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Old October 17th, 2010, 05:12 PM   #621
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Tag line: …für den kleinen Steineschmeißer/Schlagstockschwinger/“Volksvertreter“ von morgen
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Old October 17th, 2010, 08:45 PM   #622
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http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6110421,00.html
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Old October 18th, 2010, 02:49 PM   #623
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Coming back to Stuttgart:
I think that similar thinking, that is "we have to do it, basta, never mind the costs or economical sense" is unfortunately common in Germany. Has anybody given a thought what will happen once DB is completely privatized, and it has to compete with other companies?
Why do you think that DB will be completely privatized?

If that would happen, the result is obvious. A very shart decline in the quality and amount of train services in Germany, just like it happened in England.

Higher usage of cars, higher green gas emission, higher costs in car accidents, car fuel, car pollution, etc.

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That may increase the cost of running trains on less popular lines by far, because I am sure that DB "sponsors" those lines from the income of more popular lines. It is illegal, but easy to conceal.
Why do you think it is illegal? Which law prohibits the government from subdizing passenger trains?

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What if BW suddenly has to pay much, much more for trains on some God-forgotten line to Scheiseloch am Bach? Will they continue paying for the connection used by 8 people, or will somebody say "wait a minute, there is a bus service that only takes 5 minutes longer than the train".
The service quality drops, people stop using it. Buses are loosing passengers in Brazil for example, simply because it is a slow, uncomfortable transport.

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Has anybody taken such things into consideration, or is economy a taboo, as it often is?
Since when is infra-structure building supposed to pay 100% of it's cost?

If that was the case, I bet that the world would have 10% of the airports that it has now.

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Just to put things into perspective: I am an immigrant in Germany, and I like the place. But having lived in a few other countries I am simply worried when I see certain things. The taboo of touching certain topics, especially when they are about money and efficiency, is surprising. Seems to me things are done in Germany without looking at the cost effectiveness way too often.
You are forgetting the cost of not builting the infra-structure. Having a worse infra-structure adds costs to the country. And it also affects the governament, because a worse infra-structure generates less GDP. Less GDP means less taxes.

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Old October 18th, 2010, 03:23 PM   #624
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Why do you think that DB will be completely privatized?

If that would happen, the result is obvious. A very shart decline in the quality and amount of train services in Germany, just like it happened in England.

Higher usage of cars, higher green gas emission, higher costs in car accidents, car fuel, car pollution, etc.
EU directives.

DB is already a private entity whose main shareholder is the German state. It's half-way done.

Bear in mind, though, that infrastructure and operation entities are already separated and completely segregated in all EU countries.

There is no immediate link in privatization and higher or lower quality services. What it brings, to the spotlight, are system financial inefficiencies. It brings the price tag of service subsidization up, instead of having it disguised in cross-fare schemes or so. Some countries, like Italy, opt to sharply cut services that don't break even, others, like Netherlands, opt to specifically contract money-losing services, but then the "losses" are paid from the budget of the government, not from the operating company.

Privatization of transportation operations is the best way to go IMO. In regard of infrastructure, there is room for debate

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Why do you think it is illegal? Which law prohibits the government from subdizing passenger trains?
The question is not whether a money-losing service can be kept running, but how the losses will be covered.

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Since when is infra-structure building supposed to pay 100% of it's cost?

If that was the case, I bet that the world would have 10% of the airports that it has now.
This is not the debate surrounding the controversy of Stuttgart 21. The debate is about cost-effectiveness of different policy choices within the domains of rail passenger transport (and cargo transport to a lesser extent as Stuttgart 21 would clear space for more freight trains).

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You are forgetting the cost of not builting the infra-structure. Having a worse infra-structure adds costs to the country. And it also affects the governament, because a worse infra-structure generates less GDP. Less GDP means less taxes.
Again, this statement cannot be hold so straightforward for a country like Germany, which already has a lot of infrastructure in place, be it for road, air, water and rail transport. This phenomenon is more evident in countries like Brazil where there is an immense backlog of much-needed, critical infrastructure projects, which is not the case of Germany.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 04:32 PM   #625
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EU directives.
There is no EU directive saying that train companies should be privatized. Saying that the infrastructure and operation should be separated is something different. You can still have governamental operators, while allowing private competitors to join in as well just increases the service quality.

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There is no immediate link in privatization and higher or lower quality services.
So, you think that the service quality would increase if DB would be privatized?

Quote:
What it brings, to the spotlight, are system financial inefficiencies. It brings the price tag of service subsidization up, instead of having it disguised in cross-fare schemes or so. Some countries, like Italy, opt to sharply cut services that don't break even, others, like Netherlands, opt to specifically contract money-losing services, but then the "losses" are paid from the budget of the government, not from the operating company.
It seams that this system isn't bad as I thought it would be. In Poland the regional rail is improving instead of deteriorating after the segregation. Local governments are buying new trains for regional rail, while long distance tickets are getting cheaper due to the competition. It seams that many european governments can see the benefits of investing in rail transport. Some may not, but it is for their loss to add polution costs, fuel costs, accidents costs and environmental costs to their countries.

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Privatization of transportation operations is the best way to go IMO.
-1

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This is not the debate surrounding the controversy of Stuttgart 21. The debate is about cost-effectiveness of different policy choices within the domains of rail passenger transport (and cargo transport to a lesser extent as Stuttgart 21 would clear space for more freight trains).
What are the other choices? AFAIK it would be just leave everything as it is, which is dumb. The city needs to have a pass-through line, that's basic to have efficient rail transport. If people don't like the current project, they should propose an alternative which achieves this essential goal. A dead-end station is a big inneficiency.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #626
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Bear in mind, though, that infrastructure and operation entities are already separated and completely segregated in all EU countries.
You know very little about railways and Deutsche Bahn in particular. Segregation of infrastructure and rolling stock is more difficult than you think and hasn't actually been done yet in Germany.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 06:57 PM   #627
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It's been done in terms of accountancy, at least
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Old October 18th, 2010, 06:58 PM   #628
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Yep! Neither DB, nor the italian FS, have completed the process of separating their infrastructure from their operator.

Trenitalia, the italian operator, and RFI, the network owner, still live in the same group (FS). TI is a private operator, in competition with all its peers, while RFI is supposed to guarantee the same rights to access the network to all operators.

And they live sharing the same bed. This situation, you may understand, is something which should raise the interest of a decent antitrust agency...
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Old October 18th, 2010, 07:07 PM   #629
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And they live sharing the same bed. This situation, you may understand, is something which should raise the interest of a decent antitrust agency...
Completely agreed!
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Old October 18th, 2010, 08:55 PM   #630
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It's not only done that way in Germany and Italy but elsewhere in Europe, too. Even in France, track maintenance is a task of SNCF although its not the owner.

As long as all competitors have equal access to the time slots available, imo there's no problem at all. The only field where it counts so far is freight traffic, and there weren't any problems reported so far in Germany. I don't see it as that a big problem.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 09:15 PM   #631
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It's not only done that way in Germany and Italy but elsewhere in Europe, too. Even in France, track maintenance is a task of SNCF although its not the owner.

As long as all competitors have equal access to the time slots available, imo there's no problem at all. The only field where it counts so far is freight traffic, and there weren't any problems reported so far in Germany. I don't see it as that a big problem.
We need those measures to be implemented in regard of passenger transport too. So freight and passenger traffic can compete for the slots.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 11:18 PM   #632
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We need those measures to be implemented in regard of passenger transport too. So freight and passenger traffic can compete for the slots.
Yes, sure, so says the fox about how the sheep should shelter his house =) This measure would conveniently impact passenger rail. I still wonder why you want to force everyone to use cars.

The inverse equivalent of this measure would be putting tolls in *all* roads and account in their price not only the infra-structure maintenance, but also the loss that car accidents make in the economy, environmental compensations, global warming fighting, all problems of air pollution, etc.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 08:02 AM   #633
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The inverse equivalent of this measure would be putting tolls in *all* roads and account in their price not only the infra-structure maintenance, but also the loss that car accidents make in the economy, environmental compensations, global warming fighting, all problems of air pollution, etc.
Let's go spam the highway forum with this.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 11:24 AM   #634
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The inverse equivalent of this measure would be putting tolls in *all* roads and account in their price not only the infra-structure maintenance, but also the loss that car accidents make in the economy, environmental compensations, global warming fighting, all problems of air pollution, etc.
I agree with a system-wide scheme where the direct costs of road transport (road construction and maintenance, accident victims treatments etc.) are paid by drivers, IF all the special taxes on fuel, cars, parking are not to be used for anything else but this purpose.

As for "environmental compensations", I couldn't care less, and global warming makes me laugh. Not that it doesn't exist, but that it is not the responsibility of drivers to use their car less to fight global warming - we need, indeed, cleaner fuels and electric cars powered with clean energy (nuclear, wind, solar whatever) instead of "driving less".

So keep it is bs to think a transport mode should bear "indirect" costs, while others shouldn't. Keep it simple: every transportation mode should pay for its own INFRASTRUCTURE and DIRECT IMPACT (accidents, property taken through eminent domain, noise mitigation etc).
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Old October 19th, 2010, 02:48 PM   #635
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As for "environmental compensations", I couldn't care less, and global warming makes me laugh. Not that it doesn't exist, but that it is not the responsibility of drivers to use their car less to fight global warming - we need, indeed, cleaner fuels and electric cars powered with clean energy (nuclear, wind, solar whatever) instead of "driving less".
It would be interresting to know how much electricity that would require. Depending on how much, it could make electric power extremely expensive for everyone.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 03:19 PM   #636
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It would be interresting to know how much electricity that would require. Depending on how much, it could make electric power extremely expensive for everyone.
In US, according do DOE, the amount of energy used to power personal cars is 26% of total energy consumption. I would say figures are lower in Europe as cars here are lighter and more fuel efficient.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 03:29 PM   #637
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In US, according do DOE, the amount of energy used to power personal cars is 26% of total energy consumption. I would say figures are lower in Europe as cars here are lighter and more fuel efficient.
Summing up the data from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_..._United_States

I summed up the data and in the USA 40% of the total energy consumption is done in electrical form, so shifting cars to electricity would increase electrical energy consumption by 65%.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 03:45 PM   #638
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Summing up the data from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_..._United_States

I summed up the data and in the USA 40% of the total energy consumption is done in electrical form, so shifting cars to electricity would increase electrical energy consumption by 65%.
You can't just sum it. Efficiency of electrical engines is far higher than that of internal combustion engines. Hence, less energy is needed to move the same cars same distance. Moreover, you can (relatively) easily build oil-powered electrical plants, so you make electricity from what you'd refine and put in the thank, than use it to charge cars' batteries, and you will end up spending LESS overall energy.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 09:46 PM   #639
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Why do you think that DB will be completely privatized?

If that would happen, the result is obvious. A very shart decline in the quality and amount of train services in Germany, just like it happened in England.
That's actually not what happened in the UK. The number of train services offered has almost doubled since privatisation. So have passenger numbers.
Public transport's modal share even increased there.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #640
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Some countries, like Italy, opt to sharply cut services that don't break even, others, like Netherlands, opt to specifically contract money-losing services, but then the "losses" are paid from the budget of the government, not from the operating company.
The problem in Italy is that the incumbent is very inefficient, so a cut of subsidies usually means a serious cut in services, where other companies would just try to cut costs first, not services. Trenitalia however has so far managed to game the system so that other railway companies hardly stand a chance. In the end the Italian train traveller, and the tax payer lose.
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