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Old May 31st, 2011, 06:38 PM   #1001
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Old May 31st, 2011, 09:13 PM   #1002
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I think trains like Thalys or Eurostar have a better design. The Italian "Freccia" trains also.
Again, design isn't everything. Thalys is not very comfortable for someone of more than 1m82 (like half of all Dutch men). The Italian trains look nice Italians are good in design, which is why SBB let Pinifarina design some of its trains. (The IC2000 double deckers for example).
The "Freccias" even have the advantage of being regularly cleaned, something you can't say of conventional trains in Italy. I once travelled on an IC where in first class you had a nifty compartment behind you seat you could hang your coat in. Nicely designed, but it was so filthy I didn't dare use it.

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Too big and too squared windows make a train looks like it were a shopping street, with people on display. Or a Big Brother of sorts.
Big windows let in light and reduce the feeling of claustrophobia. Also with big windows it is possible to look out at the landscape to both sides regardless of where you sit.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 10:03 PM   #1003
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Big windows let in light and reduce the feeling of claustrophobia. Also with big windows it is possible to look out at the landscape to both sides regardless of where you sit.
I guess it is a matter of taste. High-speed or medium-speed trains are not touristic trains or heritage railways. You are there to go from point A to point B. Smaller windows give it more of an airplane modern feeling. More and more railways are, thankfully, walled off with noise barriers or artificial tunnels.

Anyway, it is a secondary detail, a matter of taste. I see the new ICx will have rather small windows, which fits my preferences (not that I will use them likely, I prefer the German Autobahnen anyway).
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Old June 5th, 2011, 01:35 PM   #1004
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist
You are there to go from point A to point B. ... More and more railways are, thankfully, walled off with noise barriers or artificial tunnels.
This is not trolling, right.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 06:00 PM   #1005
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This is not trolling, right.
So he doesn't actually use trains, but he is very sure that those people that use them should have:

*Small windows for a claustrophobic, airplane-like fealing
*Barriers all around to remove all view
*No standing travel, no buying tickets in trains, so that using trains is less convenient for expontaneous and last-minute travelers (just did myself a last-minute train trip yesterday and bought with the staff)
*Seat belts for maximum disconfort
*No on-board food service
*Only non-contracted private operators, so that people will loose the assurance that the train route that they use will exist next year, again making trains less convenient

What will be next in the list of non-sense to remove all advantages of using trains?
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Old June 5th, 2011, 06:10 PM   #1006
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I don't care about raifaning, just about economics of transport and costumer choice.

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*Small windows for a claustrophobic, airplane-like fealing
I like airplanes. And this is just a matter of design preference, for Christ sake. I just wrote I prefer smaller, Thalys-like or AVE-like windows because they are rounded, smaller and more futuristic. It is just about aesthetics. Some people prefer vanilla ice cream, others prefer chocolate ice cream, some prefer blueberry ice cream! None is inherently better than other.

So nothing wrong with those preferring larger windows, it's their taste. Up to the point where they would try to obligate train manufacturers to make larger windows, interfering with their design freedom.

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*Barriers all around to remove all view
It's all about noise abatement. I'm all in favor of reasonable-placed noise barriers for railways and highways alike. Regenerative braking systems produce a lot of low-frequency noise that needs some specific type of noise abatement barriers likewise downhill highway sector where trucks brake a lot require some specific adaptations to noise barriers. The noise of regenerative braking in action is very characteristic, easily recognizable and problematic because of its low frequency.

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*Only non-contracted private operators, so that people will loose the assurance that the train route that they use will exist next year, again making trains less convenient
Next YEAR? If someone is lazy enough not to check schedules again next YEAR, one deserves not to leave home altogether. We don't even have assurance that our jobs will exist next year, why would something as irrelevant as a specific train route of a specific train company be guaranteed?

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*No standing travel, no buying tickets in trains, so that using trains is less convenient for expontaneous and last-minute travelers (just did myself a last-minute train trip yesterday and bought with the staff)
Germans are extremely wired with smartphones, they use ATMs, they buy stuff online (although yet less than the Italians and British). There is a modern device called electronic unmanned ticket machines, that can be deployed in any train station allowing immediate ticket purchase. No need for the staff to sell tickets. The less staff a railway has, the better. The less personal annoying interactions required to travel, the better. Machines are better than humans for something as mundane and repetitive as selling tickets.

The less humans involved in a public transportation system on menial tasks, and the more automated the system it is (vending machines instead of restaurant cars) for instance, the better.

As for standing travel, it makes German top-end trains worse than their French and Italian counterparts. Unless there is an accident or something *really* serious like a train failure, I can travel in a TGV or Eurostar Alta Velocità with CERTAINTY I can have a seat, nobody will disturb me in the nearby alley and, if I'm travelling with a companion, we can reserve a seat together. German ICEs make reservation possible, so I solve 3 of the 4 aforementioned concerns, but not the one about the hassle standing passengers present to those who want a quiet, undisturbed journey.

On the other hand, at least DB trains usually have seat-specific indications of sectors for which each seat is reserved. That way, people travelling without reservations know beforehand when they will have to give way for someone with reserved seat. Some countries like Netherlands and Belgium are more backward and outdated in that aspect of not allowing seat reservation. Italians trains where reservation was optional brought hard times for conductors, when passengers without reservations refused to give way for passengers with reservations. But in Germany that seems not of a so big problem.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 06:49 PM   #1007
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The Dutch and Belgium systems aren't backward because of the different nature intercity trains have. In the Netherlands it's more like a subway style operation with short distances between stations. Reservations would create for more ineffecienty as keeping track of these would cost more time effort and money than it would do good.

In Germany reservations make much more sense as distances are longer
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Old June 6th, 2011, 04:46 PM   #1008
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I like airplanes.
I like airplanes too. Especially small airplanes I can fly myself, with as much window surface as possible. So I get to enjoy the view.

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And this is just a matter of design preference, for Christ sake. I just wrote I prefer smaller, Thalys-like or AVE-like windows because they are rounded, smaller and more futuristic. It is just about aesthetics. Some people prefer vanilla ice cream, others prefer chocolate ice cream, some prefer blueberry ice cream! None is inherently better than other.
So if most of your customers prefer blueberry icecream, that's what you produce if you can only produce one taste. Idem with trains. Most trains travellers (I would say 99%) prefer large windows. The only reason to make windows smaller is to reduce heat loads in hot climates.
If airplanes could be build with larger windows, they would.

Quote:
So nothing wrong with those preferring larger windows, it's their taste. Up to the point where they would try to obligate train manufacturers to make larger windows, interfering with their design freedom.
What about the customer? Does he get a say in the design? It's the railways that want large windows, and so the rolling stock manufacturers build it. In fact, modern windows are so strong that reducing window sizes reduces the strength of the car body, as Stadler found out when they build trains for Algeria.

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It's all about noise abatement. I'm all in favor of reasonable-placed noise barriers for railways and highways alike.
Fortunately SBB is buying mostly bi-level stock nowadays, so on the upper level you get to look over the barriers.

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Next YEAR? If someone is lazy enough not to check schedules again next YEAR, one deserves not to leave home altogether. We don't even have assurance that our jobs will exist next year, why would something as irrelevant as a specific train route of a specific train company be guaranteed?
People make decisions on where to live and where to work based on public transport availability. For that reason having schedules that are fairly stable over long periods is a must if, as a transport company you want to get a solid loyal customer base. You know, the ones that make you most of your money.
It is odd that you seem to advocate measures that go against the interest of the operating company's botton line under the pretext of economics...


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The less personal annoying interactions required to travel, the better.
You are really a very strange persion.

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As for standing travel, it makes German top-end trains worse than their French and Italian counterparts. Unless there is an accident or something *really* serious like a train failure, I can travel in a TGV or Eurostar Alta Velocità with CERTAINTY I can have a seat, nobody will disturb me in the nearby alley and, if I'm travelling with a companion, we can reserve a seat together. German ICEs make reservation possible, so I solve 3 of the 4 aforementioned concerns, but not the one about the hassle standing passengers present to those who want a quiet, undisturbed journey.
However, DB compensates by offering more choice, and a better integrated system. I've been trying to book Ancona - Milano for a couple of weeks now, and the Trenitalia site simply refuses me to sell me the fastest connection. I'll have to go the the local station to book my train, letting a human do it for me, but have to wait till Trenitalia has gotten around to feed it's timetable to its partners, which it, as always, does at the latest possible moment.

If you are going to force people to reserve seats then at least make it possible. Last year people couldn't reserve seats on Italian trains for travel around Christmas till the first week of december. Which basically meant you could not buy tickets in advance. Quite a service that is.

Quote:
Italians trains where reservation was optional brought hard times for conductors, when passengers without reservations refused to give way for passengers with reservations. But in Germany that seems not of a so big problem.
Because Germans are more polite than Italians? <gdar>
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Old June 6th, 2011, 08:00 PM   #1009
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
If airplanes could be build with larger windows, they would.


In fact, modern windows are so strong that reducing window sizes reduces the strength of the car body, as Stadler found out when they build trains for Algeria.
I am not entirely sure about that, particularly in the context where high-speed train cars bear the most extreme conditions: crossing a train in the opposite direction at 250km/h each (total displacement velocity = 500km/h) in a tight tunnel.

That creates sudden changes in pressure as both trains approach each other and cross. Can glass withstand pressure as cheaply as other materials in such environments?

Quote:
Fortunately SBB is buying mostly bi-level stock nowadays, so on the upper level you get to look over the barriers.

Quote:
However, DB compensates by offering more choice, and a better integrated system. I've been trying to book Ancona - Milano for a couple of weeks now, and the Trenitalia site simply refuses me to sell me the fastest connection.
Unrelated issues. Trenitalia won't sell you tight connections to avoid dealing with consequences of delays on certain routes, as that means difficulties in re-accommodating passengers should they miss connections. They are particularly keen on not allowing the sell of certain tight connections in Bologna Centrale, which is the major node of the Italian network (800+ daily inter-city trains + regional services + commuter light-rail services). DB doesn't care about you losing a connection, they will tell you to take the next trains and, if it is full, good luck for you. No refunds given
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Old June 6th, 2011, 08:20 PM   #1010
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That creates sudden changes in pressure as both trains approach each other and cross. Can glass withstand pressure as cheaply as other materials in such environments?
It's being done since decades.

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Trenitalia won't sell you tight connections to avoid dealing with consequences of delays on certain routes, as that means difficulties in re-accommodating passengers should they miss connections.
The lack of conenctions leads to a loss of passengers.

By the way, why should we talk about everything but German railways here? We should create a separate thread to discuss about Suburbanist's strange visions...
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Old June 6th, 2011, 08:40 PM   #1011
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As much as I would like to keep things on-topic across the Railways forum, most of the things that Suburbanist is talking about are related to German railways so I can't judge them to be off-topic.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 09:05 AM   #1012
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Unrelated issues. Trenitalia won't sell you tight connections to avoid dealing with consequences of delays on certain routes, as that means difficulties in re-accommodating passengers should they miss connections. They are particularly keen on not allowing the sell of certain tight connections in Bologna Centrale, which is the major node of the Italian network (800+ daily inter-city trains + regional services + commuter light-rail services). DB doesn't care about you losing a connection, they will tell you to take the next trains and, if it is full, good luck for you. No refunds given
Trenitalia should just learn to run trains on time. Other railways manage to do so after all.
And what is a tight connection anway? Ancona - Milano with a change in Bologna involves a 26 minute connection, which is sufficiant for chaning trains. Going by direct train Ancona - Milano means being in Switzerland a full two hours later...
Having good connections, and avoiding layovers is a way of saving your customers time. When (like in Italy) you spend billions in tax money on infrastructure you should then plan your trains such that the passengers don't end up spending the time gained on board wandering around the stations in stead...

(BTW, if Bologna is considered a "major node" with only about 800 trains a day, what does that say about the utilisation of the Italian network...)
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Old June 7th, 2011, 11:14 AM   #1013
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(BTW, if Bologna is considered a "major node" with only about 800 trains a day, what does that say about the utilisation of the Italian network...)
How many trains per day meet at german nodes?
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Old June 8th, 2011, 12:26 AM   #1014
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Munich Hbf.: 1433trains/day
Frankfurt Hbf.: 1733 trains/day
Stuttgart Hbf.: 1240 trains/day
Berlin Hbf.: 1207 trains/day
(data according to the German Wikipedia - I wasn't able to find data on the short term for Cologne, Hamburg and Hannover Hbf.)
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Old June 8th, 2011, 10:22 AM   #1015
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Trenitalia should just learn to run trains on time. Other railways manage to do so after all.
Agreed, but regrettably these "other railways" do not necessarily include Deutsche Bahn. I've been to Frankfurt a.M. four times in recent weeks (Paris-FFM) and three out of four times DB managed to run up non-trivial delays on the stretch between FFM and Mannheim. I understand that this piece of rail is very congested, and I concede that Frankfurt Hbf is more efficiently (over-)utilised than anything you'd probably see in France.

But this is only part of the picture: if any one line is so congested that even the international expresses are brought to a halt then surely one invests in increasing the capcity. Surely one does so immediately? Or, better still, ten years ago?
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Old June 8th, 2011, 10:39 AM   #1016
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Munich Hbf.: 1433trains/day
Frankfurt Hbf.: 1733 trains/day
Stuttgart Hbf.: 1240 trains/day
Berlin Hbf.: 1207 trains/day
(data according to the German Wikipedia - I wasn't able to find data on the short term for Cologne, Hamburg and Hannover Hbf.)
Zürich Hbf has about 2900 trains a day...
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Old June 8th, 2011, 10:45 AM   #1017
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Trains or train movements? Does a train arriving and leaving count for one or two?
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Old June 8th, 2011, 10:58 AM   #1018
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Agreed, but regrettably these "other railways" do not necessarily include Deutsche Bahn. I've been to Frankfurt a.M. four times in recent weeks (Paris-FFM) and three out of four times DB managed to run up non-trivial delays on the stretch between FFM and Mannheim. I understand that this piece of rail is very congested, and I concede that Frankfurt Hbf is more efficiently (over-)utilised than anything you'd probably see in France.
The biggest problem DB currently has is a shortage of rolling stock, which leads to overcrowding on trains, which leads to delays. DB should kick people without reservations of trains when they are too full.

I travel the Basel - Köln route quite regularly (Mannheim - Frankfurt is part of that). I've only had big delays last winter, when DB really was in trouble. On most trips however trains don't incure delays that cause me to miss connections at either end.

Quote:
But this is only part of the picture: if any one line is so congested that even the international expresses are brought to a halt then surely one invests in increasing the capcity. Surely one does so immediately? Or, better still, ten years ago?
They've been investing in capacity there for quite some time. In fact, the construction works are another major source of delays on the line. The Line Karlsruhe - Basel is being brought to four tracks and vMax 250 kph. A new line is planned from Mannheim to Frankfurt, but finding an acceptable route for that line seems to be problematic.
Germany works a bit different than France or Italy. In Italy putting a lot of tax payer money in impressive infrastructure that then is chronically underutilised is politically acceptable. In Germany this is not.
In France, once something is declared of "public utility" building can quickly proceed. And the French countryside is not that densily populated as the German, so building new lines is easy.
In Germany the emphasis seems to be more on gradually improving existing services, and good integration.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 02:53 PM   #1019
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The Line Karlsruhe - Basel is being brought to four tracks and vMax 250 kph.
Is there a website detailing the progress of these works?

I've had a few sessions with the DB Netz website but I don't seem to find anything on there that really shows off any project taking place in Germany.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 04:22 PM   #1020
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Is there a website detailing the progress of these works?
http://www.karlsruhe-basel.de
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I've had a few sessions with the DB Netz website but I don't seem to find anything on there that really shows off any project taking place in Germany.


http://www.deutschebahn.com/site/bah...u__neubau.html

(Links are all in German...)
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