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Old December 31st, 2012, 05:16 PM   #1601
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Originally Posted by 33Hz View Post
No, but it's less of a problem going through towns in the day.
Indeed. SBB does the same thing on the Olten - Bern HSL. During the night the line is used for freight, thus reducing the noise burden for the villages along the old line.
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Old December 31st, 2012, 06:07 PM   #1602
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ok, thanks for clerification. but one point on the regional-trains on the north-route concept is still unclear to me, as afaik those regional-trains (nearly?) all stop in offenbach, which can`t be served on the north-route. does this mean that offenbach will be served only by s-bahn in the future?
Most regional trains will still use the southern line, it has enough capacity for long distance and fast regional trains.
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Old December 31st, 2012, 06:09 PM   #1603
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No, it wouldn't as high-speed trains would still run on ridiculously slow tracks.
And additionally they would be forced to stop in Darmstadt (as already said, there shouldn't be any HSR at all in Darmstadt, as it's much too close to Mannheim and especially Frankfurt). Travel times would extremely increase. That's no concept, that's just bullshit.
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Old December 31st, 2012, 06:27 PM   #1604
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The reason why the cities Darmstadt and Mannheim have been against being connected by a bypass, is because that would mean all long-distance trains being transfered to the new track.
And this again means that the old tracks are left with short-distance trains and all the freight trains.
So they will have freight trains rushing through their cities and past their main train stations throughout the day.
That doesnt only cause a lot of noise, it also causes delays for passenger rail.

Already now the situation is really bad and the year 2012 has been the worst so far.
Since freight trains are never 100% on time, they detain the passenger trains.
According to my subjective perception, there have been more delayed passenger trains, than trains on time, here in the Rhein-Main-Region.


Now when you think about it, leading the new HSR across the main train stations of these cities, doesnt make anything better in that regard.
Thats why the entire region is not satisfied with this project, however you might turn it. And not only the region, the ministry of transport has realized this too. Thats why the project is on ice now.


Everybody really has to consider that concept made by the southern Hessian officials again (new track for freight only). The more you think about it, the better it appears.
With this solution we would actually approach the ideal of seperated tracks for different train-types.
German railways is a mess exactly because of this fact of not seperating different train-types.
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Old December 31st, 2012, 06:32 PM   #1605
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Originally Posted by Rohne View Post
And additionally they would be forced to stop in Darmstadt (as already said, there shouldn't be any HSR at all in Darmstadt, as it's much too close to Mannheim and especially Frankfurt). Travel times would extremely increase. That's no concept, that's just bullshit.
How is that bullshit?

Do you really live in Rohne, Oberlausitz?
That would explain a thing or two.

And btw no ICE would be FORCED to stop in Darmstadt, only because its track runs past Darmstadt.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 07:38 AM   #1606
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maniei View Post
Everybody really has to consider that concept made by the southern Hessian officials again (new track for freight only). The more you think about it, the better it appears.
With this solution we would actually approach the ideal of seperated tracks for different train-types.
German railways is a mess exactly because of this fact of not seperating different train-types.
yeah, leaving passenger trains as slow as they are now - on the probably most important corridor on the german railway network - is really such a great idea if you think more about it.
from frankfurt on you are even faster by car in stuttgart or munich than by "highspeed" train ICE..
also you are ignoring the fact that a new highspeed track would be used for freight only during the night hours, which would be of significant advantage for darmstadt (and mannheim with a bypass..) considering train noise during sleep time.
and if every train has to slow down to about 100km/h or so while passaging darmstadt/hbf this is practically a forced stop, as time gains through passing without a stop would be only modest at all (compare the situation to fulda, kassel, göttingen, soon erfurt, halle, bamberg,...).
considering all facts - great job done by car-lobbyists..
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Old January 1st, 2013, 03:55 PM   #1607
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The ICE speeding with 300 kph is not really a priority here.
No, running high-speed services fast through this area is the actual purpose of the exercise. Frankfurt/M-Mannheim is one of the missing links in the German high-speed network. A badly missed one in fact. One which would be highly beneficial for most parts of Germany and beyond.

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Originally Posted by maniei View Post
1) Relieve the freight burden
2) Dont have freight trains run through densely populated area (at nights)
3) Close the gap frankfurt-Mannheim
4) Find a way to stop in Darmstadt and Mannheim also
5) Make an investment that brings a financial gain.

These are the major priorities!
A HSL would fulfil not only all of these requirements. It would also provide the desired link between Darmstadt and the airport station.
By removing all ICE services from the Riedbahn plenty of capacity is freed for freight and local services.

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The reason why the cities Darmstadt and Mannheim have been against being connected by a bypass, is because that would mean all long-distance trains being transfered to the new track.
That's bollocks. Darmstadt is by-passed by ICE services today already and Mannheim Hbf will remain an important station of the high-speed network even with services by-passing it. It is after all the biggest hub of a sizeable and important conurbation.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 04:53 PM   #1608
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As others already said. The freight trains could use the HSL (which would also bypass Darmstadt, only missing is a bypass around Mannheim as Mannheim officials are against such a bypass ) during the night, relieving all those towns and cities.
And no my nickname hasn't anything today with any place in Eastern Germany.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 09:04 PM   #1609
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Here in Venice I'm the head of an association of railfans and users who promote the use and development of railways in N-E Italy. One of the activities is forcing people and local governments to reason about the actual output of different infrastructure choices.
And by actual I mean minute-by-minute gains.
The point is to bring back to reality some discussions about railway development, which often tend to be driven on a "philosophical" level

In this disussion I'm feeling the same biases I use to cope with in reality... just switch Frankfurt, Mannheim and Karlsruhe with Verona, Padua and Venice and you'll get the same bullshit I have to cope with everyday

As of today the lines setup already separates the traffic by type:
- the ICE network "fixed points" are Mannheim Hbf and the Zeppelinheim area, and they're connected by the Riedbahn;
- the freight through traffic from CH which takes its own route from Schwetzingen - Darmstadt - MZ-Bischofsheim/F-Louisa (acting as a Mannheim bypass as well)
Of course S and R services follow both routes, both being populated areas.


There are some points I really can't get.

1) The Darmstad outcry
Darmstad lies less than 30 km from Frankfur. Even if it didn't have the misfortune of lying on the "wrong" line, the city would be clearly too close to Frankfurt to act as another stop for ICEs.
Why then all this mess about taking them there? That should be a regional link; they even have good IC service, why are they given so much more attention? Mainz is bigger and lies at a similar distance from F, but it didn't get any ICE...

Darmstadt - F is 15-18' with IC/RE, 2 trains per hour. Well, maybe the RE could be shifted by 30', since the existing services depart too close to each other.
On the Mannheim side the connection is actually poor, with a direct RE only every 2 hours, and many non-direct and slow connections.
I'd try to make that RE hourly and departing from F-Hbf shifted by 30' from the other RB, as well as make it a little faster (48' is pretty slow for a 60 km RE link).
This way Darmstadt would have its decent connection with ICE network, without the need to disturb major routes.

2) Slowliness of Mannheim - Frankfurt ICE
Is it really that slow? We must consider that, whatever the solution about a new line will be, the fixed points near the cities will not be faster than today.
Mannheim Hbf to Waldhof is an obliged route, and today it's probably at its better performance (5')
F-Hbf - Stadion - Zeppelinheim is another obliged stretch, which might benefit from upgrade works. But that's more about capacity than time spared, and anyway that would be an advantage for the existing Riedbahn schedule as well.
Based on the time Hbf to Flughafen, I'd say that Hbf to Zeppelinheim takes some 10-11'.

Today the time is 36'; given the fact that 15-16' of it cannot be cut, let's see what can we do about the rest.
From Waldhof to Zeppelinheim there are 61 km of line, 37 of which already at 200 km/m.
If a new line would connect those two spots with 300 km/h permitted speed, what would be the overall time saving of such short distance high-speed operations?
The linear distance is 56 km. If, by absurd, we'd have trains running at full speed (no acceleration time: a perfect average of 300 km/h), the time would be 56/300 = 11'.
Of course, the route will not be so straight: along A6/A67/A5 it'd be 58 km; and we must count 160>300>160 acceleration time.
In the best scenario, we'd get a wonderful time saving of 7 or 8 minutes. Is this really money well spent?


My advice is: concentrate on getting out of F-Hbf faster, and do what you can to speed up Biblis - Riedstadt.
Maybe just redesigning the Biblis curve for 200 km/h operation would help, limiting the expenditure.
And, of course, screw Darmstadt, since the time benefit for them would be exactly 0.
Really too much freight traffic? Build a new decated line through the region, and you'll ease up operations on both existing lines.
What is more, a new freight line is waaaaaay simpler to build than a HSL

But please stop with this HS outcry... HS railway is a nice thing, but it cannot be applied anywhere. There are some regions which simply can't use it because they are too densely urbanized. Begging for it anywhere is just as dumb as NIMBYs and BANANAs...
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Old January 1st, 2013, 10:18 PM   #1610
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I completely agree with the first part of your post, but concerning your second point (the slowliness):
Speeding up Frankfurt - Mannheim is not the only reason why there's need for a new line. This corridor is by far the most congested rail corridor in Germany, with S-Bahn, regional, freight and long distance trains sharing the same 4 tracks (2 each on Riedbahn via Gernsheim and Main-Neckar-Bahn via Darmstadt), leading to huge capacity problems for years already. There's not enough capacity for any additional traffic, being it local, regional, long distance or freight - and there's need for additional trains of all kinds. Immediately coming to my mind are Rhein-Neckar-S-Bahn to Darmstadt, increasing hourly trains per direction of Rhein-Main S7 from 2 to 4, increasing ICE lines Köln - Stuttgart - München, Hamburg/Berlin - Frankfurt - Stuttgart - München (latest when this route is as fast or faster than Frankfurt - Nürnberg - München) and probably Köln - Basel from 2hourly to hourly plus additional trains Frankfurt - Paris/Marseille. Then adjustments of regional trains (ie what you suppose for Darmstadt), and the ever growing freight traffic. And you can do what you want, only 2 additional tracks won't resolve this issue completely.

But it definitely makes most sense to build new tracks for HSR, since this is the last gap on the Köln - Stuttgart line. Time savings compared to today will be 7-8minutes. Together with Stuttgart21, travel times Frankfurt Airport - Stuttgart could be reduced to around an hour. With an additional Mannheim bypass, travel times of even under an hour are possible on both lines, FRA Airport - Stuttgart as well as Frankfurt Hbf - Stuttgart - while current travel times for these ~180km are at 70-80 minutes. You will never get near such times without a new HSL.

And you should not forget: when you have trains running at different speeds on the same tracks (i.e. ICEs together with local trains), the capacity of these tracks is heavily reduced. It's not such big of an issue when you have local trains and freight trains sharing the same tracks, as their speed is approximately the same. So you will gain most additional capacity when you first build an own line for high speed rail as you than have dedicated tracks for the different speeds, all providing the maximum of their possible capacity. During night times when there's only a handful of long distance trains in service, this line can also be used by freight trains (the corridor is rather flat), relieving all the towns from noise.
As already said, this line alone won't solve all issues in this corridor, so probably additional measures are needed (but a new line dedicated for freight traffic wouldn't solve all problems either, additional capacity is less because you still have trains of different speeds on the same tracks, and then there's still the HSR gap).

Another problem is the rail link of future Terminal 3 at Frankfurt airport for regional trains and Rhein-Main-S7 which will lead to additional capacity constraints, especially when you still have ICEs using the Riedbahn.

Last edited by Rohne; January 1st, 2013 at 10:55 PM.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 11:10 PM   #1611
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Well, if the point is bypassing Mannheim then yes, a HSL makes sense, since you'd keep sensibly higher average speeds on longer distances, both from the South and from Stuttgart.

Building it parallel to the A6, starting from around this spot, would certainly give better performance to any service not calling at Mannheim.

My only concern is: how many services would cut out Mannheim? Will there be in the future a number of hourly services high enough to split them into calling and not calling there?

The point in HSR is always choosing who's important from who's not enough; usually I'd consider a 300k inhab. city large enough for not missing it. For example, Venice - Padua distance is just 30 km, but you must stop every service there since Padua loads 40-50% of long distance trains despite being a less important city.
I'd expect Mannheim's importance being increades by being the main node to the whole Rhein-Neckar metro area.

It would be interesting to study the number of ICE travellers of Mannheim Hbf.
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Last edited by Wilhem275; January 1st, 2013 at 11:18 PM.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 11:12 PM   #1612
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Germany has some other very weird patterns of service. For instance, ICE-Sprinters that stop in Berlin Spandau, a minor station, 15 minutes after leaving Berlin Hbf.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 11:34 PM   #1613
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Please note that Mannheim is not only a town of 300,000 people but the center of the Rhein-Neckar region. If you take care of only Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg, it's another 300,000 people.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 11:36 PM   #1614
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For frequent HSR stops, look at Tokyo. ALL Tokaido Shinkansen trains stop at Tokyo Main station, then Shinagawa Station less than 7 km from Tokyo, then Shin-Yokohama 26 km from Tokyo. Most northbound Shinkansens originate at Tokyo, then stop at Ueno just 3,6 km away, then at Omiya station 32 km away, though there some trains do skip either Ueno or Omiya.

Note that no Shinkansen trains travel through Osaka. 5 stops in under 60 km wouls slow down the through services a bit.

Is Darmstadt also a useful commuter train/metro hub to serve southern suburbs of Frankfurt?
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 12:22 AM   #1615
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I also think that we are sometimes too much about speed here. Sure, that's important but in the real world capacity, freight, population distribution and cost of potential solutions also need to be evaluated.

There is place for more HS lines in Germany, though. And even more importantly I whish they would build the ones they have agreed to build quicker. Compared to other places everything seems to happen at snails pace there...
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:47 AM   #1616
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Germany has some other very weird patterns of service. For instance, ICE-Sprinters that stop in Berlin Spandau, a minor station, 15 minutes after leaving Berlin Hbf.
For a city of 3.5 million and the transport hub of Eastern Germany, three stops does not seem exaggerated to me. DB had to go through a lot of fights with NIMBYs to cancel the ICE stop at the Zoo, just three S-Bahn stops west of Hauptbahnhof (admittedly the Zoo is better interconnected to local metro and bus lines than Hbf).
Also after considerable resistance by the state governments, DB managed to rid itself of all ICE stops in the state capitals of Potsdam and Magdeburg, as they are on a conventional route between Hannover and Berlin that takes an hour longer than the Stendal/Wolfsburg route.
The situation is different in the West, with larger, richer and more travel-happy conglomerations (i.e. Rhein-Main, Rhein-Ruhr, Neckar areas). Nonetheless for organizing traffic in the West and Southwest, a clear hierarchy of importance of train stations, as is common in a real major city, would be useful for train operations, but will always meet with major opposition by state, municipal politicians and passengers.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 11:40 AM   #1617
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I also think that we are sometimes too much about speed here.
And what matters is not the speed of the train, it's the speed of the passenger that matters. Good integration with the rest of the network saves a lot of time too.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 11:52 AM   #1618
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Germany has some other very weird patterns of service. For instance, ICE-Sprinters that stop in Berlin Spandau, a minor station, 15 minutes after leaving Berlin Hbf.
I suspect that the customers DB targets with the Sprinter are typically Frankfurt businessmen that are headed for meetings in Berlin. A stop in Spandau makes sense, as this probably saves people with final destinations in the west of Berlin a lot of time, while only adding a few minutes for people headed for the centre.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:03 PM   #1619
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And what matters is not the speed of the train, it's the speed of the passenger that matters. Good integration with the rest of the network saves a lot of time too.
Same goes for those trains actually arriving and departing as scheduled. I have an impression that not everything is right in that department at least in the part of Germany I know best (Baden Wurttemberg). Trains from Germany arrive in Basel late quite often and I have an impression that the punctuality is getting worse instead of better...
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:43 PM   #1620
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In that case the obvious guess for what goes wrong is the density of traffic on the Upper Rhine railway. Hence improving capacity will probably produce more benefits for travellers than only rising speeds.
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