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Old December 17th, 2012, 03:28 PM   #1521
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No, you have it in fact completely the wrong way round. If most people on the ICEs are (as you implicitly accept) bound for other destinations in Switzerland it is very important that those trains call at Basel SBB, as that is where the trains to other parts of Switzerland leave from. Terminating the train at Basel Bad. Bf. will increase travel times quite substantially.
With the Herzstück line in place Badischer Bf will offer connection to almost all railway lines in and around Basel. Further connections are made in Zürich and Bern respectively.

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Don't underestimate the potential. But the main point is that upgrading the existing network keeps it integrated. Building a completely new network that is not integrated with the old one means that a lot of the time gained on the new network is lost again during the transfers between the old and the new.
A classic example is Avignon in France, where anybody who has a destination somewhere other than Avignon itself will a lot of the time gained on the HSL during the transfer from Avignon TGV to Avignon Ville, and the wait for a local there.
In fact for trips that involve for example a local to Lyon, a TGV from Lyon to Avignon, and a local from Avignon again the time gained by the TGV is usually negligible.
Now the French approach will work in France, because there the railway's purpose is to transport Parisians. Germany is different, and far more multi centric.
No-one aims for disintegration, but for significant time savings. And these can only be achieved by long continuous high-speed lines. The LGV Sud-Est and Méditerranée are exactly this. These railways were primarily conceived to bring the three largest conurbations in France within 3 hours of each other. Serving Avignon is just a secondary purpose on this way.
On all ends, however, these lines are extremely well integrated as Paris, Lyon and Marseille for that matter are not only important railway hubs but are also served by a rather dense public transport networks.

This concept of ultra fast trunk routes would work in Germany even better then in France as Germany has a bigger number of large cities which all would benefit greatly if they were moved closer together.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 04:59 PM   #1522
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This concept of ultra fast trunk routes would work in Germany even better then in France as Germany has a bigger number of large cities which all would benefit greatly if they were moved closer together.

Exactly. For instance, a very high speed (300-350) line between Berlin and München would help a lot and be competitive with air travel.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 06:04 PM   #1523
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Exactly. For instance, a very high speed (300-350) line between Berlin and München would help a lot and be competitive with air travel.
Well, Berlin-Munich should be the least of your concerns, since as off 2017 it will be for large sections 300 kmh. You might still rant about the missed opportunities due to the fact that the Berlin-Leipzig/Halle section is only 200 kmh, but still the fastest trains can do Berlin-Munich in 4 hrs once its completed. The question is rather whether other sections should not be connected at unconventional speeds, such as Cologne-Berlin, Cologne-Hamburg, Frankfurt to Fulda (HSR) and to Erfurt etc....
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Old December 17th, 2012, 06:32 PM   #1524
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As said by Baron Hirsch a new HSL on the Berlin-München corridor is under construction. Could have it been built on a better and faster alignment? Maybe, but now it's under construction, and it's obviously out of discussion to build a new line parallel to an already new and fast line.

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With the Herzstück line in place Badischer Bf will offer connection to almost all railway lines in and around Basel. Further connections are made in Zürich and Bern respectively.
What if you are on a Frankfurt-Interlaken train and want to go to Zürich?
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Old December 17th, 2012, 07:40 PM   #1525
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Well, Berlin-Munich should be the least of your concerns, since as off 2017 it will be for large sections 300 kmh.
Not exactly 300, but 250 km/h.

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What if you are on a Frankfurt-Interlaken train and want to go to Zürich?
Change in Olten.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #1526
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Not exactly 300, but 250 km/h.
No, believe it or not, this is really 300 kmh. Berlin-Lepzig/Halle 200, Leipzig/Halle-Erfurt-Ebensfeld 300, then the short bit Ebensfeld-Nürnberg whatever conventional speed that is, Nürnberg-Ingolstadt 300, then Ingolstadt-München a rather high but conventional speed. This might not quite be French speed standards, but it will definitely be the best speed between any two German big cities with 600 km+ distance.
This line was designed during a short period when the German rail system leaned towards the French model. The present policy is once again not to be too ambitious as far as speed is concerned (=have to protect the poor airlines, heaven forbid a German state company would want to be their competitor).
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Old December 17th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #1527
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It might be nice from a theoretical point of view, however the Hauenstein line (Basel-Olten) is nearing capacity at 400 trains per day so international trains have to sue an existing slot, replacing an IC.
I think this will need some rather expensive solution in the next 20 years anyway. Swiss population is still growing rapidly, so it's just logical that more infrastructure will need to be built.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 10:10 PM   #1528
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No, believe it or not, this is really 300 kmh. Berlin-Lepzig/Halle 200, Leipzig/Halle-Erfurt-Ebensfeld 300, then the short bit Ebensfeld-Nürnberg whatever conventional speed that is, Nürnberg-Ingolstadt 300, then Ingolstadt-München a rather high but conventional speed.
The right-of-way of this stretch might be designed and built for 300 km/h. The equipment, however, that is currently being installed, will allow only speeds up to 250 km/h.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 10:50 PM   #1529
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edit: wrong thread
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Old December 18th, 2012, 04:01 AM   #1530
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At the moment quite a few sections of the line already allow 250kph. There is a new line planned around Freiburg, and once all the works are completed travelling Mannheim - Basel at 250 kph will be possible.
still with that new line trains will have to reduce speed considerably when passing through mannheim, karlsruhe, freiburg and possibly some other villages. (and will be indirectly forced to stop there since passing these stations without a stop is inefficent and barely time-saving if you have to slow down to 100km/h or so)


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The right-of-way of this stretch might be designed and built for 300 km/h. The equipment, however, that is currently being installed, will allow only speeds up to 250 km/h.
..and that is really a shame and should be a reason to disintegrate the deutsche bahn group, as this is a serious impediment of competition, since DB ordered a lot of new trainsets that can only reach 249km/h and surely does not want that competitors run their 300km/h trains on the new german "highspeed" line, so DB Netz installed that poor equiqument..



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No, believe it or not, this is really 300 kmh. Berlin-Lepzig/Halle 200, Leipzig/Halle-Erfurt-Ebensfeld 300, then the short bit Ebensfeld-Nürnberg whatever conventional speed that is, Nürnberg-Ingolstadt 300, then Ingolstadt-München a rather high but conventional speed. This might not quite be French speed standards, but it will definitely be the best speed between any two German big cities with 600 km+ distance.
This line was designed during a short period when the German rail system leaned towards the French model.
and again, EVERY train will have to slow down considerably each time when passing such prominent cities as erfurt, halle, ingolstadt and bamberg so you can`t say that this is a replication of the french model. we are repeating the mistakes of the hannover-würzburg line here. the only quite accaptably planned HSL in germany is frankfurt-köln, where stations can be passed with full speed.
ebensfeld-nürnberg and ingolstadt-münchen have a maximum speed of 160km/h if i recall correctly.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 04:06 AM   #1531
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That is pretty egregious. And unacceptable. It would be like the new Willy Brandt airport shortening the runways on BER to protect Lufthansa (which flies mainly through MUC and FRA hubs) from having competition setting up a long-distance hub in the capital.

The French are very good with their project in which they don't force trains to intermediate stops just to avoid the costs of some spurs. Even the Italians are building the Passante in Bologna, allowing through trains at reasonable speeds.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 04:13 AM   #1532
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well, some supporters of this DB practice argue that with the slow passages through those villages, higher speeds than 250km/h would not bring a big advantage in traveltime at all, so it would be reasonable to impose this kind of speed limit. to me, this shows only how bad planning of this project has been.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 07:26 AM   #1533
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still with that new line trains will have to reduce speed considerably when passing through mannheim, karlsruhe, freiburg and possibly some other villages. (and will be indirectly forced to stop there since passing these stations without a stop is inefficent and barely time-saving if you have to slow down to 100km/h or so)
Any Basel - Frankfurt train will have to stop in Freiburg and Karlruhe anyway, as the demand is not high enough for both a non stop, and a limited stop service.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 09:27 AM   #1534
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still with that new line trains will have to reduce speed considerably when passing through mannheim, karlsruhe, freiburg and possibly some other villages. (and will be indirectly forced to stop there since passing these stations without a stop is inefficent and barely time-saving if you have to slow down to 100km/h or so)
Depends. DB has not problems running 220 kph through villages and towns on other lines...
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Old December 18th, 2012, 09:38 AM   #1535
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No-one aims for disintegration, but for significant time savings. And these can only be achieved by long continuous high-speed lines. The LGV Sud-Est and Méditerranée are exactly this. These railways were primarily conceived to bring the three largest conurbations in France within 3 hours of each other.
The main difference is that there are no large centres of population in between Paris and Lyon, so building a line that only serves the endpoints is practical. Again look at a map of population densities in Europe and see how different France and Spain are from Germany.
In France when a HSL is opened it often means a reduction in service (and an increase in travel times) for the cities that are on the old line the new one replaces. Wether that is acceptable depends on the population of these places. In Germany there are a lot of people living in between the main urban areas, much more so than in France. That means that you often cannot justify service reduction on the old corridors. The demand for traffic between the endpoints is might however not always sufficient to fill trains on both the old and the new corridors at high service levels.
Take again Basel - Mannheim: A new direct line from Basel to Mannheim is only justifiable if there is a market for a non stop train every hour between those cities. (If there was a market for such a train it would already exist)
And if it were build, DB would not be able to reduce the number of Basel - Freiburg - Offenburg - Karlsruhe - Mannheim trains, as these places are important enough to warrant at least an hourly service.
All those trains would cost money. Would they make money also? I don't know.
And then there is the need for increased freight capacity. I don't think that the Basel - Mannheim corridor generates enough passenger and freight traffic to justify having two freight tracks, two 250kph tracks through the existing towns, and a separate 300+kph line.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 10:59 AM   #1536
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There is a new line planned around Freiburg, and once all the works are completed travelling Mannheim - Basel at 250 kph will be possible.
K, do you know where they stand on this bypass around Freiburg? I have not followed the German debate in recent years, but I lived in Basle in earlier days. Back then, the DB rhetoric spoke of a freight-only line around Freiburg with Vmax set at 160 km/h. I confess I wondered already then if that argument wasn't a "red herring": the German public is notoriously sensitive to the prospect of their town becoming "abgehängt" so I could readily imagine that a few international ICEs would also run around Freiburg. The question is, do we know for a fact that the line is now being planned for 250 km/h?
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Old December 18th, 2012, 11:15 AM   #1537
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While I also see the Basel-Mannheim design as fairly good by German standards, your argumentation, K, is defintiely off. If the demand on the Western fringe of Germany was really so low as you describe, then Bonn, Koblenz, and Mainz would only see a couple of local trains now that you can bypass these cities at 300 kmh on the Cologne-Frankfurt hight-speed line. The fact is that both lines HSR and Rhine Valley route, are teaming with traffic. There is still an hourly IC service running north to south through the valley, accompanied by often two REs and a couple of slow trains on most stretches of that route. On the other hand, the HSR is doing good business on commuters between Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich. This is the most inhabited, richest, most business intensive part of the country. You can hardly have too many lines there.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 11:32 AM   #1538
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The main difference is that there are no large centres of population in between Paris and Lyon, so building a line that only serves the endpoints is practical. Again look at a map of population densities in Europe and see how different France and Spain are from Germany.
I'm not sure this argument is historically correct. True, the actual line between Paris and Lyon crosses some pretty underpopulated parts of France, but the saturated older train line that the LGV replaced ran via Dijon. Knowing German public debate, I think that in this country it would have been near-impossible to cut a town of such size out of the railway map.

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Take again Basel - Mannheim: A new direct line from Basel to Mannheim is only justifiable if there is a market for a non stop train every hour between those cities. (If there was a market for such a train it would already exist)
This is an extremely "German" argument, K, and I'm not sure it holds water. The HSLs of several other countries serve as "Autobahns" for trains that may start and/or end somewhere that is not located on the trunk-line. It is flat wrong to say that the feasibility of a highspeed link between Mannheim and Basel depends on the traffic between these two towns. It depends on the traffic between Mannheim and Basel, and between Zurich and Karlsruhe, and between Freiburg and Darmstadt....
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Old December 18th, 2012, 11:33 AM   #1539
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The French are very good with their project in which they don't force trains to intermediate stops just to avoid the costs of some spurs. Even the Italians are building the Passante in Bologna, allowing through trains at reasonable speeds.
Italian HSLs are built more on a German than a French-style. Tunnels through Bologna and Firenze are new, but don't have tracks for non-stop trains and have a quite limited speed limit (certainly not more than 160 km/h). The lines themselves have many intermediate access junctions, although those on the Firenze-Roma line and one on the Roma-Napoli line are regularly used.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 01:16 PM   #1540
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K, do you know where they stand on this bypass around Freiburg? I have not followed the German debate in recent years, but I lived in Basle in earlier days. Back then, the DB rhetoric spoke of a freight-only line around Freiburg with Vmax set at 160 km/h. I confess I wondered already then if that argument wasn't a "red herring": the German public is notoriously sensitive to the prospect of their town becoming "abgehängt" so I could readily imagine that a few international ICEs would also run around Freiburg. The question is, do we know for a fact that the line is now being planned for 250 km/h?
from what i`ve heard it is planned for only 130km/h now, so those fancy "highspeed" trains can just as well have a stop in freiburg..

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Depends. DB has not problems running 220 kph through villages and towns on other lines...
but exactly this won`t be technically possible neither on the rheintalbahn nor on the berlin-munich route..

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Any Basel - Frankfurt train will have to stop in Freiburg and Karlruhe anyway, as the demand is not high enough for both a non stop, and a limited stop service.
that`s some sort of chicken-egg-problem - if you build the lines so that you are forced to an extreme slowdown every few kilometers, then "real" highspeed (sprinter) trains cannot get a sufficient advantage in travel-time and thus there will be not enough demand for both kinds of service.
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