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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:50 AM   #681
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I refuse to go over - again - the argument that connecting in Liège is worse than it was before HSL-3. Travel times FROM Brussels TO Liège have been drastically reduced, and that is what matters.
That was not my argument. Station to station travel times have not decreased substantially compared to the fastest trains in the 80-ies on Liège - Brussels. Has nothing to do with connections. Connecting in Liége is not worse than it used to be btw, the NMBS have never been very good at timetabling. They suffer from "build first, think later" more than about any other railway in Europe, save maybe the Italians.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 08:47 AM   #682
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That was not my argument. Station to station travel times have not decreased substantially compared to the fastest trains in the 80-ies on Liège - Brussels. Has nothing to do with connections. Connecting in Liége is not worse than it used to be btw, the NMBS have never been very good at timetabling. They suffer from "build first, think later" more than about any other railway in Europe, save maybe the Italians.
They are just right. First you build the damn tracks, then you run the damn trains in whatever convenient timetable for you, and if spoiled passengers from Germany want to connect, they wait!
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Old November 16th, 2010, 10:13 AM   #683
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They are just right. First you build the damn tracks, then you run the damn trains in whatever convenient timetable for you, and if spoiled passengers from Germany want to connect, they wait!
Sure, who needs passengers...

Looks like according to you a railway should just run empty trains, and not even try to offer an attractive product.

And anyway, you're completely missing my point. Billions of Euros of tax payer money were spent on a new line. And the result: A few minutes gain in time on Liège - Brussels. Is it to much to require that tax payer money gets spend wisely? Strange that you, who gives every appearance of being a fiscally concervative should oppose that.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 02:12 PM   #684
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Station to station travel times have not decreased substantially compared to the fastest trains in the 80-ies on Liège - Brussels.
Well then, tell us about the fastest trains in the 1980s. How long did they take from Bruxelles-Midi to Liège-Guillemins?
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Old November 16th, 2010, 08:09 PM   #685
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Sure, who needs passengers...

Looks like according to you a railway should just run empty trains, and not even try to offer an attractive product.

And anyway, you're completely missing my point. Billions of Euros of tax payer money were spent on a new line. And the result: A few minutes gain in time on Liège - Brussels. Is it to much to require that tax payer money gets spend wisely? Strange that you, who gives every appearance of being a fiscally concervative should oppose that.
I believe government should build tracks as it builds highways: build the infrastructure regardless of micro-management considerations like timetables... build the (rail/high)way then see what happens.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 09:12 PM   #686
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It's like saying that yes, government should build more schools, but then allow every family to choose his own teacher.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 09:17 PM   #687
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Or a company developing a product and enter the market without doing any market analysis at all beforehand. It doesn't work for a private company, it doesn't work for the government.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 09:34 PM   #688
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Or a company developing a product and enter the market without doing any market analysis at all beforehand. It doesn't work for a private company, it doesn't work for the government.
It has nothing to do with that. Of course the government should study the demand for a new railway or highway in any route beforehand, or any new airport. I'm not advocating building HSL for the sake of building it. What I am saying is that government, when building a highway, doesn't know which specific cars and trucks will drive there and where they are coming/going from/to. When government build an airport, it makes a feasibility traffic study, but doesn't know beforehand what will be the scheduled flight times for that airport when it opens - that is left for airlines to fight among themselves for slots and decide -.

Likewise, I wish government didn't interfere with timetables. Is there passenger demand in the axis? Build the HS railway, then auction 1, 2 or 3-year slot paths to the highest bidders and let them run trains whenever they want! Is there a demand for a highs-speed Leipzig-Dresden link? Build the tracks, let private operators decide the micromanagement of schedule and fares, like government let private drivers and truck companies to decide when to get behind the wheels, shippers to decide when to dock their vessels on a maritime port or airlines to decide when (and with what airplanes) to fly on the new airport/runway.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 10:05 PM   #689
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It has nothing to do with that. Of course the government should study the demand for a new railway or highway in any route beforehand, or any new airport. I'm not advocating building HSL for the sake of building it. What I am saying is that government, when building a highway, doesn't know which specific cars and trucks will drive there and where they are coming/going from/to. When government build an airport, it makes a feasibility traffic study, but doesn't know beforehand what will be the scheduled flight times for that airport when it opens - that is left for airlines to fight among themselves for slots and decide -.
Of course it has to do with it. A company doesn't know either which individual customers will buy its product when, where and why. It doesn't have that knowledge either, only a more or less exact prediction. It will always operate under conditions of uncertainty, like a government when deciding where to invest. And both have to reduce that uncertainty as far as possible.

Regarding the interference with timetables: The utility of the product (both the HSL and the services) depends to a very large part on the service (number of trains, intervalls, regular connections, fair prices, etc.). If the investor can't guarantee the actual use of the tracks, the operator might decide that he doesn't want to run enough trains to justify building the HSL in the first place. So, like every good investor, the government has to make sure that its investment will pay out afterwards. The easiest and fairest way to do so is to auction off the whole package and include the number of connections, etc.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 12:00 AM   #690
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What Suburbanis fail to understand is that on most air trips only one vehicle is used and that on such long distances that the trip is planified (you know already arriving in the airport what airplane you will take), and roads are used by vehicles owned by the users. Instead most of train trips involve changing trains and no exact planifications (you don't plan months in advance a 30 km trip). Only sometimes long distance trains can behave like airplanes, but most of times they don't. I think we should stop replying, Suburbanist would not understand...
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Old November 17th, 2010, 12:41 AM   #691
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What Suburbanis fail to understand is that on most air trips only one vehicle is used and that on such long distances that the trip is planified (you know already arriving in the airport what airplane you will take), and roads are used by vehicles owned by the users. Instead most of train trips involve changing trains and no exact planifications (you don't plan months in advance a 30 km trip). Only sometimes long distance trains can behave like airplanes, but most of times they don't. I think we should stop replying, Suburbanist would not understand...
The hidden point is that Suburbanist is against people not having a car and using trains for their unplanned regional trips. He wants to force everyone to have a car and make trains simply a new kind of airplane to use for longer distances.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 01:34 AM   #692
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No, the Transrapid is just the wrong technology for a short link between an airport and the city centre. The benefit/cost ratio was simply unfavourable.
This is definitely true. However, I was thinking of having an example to show the world how the billions of DM/Euros were spent beyond a train to nowhere in china. Transrapid is an incredible technology but by axing the Munich line, the authorities basically said to the world that the technology is not worth investing in. Gains by exporting this technology would outweigh the costs incurred in Munich, but instead of Germany benefitting, a couple of bavarians with no vision killed it because they couldn't take off the local binders. I see a lot of similarities to Stuttgart 21 in that regard....

I'd love a transrapid line from manhattan to our airports, or even nearby cities, but if the Germans refuse to implement it in their own country, why should anybody else buy it from them? Meanwhile we'll all wait for a cheaper Chinese version and they can eat transrapid's lunch.

That's what I meant about a "lack of vision."
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Old November 17th, 2010, 01:37 AM   #693
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Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
What Suburbanis fail to understand is that on most air trips only one vehicle is used and that on such long distances that the trip is planified (you know already arriving in the airport what airplane you will take), and roads are used by vehicles owned by the users. Instead most of train trips involve changing trains and no exact planifications (you don't plan months in advance a 30 km trip).
You don't plan most taxi rides, yet they don't have preset routes, only fares (and not even in all cities). The problem with your proposition is to have public involvement with vehicle operation. I am preemptive against that because it resembles socialism or failed 70's nanny state policies. I totally oppose the idea of governments hiring (directly or by monopolistic tendering, whose results are the same) drivers and setting up centralized schedules. This is just central planing done Soviet style and I totally hate the mere idea.

Creating a truly competitive rail market that resembles the air market is more important than having efficient rail services. Competition and (government) hands-off of menial tasks like driving a train are more important than guaranteeing the most possible comprehensive rail service in the country. The idea of central planning and micro-management of transport is like a poison that rot the essentials of capitalism in that regard. Nothing could be more byzantine in regard of transportation than operating thousands of vehicles over public highways, on public waterways, above in the skies or on public tracks. Byzantine tasks and jobs are usually better done by private profit-seeking enterprises than by union-rigged public entities

Many people have layovers and connections when flying that involves different companies, and it works just fine. Fares changes every half an hour, which gives dynamism to the air market and foster competition. Meanwhile, EU is dragging its feet in regard of competition for rail services.

We are slowly moving towards that, but even in high speed routes DB and Trenitalia are whining about oncoming competitors serving only the lucrative routes, skimming the market and depriving those mammoth companies of revenue they need to cross-subsidize hemorrhaging services like small buses serving Bavarian Alps' sleepy villages.

In any case, we should just abolish central coordination and let competition roar. Once many of the arguments repeated here were applied to air transport. Not a long time ago (35 years), every single aspect of flights were centrally coordinated: which company flew where, times, fares (which in many cases were kilometer-based, not elasticity-based with focus on being "fair" rather than "competitive") and with carefully planned regional hubs in some EU countries to smooth connections. Some predicted chaos in air transport when liberalization came, but guess what? We gained Easyjet and Ryanair, who excel in the art of extracting money from 2nd tier cities to base planes there and thus get me for less than € 40 to many destinations around.

This would be an interesting development: if uncompetitive cities want rail service, they would have to pay for it or be without any option. The government would keep the tracks "open for business" like it does with highways, but taxpayers wouldn't be stuck with (in case of Germany) a € 2,4 bln. bill to cover money-losing DB services (almost all of them regional commuter services, as IC and ICE operations break even and some make huge profits). DB receives the equivalent of € 44 per citizen per year only to cover its losses on regional services, on top of money it gets from German state governments to cover for programs like student free statewide passes in some areas
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Old November 17th, 2010, 07:53 AM   #694
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Well then, tell us about the fastest trains in the 1980s. How long did they take from Bruxelles-Midi to Liège-Guillemins?
In the 1983 timetable the fastest train on the Line was the IC "Saphir", which went from Köln to Brussel. It needed 1h03 for the Liège - Brussel - Zuid part, with a stop in Brussel Noord and Centraal, but no stop in Leuven.
The current fastest domestic trains is IC-O, which has the same stopping pattern, but which goes via the new line needs 56 minutes. A gain of 7 minutes.

I don't call that very impressive, and ask myself if this time gain could have been achieved at less cost, by upgrading the existing line.

The Thalys services are faster, but they are not targeted at domestic trips, and can't be used by commuters, and the introduction of the high speed trains meant that many places lost their direct connection with Germany. In 1983 Köln - Oostende was 3h25. Now it's 3h33. In fact, almost all trips between random origin - destination pairs within Belgium, and from Belgium to neighboring countries have increased. And that after spending billions in taxpayer money. Am I wrong if wondering whether that was money wisely spent?

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Old November 17th, 2010, 08:20 AM   #695
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There is probably more rail ridership in the state of Baden Württemberg alone than the entire Switzerland.
But then Baden Württemberg is probably the part of Germany most like Switzerland.
But you're wrong.
I only could find data from 2004 and there it says that total ridership was 5,2 billion pkm.
Swiss railways registered a total of 17 billion pkm in the same year. (source: www.litra.ch)
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Old November 17th, 2010, 08:56 AM   #696
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I believe government should build tracks as it builds highways: build the infrastructure regardless of micro-management considerations like timetables... build the (rail/high)way then see what happens.
So you are in favor of indiscriminate spending of public money without forethought? The me it looks like you either don't pay taxes, or haven't done so for a long time.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 09:01 AM   #697
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Build the tracks, let private operators decide the micromanagement of schedule and fares,
That would be fine if the private operators also finance the tracks, ie, pay back the loans from usage fees.
However the moment huge amounts of tax payer money are sunk in to something the main concern is how to achieve maximum utilitiy to the tax paying public, not how to achieve maximum utility to the railways.

BTW, one of the reasons RFF is forcing a strict interval schedule on its network as of 2012 is to make it possible for other operators beside SNCF to run in France... A railway isn't like a highway, where vehicles can move on their own volition. You need "micro management".
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Old November 17th, 2010, 09:16 AM   #698
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[b]Creating a truly competitive rail market that resembles the air market is more important than having efficient rail services. Competition and (government) hands-off of menial tasks like driving a train are more important than guaranteeing the most possible comprehensive rail service in the country.
But why? Can you explain how that serves some other interest beside your prejudices?


Quote:
The idea of central planning and micro-management of transport is like a poison that rot the essentials of capitalism in that regard.
I think that you have a poor grasp of what the essentials of capitalism are. In a way the current dominant transportation infrastructure (the car and the highway) is a step back from capitalism.


Quote:
Many people have layovers and connections when flying that involves different companies, and it works just fine. Fares changes every half an hour, which gives dynamism to the air market and foster competition.
The air market is also still heavily subsidised in the EU. Ryanair couldn't survive without government handouts.
The air market is very different from the rail market. The average Swiss citizen takes a train 46 times a year, but only flies once or twice. I don't think SBB would have so many customers if they changed their timetable on every whim. People make decisions like where to live and work based on the train timetable. The Swiss railways are succesful because of customer loyalty, but that has te be earned.


Quote:
Meanwhile, EU is dragging its feet in regard of competition for rail services.
It's not the EU that is dragging it's feet. It's countries like Italy and France that are.


Quote:
We are slowly moving towards that, but even in high speed routes DB and Trenitalia are whining about oncoming competitors serving only the lucrative routes, skimming the market and depriving those mammoth companies of revenue they need to cross-subsidize hemorrhaging services like small buses serving Bavarian Alps' sleepy villages.
In Germany there is no cross subsidizing between DB's long distance services and buses servicing sleepy villages in Bavarian Alps. These buses are (rightfully) subsidised by local authorities.

Quote:
We gained Easyjet and Ryanair, who excel in the art of extracting money from 2nd tier cities to base planes there and thus get me for less than € 40 to many destinations around.
Thanks to the money extracted from cities... Why is it ok if a city subsidizes an air service to that city, but wrong when it subsidizes a rail service?

Quote:
This would be an interesting development: if uncompetitive cities want rail service, they would have to pay for it or be without any option.
Oh, suddenly you are in favor of the Swiss system? Say, if a local government decides to pay for a service, can it then also set a standard? Like, "run evey hour to a strict hourly schedule?"

Quote:
The government would keep the tracks "open for business" like it does with highways, but taxpayers wouldn't be stuck with (in case of Germany) a € 2,4 bln. bill to cover money-losing DB services (almost all of them regional commuter services, as IC and ICE operations break even and some make huge profits). DB receives the equivalent of € 44 per citizen per year only to cover its losses on regional services, on top of money it gets from German state governments to cover for programs like student free statewide passes in some areas
How does passing the bill to local governments (which is btw allready the case in Germany, but you seem to be unware of that) not sticking the taxpayers with the bill?
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Old November 17th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #699
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K, you waste your time, you can't reply to ideology with logic.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 01:12 PM   #700
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
But then Baden Württemberg is probably the part of Germany most like Switzerland.
But you're wrong.
I only could find data from 2004 and there it says that total ridership was 5,2 billion pkm.
Swiss railways registered a total of 17 billion pkm in the same year. (source: www.litra.ch)
Baden Württemberg is NOTHING like Switzerland, in terms of railways, in many aspects. For instance, Baden Württemberg has no soaring Alpine peaks and probably millions of tourists taking those long distance scenic train rides.

Unlike someone who would lie about everything for his glorious vision of regional public transport...
Quote:
Originally Posted by thun View Post
...
In terms of the rail network, Germany isn't too different from Switzerland. Only a bit larger.
...
I clearly separate facts from personal intuitions and estimates:
Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7772003 View Post
There is probably more rail ridership in the state of Baden Württemberg alone than the entire Switzerland.
It would be interesting to compare the actual passenger numbers instead of passenger kilometers in Baden Württemberg and Switzerland, with tourist on railway joyrides excluded.

I am not accurate all the time; I have no problems with that. However, I have serious problems with someone who lies his way in order to make his visions universal.

More lies:
Quote:
Originally Posted by thun View Post
...
I didn't say they have a few lines, I said that by a few lines (in numbers, not in length) you can connect all mayor cities, dumbass...
Realities:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_rail_in_Spain
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TGV

In fact, it requires many lines to to connect about two thousand kilometers of Japan from north to south. Not everyone goes to Tokyo.

Last edited by aab7772003; November 17th, 2010 at 01:25 PM.
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