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Old March 31st, 2010, 03:57 AM   #401
kato2k8
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Originally Posted by czm3 View Post
I have a question. Does the 8 billion Euro price tag reflect profits to be made from the sale of the new land?
No, it doesn't. However, that money is going to DB - who is actually going to make money off of it; the DB share in the building costs amounts to 1.1 billion Euro, the estimated worth of the real estate to be sold is 1.4 billion Euro (and that's probably a low estimate - DB made 600 million off of selling some land related to the project just in 2009 alone).

The price tag varies on who you ask btw. The official price tag for S21 including NBS Wendlingen - Ulm and the airport link with new station there according to the contract signed in 2007 is 4.8 billion Euro. This price tag, financing-wise, splits into: DB 1.1 billion, Baden-Württemberg state 1.6 billion, federal government 1.6 billion, EU subsidy 0.5 billion.

There are estimates assuming between 6.9 billion and 8 billion including inflation and cost increases in the building industry as a final price tag around 2022; these estimates however come from studies ordered by opponents of S21, so they're effectively worthless (never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself).
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Old March 31st, 2010, 12:08 PM   #402
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Even when you have buried freeways and parking lots, you don't do maintenance and you don't refuel your car underground, for instance.
What do you mean by that? I do know quite a few "underground" petrol stations for example. (Integrated in car parks).
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Old March 31st, 2010, 12:22 PM   #403
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Oh, and education? State matter. Even if S21 wouldn't be built, not a single cent from that could be used to finance schools.
You know that's plain BS. Where there's a will, there's a way.
We shouldn't finance schools but teachers, btw.


Anyway, let's get back to S21. I'm glad they're demonstrating every week against this rubbish. It's more and more people who do.
No one actually wants this. The only one who's clapping hands is the Deutsche Bahn earning billions with this shite, you know.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 10:50 PM   #404
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Althougt I am a member of this board for a very long time, althougt im am very interested in (and always was very in favour of) railway infrastructure, I tried not to get involved into this thread. It will just cost too much time, I guess.
But I think I can't ignore this discussion any longer, just because the project is too important to be ignored. So let my give my two cents, one after the other...

I was a big fan of this project as well, I even visited the exhibition in the station tower twice. And I was amazed. I was really happy about it all and couldn't wait for it to be started, until...

... until I read an article about cannibalism in Germany. Cannibalism between infrastructure projects, all competing for the same, far too few money.

So when I started informing myself about the whole topic, I could not prevent myself from being informed about the dark side of S21. I learned seeing this project more objective - not only the DB side as before. And I had to admit that while German Railways had mainly presented propaganda and soft facts, reliable numbers and arguments were mostly provided by the opponents. Opponents like the Green party and every big German economic organisation. Also independent traffic clubs opposed the project, even "Pro Bahn", an organisation of train passangers. Who else? The IG Metall, the big German industrial trade union.

Now the green Organizations may apper to be a group of NIMBYs, but why should the local industrial trade union oppose such an investment?

Because S21 it is not effective at all. Yes, spend those € 6 bn on railway infrastructure (I would even like my country to spend far more than it does!), but spend it on useful projects. Avoid what traffic experts call "cannibalism effect", Stuttgart21 killing many far more necessary projects in the surrounding.

Of course, we have to build the HSL from Stuttgart to Ulm, to bypass one of the slowest parts of German "high Speed" Network. But you could easily connect that HSL to the Terminus Station as well (would be even a shorter route because it would not pass by the airport).
But although the HSL Wendlingen-Ulm and not S21 cuts of most of the travel time, all the big effords up to now concentrated on Stuttgart21 only, with the HSL still being in an earlier planning phase. Up to now, they have not even planning permission for some of the most crucial parts, they will have to recalculate the costs for the HSL soon, and when they find out that it might cost 4 instead of 2.2 bn, the Stuttgart-Ulm-Project will sum up to a realistic amount of € 10 bn. The worst case would be that S21 has already been started when the whole mess becomes obvious.

Allow me to concentrate on some "cannibalized" projects that are very close or even connected to Stuttgart, just to make sure my opposition against S21 has nothing to do with a PIMBY mentality (Please in my BY).

We have to finish the freight line from the Dutch border to the Swiss border, a line which has been promised to both countries in bilateral contracts long ago. We're building on that line for 20 years now, and not half of the work is done. Not even the most frequented part between Mannheim and the Swiss border has the promised four tracks yet. They have not even started building in many parts, althougt it was promised to be finished until the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel.

We have to improve the tracks from Ulm to Augsburg. This would only cost a few % of the S21 sum, because the design of the line would allow far higher speeds. It lacks minor upgrades, like signalling, curve elevation or the removal level crossings. Only few kilometers would have to be totally redesigned. But this project that might cut off something like 10 minutes of travel time has been taken out of the list of the most urgend projects, wehat means it will take several decades to get it started.

We urgently have to reinstall the second track from Stuttgart to Zürich. This would be a cheap thing to do, because the right of way and even the ground is still there - there used to be 2 tracks until the French removed one as a compensation after WWII. Still, no money available.

There are several lines in the surrounding of Stuttgart waiting for electrification. No money available, ironically, because when S21 is finished with their money, those Cities will even lose their direct connection Stuttgart anymore. Diesels are not allowed in the new underground station...


This was all about the costs of the station, about money that would be needed elsewhere for rail infrastructure as well.

There are also lots of technical disadvantages, for many people with the new station travelling to Stuttgart will become worse. But that would be too much for now. I'll check this thread regularily and then will explain why the new station will be worse than the actual terminus.

So long,

Urmel
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Old May 7th, 2010, 01:19 AM   #405
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I think people should remember that although DB is going to make a profit by selling the land, the state will have a larger property tax base because of it. This will mean more money for schools, etc for many decades to come.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 09:11 AM   #406
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Originally Posted by IcyUrmel View Post
A
Because S21 it is not effective at all. Yes, spend those € 6 bn on railway infrastructure (I would even like my country to spend far more than it does!), but spend it on useful projects. Avoid what traffic experts call "cannibalism effect", Stuttgart21 killing many far more necessary projects in the surrounding.

Of course, we have to build the HSL from Stuttgart to Ulm, to bypass one of the slowest parts of German "high Speed" Network. But you could easily connect that HSL to the Terminus Station as well (would be even a shorter route because it would not pass by the airport).
This issue exists in every major project. Some of the shortcomings of this reasoning (analyzing improvements possible with "x" bln. Euro and taking the project which improves the overall system the most) are:

(1) government would never take disruptive projects that can, in a longer term, revolutionize rail transport. Most European countries would never had invested massively in dedicated high-speed lines (like France, Italy and Spain) because there is just so much that could be done with minor improvements in the overall network - and we would still need 4h to travel from Paris to London.

(2) big projects that isolated seem wasteful can have ripple effects years down the road. A station redevelopment can generate hundreds of millions Euro in property taxes over a decade, and bring valuable land to the real estate market. If DB makes a profit selling the land, it would be ok.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 07:39 PM   #407
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I think people should remember that although DB is going to make a profit by selling the land, the state will have a larger property tax base because of it. This will mean more money for schools, etc for many decades to come.
So far, so correct, but spending those 6 bn on useful railway projects will raise the benefits. I don't think we shouldn't modernize the Stuttgart rail hub. Of course we have to. but not if the price is so high and the advantages are so low (and if even for many passangers the sum of disadvantages is bigger than the sum of advantages).

Instead, you could spend a third of the amount on the modernization of the actual terminus including a connection to the HSL, and spend the rest on far more important projects all over the country. Economists have already calculated that the traffic congestion in the German freight rail system will cost between 0.5 and 1 % of a possible economic growth. From the day the current economic crisis is over, economists say that we could produce more if we were able to transport more. Our roads are congested for the last decades, and our rails have been congested for a while until the finance crisis caused a decrease again.

My country is willing to spend something like 1.5 bn per year on new railway infrastructure, and about 2 bn to maintain the existing one. I know this figure is embarassing, but it is fact and won't change until the whole country's attitude to traffic changes (what might never happen). This means Stuttgart21 would theoretically need the total German budget for four years, meaning every other German railway infrastructure project is delayed for four years.
Of course, the real calculation is different, but the result is the same. 6 bn, the budget of four years, into a project with very little benefits to railway traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
This issue exist in every major project. Some of the shortcomings of this reasoning (analyzing improvements possible with "x" bln. Euro and taking the project which improves the overall system the most) are:

(1) government would never take disruptive projects that can, in a longer term, revolutionize rail transport. Most European countries would never had invested massively in dedicated high-speed lines (like France, Italy and Spain) because there is just so much that could be done with minor improvements in the overall network - and we would still need 4h to travel from Paris to London.

(2) big projects that isolated seem wasteful can have ripple effects years down the road. A station redevelopment can generate hundreds of millions Euro in property taxes over a decade, and bring valuable land to the real estate market. If DB makes a profit selling the land, it would be ok.
As I said - I don't mind spending huge amounts of money in railway developement including HSL. But taking your Paris-London example, what happens in Stuttgart is that they are digging an underground connection from the north of Paris to the Gare de Lyon, and then discover that they cannot afford to build the HSL to the Channel in time.

In Stuttgart, they are spending 6 bn on the new station to cut 5 minutes off the travel time from Mannheim to Ulm, but behind Mannheim and behind Ulm, you could easyly cut off 10 or 20 minutes by continuing the HSL towards Frankfurt or Augsburg. Greater improvements on more important routes for far less money.

So, to bring the financial aspect to an end, as long as there's not money for everything, we should use € 6 bn on 200 kilometers of HSL or some thousand kilometers of classical track improvements instead of using it to demolish and replace one (still functional) station.

Last edited by IcyUrmel; May 7th, 2010 at 07:45 PM.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 09:33 PM   #408
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We urgently have to reinstall the second track from Stuttgart to Zürich. This would be a cheap thing to do, because the right of way and even the ground is still there - there used to be 2 tracks until the French removed one as a compensation after WWII. Still, no money available.
Actually that would not be that easy. Not if you want modern speeds. Nowadays you build a double track railway with larger track centre distance, and the current right of way wouldn't fit that.
I also doubt it would really be needed. Currently the line has a RE and an IC every two hours. If you'd increase both to once an hour having a single track line with some strategic passing loops would be sufficient. Having a single track line in what was once a double track alignment has advantages too. NMBS managed to increase speeds on Liège - Luxemburg by single tracking the line, as it allowed stretching some curves.
With a "taktfahrplan" trains always cross each other at the same location. You only need to double track these sections. The rest can be single track.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 03:02 AM   #409
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Originally Posted by IcyUrmel View Post
So far, so correct, but spending those 6 bn on useful railway projects will raise the benefits. I don't think we shouldn't modernize the Stuttgart rail hub. Of course we have to. but not if the price is so high and the advantages are so low (and if even for many passangers the sum of disadvantages is bigger than the sum of advantages).

Instead, you could spend a third of the amount on the modernization of the actual terminus including a connection to the HSL, and spend the rest on far more important projects all over the country. Economists have already calculated that the traffic congestion in the German freight rail system will cost between 0.5 and 1 % of a possible economic growth. From the day the current economic crisis is over, economists say that we could produce more if we were able to transport more. Our roads are congested for the last decades, and our rails have been congested for a while until the finance crisis caused a decrease again.

My country is willing to spend something like 1.5 bn per year on new railway infrastructure, and about 2 bn to maintain the existing one. I know this figure is embarassing, but it is fact and won't change until the whole country's attitude to traffic changes (what might never happen). This means Stuttgart21 would theoretically need the total German budget for four years, meaning every other German railway infrastructure project is delayed for four years.
Of course, the real calculation is different, but the result is the same. 6 bn, the budget of four years, into a project with very little benefits to railway traffic.



As I said - I don't mind spending huge amounts of money in railway developement including HSL. But taking your Paris-London example, what happens in Stuttgart is that they are digging an underground connection from the north of Paris to the Gare de Lyon, and then discover that they cannot afford to build the HSL to the Channel in time.

In Stuttgart, they are spending 6 bn on the new station to cut 5 minutes off the travel time from Mannheim to Ulm, but behind Mannheim and behind Ulm, you could easyly cut off 10 or 20 minutes by continuing the HSL towards Frankfurt or Augsburg. Greater improvements on more important routes for far less money.

So, to bring the financial aspect to an end, as long as there's not money for everything, we should use € 6 bn on 200 kilometers of HSL or some thousand kilometers of classical track improvements instead of using it to demolish and replace one (still functional) station.
I understand your point of view. Personally I regard this project more as one that will improve the city of Stuttgart verses one that will drastically improve rail service.

In Boston the government spent almost 15 billion dollars burying interstate 93 through downtown. The new road doesnt have a lot more capacity than the old road did, but from the street level perspective, the city is now a much nicer place. People (especially on this eurocentric forum) will blast American urban planning for having large highways cutting through city centers. It is really no different in Europe except there the "highways" are railroads and rail yards. A quick glance with google earth can show this. Stuttgart will be a much nicer place with the completion of this project and for that reason alone it is worthwhile.
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Old August 17th, 2010, 11:58 AM   #410
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Protest turn violent

Protests against the new rail hub of Stuttgart turn crazy. Several thounsands of people (mainly eco-freaks and lefties) gather every Monday to protest against the project, which is still on hold due to many legal disputes from NGOs and private persons. Yesterday they turned down fences and entered the site. Police did not act against those violence but will think about their further policy.

http://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/st...ugelaende.html

Just look at the slide of pictures and the type of people gathering every Monday. I still wonder how much energy they activate for this protests just to act against the state policy. This reminds me on that old days of Startbahn West riots in Frankfurt - 9 policemen heavily injured 2 dead!
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Old August 17th, 2010, 02:44 PM   #411
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I can almost smell those hippies from here.

What was the startbahn west riots about?
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Old August 18th, 2010, 09:12 AM   #412
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Hate these kind of protesters. Goddam hippies!

Hopefully the government remains strong and continues with the project.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 10:34 AM   #413
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What was the startbahn west riots about?
Well, it was against the construction of the runway. But moreover it was against the politics, the police, the capitalism, the system, the nazis, the US, the non-lefties, the non hippies, the citizenship ect... Simply everything that is not THEIR system.

Protests broke down after 2 policemen were shot down by lefties. Another 9 officers were also hit but did survive.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Startbahn_West
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 01:27 PM   #414
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I have been a hippy, certainly anti-imperalist, and I have protested against the one or other traffic construction program in my time. But I always protested against road construction or airport extensions. The idea was to further transport modes that are compatible with living in cities, where otherwise valuable public space is often so casually sacrificed for the deified car (and Stuttgart is a prime example of this), and to promote transport that does less harm to the environment, such as walking, cycling, and public transport.
It is sad to see that nowadays protesters which claim to stand for the same ideals oppose investments into rail infrastructure, while they are casually looking on to the further extensions of roads and airports. It seems that they see it as God-given that long distance travellers will fly (not seeing that for example between Paris and Marseille people do not fly anymore), and the constant "Green" argument that the money is needed for freight infrastructure makes me think that all they want is for the trucks to disappear from the highways so they can enjoy their cars more. Yes, Stuttgart 21 is far from perfect, there is probably potential to save money in there, but Berlin Hauptbahnhof was far from perfect, but nobody would have thought about rioting against it; people wanted an improvement in rail infrastructure, people were and still are fighting the construction of useless thoroughfares and city highways in Berlin instead.
It seems the car industry has these S21 opponents perfectly manipulated and they do not even realize it.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 08:58 PM   #415
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Interesting post thanks. I personally get annoyed by protesters of any sort of transport improvements. I am confident enought to bet that most of those protesters who protested about the Frankfurt airport expansion, went on to make use of that expansion when they next flew. I suspect they also use the improved road infrastucture as well.

I believe in a freedom of market for transport options, I use rail when it is the best system, which to be honest, is for the majority of my travels within Germany. I use air when that is a better method, and if road is the best option, I will use that.

I support the Stuttgart 21 project because it will have great benefits for the city of Stuttgart, not only in improved rail infrastucture but also in provided a better urban environment in that part of town.

I also support air infrastucture improvements because there are plenty of times I have to fly.

And well, although rail is a great option between many major cities in Germany, getting to regional centers or smaller places usually requires far too many changes, and horrific costs which makes road by far the best option.

Then again, I'm not too fond of protesting anyway. I generally believe that if all the energy and money that went into protesting was channeled into actually solving the problems instead of complaining about them, we would live in a far cleaner world than we live in today.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 11:05 AM   #416
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@ Justme/goschio: calling those protesters, who consist of basically every part of the population, hippies, is of the same argumentative quality as a nazi comparison in online discussions. Godwin's law, anyone?

@ Baron Hirsch: if you'd at least tried to follow this discussion and read a few of the contributions, you would've known by know that the protests are not against investments into railroad infrastructure, on the contrary, numerous arguments try to show that the railroad infarstructure can be improved much more for the same money. I'd recommend you to read #226. You argue as if the only improvement that could be made to railroad infrsstrcutrure in SW Germany would be S21, which is just plain wrong, as numerous independent studies have shown.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 12:26 PM   #417
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@ Baron Hirsch: if you'd at least tried to follow this discussion and read a few of the contributions, you would've known by know that the protests are not against investments into railroad infrastructure, on the contrary, numerous arguments try to show that the railroad infarstructure can be improved much more for the same money. I'd recommend you to read #226. You argue as if the only improvement that could be made to railroad infrsstrcutrure in SW Germany would be S21, which is just plain wrong, as numerous independent studies have shown.
Well, I do follow the discussions, plus the ones on fr-online, süddeutsche, and so on. You might be right that the underground station has a negative effect on local transport, hard to tell from a distance. And DB has mastered the art of turning a train's direction out of a terminus, reversing often in as little as 3 or 5 minutes, so probably no huge loss of time there. What turns me down, and particularly in the statements by the official Greens and of FR, is the fact that Wendlingen - Ulm is described as a wasteful prestige project because freight trains would have a difficulty to use it. Let them use the old route, where they will have much larger capacity once all long-distance trains use the new one!
I firmly believe we need to create rail alternatives to flying and to highways, and in the 21st century, that means HSR. I have yet to see a contribution that runs, "Yes, we want a High Speed Rail Connection to Munich, but..."
And if there is not enough money for rail projects, that is because parties like the FDP manage to draw subsidies to as idiotic things as the hotel business, and the CDU throws out huge amounts of money to subsidize the car industry (Pendlerpauschale, Abwrackprämie), but when it comes to railways, they cry, "Oh let's cut down on subsidies, what an evil thing in our free market economy." This is the right point to protest, not one admittedly over-ambitious railway project.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 02:57 PM   #418
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@ Justme/goschio: calling those protesters, who consist of basically every part of the population, hippies, is of the same argumentative quality as a nazi comparison in online discussions. Godwin's law, anyone?

@ Baron Hirsch: if you'd at least tried to follow this discussion and read a few of the contributions, you would've known by know that the protests are not against investments into railroad infrastructure, on the contrary, numerous arguments try to show that the railroad infarstructure can be improved much more for the same money. I'd recommend you to read #226. You argue as if the only improvement that could be made to railroad infrsstrcutrure in SW Germany would be S21, which is just plain wrong, as numerous independent studies have shown.
Sorry, they are all still a bunch of stinking hippies to me

Tough luck to them then, as it seems to be going ahead.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 03:11 PM   #419
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I can smell 70's leftism over the last two pages, but, as I always say, it is freedom of speech. To say that cars are not suitable for cities would be like saying, in 1920, that electricity and telephone were not suitable for urban life too. Cars are there, are going to stay there, even if countries have to fight wars to fuel them until a better replacement (electric, hydrogen cells, whatever) becomes mainstream.

As the Germans, likewise European citizens in every other EU country, have chosen to drive far more than take trains (according to EUROSTAT, cars account for 83% of kmXpax motorized land travel in Germany, buses and trains sharing the other 17%), it is the role of the government to support this fair and wise option of Germans and build roads, highways, parking garages and so. You can't throw most transportation money in what transports 11% of total land motorized traffic LOL.

This point clearly made, I've written before that the Stuttgart-21 is a project in the right direction. It will enable the creation of the sort of "island" of high-density, HS track-centered development that, some decades from now, could connect with similar developments in other German cities, allowing the following:

(1) provide a state-of-the-art infrastructure for those who want to use the rail

(2) increase the segregation between housing and office arrangements where you get by car and where you get by (work, study, have fun) by rail to the benefit of both

(3) enable further developments of a HSR link all the way from Frankfurt to München without creating a choke point at Stuttgart.

This incremental approach (let's invest in 100 small projects instead of throwing all in 2 big projects) backfires on the long term. It just postpones the problems the big project are meant to address. You can rectify a curve there, enlarge a bridge here, double tracks elsewhere, but while doing this you are only postponing - in the case - the choke point effect in Stuttgart.

Of course, this reasoning is used to oppose almost all new high-profile high-speed rail program, be it for tracks or station construction. Just take a look of what's happened in London (St. Pancras), Zaragoza-Barcelona HSL, or what is happening now with the "Grande Stazioni" Trenitalia project of investing € 7 bln. in 9 major train stations on Italian expanding HS axes (Roma Tiburtina, Firenze Campo di Marte, Bologna (underground), Venezia, Torino and others).

There will ALWAYS be a list of small rail projects for which there are no funds because, contrary to roads, tax money collected from rails never adds up their whole cost while gas taxes are cash cows for many European governments. So, it is quite easy to find a loose coalition of interested parties with a vulture-approach to any fund whenever a big-name rail project appears.

The Stuttgart 21 is just the last example of that.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 03:14 PM   #420
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I could simply turn around and say your posts smack of neo-liberalism and conservatism at its worst, but that would simply be telling SSC something we all already know.
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