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Old December 25th, 2011, 10:39 AM   #1141
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
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?
It certainly would.

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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.
No, Deutsche Bahn is aiming for profitable services. The only high-margin market for DB is long distance travel. Distances between 200 and 900 km. Hence the focus on air travellers who are more likely to drop aeroplanes in favour of trains.

What you mean, however, is a general modal shift from road to rail. To achieve that it would be required to reduce to cost to use public transport services and/or increase the costs of keeping a car. Car-friendly urban developments don't just have to stop but even dismantled in some places. There won't be such a policy in Germany or any other European country in a foreseeable future.

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And to compete with the car they need to concentrate on the total network.
It is way cheaper to build a high-speed network between big cities than laying tracks to every shopping centre in the country. Whatever you mean by total network. But there won't be a network that serves every hamlet in the country. It's just not going to happen. Not even with an unlimited amount of funds.
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Old December 25th, 2011, 11:55 AM   #1142
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
It certainly would.
In that case, what is keeping you from founding a company, and building the line. Looks like you could make a lot of money.

Honestly, if such a line would "certainly repay itself", don't you think that privat companies would be queueing up to build it?



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No, Deutsche Bahn is aiming for profitable services. The only high-margin market for DB is long distance travel. Distances between 200 and 900 km. Hence the focus on air travellers who are more likely to drop aeroplanes in favour of trains.
Long distance travel in Germany means 100 to 400 km mostly. Just travel on an ICE and see how many people get off at every station.


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What you mean, however, is a general modal shift from road to rail. To achieve that it would be required to reduce to cost to use public transport services and/or increase the costs of keeping a car.
No, what you need to do is to make the rail system comprehensive enough so that it can replace owning a car. Than you can actually ask more money for it, because you are now competing with the total cost of owning a car, in stead of just the marginal cost. That is why the train in Switzerland is so succesfull, despite the high fares.
But that means that your system must offer comfortable, convenient and foremost frequent connections between as many nodes on the network as possible. These connections don't have to be direct though. People don't mind transfers if they're reliable.

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It is way cheaper to build a high-speed network between big cities than laying tracks to every shopping centre in the country. Whatever you mean by total network. But there won't be a network that serves every hamlet in the country. It's just not going to happen. Not even with an unlimited amount of funds.
I'm talking about a hierarchical network of course. I'm not against building new lines, but they need to integrate with the existing network.
That's the reason why a building a line from München to Berlin that doesn't have any interchanges with the existing network along its route is a waste of money.
A line that goes from Berlin to München must fulfill several purposes. Not only transport people from Berlin to München, but also from places in between to Berlin, and to München, and to other places in between. Only then will it be able to attract enough passengers. That 's why you just can't build a line along a straight line between those two places, and must look at other places en route, and ways to serve them.

The way the SNCF does it in France the high speed network basically only serves Paris. Whenever new high speed lines are opened travel times to Paris get reduced, but travel times between places on the old routes are often increased.
In France that is OK, because in France only Paris matters. But Germany is different.
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Old December 25th, 2011, 12:13 PM   #1143
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The way the SNCF does it in France the high speed network basically only serves Paris. Whenever new high speed lines are opened travel times to Paris get reduced, but travel times between places on the old routes are often increased.
In France that is OK, because in France only Paris matters. But Germany is different.
Er, no. That only happens in a few cases, where maintaining the old timetables in classic lines would be worthless.
Generally, whan a TGV line is opened, the regional services on the classic line are maintained, and often increased.
Keep in mind the geography, you can´t pretend to run a service of many trains per day in a very unpopulated region.

And France, being bigger than Germany, has 20 million less inhabitants.
France has vast regions with very small population.
Spain is just as big as France, and has 20 million less inhabitants than France!

The point-to-point traffic in a given line X may not even be the half of the traffic, the big part of the traffic being through the intermediate stops.
But it can be just as true that the same point-to-point traffic in a given line Y might be the very main traffic.
And this, regardless of the length of both lines X and Y.

Last edited by 437.001; December 25th, 2011 at 12:18 PM.
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Old December 25th, 2011, 03:01 PM   #1144
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Er, no. That only happens in a few cases, where maintaining the old timetables in classic lines would be worthless.
Personally I don't know of a case where it didn't happen. But feel free to correct me.

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Keep in mind the geography, you can´t pretend to run a service of many trains per day in a very unpopulated region.

And France, being bigger than Germany, has 20 million less inhabitants.
France has vast regions with very small population.
Spain is just as big as France, and has 20 million less inhabitants than France!

The point-to-point traffic in a given line X may not even be the half of the traffic, the big part of the traffic being through the intermediate stops.
But it can be just as true that the same point-to-point traffic in a given line Y might be the very main traffic.
And this, regardless of the length of both lines X and Y.
But this is the point I keep making: That France is different from Germany, and that thus Germany shouldn't copy France.
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Old December 25th, 2011, 05:24 PM   #1145
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Hasn't there been a fairly sizable 'road to rail' shift in Germany's freight transport business in recent years, since DB's system was converted to 'open access'?

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Old December 25th, 2011, 11:24 PM   #1146
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Of course, France, Italy and Spain are different from Germany, every country is different for sure, but what is common in most of european countries is density of population and metropolitain areas and the aim to develope better mass transport to link them. The HSL from Madrid to Seville was so hardly criticized at the beginnig that many people of Spain thought that was a waste of money, time has shown the contrary, and now is a very succesfull link. May be in Germany could be some of this example too, I´m sure it could. I just say that, a new rail plan for XXI Century.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 11:10 AM   #1147
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what is common in most of european countries is density of population
Not any way.
Germany: 229 people/km2
France: 116
Spain: 93
So population density is approx. 2.5 times higher in Germany than in Spain which is quite a big difference.
Actually Germany has only 4 cities above 1 million (Berlin, München, Hamburg and Köln) but has not less than 11 cities of 400-700 thousand, and more than 20 of 200-400,000. In France there's only 11 cities over 200, and only 4(!) of them over 400.
The third largest city of France, Lyon is just smaller than Nürnberg which is only the 15th in Germany.
And added to this there're densely inhabitated regions having several cities and towns side by side, reaching each other's boundaries that make that even small or medium size towns like Erfurt, Kassel or Mannheim can be important centers and/or traffic junction points.
So I think the difference between German and French structures is great enough to make different transport sctructures.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 01:52 PM   #1148
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Respect other continents Europe has a lot in common in terms of mass transport, German railway system should be just the German railway system that fits for the country, and this includes , at least I think some main HSL routes to speed up the link between major cities, What´s the point to have an entire IC fleet able to run up to 300 km/h, if this speed can not be reached in most of the railway system. I think that in Germany the complexity of planning infraestructures Is due to the complexity in federal system in which Landers have the capacity of transform and delay a proyect, and in sometimes these proyects become much less efective than it could have been. Just my thought.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 08:39 PM   #1149
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The third largest city of France, Lyon is just smaller than Nürnberg which is only the 15th in Germany.
Problem is that you can't compare a French comunity with a German one so easily. In France, at no point comunities were merged on a larger scale, whereas that was common in all German states over the last decades. The town of Lyon basically kept its boundaries it had over centuries untill today whereas at most German cities suburbs were merged with the city itself at some point. E. g., the list in the case of Nuremberg can be found here.

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And added to this there're densely inhabitated regions having several cities and towns side by side, reaching each other's boundaries that make that even small or medium size towns like Erfurt, Kassel or Mannheim can be important centers and/or traffic junction points.
Which is just as true for France. E. g. there are 1.3 million people in Greater Lyon (which is about the same as in Greater Nuremberg). It becomes more obvious when you compare the two capitals: Paris Marseille and Lyon combined would be about as large as Berlin, yet there live only 6 million people in Greater Berlin and 12 million in Greater Paris - hence, you have to compare metropolitan regions, not only the largest cities of those regions.

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So I think the difference between German and French structures is great enough to make different transport sctructures.
Agreed on that one.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 12:57 AM   #1150
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Nice railway system
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Old December 28th, 2011, 12:21 AM   #1151
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In that case, what is keeping you from founding a company, and building the line. Looks like you could make a lot of money.

Honestly, if such a line would "certainly repay itself", don't you think that privat companies would be queueing up to build it?
I would if I could reap the socio-economic benefits of such a development somehow. But neither I nor any other private investor can tax individuals and companies. The state, however, can. So it is up to it to make the necessary investments.

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Long distance travel in Germany means 100 to 400 km mostly. Just travel on an ICE and see how many people get off at every station.
The shorter the trip the more often it is taken. This axiom is valid on German rail as well. However, to judge the travelled distance on the location where people alight is ridiculous nonetheless.

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No, what you need to do is to make the rail system comprehensive enough so that it can replace owning a car. Than you can actually ask more money for it, because you are now competing with the total cost of owning a car, in stead of just the marginal cost. That is why the train in Switzerland is so succesfull, despite the high fares.
But that means that your system must offer comfortable, convenient and foremost frequent connections between as many nodes on the network as possible. These connections don't have to be direct though. People don't mind transfers if they're reliable.
The ownership of motor vehicles in Switzerland has grown over the last 10 years [1]. That alone can't be the reason for the surge in patronage on Swiss railways over the same period of time.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
I'm talking about a hierarchical network of course. I'm not against building new lines, but they need to integrate with the existing network.
That's the reason why a building a line from München to Berlin that doesn't have any interchanges with the existing network along its route is a waste of money.
A line that goes from Berlin to München must fulfill several purposes. Not only transport people from Berlin to München, but also from places in between to Berlin, and to München, and to other places in between. Only then will it be able to attract enough passengers. That 's why you just can't build a line along a straight line between those two places, and must look at other places en route, and ways to serve them.
Integration with the existing network is vital for every addition to the railway network. This mustn't mean forced stops. And this is exactly the weakness of the German approach of high-speed rail. Awfully slow station passages in Göttingen, Fulda, Ingolstadt and soon in Erfurt cost valuable time. And this wastes a lot of potential the high-speed lines otherwise had. Berlin and München could very well be within 3 h of each other and take some air traffic down on rails. To achieve that we by-passes and/or fast station passages.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
The way the SNCF does it in France the high speed network basically only serves Paris. Whenever new high speed lines are opened travel times to Paris get reduced, but travel times between places on the old routes are often increased.
In France that is OK, because in France only Paris matters. But Germany is different.
Germany isn't so different in so far as distances between major rail hubs are similar.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 11:11 AM   #1152
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Integration with the existing network is vital for every addition to the railway network. This mustn't mean forced stops. And this is exactly the weakness of the German approach of high-speed rail. Awfully slow station passages in Göttingen, Fulda, Ingolstadt and soon in Erfurt cost valuable time. And this wastes a lot of potential the high-speed lines otherwise had. Berlin and München could very well be within 3 h of each other and take some air traffic down on rails. To achieve that we by-passes and/or fast station passages.
The only way you could achieve Berlin - München in 3 hours is by completely bypassing everything in between and going more or less in a straight line. You then would end up with an expensive HSL with one train per hour on it, with loadings below 30% most of the day.
So you need to integrate existing hubs in to it.
Now you could build paypasses around those hubs, but those bypasses will be expensive, and will never by heavily used.
SNCF build an expensive bypass round Lyon, that is used by only a handfull of TGVs every day. Most TGV on the Paris to the Med route still go via Lyon proper...

Edit: There is actually a good reason to have all trains on the future Berlin - München HSL stop in Erfurt. A logical service pattern would be to have trains run from Berlin alternatively to Frankfurt and München, and do the same with trains from Leipzig. Have those trains meet in Erfurt and you double the number of options to your customers...

Last edited by K_; December 28th, 2011 at 11:23 AM.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 11:21 AM   #1153
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The ownership of motor vehicles in Switzerland has grown over the last 10 years [1]. That alone can't be the reason for the surge in patronage on Swiss railways over the same period of time.
The big surge in patronage on Swiss railways has a lot to do with the SBB paying attention to network design, and to psychology. SBB doesn't try to run it's trains as fast as possible. They do run their trains in a consistent pattern though. All Bern - Zürich ICs are non stop. All Bern - Basel ICs call at Olten. And so on.
By having a consistent network, with consistent stopping patterns you build reliability in to your network. And you make it user friendly, and so increase your mindshare.

And there even stopping consistently in small places (like Olten...) makes sense, as it increases the options available to your customers.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 01:35 PM   #1154
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Not any way.
Germany: 229 people/km2
France: 116
Spain: 93
So population density is approx. 2.5 times higher in Germany than in Spain which is quite a big difference.
Actually Germany has only 4 cities above 1 million (Berlin, München, Hamburg and Köln) but has not less than 11 cities of 400-700 thousand, and more than 20 of 200-400,000. In France there's only 11 cities over 200, and only 4(!) of them over 400.
The third largest city of France, Lyon is just smaller than Nürnberg which is only the 15th in Germany.
And added to this there're densely inhabitated regions having several cities and towns side by side, reaching each other's boundaries that make that even small or medium size towns like Erfurt, Kassel or Mannheim can be important centers and/or traffic junction points.
So I think the difference between German and French structures is great enough to make different transport sctructures.
One must also look at the geography. France has one huge city and regional capitals spread in various regions, with few large towns between. In Spain, this is even more strong. The capital is smack in the middle, is large (metro has 6.000.000 people), and separated by a large semi-desert from other larger cities (Metro Barcelona - 5.000.000 people, Metro Valencia, Bilbao and Seville - cca. 1.000.000 each) that are situated on the coasts. It is a natural hub and spoke model. Spain also has a very rationalist aproach to rail: they do not even operate stop trains outside of the main metropolitan areas for example.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 02:03 PM   #1155
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First, K_, you constantly repeat the logical fallacy how HSR can't work in Germany because most people get on or off along the way.

That's just ridiculous. *Of course* most people don't go all the way from Munich to Berlin because with the exception of some train fanatics everyone with half a brain's gonna fly instead of taking an ICE.

Create a service that does it in 2:25 and that's gonna change. Rapidly.

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The only way you could achieve Berlin - München in 3 hours is by completely bypassing everything in between and going more or less in a straight line.
1. That's not true. Munich-Berlin is almost exactly the same distance as the Tokaido Shinkansen and that bypasses almost nothing and goes through areas with high population density in a country with some of the toughest noise regulations in the world.

In fact, take a random HSR line from anywhere in the Not-Germany-World and it's average speed will be more than 200 km/h, even significantly higher in many cases.

At less than 600 km by road that would be a <3h journey on just about any HSR line.


2. A bypass doesn't have to be somewhere out in the boondocks, often it's only the very center that's an issue. See: Osaka; or Munich. You could route trains through Pasing and go 200km/h almost all the way (of course, you don't need to because Munich's at the end of the line, but just point in case)

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Edit: There is actually a good reason to have all trains on the future Berlin - München HSL stop in Erfurt. A logical service pattern would be to have trains run from Berlin alternatively to Frankfurt and München, and do the same with trains from Leipzig. Have those trains meet in Erfurt and you double the number of options to your customers...
That's true, but you could just make a new station outside Erfurt. All your arguments for Erfurt are about the region and not the town; those going to Erfurt proper would survive an additional 10 min of regional service; heck, those in Munich and Berlin already look at a longer connection on S&U-Bahn in most cases.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 03:02 PM   #1156
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You're comitting some fallacies here, too.

The creation of new stations in the middle of nowhere is the main problem with the HSR systems of France, Spain and soon Italy: They fail to integrate into the existing rail network. It might work in Spain, where most of your clients travel from metro to metro and hence is doesn't make much of a difference if you go to a existing or a new station by bus or taxi, but it wouldn't work for Germany, where people live more equally spread over the territory and hence a very large share of your potential customers would take a regional/IC train e. g. to Nuremberg to board the ICE itself there.
For the same reason, non-stop connections would be less economic in Germany than e. g. in France, as more people live outside the large metropolis - for that reason, not the plane is the main competitor but the car. And you compete with that by offering fast connections along all of your network, not only between a few points. Excellent connections and decent possibilities to change trains are essential for that.

As repeated various times: You can't compare the infrastructure policy of Germany with that of Spain and others, as the respective geographies (among other factors) are totally different. There's no right or wrong here as both systems serve specific needs.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 03:22 PM   #1157
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Granted, Germany is not the same as France, thus a different approach in traffic organisation is needed. But - and this some of you always seem to forget - at the same time Germany is very different from Switzerland, too. So as it doesn't make sense to compare German and French railways 1:1, the same can be said about comparing German and Swiss railways or even trying to adopt the Swiss system in Germany.

Distances in Germany are much longer and half of Germany's population lives within one of the ~10 metropolitan areas. About a third of Germany's population is inhabitant of the largest urban areas centering the aforementioned metro areas. And those urban areas are Essen, Berlin, Hamburg, München, Frankfurt, Köln, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Nürnberg, Hannover and Mannheim - all counting at least 1 million inhabitants.
So there's definitely a case for High Speed Rail linking the largest urban areas, and for this kind of traffic it doesn't make sense to have all ICE trains stop in Göttingen, Ulm or Freiburg or even stop in Darmstadt (just 10 minutes after departing Frankfurt) or Wittenberg at all. Those cities are better served by Intercity trains. If you still want to stop there, it must not necessarily be at the main station, as the connecting possibilities there are rather limited. (Whilst in case of Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Nürnberg and co you better stop at the main station.)

The big problem German rail has (besides being generally underfinanced and suffering from wrong priorities - which is a general problem for all kinds of traffic in Germany), is the high speed network being fragmented. We build a short line here and a short line there, but there doesn't exist a single long distance line where a speed of 200kph and more can be run all the way.
Berlin-Nürnberg-München will come close to it, but still with too many slow sections remaining (and too many stops as well) - and traffic figures on this corridor aren't enough to justify it being top priority.
Germany's most travelled corridors are Köln - Frankfurt - Stuttgart - München and Hamburg - Frankfurt - Basel. Those should have priority in being upgraded to continuous high speed lines.
For this two corridors realization of the following projects is needed asap:
- Frankfurt - Mannheim (without stop in Darmstadt)
- Stuttgart 21 + Stuttgart - Ulm
- Hamburg - Hannover
- Frankfurt - Fulda
- Karlsruhe - Basel
- Frankfurt RheinMain plus (mainly capacity upgrades within Frankfurt)
as well as additional projects currently not planned:
- acceleration of trains in and around Frankfurt (especially Frankfurt - Hanau)
- Ulm - Augsburg new 250kph HSL along A8
By-passes so that not every single train has to stop there would make most sense in cases of Ulm, Freiburg, Göttingen, Fulda, and because of the high traffic volumes Mannheim also.

Concerning passenger numbers: The still existing air traffic on Köln - Frankfurt - Stuttgart - München (passenger services on Köln-Frankfurt and Köln-Stuttgart were ceased after opening of Köln - Frankfurt HSL) would be enough to fill all seats of hourly ICE trains only stopping in this four cities and/or Frankfurt Airport (possible shifts from car to train on this corridor not included)!

Last edited by Rohne; December 28th, 2011 at 03:27 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 05:47 PM   #1158
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You're comitting some fallacies here, too.
And those are?

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The creation of new stations in the middle of nowhere is the main problem with the HSR systems of France, Spain and soon Italy:
I'm against green field stations in general but made an exception for Erfurt which is less a stop at Erfurt and more Mitteldeutschland Hbf.

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They fail to integrate into the existing rail network.
I specifically said that there'd be a rail link and it's not like Erfurt is Madrid. A bypass with some noise mitigation and a short tunnel could pass the town 2-3km from the current station. A tram would be sufficient for that stretch.

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but it wouldn't work for Germany, where people live more equally spread over the territory and hence a very large share of your potential customers would take a regional/IC train e. g. to Nuremberg to board the ICE itself there.
I'm not familiar with Nuremberg's geography but it should be possible to find something relatively close to the current main station that's got a good S-Bahn connection but still allows high speeds. Perhaps along the Südwesttangente?

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For the same reason, non-stop connections would be less economic in Germany than e. g. in France, as more people live outside the large metropolis
But you can't stop everywhere. A train is mass transport; you need masses to transport for it to be efficient and effective.

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- for that reason, not the plane is the main competitor but the car. And you compete with that by offering fast connections along all of your network, not only between a few points.
But the result of that policy is that DB is too slow to compete with the car for just about anything. The *only* way for a train (which generally won't go direct line. There will never be a ICE Freising-Jüterbog.) to compete with the car is to have a backbone that is so fast that it compensates for the additional time needed at the ends.

If I have the choice between 6h by train (1h to get to and from the ICE station; both for the journey as well as for the padding because you're regional train's unlikely to be on time. And 4h Berlin-Munich) and 6h by car, it's no contest. The car is cheaper, more comfortable and goes on your own schedule. Not only that, I could also spend about 3h in total to get to and from the airports and take a 1h flight.


At 3h for Berlin-Munich and if the trains were on time (so I'd only need to schedule 40min at beginning and end) I just might be convinced to take the train. And as other countries demonstrate, I'm not alone.


Quote:
As repeated various times: You can't compare the infrastructure policy of Germany with that of Spain and others, as the respective geographies (among other factors) are totally different. There's no right or wrong here as both systems serve specific needs.
Yes, Spain, France, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China, Italy and others are all completely different from Germany. A solution that works in all of them would never work here because we are so special and our solution, that is so perfect that DB Fernverkehr transports almost half as many people as the TGV alone does on a population base that is much smaller, is obviously superior.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 05:59 PM   #1159
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Thanks Rohne, for a more specific approach than is usual on these pages. I have grown tired of speed-junkies (330 kmh or die!) and S-Bahn-junkies (no speed, but integration from door to door!) battling it out here without much change in arguments.
A few minor opinions here and there:
@ k: the Lyon bypass is not useless. Just type Paris - Marseille into HAFAS, then check their intermediate stops and you will see that not one of those TGVs stops in Lyon. And that is why Parisians make it to Marseille in 3 hrs 5 mins while Berliners, instad of being in Brennero in the same time (which is the equivalent distance) only make it to Saalfeld and in the future Nuremberg in the same time (Brennero takes 9.5 hrs). You really fail to see the potential a system as sketched by Rohne would have. The problem is this would take serious money and that is something Germany does not invest into rail infrastructure.
Having said that, I still tend to defend the present Berlin - Munich HSL route. Granted, a direct line could have passed through the Leipzig city tunnel, thus saving time over the usual reversal and backing out the same direction from Leipzig Hbf. It could have intermediate stops in Gera (admittedly not much of a town, but in vicinity to Zwickau, Chemnitz, and Jena, while Erfurt has Jena, Weimar, Eisenach, Gotha within reach), and the minor towns of Hof, Wunsiedel, which obviously should be stopped at rarely, but are about as important as Coburg and Bamberg on the actually constructed line.
However the u/c line has the big advantage that it will also cut travel times from Dresden and Berlin to Frankfurt by about 1 hour, while also allowing the kind of hub system at Erfurt as sketched by k.

Last edited by Baron Hirsch; December 28th, 2011 at 06:07 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 06:41 PM   #1160
chornedsnorkack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohne View Post
But - and this some of you always seem to forget - at the same time Germany is very different from Switzerland, too. So as it doesn't make sense to compare German and French railways 1:1, the same can be said about comparing German and Swiss railways or even trying to adopt the Swiss system in Germany.

Distances in Germany are much longer
Merely because Germany is defined as a bigger region than Switzerland.

There are just 2 states in Germany which are bigger than Switzerland - Bavaria and Nether Saxony - both of which are more populous than Switzerland. 2 states smaller than Switzerland are also more populous (namely Baden-Württemberg and North-Rhine-Westphalia). Germany is generally more densely settled than Switzerland - the 16 states of Germany combined have less than 9 times the area of 23 cantons of Switzerland combined, but more than 10 times the population.

Most states of Germany would do well to adopt the Swiss railway system. Well, maybe with the exception of the sparsely settled Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
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