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Old April 5th, 2017, 08:10 PM   #3181
Nordic20T
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Hello

Does anyone have an idea how long the BR 151 could be seen in the "DB Cargo" livery?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old May 15th, 2017, 08:24 PM   #3182
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Nobody noticed? Locomore, German private "alternative" intercity operator has filed for insolvency last week. The high-speed low-cost passenger services between Berlin, Hannover, Frankfurt and Stuttgart are now suspended. They are still looking for investor though.
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Old May 16th, 2017, 08:58 AM   #3183
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Locomore used renovated BM235 coaches last used by Dutch Railways (ICL/ICK). These coaches were only approved for 200 km/h, so that's hardly high speed. Story goes those coaches had all kinds of problems like clogged toilets and bad closing doors. The replacements were old unrenovated Interregional coaches. Customers didn't like that.

Also demand was bad, deeming them to cut the already small amount of services even further, which decreased demand even further, which... You probably get the picture.

Moral of the story: If you want to be an viable alternative you need to jump in big time and not as a small operation.
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Old May 16th, 2017, 03:23 PM   #3184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
Moral of the story: If you want to be an viable alternative you need to jump in big time and not as a small operation.
Like NTV in Italy.

And I still think they started with the bare minimum needed (fleet and capital to withstand initial losses) to compete with Trenitalia (the incumbent) and remain in business for several years.

In other words, open-access high-speed operations must be a business on the billion Euro size, not dozen-million Euro size if they are to succeed. They must be large enough that they can offer services in a manner that the incumbent can't just kill them off with a price war on a single route offered couple times a day only.

This is the story of NTV in Italy: they started big, albeit with a misguided strategy in hindsight (the alternative stations didn't work out, the super-premium services never attracted enough demand to justify their space taken on trains etc). They were big enough that Trenitalia couldn't just shuffle a couple of its own new trains to crush them (although they did that on the route extension Bologna - Rimini...). And they had capital to keep in business after accruing heavy losses in the first 3 years.
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Old May 16th, 2017, 11:29 PM   #3185
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Sad, but true. We have by now seen a number of private services on long-distances in Germany, (HKX, Arriva, Locomore) and they all end up the same way. Their price is good and they are no particular frills in speed, service, or rolling stock. They are often pretty good solutions for people who want to travel a particular route at a certain time. But the problem is that people will not go out of their way to take that one train a day between Leipzig and Rostock, when DB offers the same connection every two hours. They also lack interconnectivity: you might arrive well enough from Hamburg to Cologne on HKX, but what if you need to go to Bonn? You need another ticket and no train is scheduled to connect, so many will prefer DB again.
Customers might groan and complain about DB, but a few vintage trains a day are no threat for the monopolist. SNCF a few years threatened to but it on some Germany mainline routes. That could have been a more serious competitor, as they have by now the better trains and also have the financial background to risk such a business. For the moment though SNCF and DB seem to be cooperating peacefully, rather than competing.
I would loved to have tried NTV at some point. The problem was I could not buy a ticket for them online with a non-Italian credit card. That seems a bit provincial for a transport company in one of the world's most touristy countries, and a considerable potential customer sector left untapped. Anyways, the ruinous competition between them and Trenitalia nonetheless made traveling on the mainline route nice and cheap and I hope they keep it up. Not that I find competition on rails the best solution, but if you do it, you should do it like them.
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Old May 16th, 2017, 11:52 PM   #3186
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Sweden also has an example of competition working: two years ago MTR Express started competing against SJ with brand-new FLIRT EMUs on the Stockholm - Göteborg route. They invested quite a lot of money into it, and run several trains a day in both directions.

There's a 3rd operator on that route: Blĺ Tĺget (the Blue Train). They run once or twice a day, and not everyday. I think they'll go out of business, eventually.
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Old May 17th, 2017, 10:12 AM   #3187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post
The problem was I could not buy a ticket for them online with a non-Italian credit card.
I could buy a ticket just fine and I don't even have a credit card, only what's called a debit plus card with which you can make online purchases.
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Old May 19th, 2017, 01:18 PM   #3188
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Trackbed Retrofit at Colonia Main Station (Time-Lapse)



15-chapters time-lapse production with interactive web-presentation available here:

https://www.zeitraffer.ag/koeln/lang.htm#kapitel

Ahoi
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Old May 20th, 2017, 06:27 PM   #3189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
These coaches were only approved for 200 km/h, so that's hardly high speed.
Nevertheless, it was much faster then by bus, and at comparable price, while DB trains are much more expensive (unless you get your ticket 3 months in advance).

It's pity they closed the service. The previous year, I needed to travel between the south-west Germany and Poland a few times, and then Locomore - if it was already on the market - would be a perfect solution. But Locomore hadn't started yet then, and I had to use either buses, or BlaBlaCar, because DB trains were too expensive to me (and there was no good lowcost airline connection either - for that, I had to take a bus to Cologne, which took many hours anyway).
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Old May 20th, 2017, 11:28 PM   #3190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
Locomore used renovated BM235 coaches last used by Dutch Railways (ICL/ICK). These coaches were only approved for 200 km/h, so that's hardly high speed. Story goes those coaches had all kinds of problems like clogged toilets and bad closing doors. The replacements were old unrenovated Interregional coaches. Customers didn't like that.

Also demand was bad, deeming them to cut the already small amount of services even further, which decreased demand even further, which... You probably get the picture.

Moral of the story: If you want to be an viable alternative you need to jump in big time and not as a small operation.
First of all 200 Km/h is high speed. Too many stops along route dramatically increased travel times. That was the main killer.
The reliabilty of the (refurbished) Bm235 was less than stellar. Seems they invested too much into upgraded interior rather than technical upgrades ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
Sweden also has an example of competition working: two years ago MTR Express started competing against SJ with brand-new FLIRT EMUs on the Stockholm - Göteborg route. They invested quite a lot of money into it, and run several trains a day in both directions.
Did not know about this venture ...
What a surprise.
No wonder they have "deep pockets" to fund a solid setup.
When you recognize the logo - as I did immediately when I checked "MTR Nordic" - you know who´s behind it.
(MTR is Hong Kong´s subway and regional train operator)
So, they cetainly know how to run rail operations ...

Last edited by MHG1023; May 20th, 2017 at 11:41 PM.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 06:42 PM   #3191
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From private operators competing with state railways, there is also Leo Express in Czech Republic - competing not only with the Czech Railways, but also with the Czech-Austrian joint venture RailJet. And there is also RegioJet in the Czech Republic.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 12:10 AM   #3192
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And within Austria itself, there is WESTbahn who are competing with ÖBB's long distance services between Vienna and Salzburg.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 01:25 AM   #3193
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Leo Express from Czech Republic wants now to enter on the Polish market, although it will probably be impossible, the Polish authorities will rather not let any private operator make competition to government-subsidized railway connections.

Which is a little bit stupid - why subsidize a connection, which can be operated by an independent operator without any subsidy? But it has advantages too, like you can buy a single ticket for the whole ride (with train changes) to make it cheaper within PKP and you cannot do it if you change the carrier. And the independent operator will not necessarily want to keep connections at the hours with less passengers, while the state operator will earn money when there is more passengers to lose it when there is less of them, but the connection is still needed by many.

Last edited by Kpc21; May 22nd, 2017 at 01:30 AM.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 06:32 PM   #3194
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The LEO Express FLIRT trains have recently been admitted into Poland, and LEO Express are requesting train paths for services into Poland as of the next timetable.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 09:11 PM   #3195
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Yes, but some doubt they will get them. We will see, I wish Leo luck. A private railway operator will do much well for our market.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 03:55 AM   #3196
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Any plans to upgrade the rest of Frankfurt-Berlin line to higher speeds?
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Old May 29th, 2017, 01:15 PM   #3197
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Are you talking about Berlin-Frankfurt via Göttingen or via Erfurt? Anyways, not much is going to happen. Via Göttingen most of the line is 200-250 kmh from Berlin-Spandau to Wolfsburg. The connecting line from there via Hildesheim to the North-South line will stay as is, i.e. slow. The connecting line from the North-South line into Frankfurt has a plan for upgrading, but to my knowledge that is not a priority, except for some tunnel reconstruction along the line at the moment, which will save some time due to realignment.
Via Erfurt, the line to Hale/Leipzig will remain at 160-200 kmh, then one briefly enters the new line to Erfurt at 300 kmh (which most of the trains to Frankfurt cannot actually attain). As of Erfurt, there is works to upgrade the existing line to 200 kmh. A simple link near Kassel directly onto the North South Line was discussed, but never took off to my knowledge.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 03:12 PM   #3198
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That's not true.
The link between HSLs Hannover - Berlin and Hannover - Hamburg - Fulda - Wurzburg which has only one track between Braunschweig and Wolfsburg will get the second track. And there's hope that the speed will be increased to 200kph there as well (curve radii of the line already support this speed). The rest will stay as it is indeed.
The new line Frankfurt - Fulda is currently in planning stage. Objective is a travel time of 45 mins between Frankfurt and Fulda. The section Hanau - Gelnhausen will be upgraded to 4 tracks and vmax of 230kph with construction works to start at around 2021. Gelnhausen - Fulda will be a completely new line for 250kph. They are currently investigating several routes.
Also travel times between Fulda and Erfurt shall be decreased (objective is 1 hour). For section Fulda - Wildeck there will be a new line, discussion with citizens as a basis for the planning procedure will start this year. Wildeck - Eisenach is currently being upgraded to 160kph, and Eisenach - Erfurt to 200kph.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 11:25 PM   #3199
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I guess I really did not know what was going on, sorry. Nonetheless these processes about Hanau-Fulda are early planning stage, so I had not paid attention to them. Hanau-Fulda today runs at 53 minutes. Only 8 minutes time advantage does seem a bit too little for a brand-new route. I realize there is a great need for extra capacity on this eastern approach to Germany's rail hub, but I was expecting something more substantial from that project.
As for connecting Thuringia to Western Germany, the major question is if there will ever be a direct link from Bebra to the North South HS line. It is only 15 km distance, and at Hersfeld even only 7, but so far trains have to trudge southwards at a rather moderate pace before joining the HSL at Fulda. This not only decreases travel speeds to Frankfurt, but also foils the prospects of good connections between Thuringia and Westphalia. To my knowledge this quick link between Thuringia and the North South Line is not completely off the table, but not looking likely to happen anytime soon, or am I mistaken?
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Old May 30th, 2017, 03:08 AM   #3200
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Quote:
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The LEO Express FLIRT trains have recently been admitted into Poland, and LEO Express are requesting train paths for services into Poland as of the next timetable.
Actually Leo Express wants to acquire the bankrupt German Locomore in order to obtain German paperwork for operation in Germany without much trouble.
http://byznys.ihned.cz/c1-65746840-l...zdit-v-nemecku

https://global.handelsblatt.com/comp...express-772793
Quote:
A Czech firm is vying to buy insolvent German railway company Locomore: Leo Express is only five years old but already has an excellent track record in the transport sector.
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