k+ destinations? Say Vienna-Berlin (ca. 1000km), Cologne-Napoli? Leipzig-Bordeaux? Shall we just passively look on that such destinations are the almost exclusive resort of budget airlines -
Distances of a 1000km are best served by night trains. However my point is that a publicly funded railwaynetwork should serve as many people as possible for the needs they have. And also the target is not air travel, but car travel. Air travel is actually quite energy efficient over larger distances.
Also people are not travelling from Cologne to Napoli, but from somehwere in NRW, to somewhere in Campania. It's in my opinion useless to invest a ton of money to cut two hours of travel time on a particular route, only to add some of that back in through friction at the points where the HST network connects with the conventional network. SNCF to much asumes that people will drive their cars to the TGV station. I want the rail system to make it possible for people to forego cars altogether.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #312
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That's easy. It makes more sense to have your trains run, even half empty, than have them sit idle in a siding. SNCF obtains it's high load factor mostly by running less trains.
Of course. But you miss my point. The best way to future railway expansions is to turn a reasonable profit on the lines you most recently built.

The Portuguese, for example, (until they changed strategy a few years ago...) were busily spending money on providing railway service to as many people as they could, and across the country. At the same time, in neighbouring Spain most of the effort went into boosting capacity between a handful of cities whose citizens already demonstrably wanted faster services and were prepared to pay handsomely for the accomodation.

In my humble opinion the Spanish approach has worked better. Railway expansions should focus on the, hopefully few, bottlenecks and priority stretches rather apply a soft and social democratic objective of "making the railways work for all".
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Old February 26th, 2010, 11:21 PM   #313
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Then again, you're comparing apples and oranges as you can hardly compare the Spanish transportation network with the Portugese.
In Spain the HSL makes much more sense because distances are way higher and there's basically no city of importance between, lets say Madrid and Sevilla (or an other city near the coast) so 360kph trains on dedicated lines make much more sense as you save a lot of time.
In Portugal, cities tend to be smaller but more resulting in the distances between the most important cities being much smaller (like e. g. having Coimbra and Leiria between Porto and Lisbon) which makes 300kph-HSLs somehow pointless if you want to provide good service for more than the largest two cities (the only ones where such a line could make sense, probably). As well, Portugal already had a much denser conventional rail network compared to Spain to base their development on. So starting with upgrating the existing network in order to provide better services in large parts of the country makes much more sense than building a super-cool HSL and let rail services in the rest of the country go down the train, I suppose.
In Spain on the other hand, building the HSL between Madrid and Córdoba and Sevilla did improve the service a lot but had negative effects only for very few (if any) travellers. Replacing the old rail spider from Madrid to the coasts HSLs in Spain doesn't mean cutting lots of people from rail services. Building a HSL between Lisbon and Spain with only one or two stops between while letting the old line go down would do so.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 11:52 PM   #314
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Sorry if this is a tad bit OT, but since some of you seem quite knowledgeable about this I'd appreciate any advice you may have to give...

I live in the US and I'm going to Berlin next month. We're going to take the ICE to Hamburg. Do you think it's necessary to reserve our tickets online before we leave? Or will it be ok to get the tickets at the train station in person? Is buying them at the train station a lot more expensive? What would you recommend? Thanks!
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Old February 27th, 2010, 02:21 AM   #315
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Sorry if this is a tad bit OT, but since some of you seem quite knowledgeable about this I'd appreciate any advice you may have to give...

I live in the US and I'm going to Berlin next month. We're going to take the ICE to Hamburg. Do you think it's necessary to reserve our tickets online before we leave? Or will it be ok to get the tickets at the train station in person? Is buying them at the train station a lot more expensive? What would you recommend? Thanks!
I for one haven't bought a ticket at the ticket office for decades. I always book my tickets on-line for long-distance travel. Saves me time and hassle at the station. And don't forget to book seats if you don't want to hang around in the aisle for the 2 h trip.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 03:25 PM   #316
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Buying at the counter costs some Euros service charge more (which is a shame). More important, DB has some sort of yield management running, so buying online in advance can save you lots of money if you find some special deal. You just might want to play around with different connections on the DB website. On the other hand, you buy tickets for one fixed connection so you can't change to another train afterwards.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 10:31 AM   #317
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Distances of a 1000km are best served by night trains. However my point is that a publicly funded railwaynetwork should serve as many people as possible for the needs they have. And also the target is not air travel, but car travel. Air travel is actually quite energy efficient over larger distances.
Also people are not travelling from Cologne to Napoli, but from somehwere in NRW, to somewhere in Campania. It's in my opinion useless to invest a ton of money to cut two hours of travel time on a particular route, only to add some of that back in through friction at the points where the HST network connects with the conventional network. SNCF to much asumes that people will drive their cars to the TGV station. I want the rail system to make it possible for people to forego cars altogether.
That is where you are wrong. Trains have no choice but to compete with both cars and planes at the same time. And this is the first time I heard somebody claim that planes are more energy-efficient or environment-friendly than trains. This is nonsense.
While I completey sympathize with your desire to live car-free, you should not be blind to the disastrous effects of other modes of transportation. And while I adore night trains, the few such trains left in Western Europe are defintely nowhere near offering a travel alternative.
A little odd sample of train times between major cities in Europe that roughly equal the Paris - Lyon distance, where high speed trains have won over airplanes almost completely:
Paris Gare de Lyon - Marseille St. Charles 3h:06 mins, direct train
Paris Est - München Hbf 6h: 09 mins, one change
Hannover Hbf - London St. Pancras 7h: 32 mins, two changes
Köln Hbf - Milano Centrale 8h:40 mins, 2-4 changes
Berlin Hbf - Budapest Keleti 11h: 56, direct
Hamburg Altona - Oslo 16h: 21 mins, 6 changes
So, many of these destinations most people will believe are too distant from each other to go any other way but fly. But, they are essentially no more apart than Paris and Marseille. So, please, stop bickering that a trans-European network of HSL is hopeless. Of course not everybody actually wants to go from downtown Köln to downtown Milano. But both stations are hubs with ample onward connections. And actually, a few people, especially business travellers often do need to go from downtown.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 01:36 PM   #318
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Of course. But you miss my point. The best way to future railway expansions is to turn a reasonable profit on the lines you most recently built.
A "reasonable profit" can be had with an hourly service that has only an average load factor of around 30%.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 02:25 PM   #319
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That is where you are wrong. Trains have no choice but to compete with both cars and planes at the same time. And this is the first time I heard somebody claim that planes are more energy-efficient or environment-friendly than trains. This is nonsense.
This is not nonsense. Especially when comparing high speed trains with planes. Both high speed trains an planes spend most of their energy on overcoming aerodynamic drag. But planes do it at an altitude where the air is a lot thinner.
Aerodynamic drag increases dramatically at high speeds. A HST at 350 kph consumes twice the energy one running a 225 kph does. A study by a British Universcity came to the conclusion that flying from London to Edinburgh would consume about the same amount of energy as travelling the same trip by a hypothetical high speed train.
(See here)
Getting good energy consumption figures for High Speed trains is not easy. But the point is that whereas conventional trains are easily more energy efficient than cars and planes, (very) high speed trains aren't automatically. Don't forget that trains often don't travel via the most direct route. Amsterdam - London by plane is a lot shorter than by train.

That doesn't mean that HSTs are not a good idea. They are, as they can be powerd by nuclear energy, which planes can't. However, there are traffic flows where both the geography and the demand makes planes the best choice. Especially on longer distances. Planes are at the moment by far the most energy efficient way to cross the Atlantic for example...

Quote:
A little odd sample of train times between major cities in Europe that roughly equal the Paris - Lyon distance, where high speed trains have won over airplanes almost completely:

Paris Gare de Lyon - Marseille St. Charles 3h:06 mins, direct train
Paris Est - München Hbf 6h: 09 mins, one change
In stead of comparing Paris - Marsielle with Paris Munchen, compare for example
"somewhere 50 km to the northeast of Paris to somehwere 50 km to the west of Maresilles" with
"somewhere 50 km to the southeast of Münich to somewhere 50 km to the northwest of Hamburg."

Not everyone is going downtown to downtown. In the case of France the SNCF will often even refuse to offer you any transportation between rural towns at oposite sides of teh country...

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Hannover Hbf - London St. Pancras 7h: 32 mins, two changes
Köln Hbf - Milano Centrale 8h:40 mins, 2-4 changes
Berlin Hbf - Budapest Keleti 11h: 56, direct
Hamburg Altona - Oslo 16h: 21 mins, 6 changes
I believe that improving speeds on Berlin - Praha - Wien - Budapest is a good idea, but I doubt that building a dedicated line that does not include these cities is ever going to make sense.
I also doubt it would be possible to offer any form of train service between Hamburg and Oslo that would be more energy efficient than a plane. The Geography between those places just doesn't allow it.

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So, many of these destinations most people will believe are too distant from each other to go any other way but fly. But, they are essentially no more apart than Paris and Marseille. So, please, stop bickering that a trans-European network of HSL is hopeless.
I have never said that a trans European network of HSL is hopeless. I have however tried to make a case that from the point of view of the average passenger a lot of gain can be made through integration and coordination and incremental improvements. That's what the DB is doing, and that is what prompted this thread...

Quote:
Of course not everybody actually wants to go from downtown Köln to downtown Milano. But both stations are hubs with ample onward connections. And actually, a few people, especially business travellers often do need to go from downtown.
Indeed, Köln is a hub with good onward connections. That is because the DB actually pays attention to its' network. Avignon TGV for example is not a well connected hub. As a result a lot of the time gained on the TGV is lost by people arriving there who need to travel onwards.

The point I'm arguing here is not that HST's and HSL's are pointless. The point I'm arguing here is that integrating highs speed trains with existing train services leads to lower average travel time for more passengers than trying to run your trains as fast as possible at the expense of integration. So from the point of view of most passengers an "improved line" allowing 250kph that serves existing, well established transportation hubs at convenient timings will actually be perceived as being faster than a 330kph line that skirts the centres and stops at greenfield "trainports".
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Old March 1st, 2010, 04:29 PM   #320
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In stead of comparing Paris - Marsielle with Paris Munchen, compare for example
"somewhere 50 km to the northeast of Paris to somehwere 50 km to the west of Maresilles" with
"somewhere 50 km to the southeast of Münich to somewhere 50 km to the northwest of Hamburg."
Small towns benefit from high speed services as well as cities where these trains call. Travelling from Pinneberg to Garmisch would quicker when there were a decent intercity service between Hamburg and München.

Soissons - Carnoules is almost an hour faster than Pinneberg - Garmisch despite the transfer in Paris.
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