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Old November 20th, 2010, 02:58 AM   #741
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From Dec. 12th Trenitalia will offer wi-fi services on its flagship high speed routes (Turin-Milan-Rome-Naples). As it often happens with TI, a good news hides a bad one: the service will be offered for free for the first month but, after this free trial period has elapsed, travellers willing to use Internet on a train will be charged a yet unknown amount of money. Let me remind you that a full-fare second class ticket from Milan to Rome, one way, costs the best part of 89 euro which is a lot IMHO.
This is competitive with air fares. Air shuttle Linate-Fiumicino usually sells from 169 upwards one-way. Driving will take you at least 5h30 hours + approaches in both cities and cost you from € 75 to € 110 depending on your car.

We, Italians, were used to unsustainable low fares in the past. Time to get over it. All train fares in Italy should be brought to German or Northern European levels (as avg. cost per km) on lines and services that have been already modernized, and let Trenitalia maximize its financial performance.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 10:33 AM   #742
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Actually on very used lines like Milano-Torino the InterRegio trains with their low fares manage to cover their cost, and InterCity-EuroStar City fare are sometimes higher than the Swiss ones for a comparable service (probably also compared to the German fares, but I don't know much about them).
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Old November 20th, 2010, 02:43 PM   #743
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All train fares in Italy should be brought to German or Northern European levels (as avg. cost per km) on lines and services that have been already modernized, and let Trenitalia maximize its financial performance.
They should be brought to German or North European service levels first...
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Old November 20th, 2010, 07:22 PM   #744
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It depends much on the regions. In Emilia Romagna for what I have seen trains are reasonably clean, and Lombardia has done much in recent years making a good symmetric timetable and creating a train every 15 minutes on 5 radial lines from Milano. But there many trains still lack maintenance and cleaning (it's quite frequent to find a carriage with broken heating and/or lighting).

The problem is that these good improvements are threated by the government cut on subsidies, even if some trains are packed with commuters, even on the 15-min-takt lines.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 08:01 PM   #745
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It depends much on the regions. In Emilia Romagna for what I have seen trains are reasonably clean, and Lombardia has done much in recent years making a good symmetric timetable and creating a train every 15 minutes on 5 radial lines from Milano. But there many trains still lack maintenance and cleaning (it's quite frequent to find a carriage with broken heating and/or lighting).

The problem is that these good improvements are threated by the government cut on subsidies, even if some trains are packed with commuters, even on the 15-min-takt lines.
Just to elaborate further: although Trenitalis is the quasi-monopolistic operator of domestic trains, it was reorganized in terms of its approach to services it would provide. It can provide whatever medium- and long-distance service it wants as long as the train breaks even, individually or contributing with a significant (financially) traffic to its non-regional network. Otherwise, Trenitalia can cut whatever service it wants if the train loses money, unless government provide train-specific subsidy for those routes. This has led to the contentious, though long needed, cut of most (all but 3 or 4) north-south night trains, crappy services that linked major centers in North (Torino, Milano, Genova, Venezia, Trieste and others) to southern regions and to Sicilia in trips that took up to 21h of SCHEDULED time.

Then, to circumvent fare increasing political rife, Trenitalia rebranded some of its non-high-speed long-distance services with only slight and incremental modernization of carriages (and change of locos), cutting of some excessive stops in some routes, chopping some train service categories and upgrading the made-up trains to far more expensive categories, which avoid them being cut as they are now profitable with 40-60% fare increases, despite having losing some ridership.

Regional services are now the dominion of the regional governments. Trenitalia signs contracts with the regions, who got to decide how much service they want, a common agreed timetable, rolling stock that is going to be used, and fares. The region will keep all the revenue an pay Trenitalia a mostly fixed fee for the whole service. Essentially, Trenitalia is a contractor for regional services, and it is forbidden by national regulations to offer regions any contract that will not recoup capital, operational and traffic fee costs. The tricky point is: regions don't want to step up fares, and by doing so, they can't afford contracts with increased quality.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 09:03 PM   #746
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The State trasferred some money to the local governments, which they used for regional serivce. These fundings are going to be reduced, so in the regional traffic a reduction in service and an increase of 25%-30% of fares are expected. Commuters are not really happy.

In contrast the government is wanting to spend billions on not so prioritary infrastructures like the Fréjus Base Tunnel and the Messina Strait Bridge.

Quote:
...cutting of some excessive stops in some routes...which avoid them being cut as they are now profitable with 40-60% fare increases, despite having losing some ridership.
Actually on the Adriatic line all provincial capitals between Milano and Bologna have been added, the revamped coaches suffer from a lot of problems (air conditioned not working, broken automatic doors, ...) that, together with the fare increase, led to the loss of 40% of the passengers. Some of these services will be cut or reduced to weekend only mid December.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 03:08 AM   #747
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The State trasferred some money to the local governments, which they used for regional serivce. These fundings are going to be reduced, so in the regional traffic a reduction in service and an increase of 25%-30% of fares are expected. Commuters are not really happy.
Our "autostrade" are happily open to disgruntled rail commuters Many commuter services are unprofitable, they can't even break even. Some can be made financially healthy by means of fare increases that outstrip the impact of lost ridership, but others just can't break even - ever -, because their users will likely change rail for buses or cars if fares are increased.

Sicily now has only 30% of the daily passenger scheduled services it had 15 years ago, but buses usually serve local services better. People are also getting richer down there and driving more cars. In Calabria, one of the two main lines is all but dead. Single track, non-electrified - I just don't say it should be shut because it is the only bypass to Southern Italy in case of disruptions on the Tyrrhenian line. Maybe we will see more and more local branch lines, with few trains per day, being shut down for good. I could nominate some, like Fabriano-Civitanova Marche and Agrigento-Palermo and many smaller lines around Bologna.

At the same time, the government is wisely investing our taxpayer money (not exactly mine as I now pay taxes in Netherlands) in key projects like Messina Strait Bridge, many rectifications and modernization works to speed up the Salerno-Villa San Giovanni line, and the base tunnels (Frejus and Brennero), which will allow TGVs to run Paris-Milano in less than 3h30 and speed up Italy-Germany (München) connections, respectively.

The bridge in Messina Strait is the single most important infrastructure project in Italy a.t.m. It will take Sicily out of isolation, and speed my (and millions' others) car trips to Sicily by more than 50 minutes if you count everything attached to that project. 50 minutes saved over a small strait crossing - that is value (time saved) for money invested.



In contrast the government is wanting to spend billions on not so prioritary infrastructures like the Fréjus Base Tunnel and the Messina Strait Bridge.



Actually on the Adriatic line all provincial capitals between Milano and Bologna have been added, the revamped coaches suffer from a lot of problems (air conditioned not working, broken automatic doors, ...) that, together with the fare increase, led to the loss of 40% of the passengers. Some of these services will be cut or reduced to weekend only mid December.[/QUOTE]
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Old November 21st, 2010, 11:31 AM   #748
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Our "autostrade" are happily open to disgruntled rail commuters
But cities aren't.

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...and the base tunnels (Frejus and Brennero), which will allow TGVs to run Paris-Milano in less than 3h30 and speed up Italy-Germany (München) connections, respectively.
It will be around 4h30, maybe more if stopping in Torino.

This line costing in total 15 to 20 billions euro today only handles about 20 to 30 trains daily - not very congested
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Old November 21st, 2010, 03:57 PM   #749
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But cities aren't.



It will be around 4h30, maybe more if stopping in Torino.

This line costing in total 15 to 20 billions euro today only handles about 20 to 30 trains daily - not very congested

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Old November 21st, 2010, 04:01 PM   #750
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Kawasaki VHST V350-v360 for the Asian and European markets?
(Including the Italian VHST market?)

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...1251667&page=7
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Old November 21st, 2010, 11:37 PM   #751
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Freius tunnel is useless, infact it's not going to be built (I can bet on it)

We already have 2 alpine passes U/C and planned: Gotthard (many thanks swiss) and Brenner. We do not need a third one.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 12:18 AM   #752
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Freius tunnel is useless, infact it's not going to be built (I can bet on it)

We already have 2 alpine passes U/C and planned: Gotthard (many thanks swiss) and Brenner. We do not need a third one.
Italy is blessed and cursed to be surrounded by Alps. The Gotthard Pass doesn't solve the problem of slow approaches near Milano, congested as they are. Brennero base tunnel will solve anything in regard to westward/northwestward traffic. Italy will be linked to France only with the outdated Simplon and Frejus (current) tunnel.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 12:46 AM   #753
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...slow approaches near Milano, congested as they are.
That's why it's more useful investing 3 billions (Gotthard-Milano area) or 10 (Brenner+access lines) where there are 200 trains per day (each) rather than 10 where they are (with optimism considering a future psosible increase) 50.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 03:57 AM   #754
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Kawasaki VHST V350-v360 for the Asian and European markets?
(Including the Italian VHST market?)

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...1251667&page=7
Unless Kawasaki teams with AnsaldoBreda I don't see them winning any Italian HSR deals
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 09:18 AM   #755
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That's why it's more useful investing 3 billions (Gotthard-Milano area) or 10 (Brenner+access lines) where there are 200 trains per day (each) rather than 10 where they are (with optimism considering a future psosible increase) 50.
about this I agree. Anyway at this the latter is already true: the government is speeding up the project of Brenner (and even the Verona-Brenner line) while leaving in standby Freius. Milan area remains unfortunately a question mark.

However you forgot another foundamental project: the base tunnel between Genoa and the PO plain which is almost as difficult and long as Brenner and Gotthard and which has been approved this week (even though just partially financed). Construction shall restart (hopefully) soon.

Besides our main link with europe are not east-west but north-south. Even Paris could be reached one day through the Gotthard rather than Freius. Our main trading partner is Germany, there is much less traffic towards mediterranean France and Spain

And to connect Italy with mediterranean France and Spain we are upgrading the line between Genoa and NIce, not HSR but good enough. a line that with the base tunnel between Genoa and Milan will be much faster for passenger trains and much easier for freight

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Old November 22nd, 2010, 09:22 AM   #756
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Italy is blessed and cursed to be surrounded by Alps. The Gotthard Pass doesn't solve the problem of slow approaches near Milano, congested as they are. Brennero base tunnel will solve anything in regard to westward/northwestward traffic. Italy will be linked to France only with the outdated Simplon and Frejus (current) tunnel.
these passes are not very useful for passengers (they will never be, as the main destinations of Europe from Italy are too far to be served by trains) but by freight trains

Freight is the reason why we need alpine passes

and freight can bypass Milan as much as we are concerned. The important thing is to have tunnels under the alps which allow goods to be carried easily through the alps.

We also need of course the tunnel to link Genoa port to the PO plain and from there to the Brenner/Gotthard passes
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 11:34 AM   #757
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about this I agree. Anyway at this the latter is already true: the government is speeding up the project of Brenner (and even the Verona-Brenner line) while leaving in standby Freius. Milan area remains unfortunately a question mark.
The Fréjus is in stand by also because of the protests, even stronger than the ones against Stuttgart 21.

Quote:
However you forgot another foundamental project: the base tunnel between Genoa and the PO plain which is almost as difficult and long as Brenner and Gotthard and which has been approved this week (even though just partially financed). Construction shall restart (hopefully) soon.
It would be around 30 km long, but with various underground branches to the south to serve the various zones of the port and the passenger stations.

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And to connect Italy with mediterranean France and Spain we are upgrading the line between Genoa and Nice, not HSR but good enough. A line that with the base tunnel between Genoa and Milan will be much faster for passenger trains and much easier for freight.
The French part (Ventimiglia-Marseille) is quite full of passenger trains during the day and the new tunnels on the Italian part are being built only to gabarit B1/profile P/C 45 or similar this will not allow trains carrying high semitrailers. That's bad for a newly built line, even if there short sea shipping will be an alternative for them.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 11:42 AM   #758
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Besides our main link with europe are not east-west but north-south. Even Paris could be reached one day through the Gotthard rather than Freius. Our main trading partner is Germany, there is much less traffic towards mediterranean France and Spain

And to connect Italy with mediterranean France and Spain we are upgrading the line between Genoa and NIce, not HSR but good enough. a line that with the base tunnel between Genoa and Milan will be much faster for passenger trains and much easier for freight
AFAIK, the Genova-Ventimiglia line has some serious bottlenecks, is not entirely twined and has some very slow corners, though some rectification and realignment was done near Imperia and Spotorno.

On the French side of the border, the Nice-Marseille line is old, and slow. There will be a TGV reaching Nice - in 2020 -. In terms of freight transport, we'll be forced to move stuff across the Simplon pass and the Löetschberg tunnel, because I don't see the French improving the Lyon-Frejus line out of the context of a new rail tunnel.

On a flip side, the postponing of the Frejus base tunnel, in spite of being celebrated like crazy by the annoying NO-TAV SUSA wackos, will likely create the conditions for a 2nd road bore, either in the Mont Blanc or Frejus, likely the latter.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 08:17 PM   #759
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The French part (Ventimiglia-Marseille) is quite full of passenger trains during the day and the new tunnels on the Italian part are being built only to gabarit B1/profile P/C 45 or similar this will not allow trains carrying high semitrailers. That's bad for a newly built line, even if there short sea shipping will be an alternative for them.
I meant: Genova-Nice for passengeres. What I meant is:

1) our main trading directions are north-south (Brenner, Gotthard, III valico Genoa) while the east-west are negligible (we can use sea, highways and marginally trains)
2) The connection between Italy and europe by freight will be through Gotthard (Switwerland, France, part of Germany and Netherlands), Brenner (Germany and some parts of east europe). The only part excluded in west europe are mediterranean France and Spain, trade with which are negligible. Can be handled without the new Freius, through sea, highways, existing train connections
3) the main role of Genoa-Nice line is for passengers, and this line is under renovation...mainly for passengers.

Last edited by Eddard Stark; November 22nd, 2010 at 08:24 PM.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 03:30 PM   #760
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Well, it's not too bad if you look at the Spanish AVE or the ICE. But compared to the regular fares of Trenitalia, the Frecciarossa is rather expensive indeed.
I believe that the Frecciarossa prices are too high for the services they're providing to customers. Just to make a comparison, I paid a similar amount of money for a Nozomi superfast train connection between Tokyo and Kyoto. I didn't have to book a seat, trains were running every 20 minutes or so and I was eligible for a full refund if it happened that I was more than 5 minutes late. Trenitalia goes nowhere near this kind of service, but the pricetag is somehow similar. Moreover, charging for wi-fi doesn't sound good to me, many stations in France and elsewhere are offering the same service for free.
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