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Old December 16th, 2011, 01:39 PM   #1121
thun
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Same politics by DB with the tilting trains in the region: The plans to introduce them date back to the mid-90ies at least and were delayed, postphoned and abandoned various times over the last 15 years. The trains (series 612) went into operation about 10 years ago without any date when the Allgäubahn would be ready for tilting trains, so they operated for a decade without tilting...

Originally, Switzerland and Germany signed a declaration of intent to upgrate and electrify the Lindau-Memmingen-Geltendorf (-Munich) line until 2015 (with Switzerland borrowing 50m Euros without any interest as it's interested in creating a new connection to the Gotthard Base Tunnel), but it was postponed without any prediction when it will actually happen.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 08:27 PM   #1122
Baron Hirsch
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I don't quite get the fuss about München-Augsburg. I entered it into HAFAS to find out the best traveling speed before 10 December and after, assuming this is when the line started to operate with 230 kph. It turns out that before 10 Dec., an IC was fastest with 31 minutes, ICE took 34 min. Now it is again an IC with 26 min., the best performance by an ICE was 31 min., while RE are stable at 42 min. Are we really celebrating an acceleration of 5/3 min., which apparently works better for 200 kmh-operating ICs than ICEs capabale of 230 kmh? Please clue me in if I am missing something.
The present time had apparently already been achieved in 1960s.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 10:22 PM   #1123
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Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post
I don't quite get the fuss about München-Augsburg. I entered it into HAFAS to find out the best traveling speed before 10 December and after, assuming this is when the line started to operate with 230 kph. It turns out that before 10 Dec., an IC was fastest with 31 minutes, ICE took 34 min. Now it is again an IC with 26 min., the best performance by an ICE was 31 min., while RE are stable at 42 min. Are we really celebrating an acceleration of 5/3 min., which apparently works better for 200 kmh-operating ICs than ICEs capabale of 230 kmh? Please clue me in if I am missing something.
The present time had apparently already been achieved in 1960s.
Maybe. But back then there was just a fraction of the current traffic volume on the line. The real improvement isn't speed but capacity. However, this has already been mention for those who care to read it.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 04:44 AM   #1124
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Billions Upon Billions for Berlin-Munich Bullet Train.

What about this article of the Spiegel english version?

Last news for the Munich-Berlin HSR?
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 11:20 AM   #1125
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Billions Upon Billions for Berlin-Munich Bullet Train.

What about this article of the Spiegel english version?

Last news for the Munich-Berlin HSR?
This is just typical for the German press. While they get lots of money for advertisements for cars and "sponsored" supplements about automobiles, they will never criticize the billions being pumped into useless Autobahns, but as soon as the state sponsors any rail infrastructure beyond S-Bahn level, they talk of wasted money.
The highway on that route through Thuringia was opened long ago. Did we hear Spiegel back then complaining that there are not enough cars between Berlin and Munich to justify this?
Granted, some of the criticism in the article is right, some wrong decisions were made, but the flaw is also that it criticizes the project both for thinking too big (too much money, too ambitious to bring freight and passengers on a single line) and thinking too small (stopping at Erfurt instead of flying through Gera). Not accomodating for freight is one of the standard arguments against Stuttgart-Ulm, and the detour via Erfurt actually saves money, as Lepzig-Erfurt thus doubles as also part of the fastest route from Berlin and Dresden to Frankfurt and beyond. So, it seems Spiegel has no positive vision of how rail should be organized, it just criticizes from whichever vantage point it chooses, to deligitimize rail transport and receive more car advertisements.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 11:32 AM   #1126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post
This is just typical for the German press. While they get lots of money for advertisements for cars and "sponsored" supplements about automobiles, they will never criticize the billions being pumped into useless Autobahns, but as soon as the state sponsors any rail infrastructure beyond S-Bahn level, they talk of wasted money.
You are the anti-car bigot. Germany collects around € 60 bln./year in levies on fuel, truck tolls and cars (I'm not talking about VAT, which is a general tax, but specific taxes aimed solely at drivers, cars and the fuel they use). That is why the German Autobahnen is (mostly) toll-free for cars.

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The highway on that route through Thuringia was opened long ago. Did we hear Spiegel back then complaining that there are not enough cars between Berlin and Munich to justify this?
No, because the route is heavily trafficked and part of it had been built before reunification anyway.

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So, it seems Spiegel has no positive vision of how rail should be organized, it just criticizes from whichever vantage point it chooses, to deligitimize rail transport and receive more car advertisements.
I doubt very much such articles would have any meaningful impact on car-marker advertisement.

The article points to a crucial problem in Germany, indeed: they make trains stop too often out of political considerations and a fear of concentrating activity only in major cities. Merely cutting stops, and making trains pass through stations would speed up some services.

The ICE Sprinter Frankfurt-Berlin takes almost 40 min less than the normal ICEs stopping in the great metropolis of Fulda, for instance.

As for the "make a high-speed line freight-fit", that is indeed problematic, for the very precise reasons described on the article: freight requires very gentle grades, high-speed requires very wide curves - the combination of both in a hilly area like the Southern part of Germany means very expensive construction.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 02:02 PM   #1127
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The article points to a crucial problem in Germany, indeed: they make trains stop too often out of political considerations and a fear of concentrating activity only in major cities. Merely cutting stops, and making trains pass through stations would speed up some services.
At the expense of loosing quite a few customers however. Don't you want the railway to try to make money?

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The ICE Sprinter Frankfurt-Berlin takes almost 40 min less than the normal ICEs stopping in the great metropolis of Fulda, for instance.
True. But the fact that it only runs a couple of times a day shows that the market for non-stop trains Frankfurt - Berlin isn't really that big. So it's good that they didn't build the line solely for that market...
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 02:16 PM   #1128
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You are the anti-car bigot. Germany collects around € 60 bln./year in levies on fuel, truck tolls and cars (I'm not talking about VAT, which is a general tax, but specific taxes aimed solely at drivers, cars and the fuel they use). That is why the German Autobahnen is (mostly) toll-free for cars.
BH:Unlike some other countries, Germany does not exempt railways from gasoline tax, nor the environmental tax. Therefore you cannot claim that cars here pay for something the railway would not. If trains have in the last ten years become decisively more environment-friendly, whereas any technical improvements in fuel effictivity in cars has mainly been eaten up by the trend to heavier cars, this does not strike me as something which speaks against the overall societal benefit of trains.

Sub: I doubt very much such articles would have any meaningful impact on car-marker advertisement.

BH: You would be surprised how sensitive they are. The old Lufthansa-CEO Weber once refused to transport a newspaper edition from London to Frankfurt, as he was convinced it contained "lies." Also Spiegel had a scandal a while ago because of a negative report on wind energy, which turned out to have been sponsored by the major electricity producers.

Sub: The article points to a crucial problem in Germany, indeed: they make trains stop too often out of political considerations and a fear of concentrating activity only in major cities. Merely cutting stops, and making trains pass through stations would speed up some services.

The ICE Sprinter Frankfurt-Berlin takes almost 40 min less than the normal ICEs stopping in the great metropolis of Fulda, for instance.

BH: Agree with you there. I also believe that mid-size or small towns could do with less stops, as is the rule on the Frankfurt - Cologne route. Not every train every hour has to follow the same routine, and I would be happy if a number of trains would run Berlin-Halle-Nuremberg-Munich, or even Berlin-Munich express. Here really for once, markets should decide: is there more demand for express or stop everywhere ICEs and then provide them accordingly.
But in this case, Thuringia is a densely populated state, albeit there is no single dominant town such as Berlin or Munich at the two ends of the line. It makes sense to stop somewhere (this needn't have been Erfurt, that is clearly a political decision) in one of the mid-size cities from where there is relatively good onwards service to the other cities, which are strung up in a west to east direction.

Sub: As for the "make a high-speed line freight-fit", that is indeed problematic, for the very precise reasons described on the article: freight requires very gentle grades, high-speed requires very wide curves - the combination of both in a hilly area like the Southern part of Germany means very expensive construction.

BH: Possibly. But 4 billion Euros for more or less the only high speed route u/c in Germany after 2006 and for the foreseeable future. Whether per capita or per GDP, German investments into rail infrastructure are among the lowest in Europe.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 02:20 PM   #1129
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I think that Germany density of population is enough for High Speed Lines, it is for France with less population so it must be for Germany. This would avoid the list of accidents on levels crossing points some of them really dramatics and improve the eficiency of the system. In my oppinion the future is to segregate traffics: 1st to be much more competitive with the planes in medium range distances ( wich is the case of Germany ) and to increase the ration of trains in the cargo mix transport ( wich is a key factor for manufacturer country like Germany also ). It cost much more yes but the future is HSL in the main corridors and segregation of traffics as much as possible in the rest. Just an oppinion, in others countries works !
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 06:14 PM   #1130
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Not every train every hour has to follow the same routine, and I would be happy if a number of trains would run Berlin-Halle-Nuremberg-Munich, or even Berlin-Munich express. Here really for once, markets should decide: is there more demand for express or stop everywhere ICEs and then provide them accordingly.
I think that if there was a market for more non-stop trains that DB would already be running them. A non stop Berlin - München train will take passengers away from a limited stop Berlin - München. It might be able to attract some new passengers, but that might not be enough to compensate for the cost of running an extra train.

Just look at what NTV/Italo is planning in Italy. They intend to run three non stop trains Milano - Roma, but 13 returns Milano - Roma with stops in Bologna and Firenze...
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 06:58 PM   #1131
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You could always find other examples. For example the TGV between Paris and Marseille runs ten times between 12 and 19.00 hrs, offering 3 non-stop, 4 single stop, and 3 two stop connections (and mind you, it could stop at many more cities). Now please do not say that France is so different and a stop in Avignon is less worthwhile than in Erfurt or Kassel.
Your comparison with the Italian route is not really adequate, Bologna and Florence are big and well visited towns, of course many trains should stop there. But I fail to believe that 2 ICE sprinters per day are all that are on demand between the major German cities.
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 12:41 AM   #1132
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I think that if there was a market for more non-stop trains that DB would already be running them.
The market is there. Just the tracks are missing. Without a really fast route there is almost no point in running non-stop services. Hence DBs reluctance to offer these services on a bigger scale.
It is the lack of by-passes and an incoherent high-speed network that virtually prevents non-stop services, not the lack of demand.
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 01:56 AM   #1133
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I think one thing is missing in Germany...
there is no someone from top (Chancellor of Germany or ministry of transport) with clear vision of high speed rails.
German should build high-speed rail like Spanish and French do.
There should me much more ICE Sprinter but also much more high speed lines. Why nobody s talking about building high speed line from Cologne to the east, why not speed up some line to 320 km/h etc. there are no vision....
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 03:32 PM   #1134
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German should build high-speed rail like Spanish and French do.
So basicaly they should build a network that is only useful to people who want to go to Berlin, is that what you are saying?

Spain and France are very different countries, with different population distributions. And even then, the Spaniards could learn a thing or two from the Germans too. Like better coordination between services.
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 03:43 PM   #1135
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The market is there. Just the tracks are missing. Without a really fast route there is almost no point in running non-stop services.
Suppose they would build a non stop, direct railway line from München to Berlin. And suppose that they manage to run a train every hour on it. Do you think that this line would ever repay itself?

The real competitor for Deutsche Bahn is the private car. If they can only claw back a few percent market share back from the car they will have a significant increase in passenger numbers. They cannot grow the same way if they concentrate on beating the airplane.
And to compete with the car they need to concentrate on the total network.
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 07:22 PM   #1136
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Spain and France are very different countries, with different population distributions. And even then, the Spaniards could learn a thing or two from the Germans too. Like better coordination between services.
We could learn a lot of each other that´s for sure, learning it´s always a two directions way, but what we say here is that Germany has enough industry and enough population to segregate traffics and develope a HSL system and improve freight lines capacity for the XXI century. DB needs others firms runnig in competency, the same for SNCF , Renfe etc ... Deutche autobahns have always the bigger part of the budget, and that must change for this century, is the reality which is knocking at the door on this, Europe must be oil independent as much as possible in the next years.
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 10:29 PM   #1137
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The thing about the German High Speed Network is that it is based on the Bundesverkehrswegeplan 1973 and that was a very good plan for it's time. It also included the upgrade to 200 km/h for many classic lines, something that the iconic br103 made possible as the locomotive of the intercity network. New lines were built on routes where it wasn't possible to upgrade. Nowadays it's a different story, completely new lines would indeed be interesting. But since there are already upgraded old lines the decision to go for a completely new line is politically much more difficult then when there isn't a 200 km/h line on the same route.

And let's not forget that in the late 1980s/early 1990s the 1973 plan was caught up by some historic happenings in Germany that also had a very big impact on the planning and the budget allocation of funding for transport projects. You all should know what happenings I'm talking about. And if you also have any idea of the size of the budgets that have been used the last 20 years on all the reunification projects it suddenly becomes very clear why Germany hasn't been building new high speed lines all over the country like France, Italy or Spain.
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 11:19 PM   #1138
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Deutche autobahns have always the bigger part of the budget, and that must change for this century, is the reality which is knocking at the door on this, Europe must be oil independent as much as possible in the next years.
Electric cars, biofuels... stop looking at the highway money as a pit to build more rail (or vice-versa),.
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Old December 24th, 2011, 10:11 AM   #1139
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My clear opinion is that there's no reason for building high-speed long distance railways from tax money. It has sense to develop and maintain urban and suburban public transport from tax money 'cause it has a lot of social benefits. It may have sense between cities where there's a really high amount of traffic (e.g. Köln - Frankfurt).
I can't see that social benefits on a München-Berlin high-speed railway.
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Old December 24th, 2011, 12:47 PM   #1140
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It may have sense between cities where there's a really high amount of traffic (e.g. Köln - Frankfurt).
I can't see that social benefits on a München-Berlin high-speed railway.
Maybe it will create a high amount of traffic?
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