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Old March 1st, 2011, 06:04 PM   #821
Cirdan
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Originally Posted by Kampflamm View Post
This winter's been a huge disaster. Hourlong delays, bad service...and DB officials knew this was going to happen. To be honest I don't think they're a good alternative to driving anymore. I chose DB over my car twice last year for city trips within Germany and both times something went horribly wrong (stuck in Essen for an hour for example, a 30 minute delay was racked up on the trip between Cologne and Hamburg and one of the carriages with my seat reservation magically went missing).
I believe the expactations are simply way over the top. I mean, boo hoo, the trains were 2 hours late on Christmas... never mind that airports got closed, car travel times doubled or tripled (not to mention the danger of driving in ice and snow), but the train is expected to be on time, and everyone that decides (quite sensibly) that the train might be the better choice of transport in this weather expects to get a seat.

Not that there's nothing to improve, I know that there are too many problems with rolling stock already at temperatures that have to be expected in German winter, but nothing happened that I'd call a disaster.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 10:13 PM   #822
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If the delays had been on Christmas eve/day alone, everything would have been fine but these delays happend throughtout all of December.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 10:34 AM   #823
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If the delays had been on Christmas eve/day alone, everything would have been fine but these delays happened throughout all year.
Corrected.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 10:26 AM   #824
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Basically, they all are integrated into the same fare system and the authorities define the standards for every service. So they are in fact quite comparable. However, private operators tend to use on average newer stock.
Basically there are two types of private operations:
- Contracts: Operation of local railway operations that require a governement subsidy are tendered, and increasingly private operators are winning these contracts, and often doing a better job for less money than DB Regio did before them. These contracts usually define services, rolling stock to be used and the fare system. They are normally integrated in the rest of the regional transport offer. Even though these companies often have a locally sounding name they are mostly part of a big concern like Veolia.
- Open access operators. There are very few of them (in fact, only one, I think), and they don't seem to do well. Even when you're a lot cheaper than DB, the fact that "DB Reise un Touristik" runs hourly on most long distance routes is hard to match.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 10:54 PM   #825
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Basically there are two types of private operations:
- Contracts: Operation of local railway operations that require a governement subsidy are tendered, and increasingly private operators are winning these contracts, and often doing a better job for less money than DB Regio did before them.
it should be said though that those cheap offers by private operaters are usually only possible because they pay their personal a lot less. But looking at the current strike activities in this regard i doubt we will see these dumping wages for much longer.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 12:26 AM   #826
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If the delays had been on Christmas eve/day alone, everything would have been fine but these delays happend throughtout all of December.
...and throughout all of december, we had chaos at airports and on highways because of the snow.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 02:43 AM   #827
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...and throughout all of december, we had chaos at airports and on highways because of the snow.
To be honest , this past winter has crippled just about every Northern Hempshire Transit whether for hours or days.... Train systems are not built to handle these types of conditions and one by one system by system failures on a small to massive scale occur. When comes down to communication , I think just about every agency during this past winter bungled it and big time...
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Old March 5th, 2011, 04:30 AM   #828
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A major problem with rail transport (of passengers) in Europe is that the European Directive applicable to air transport do no apply to train transport. I think they are working in some similar directive for international rail transport (at least).

Train companies operating medium and long distance services should be obliged to:
- compensate passengers for delays.
- be responsible to provide lodging and food for stranded passengers
- be obliged to issue time-specif tickets for everyone (as a way to prove a delay), be it actively (required reservation trains) or passively (RFID transport card in place of paper tickets that keep track of boarding times and route).
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Old March 5th, 2011, 02:50 PM   #829
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- compensate passengers for delays.
- be responsible to provide lodging and food for stranded passengers
Isn't there something similar already in place? Maybe I am mistaken though.

Quote:
- be obliged to issue time-specif tickets for everyone (as a way to prove a delay), be it actively (required reservation trains) or passively (RFID transport card in place of paper tickets that keep track of boarding times and route).
Does that mean such a ticket would be only valid on a very specific train and not a train earlier or later? Even for regional trains and S-Bahn? If yes, that sounds like a terrible idea which would be only making train service, especially local one a lot more uncomfortable und uncompetitive. To oblige rail services legally to do so even if it would hurt their business is irresponsible. To introduce such a system or not should be made by the companies and the companies alone.

It is also totally unnecessary for the aim of proving that you'd been on a delayed train. The ticket could be possible stamped with train specific stamps when being discarded.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 04:23 PM   #830
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
A major problem with rail transport (of passengers) in Europe is that the European Directive applicable to air transport do no apply to train transport. I think they are working in some similar directive for international rail transport (at least).

Train companies operating medium and long distance services should be obliged to:
- compensate passengers for delays.
- be responsible to provide lodging and food for stranded passengers
- be obliged to issue time-specif tickets for everyone (as a way to prove a delay), be it actively (required reservation trains) or passively (RFID transport card in place of paper tickets that keep track of boarding times and route).
Do not worry, these rules are around. It is based on an EU regulation, but every country or in some cases every company has their own rules how the compensation acutally works. Of course the companies do not like to make these too public, as they are happy if you wonder off on your own and do not ask any favors of them...
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Old March 6th, 2011, 11:33 AM   #831
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it should be said though that those cheap offers by private operaters are usually only possible because they pay their personal a lot less. But looking at the current strike activities in this regard i doubt we will see these dumping wages for much longer.
It's at the moment only the GDL that is calling for strikes, and the GDL is not that strong amongst the drivers working for the private railways. So the strikes mostly affect some DB operations.

What you also seem to be unaware of is that the other main railway personal union, the EVG has come to a agreement with both the DB and the private railways on wages and working conditions. The wage scales that are set in this agreement apply to alle railway workers, regardless of whether they work for the privates or the DB.

A lot of the people working for the private railways are former DB workers that transferred together with the operation when the new tenant got the contract. That these people kept their compensation package was usually part of the deal.

So your claim that it's mostly "dumping" that allows the privates to be cheaper is not supported by the facts, nor your statement that the personal working for the privates is in large numbers unhappy about their compensation.
The privates are cheaper mostly because they are more flexible when it comes to adopting cost saving operation practices, but mostly because they have a lot less overhead. DB, like many state companies, has far to much administrative staff in proportion to its operational staff.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 11:44 AM   #832
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
A major problem with rail transport (of passengers) in Europe is that the European Directive applicable to air transport do no apply to train transport. I think they are working in some similar directive for international rail transport (at least).
You seem to be unaware about current railway passenger rights.

Quote:
Train companies operating medium and long distance services should be obliged to:
- compensate passengers for delays.
- be responsible to provide lodging and food for stranded passengers
Have a look here:
http://www.railpassenger.info/docs/p...charter_en.pdf
It is all there, and it even goes a lot further than what airlines offer...

One big advantage rail has here over air is that the whole chain is covered. An airline has fulfilled its obligation if it has delivered you to the destination airport. Even if that is with 4 hours delay in the middle of the night when there is no onward transportation available and you're still 200km from your final destination (as happend to me once).
Trains usually bring you a lot closer to your final destination. It's a big difference when to company you have contracted your transportation with can only absolve itself from it's obligations towards you when you arrive in your neighbourhood railway station versus in your countries main international airport...

Quote:
- be obliged to issue time-specif tickets for everyone (as a way to prove a delay), be it actively (required reservation trains) or passively (RFID transport card in place of paper tickets that keep track of boarding times and route).
That is not needed. Tickets are stamped by the staff, so there is always proof of which train you used them on. No need for complicated solutions here. So far 2010 has indeed been a year I got a lot of money back from the railways. Each time without a lot of fuss, although the French were the slowest in compensating...
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Old March 7th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #833
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K wins. Seriously Suburbanist, how many more factdevoids do you have?
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Old March 7th, 2011, 06:08 PM   #834
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...and throughout all of december, we had chaos at airports and on highways because of the snow.
Not really. Sure, on days that it did snow, even (some) highways were full of traffic jams. But Deutsche Bahn had hourlong delays every f'ing day in December.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 07:43 AM   #835
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Not really. Sure, on days that it did snow, even (some) highways were full of traffic jams. But Deutsche Bahn had hourlong delays every f'ing day in December.
Well, on the day that I travelled from Switzerland to Belgium the airports in Belgium were completely closed. Had I not travelled with Deutsche Bahn I would have missed Christmas with my relatives...

DB had serious delays (and had to compensate me and my wife because of that) but at least at all times there were trains moving. You couldn't say that of the airlines, or even the roads.
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Old March 10th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #836
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
It's at the moment only the GDL that is calling for strikes, and the GDL is not that strong amongst the drivers working for the private railways. So the strikes mostly affect some DB operations.
if i recall correctly 2/3 of the drivers from private companies are in the GDL

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
So your claim that it's mostly "dumping" that allows the privates to be cheaper is not supported by the facts
yeah right, just look at the DB who is founding one sub company after another, then shifting employees over to that company where they are not bound to any minimal wage agreements. The reason given by the DB is always the same. They have to pay lower wages to be competitive with private operators.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 04:28 PM   #837
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if i recall correctly 2/3 of the drivers from private companies are in the GDL
You probably don't recall correctly then. The EVG dissagrees with you anyway.

Quote:
yeah right, just look at the DB who is founding one sub company after another, then shifting employees over to that company where they are not bound to any minimal wage agreements. The reason given by the DB is always the same. They have to pay lower wages to be competitive with private operators.
The "Tarifvertrag" that the EVG signed with DB and the private companies applies to bascially the whole sector. And do you think that DB really could just "shift" employees in to a different company where compensation is lower? Workers do have rights in Germany, you know.
That wouldn't even work in the States...
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Old March 12th, 2011, 03:08 AM   #838
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Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
Does that mean such a ticket would be only valid on a very specific train and not a train earlier or later? Even for regional trains and S-Bahn? If yes, that sounds like a terrible idea which would be only making train service, especially local one a lot more uncomfortable und uncompetitive. To oblige rail services legally to do so even if it would hurt their business is irresponsible. To introduce such a system or not should be made by the companies and the companies alone.

It is also totally unnecessary for the aim of proving that you'd been on a delayed train. The ticket could be possible stamped with train specific stamps when being discarded.
For Suburbanist, that's a feature rather than a bug. He believes that all train operators should practise yield management and vary fares according to time of day, and requiring tickets to be for specific trains for compensation purposes would be a way of introducing it by the back door.

The standard ticket format in the UK provides for specific days but not specific trains, so train operators have come up with a workaround: a compulsory reservation that obliges you to take an individual train but does not reserve you a seat.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 05:32 AM   #839
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Originally Posted by Gag Halfrunt View Post
For Suburbanist, that's a feature rather than a bug. He believes that all train operators should practise yield management and vary fares according to time of day, and requiring tickets to be for specific trains for compensation purposes would be a way of introducing it by the back door.

The standard ticket format in the UK provides for specific days but not specific trains, so train operators have come up with a workaround: a compulsory reservation that obliges you to take an individual train but does not reserve you a seat.
Once we discussed that in this sub-forum. I support the idea if yield management. However, it must be implemented differently according to the routes concerned.

For every train, there should be check-in/check-out controls, with gates or honor system, using smartcards, RFID or whatever other technology.

Once there is a way to track passengers about when they enter and exit any station, different forms of yield management could be implemented:

- for all trains, abolish the outdated practice of selling tickets onboard. Conductors should be there only to provide some information but, in regard of fares, only to FINE, severely, people travelling without proper tickets, not to sell tickets for lazy people who can't come 3-5 minutes early to buy a ticket from electronic machines (now a commodity in most rail systems).

- for long-distance and international trains (except for border regional trains), make travel possible only with nominal nontransferable, seat-specific and train-specific reservation. Extensive yield management, airline-style, can then be in place. Thalys and Eurostar are good examples of that: an Amsterdam-Paris ticket can cost as little as € 35 if you buy in advance, and as much as € 91 if bought 10 minutes before departure - advance discounts are not possible without higher fares for last-minute in-a-hurry-need-to-leave-now passengers. German ICEs have such discounted fares but they commit a mortal sin by allowing passengers without reservation on board and even standing passengers, a crime against the quality of any decent long-distance rail service (I'm sure people are delighted to travel Köln-Frankfurt standing or seated but having someone standing next to you and overlooking you).

- for medium-distance trains with many fast and frequent stops, seat reservation might not be practicable, but that doesn't mean train-specific reservation should be off the table also. However, the key for yield management here is less about advance purchase than about intraday seasonality. Each route/relation have more demand at certain times, less demand at other times, and prices should reflect such variations precisely. Some degree of advance purchase must be taken into account, and trains-specific ticketing used to ensure no one will ever travel without an available seat in normal operation.

- for commuter trains with high frequency, only time/day remains viable for yield management due to high volumes and high turnover of passengers involved.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 05:43 AM   #840
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What's so great about yield management then? The only thing I see in it is a lot of discomfort and headaches for the passengers.
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