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Old August 16th, 2010, 11:42 PM   #941
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Night high-speed trains are wishful thinking, the daytime ones are being cut/scrapped each timetable change.

And even those night trains that exist are far more expensive than flying. Travelling in a private trains compartment is utterly expensive, and travelling on a train seat overnight worse than travel two hours on a plane.
It used to be that the upper class traveled by plane, and the common people by train. We're actually seeing a reverse right now, with the upper class (who have both more time and money) travelling by train again. Given how dreadful most plane travel has become that is not a big surprise. I don't fly anymore, because I don't want to put up with the humiliation that plane travel is nowadays.

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The error with this "usefulness of train travel time" is to conveniently forget that the only "wasted" time is that actually spend on board on a coach seat. In the airport, you can work with plenty of space. If you have access to VIP rooms, that is even easier.
On trains you can even work while on board, in your seat.

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In Italy, there is a talk of cutting the remaining night-trains but 3 linking Sicily with Napoli, Roma and Milano. In 1993, there were 18 domestic nigh-train services in Italy.
Whatever happens in Italy is irrelevant in a discussion about the future of rail. Trenitalia is the least competent of all european railways.

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As for oil prices, that is another discussion. I do think we should invest billions to find a suitable biofuel for aviation as a "hedge" of the aviation business in case oil spikes.
This unfortunately won't work. Biofeuls are a non starter. The yields are way to low to make an impact.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 01:48 AM   #942
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Construction from Barcelona, video by Evaristo.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 05:12 AM   #943
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That video is AMAZING!
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 10:14 PM   #944
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Trends aren't permanent. The problem with night trains is they're expensive and have quite poor PR; that is, they are seen as something for backpackers, old people and train enthusiasts. Personally, I think the market for them is theoretically huge if they can sort out those two big issues (cost and marketing)



You're forgetting that the time spent just seating in an airport waiting lounge is a fraction of the overall journey time, whereas the time on a train is likely to be the majority of that type of journey. Most of the time spent when traveling by plane is getting to and from the airport (which for budget airlines like Ryanair is taking up more and more time as they choose cheaper places further away - e.g. Stansted, Girona, Eindhoven). Then there is checking in, going through customs, that bit where you hang around to board the plane, going through immigration, then waiting around to collect luggage, before getting to your destination.

Anyway, this is all largely academic. The most important factor is price. Eurostar only started to get good passenger numbers when their cheapest ticket was no longer £100; HS1 just boosted a trajectory that had already started going up. If competition on inter-Europe train journeys leads to lower prices that will do more to hurt short-haul flights than anything else. The fact that buses from London to Paris, Amsterdam, Germany, etc are still packed shows you what people will take in order to save 30 euros.

(which reminds me, I've noticed that the total price for flights of even cheap airlines such as easyjet are often 4 times or more than the headline price. For example, a £15 flight doubles if you have to check in baggage, followed by a £6 fee for using your credit card [and maybe a booking fee]. If it is Ryanair you then have to add again if you don't check-in online. finally, there is heavy cost of getting to the airports. A cheap non-peak single to Luton from NW London cost £12; around £14.50 from the centre. There are just so many hidden costs with flying now)
In the UK there are 2 or 3 "token" night trains left ... almost completelly EMPTY all of the time ... on the other hand most intercity traisnare packed full.

In spain it's the same ... the new AVE/Avant traisn are increasingly bringing major cities close together ... it's dificult to find a major realtion wich takes mroe than 4h nowadays ... in the future it will be even harder as the AVE network gets complete.


offtopic: ryr flies to ElPrat in Barcelona and Barajas in Madrid ... Both cities are nowadays not in any way served by some far far away airports.
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Old September 4th, 2010, 12:14 AM   #945
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Hi there.

The new HSL from Perpignan in France to Figueres in Spain will be opening next December the 12th.

Two TGV Paris-Figueres per day, and two Figueres-Paris.
There will be an interchange to a Spanish train that will provide the link to Barcelona, which is still in works.
There will also be a bus to the centre of Figueres, as the station will be a parkway-type one.

Source: www.routard.com, Figueres town council, several Spanish regional newspapers.

EDIT: Spanish Gov denies!! No exact date yet!

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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:43 AM   #946
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Ave to Valencia in december (438km)

http://www.typicallyspanish.com/news...le_27166.shtml


Minister for Development, José Blanco, said Monday that the Madrid-Valencia AVE high speed train line would be in service before the end of the year.

He said that no firm date had been fixed as yet, but that he had been told the line would be ready on December 15.

Currently tests are being carried out on the line, and the first test train is expected to arrive in Valencia on October 13.
Once fully operational, RENFE Spanish railways say they will run between 13 and 17 AVE 102 'Pato' trains a day, with a journey time of 90 minutes. There will an hourly service in each direction at peak times, and RENFE expects the line will carry 2.8 million passengers a year. They also estimate the line will stop some 80,000 tons of CO2 being released into the atmosphere every year.

The trains are being manufactured by the Talgo-Bombardier consortium, and have the ability to carry 365 passengers at speeds up to 330 kms/hour.

The opening of the Valencia AVE will make Spain the top country in the world for the number of kilometres of high speed track in service, given that the new route will take the total to 438 kms.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:55 AM   #947
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Interesting. Together with Italy, Spain has the best policy approach to rail transport, focusing on new segregated HS lines.

I read, though, that plans to link Madrid with Lisboa were postponed for the time being due to financial crises in both countries.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 11:21 AM   #948
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
...Italy...has the best policy approach to rail transport, focusing on new segregated HS lines.


(Spain is not really better thought, except for high speed and suburban trains)
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Old September 16th, 2010, 02:03 PM   #949
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Interesting. Together with Italy, Spain has the best policy approach to rail transport, focusing on new segregated HS lines.

...
What?
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Old September 16th, 2010, 02:06 PM   #950
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepin0 View Post
http://www.typicallyspanish.com/news...le_27166.shtml

...

The trains are being manufactured by the Talgo-Bombardier consortium, and have the ability to carry 365 passengers at speeds up to 330 kms/hour.

...
So this line will be in service with the ERTMS-2 system?

P.S.: 292 km/h of average, not bad.

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Old September 16th, 2010, 02:13 PM   #951
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What?
Spain, AFAIK, has set a clear priority to state-of-the-art high-speed rail system. By doing so, they are on way to surpass might France and become the country with the largest HS (which is 21st Century-worth transport) system in Europe.

Save for regional commuting trains in metro areas, Spain, AFAIK, is getting rid of slow, mostly crappy local and regional services, either upgrading them or closing them for good. There is also a brand new networks of highways to deal with local and regional traffic anyway.

Germany has less than 500km of true high-speed rail. Spain is going to have 10 times that, and without a money-losing heavy network of regional trains to sustain either. So it's posed to success in competing with air service without wasting taxpayers' money on fancy-but-useless local railways.

Italy, contrary to Spain, did have a dense network of regional lines and trains, but it's closing or reducing service on them as priority, like in Spain, was set to construction of high-speed lines along the two major axes.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 02:51 PM   #952
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Originally Posted by LUCAFUSAR View Post
So this line will be in service with the ERTMS-2 system?

P.S.: 292 km/h of average, not bad.
No, the average speed will be lower than that, about 260km/h. The distance between Madrid Atocha and Valencia will be 391 km. The traveltime will be 1h 30 min thanks to Renfe and its absurd slack policy. With trains running at the alowed maximum speed you can easily set the timetable to 1h 20 min.

This is the same bullshit policy they use on the Madrid-Barcelona line where the timetable is so inflated trains have enough slack to permit them to stop along the way up to 10 minutes and still arrive ahead of the timetable, I've seen it many times.

Last edited by gincan; September 16th, 2010 at 03:01 PM.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 05:47 PM   #953
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On the other hand, Renfe has one of the most liberal and generous compensation for delays you can get.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 06:08 PM   #954
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Interesting. Together with Italy, Spain has the best policy approach to rail transport, focusing on new segregated HS lines.
Not at all!!!!

Italy maybe, but Spain certainly not!

I have no doubt the best approach is the french one, with tons of TGV's gaining standar rail after running on as many dedicated km as possible for getting further fastly.

French TGV prices structure is also unique in the world, where else can we travel 900km for 30 or 50E? That makes TGV more popular.

the point is that spanish and italian approach to HSR is just that.

but french approach is a global strategy, to bring cities closer (whether they are beside a dedicated line or not), consume less fuel (that's imported) on particular cars, buses and planes; and focus transport on electric mode (france is maybe the biggest power on nuclear energy being the first exporter).

that's why France keeps most of it regional rails and airports are linked to HSR, and the reason for its price policy.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 06:58 PM   #955
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Originally Posted by gincan View Post
No, the average speed will be lower than that, about 260km/h. The distance between Madrid Atocha and Valencia will be 391 km. The traveltime will be 1h 30 min thanks to Renfe and its absurd slack policy. With trains running at the alowed maximum speed you can easily set the timetable to 1h 20 min.

This is the same bullshit policy they use on the Madrid-Barcelona line where the timetable is so inflated trains have enough slack to permit them to stop along the way up to 10 minutes and still arrive ahead of the timetable, I've seen it many times.
Oh, sorry, but that article says that the lenght of the MAD-VAL HSL is 438 Km...however 260 km/h is an excelent average speed, too.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 09:07 PM   #956
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Not at all!!!!

Italy maybe, but Spain certainly not!

I have no doubt the best approach is the french one, with tons of TGV's gaining standar rail after running on as many dedicated km as possible for getting further fastly.

French TGV prices structure is also unique in the world, where else can we travel 900km for 30 or 50E? That makes TGV more popular.

the point is that spanish and italian approach to HSR is just that.

but french approach is a global strategy, to bring cities closer (whether they are beside a dedicated line or not), consume less fuel (that's imported) on particular cars, buses and planes; and focus transport on electric mode (france is maybe the biggest power on nuclear energy being the first exporter).

that's why France keeps most of it regional rails and airports are linked to HSR, and the reason for its price policy.
Problem with the French approach is that it is only beneficial if you have a direct TGV connection. In most cases: if you are travelling to Paris or from Paris.

If you go from (somwhere not Paris) to (somewhere else not Paris) you end up loosing much of the previously gained time by interchanging to local trains , busses, travelling through Paris by RER,...

That's the real benefit of coordinated schedules: your journey door-to-door has the same average speed, while the top speed is less, so the tracks and rolling stock are cheaper.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:06 PM   #957
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That's the real benefit of coordinated schedules: your journey door-to-door has the same average speed, while the top speed is less, so the tracks and rolling stock are cheaper.
Coordinated scehdules assumes that everybody using the public transit systems needs to use it so it accommodates every user's needs. However, in France, Spain and Italy they just set up a system that will incentive some people to do their journeys by car. In Europe, rich and prosperous, this is no problem. The poorer ones, underage etc. can still make longer journeys while remaning train user have a fast, World-class, better-than-the-Chinese rail system that competes with air in key routes.

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If you go from (somwhere not Paris) to (somewhere else not Paris) you end up loosing much of the previously gained time by interchanging to local trains , busses, travelling through Paris by RER,...
The problem is the lack of a Paris HS-only station. They should build one, but that is another topic.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:22 PM   #958
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Germany has less than 500km of true high-speed rail. Spain is going to have 10 times that, and without a money-losing heavy network of regional trains to sustain either. So it's posed to success in competing with air service without wasting taxpayers' money on fancy-but-useless local railways.
I really don't understand why you found a waste an expense of, say, 100 millions in subsidies for well used trains, but you think that 10 billions spent in infrastructures are worth.

Sure, Spanish HSL have dramatically reduced travel times, but the existing network (Madrid-Barcelona/Andalusia/Valladolid) carries about 12 millions passengers a year, that is half of the Paris-Lyon HSL alone. From your point of view, all Spanish HSLs and most motorways (I know one, 100 km long, with only 2.000 vehicles per day) should be a waste of taxpayer's money.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:27 PM   #959
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Spain has no train culture comparing with other european countries, because of the old railway system we are used to. We need at least 10 years to adjust to the new HSLines (also to finish most parts of them, like Madrid-Valencia this year and Madrid-North Spain in five years).

Despite the most powerful connection (Madrid-Barcelona) is still very new, it is a big success and it will be more.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:34 PM   #960
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I really don't understand why you found a waste an expense of, say, 100 millions in subsidies for well used trains, but you think that 10 billions spent in infrastructures are worth.

Sure, Spanish HSL have dramatically reduced travel times, but the existing network (Madrid-Barcelona/Andalusia/Valladolid) carries about 12 millions passengers a year, that is half of the Paris-Lyon HSL alone. From your point of view, all Spanish HSLs and most motorways (I know one, 100 km long, with only 2.000 vehicles per day) should be a waste of taxpayer's money.
Spain is going to open its tracks to private competitors. I said again and again that I don't opposte gov't building transport infrastructure (it's one of its functions) as far as this infrastructure is to be used only or almost only by private operators (e.g., the buses, trains, boats, ferries, airplanes running over it).

So, for me, there is an immense, a HUGE difference between investing in new infra-strucuture or paying operational expesnses of a system who can't be operated, on a daily basis, by private markets.

That is what I love so much about Renfe and, particularly, Trenitalia: this two-tiered vision of infrastructure as independent from vehicle operations, fares, schedules, passes etc. In Spain (and Italy for that matter), you rarely see people bragging about how much fares will cost or how connections with existing services will be. They always focus on beggining-to-end time reductions and travel times, speed and efficiency of the infrastructure.

In any case, rail would have better been spent on highways, but that is another, higher-order discussion (highways offer more than transportation: a support of an affluent, individualistic and self-centered lifestyle).

So let's hope Spain keeps new HSL coming once the crisis is over.
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