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Old January 8th, 2013, 01:20 AM   #1661
Wilhem275
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
Knuckles have already become a global standard on standard-gauge rail--(Western) Europe is the only really big bloc using that spec that don't have them. But yeah agreed, it would be a tremendous expense, and one needing the network to be retooled, too.
Actually I don't understand how the high costs would generate.

Of course I don't have in mind a general retrofit of all existing wagons, that would mean serious money (wasted). I work in the freight maintenance field so I know very well how this low-value market can be VERY sensitive to the slightest cost increase of freight wagons operations.

What I have in mind is completing the development of the (I suppose) UIC project of an automatic coupler fully compatible with the existing system, so that new wagons could be built with the new system -within reasonable cost- and be directly compatible with the existing one (no special instruments, no extra maintenance). As long as experience cumulates, this could be extended to heavy overhauls of existing wagons with still decent lifetime.

Fade-out would do the rest.

The concept was a knuckle which would retain the existing buffers, but fitted with a chain compatible with the existing one. The brake pipe would be the standard one, but usually connected to a joint in the knuckle itself (designed as the existing connection); if needed, the pipe can be detached with a quick operation and linked to another wagon, as usual

This way you may have, when coupling:
- old to new coupling: you detach the brake pipe from the knuckler, then manual operation as usual (chain and brake pipe)
- new to new coupling: fully automatic operation

When uncoupling:
- old to new coupling: same as usual, but with the burden of rejoining the brake pipe to the knuckler
- new to new coupling: just pull the lever, as in any automatic coupler

The disadvantage of those few additional steps in old-new coupling would be compensated by the much quickier operations in new-new ones.
An experienced yard operator would lose almost no time in repositioning a brake pipe on a standard joint
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Old January 8th, 2013, 07:07 AM   #1662
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
But the other thing is that I don't completely buy the whole "we ship our bulk on ship" thing, either. While it works west of roughly the German border, the peninsular geography of Europe dictates decreasing returns on this mode of shipment as you head further east...
As you go east the modal share of rail freight does increase. The Benelux-Med corridor is an important rail freight corridor.

However the biggest obstacle to rail freight has always been bureaucracy, and the inefficiencies in state companies. Just talk with people in shipping and they will tell you stories of the mind boggling incompetence that was the rule before freight rail was liberalised.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 07:10 AM   #1663
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The disadvantage of those few additional steps in old-new coupling would be compensated by the much quickier operations in new-new ones.
An experienced yard operator would lose almost no time in repositioning a brake pipe on a standard joint
But in practice there is not that much coupling/uncoupling being done anymore. There is not that much wagonload freight left. Most of the trains are block trains.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 08:31 AM   #1664
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
What I have in mind is completing the development of the (I suppose) UIC project of an automatic coupler fully compatible with the existing system, so that new wagons could be built with the new system -within reasonable cost- and be directly compatible with the existing one (no special instruments, no extra maintenance).
This already exists in the form of the C-AKv coupling.
Also don't forget that a lot of current freight wagons are already built for future conversion to an automatic coupling / no buffer setup.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 10:40 AM   #1665
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Quote:
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But in practice there is not that much coupling/uncoupling being done anymore. There is not that much wagonload freight left. Most of the trains are block trains.

Isn't wagonload freight still quite a significant feature of North and Central Europe still?

Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Sweden still shift quite a lot of volume via the single wagon system I believe.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 10:53 AM   #1666
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Switzerland and Austria even load standard gauge wagons on narrow gauge trucks. But for how long?
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Old January 8th, 2013, 04:41 PM   #1667
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Switzerland and Austria even load standard gauge wagons on narrow gauge trucks. But for how long?
There are not a lot of such transport left however. RBS stopped them a few years ago. WSB stopped too.

Interestingly one of the most likely candidates for going for automatic couplers for freight would appear to be the RhB. They do still shunt a lot of freight cars around, and often send up freight in small sections on the back of passenger trains, and they don't need to be compatible with the rest of Europe...
But they still use manual couplers. And witnessing how quick the RhB manages to uncouple and shunt freight cars of the end of a passenger train during turnaround in Arosa I get the idea that they wouldn't gain that much time from automatic couplers.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 04:09 AM   #1668
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An interesting layout , whats the reasoning behind this signal setup?

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Old January 9th, 2013, 08:03 AM   #1669
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An interesting layout , whats the reasoning behind this signal setup?
It's a solution for the problem where a road intersection is adjacent to a railroad crossing. When a train approaches traffic on the parallel road is stopped, so any car stopped on the tracks of the crossing gets a chance to clear it. Then once the crossing is closed traffic on the parallel road can proceed again (as long as it's not turning on the crossing).
I've seen similar setups where a railway crossing was integrated with conventional traffic lights.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 08:19 AM   #1670
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They have many such crossings in Netherlands. Obsessed (in a positive way) with signaling consistency as traffic authorities are, they will just pull the electrical signaling indicator and feed it into a normal traffic light.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 04:14 AM   #1671
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They have many in Melbourne too. I know there's one at Edithvale Railway Station where there is a crossing like that but where the busy main suburban line is literally in between 2 busy roads (one a highway). Not sure how the signalling feeds in with the traffic light though..
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Old January 10th, 2013, 10:45 AM   #1672
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Is this a tram-train and Intercity line?

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Old January 10th, 2013, 11:35 AM   #1673
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Yes. The Stadtbahn Karlsruhe (like some other German systems) runs on rail lines just like any other train. They have the same security system (LZB and/or ECTS)
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Old January 10th, 2013, 08:02 PM   #1674
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LZB and ETCS (got nothing to do with University ) on the same track? Why would that be? LZB is a Class B System and tracks equipped with such a system don't have to be such converted to ETCS at all. Considering DB's stance towards ETCS I also highly doubt it.
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Old January 11th, 2013, 09:22 AM   #1675
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LZB and ETCS (got nothing to do with University ) on the same track? Why would that be? LZB is a Class B System and tracks equipped with such a system don't have to be such converted to ETCS at all. Considering DB's stance towards ETCS I also highly doubt it.
DB has already implemented ETCS on a few lines, and has committed
to installing ETCS on the Rotterdam - Milano corridor. However they are indeed not in a hurry.
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Old January 11th, 2013, 02:58 PM   #1676
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You completely got me wrong, KingNick. I'm simply not sure which system ist used or whether there will be changes on the Stadtbahn Karlsruhe lines.
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Old January 11th, 2013, 05:11 PM   #1677
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DB has already implemented ETCS on a few lines, and has committed
to installing ETCS on the Rotterdam - Milano corridor. However they are indeed not in a hurry.
They knew for years now that their ICEs on the Vienna - Frankfurt rotation will require ETCS L2 by December 2012 and so far only 4 out of 11 trains got it. Hence most ICEs are already 15 minutes late at their first stop in St. Pölten. No horry is pretty much an understatement.
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Old January 11th, 2013, 05:52 PM   #1678
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DB. There's not more to say.
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Old January 11th, 2013, 07:01 PM   #1679
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They knew for years now that their ICEs on the Vienna - Frankfurt rotation will require ETCS L2 by December 2012 and so far only 4 out of 11 trains got it. Hence most ICEs are already 15 minutes late at their first stop in St. Pölten. No horry is pretty much an understatement.
In case of the ICEs running to Switzerland they managed to get ETCS installed in time...
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Old January 13th, 2013, 12:18 AM   #1680
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Yeah, I hear the Swiss are still complaining because they had to pay for DB's ETCS
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