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Old January 8th, 2012, 12:28 AM   #1181
Silly_Walks
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Originally Posted by kato2k8 View Post
Berlin? Lowest priority. Economically vastly underperforming area with next to no people living in the wider area, costly to attach through long distance, no real destinations beyond it in a European network.

You make some good points, but i think maybe you are glancing over Berlin's position in regard to some Eastern European countries where there is actually quite a bit of growth, and where they are also getting to work on high speed rail. I think proper 300km/h connections to Berlin from Cologne and Munich are quite essential to integrating not only Berlin into Germany, but bringing Germany's economic powerregions closer to the eastern growth markets as well.
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Old January 8th, 2012, 02:54 AM   #1182
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Berlin is the city that needs most high speed rail links exactly because it is a bit further apart from the others (Leipzig, Hannover, Hamburg), allowing high-speed lines to maximize their utility by providing fast connections to other places.

But some ppl (not saying anyone here on SSC necessarily) hold the vision that Berlin should be isolated. I bet some would want the capital of Deustchland to be still located in Bonn, close to "the area where 40% of the population lives".
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Old January 8th, 2012, 12:46 PM   #1183
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The natural capital of Germany is Frankfurt, as it's not only the financial and one of the economical hearts of Central Europe as well as its most important transportation hub, but also has the longest tradition of being the or one of the politically most important German cities (in fact it had this role for ~1000 years until 1866, Berlin only got its importance with the rise of Prussia) :P

HSR trains want to be filled, so you need population. By this, and existing transport structures, Germany's priorities essentially have to be Köln - Frankfurt - Stuttgart - München and Hamburg - Frankfurt - Basel, definitely not any route to Berlin! Every other route (including ie Köln - Hannover - Berlin, Frankfurt - Erfurt - Leipzig - Dresden, Erfurt - Nürnberg or Frankfurt - Nürnberg) is by far not as important and thus shouldn't be started before the two main corridors are finished.
Berlin's already linked by HSR to Hamburg, Hannover and Leipzig/Halle, there's no urgent need for more. In fact, that could already be seen as too much as long as the top priority routes mentioned before are in their current shabby condition.
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Old January 8th, 2012, 01:12 PM   #1184
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Well, Berlin is THE most populated metro area in Germany. Roma is another example of a capital which is the most populous, but not the most important financial center.

Anyway, one of the reasons they had built those HSL to Halle and Hannover was the fact the communist dictators hadn't upgraded properly the (Eastern) Germany lines, so it was easy to build something new and modern from scratch (using crumbling lines in East Germany was not an option).

It is the same logic that dictated the rapid expansion of high-speed rail in Spain: the old rails were so crap it was easy to start a completely new system without caring much about legacy rail (that had been mostly replaced by buses in the 1980s anyway).
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Old January 8th, 2012, 01:34 PM   #1185
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Wrong and wrong.

1. Berlin's only the most populated city (but city proper doesn't tell anything about the real size of a city). The largest German Urban Area is the Ruhr area around Essen, the largest Metro Areas are Rhein-Ruhr (~ 11 million) followed by Frankfurt (~ 5 million). Berlin only comes third or fourth (~4,5 million - the newer definition with 6 million doesn't have anything to do with a Metro Area anymore) and is located kind of in the middle of nowhere, while there's still a very high population density beyond the borders of Rhein-Ruhr, Frankfurt, Rhein-Neckar and Stuttgart metro areas.

2. Berlin - Leipzig is not a new line, it's just a renovated and accelerated line that's existing for many many decades now. Because of very easy topography (virtually now hills or mountains, just a few forests and sometimes a small lake or river), it was not too much a problem speeding up the existing line which only has a few curves. That's why it's only 200kph, not 230 or 250, too. Same applies to Berlin-Hamburg (here even 230kph is permitted). The only new line which had to be built is Berlin-Hannover.
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Old January 8th, 2012, 03:13 PM   #1186
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1.

Additionally, the Frankfurt, Rhein-Neckar and Stuttgart wider metro areas are practically almost overlapping. Continuous area with ~15 million people in the same area as the "Berlin-Brandenburg" 6-million metro area (or the Netherlands, for comparison).

Munich has a similar (to Berlin) highly centralized metro area btw, albeit with population density more evenly spread than in Berlin, and with its edges along the Stuttgart-Munich HSR connecting it to the above continuous area.

2.

The Hannover - Berlin HSR history is complicated. It being built the way it was stemmed from the need to have a rail transit corridor through the GDR being preferably built in a place where no one lived. The line was fully planned before the Wall fell.
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Old January 8th, 2012, 03:22 PM   #1187
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i think maybe you are glancing over Berlin's position in regard to some Eastern European countries where there is actually quite a bit of growth, and where they are also getting to work on high speed rail.
That would be? Poland and beyond? Similar argument, it takes ages to get a HSR to Warsaw, Riga or Tallinn built, and it's a matter of calculating economic yield versus costs. It doesn't take ages or dozens of billions to connect Budapest and Bratislava through a HSR via Vienna though, and that's similarly growing countries. Hence why we don't see a planned (London-) Paris - Berlin - Warsaw - Tallinn transeuropean HSR, but a (London -) Paris - Munich - Vienna - Budapest one.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 01:05 PM   #1188
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Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
You make some good points, but i think maybe you are glancing over Berlin's position in regard to some Eastern European countries where there is actually quite a bit of growth, and where they are also getting to work on high speed rail.
Just a note, we (Poland) effectively cancelled high speed rail until 2030 due to economical reasons, so crossing via Poland will probably be around 160km/h for the foreseeable future.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 01:37 PM   #1189
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That would be? Poland and beyond? Similar argument, it takes ages to get a HSR to Warsaw, Riga or Tallinn built, and it's a matter of calculating economic yield versus costs. It doesn't take ages or dozens of billions to connect Budapest and Bratislava through a HSR via Vienna though, and that's similarly growing countries. Hence why we don't see a planned (London-) Paris - Berlin - Warsaw - Tallinn transeuropean HSR, but a (London -) Paris - Munich - Vienna - Budapest one.
Just for a sidenote, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are working hard on the Rail Baltic project that would create a 1435mm connection on the route Tallinn-Pärnu-Riga-Panevežys-Kaunas-Polish border with a top speed of 240km/h. If the necessary EU support becomes available, 2020-24 is a realistic date for completion. Unfortunately, for Poland the North-Eastern direction is not a priority concerning a HSR network.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 06:02 PM   #1190
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While I agree that Köln-Frankfurt-München is the most important corridor in the country and therefore warrants transport infrastructures such as high-speed rail line more than any other. I object the perception that the development of a high-speed network offside this corridor would be a waste of resource.
Germany can afford a high-speed network that stretches as far as Hamburg and Berlin. Actually it cannot afford to leave some major cities isolated. High-speed lines to Berlin and Dresden are therefore a necessity.

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The natural capital of Germany is Frankfurt, as it's not only the financial and one of the economical hearts of Central Europe as well as its most important transportation hub, but also has the longest tradition of being the or one of the politically most important German cities (in fact it had this role for ~1000 years until 1866, Berlin only got its importance with the rise of Prussia)
Frankfurt is not the natural capital of Germany. In fact it is no capital and it never was. It has always been a city of merchants. Hence it lacks the sparkling glamour that real capital cities like Karlsruhe, München, Dresden and Berlin have.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 06:17 PM   #1191
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Besides, France and Spain both have high speed railways across sparsely settled countryside, for example in the case of France out of Paris.

If the most populous part of Germany is the Rhine valley between Wesel and Konstanz then Germany needs high speed railways along these bands - but Germany also needs high speed railways connecting sparsely settled east to Rhine valley rail stations. Like high speed railways to Berlin, Warszaw etc..
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Old January 10th, 2012, 12:34 AM   #1192
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Berlin is the city that needs most high speed rail links exactly because it is a bit further apart from the others (Leipzig, Hannover, Hamburg), allowing high-speed lines to maximize their utility by providing fast connections to other places.
Aren't you the guy who's always going on about the (word describing the economic opposite of Communism; which this forum apparently censors?! HUH??? ), that trains need to compete with cars on economics; yield management and all that?

If you follow the money there won't be an HSR to or from Berlin. As you mention those rail links are effectively development aid.

That doesn't mean they aren't a valid investment but I frankly don't understand when you of all people started to subscribe to the dirigisme way of doing things. Politically an HSR network without Berlin ain't happening (well, politically an HSR network ain't happening), so the whole discussion is beside the point.

Geographically and financially the natural center of German HSR is Frankfurt because it's reasonably close to everything and enough of a destination in itself to act as an actual center instead of a crossroads.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 12:38 AM   #1193
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There's an exception to that, and that is regular commuting within urban areas between destinations with limited parking. Or in other words, S-Bahn networks, at least on distances of up to 20 km one-way.
I didn't really think of S-Bahns when talking about DB but you're absolutely correct.

But that is not true for commuting within the greater urban areas (i.e. the whole S-Bahn network) in general but only if your journey begins or ends at the center. For destinations along one line it is often but not always competitive; between spokes it's generally hopeless.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 01:00 AM   #1194
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Aren't you the guy who's always going on about the (word describing the economic opposite of Communism; which this forum apparently censors?! HUH??? ), that trains need to compete with cars on economics; yield management and all that?
I have nothing against government investing in high-speed rail tracks as public ways (like highways, airport runways, navigation canals). That is ok, and it is good that governments invest in infrastructure. The condition is that the tracks are left for private operators to run trains at them without any central schedule, ticketing or fare coordination. I fiercely oppose governments operating vehicles for transportation of goods or people, instead of merely building the infrastructure (tracks, roads, runways etc.) needed to allow private uncoordinated, competing, non-collaborating traffic.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 09:02 AM   #1195
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I have nothing against government investing in high-speed rail tracks as public ways (like highways, airport runways, navigation canals). That is ok, and it is good that governments invest in infrastructure. The condition is that the tracks are left for private operators to run trains at them without any central schedule, ticketing or fare coordination. I fiercely oppose governments operating vehicles for transportation of goods or people, instead of merely building the infrastructure (tracks, roads, runways etc.) needed to allow private uncoordinated, competing, non-collaborating traffic.
In other words: You are fiercely opposed to efficient use of tax payers' money?

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Old January 10th, 2012, 09:27 AM   #1196
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No: he is just the best example of a perfect economist. Public costs, private profits.

But it's useless to start again replying him...
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Old January 10th, 2012, 09:50 AM   #1197
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it's kind of funny that we (also our politicians, companies etc.) are discussing about connections of cities with "only" a few hundred km distance.
imagine this discussion in the us or china, russia etc where you have thousands of km distance between the big cities.
of course this is a very big topic, which is also very complicated (just take a look at stuttgart21) , but other countries would be happy if they "only" had to build a few hundred km tracks.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 01:09 PM   #1198
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No: he is just the best example of a perfect economist. Public costs, private profits.

But it's useless to start again replying him...
Oh no no, it's just him who would like to return to the XIXc, a model which clearly didn't work well as history tells us. Economists do not necessaily ask for such a model.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 01:30 PM   #1199
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Oh no no, it's just him who would like to return to the XIXc, a model which clearly didn't work well as history tells us. Economists do not necessaily ask for such a model.
The underlying question is whether one thinks competition, like democracy, freedom of speech or freedom religion, is a value justified on itself, regardless of other implications, or just a mean to achieve something else. I belong to the first camp when it comes to competition in economic activities that are non-essential (like transport).
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Old January 10th, 2012, 02:15 PM   #1200
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I belong to the first camp when it comes to competition in economic activities that are non-essential (like transport).
How can you qualify transport as a non-essential economic activity? There is no trade at all without it and trade is the basis for achieving the low marginal costs of production that has allowed our current high standards of living! Even if we just talk about passangers the mobility of human capital is extremely important to reduce labor market distortions.
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