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Old November 23rd, 2010, 04:58 PM   #761
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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
The logical route for Paris - Milano is via the Simplon. (The Simplon tunnel was part financed by French interests).

A through train Paris - Dijon - Lausanne - Milano would do the trip in about the same time as the route via the Freius tunnel. This is actually the route the night trains take currently, but a daytrain would be usefull too.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #762
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The logical route for Paris - Milano is via the Simplon. (The Simplon tunnel was part financed by French interests).

A through train Paris - Dijon - Lausanne - Milano would do the trip in about the same time as the route via the Freius tunnel. This is actually the route the night trains take currently, but a daytrain would be usefull too.
in this case - clearly I cannot express myself - I meant freight. I do not believe rail will ever be competitive for connections between north europe (Paris included) and Italy

The main reason to make the two tunnels (Gotthard and Brenner) is to improve freight and allow north Europe to use mediterranean ports instead of Atlantic for traffic. Gotthard also has a (limited) passenger use to connect Switzerland and south Germany with north Italy, but that's about it

Distances are too large and the terrain too difficult to allow real HSR passenger traffic accross the alps the same way as it is now accross the channel between France, Benelux and UK
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Old November 24th, 2010, 11:30 AM   #763
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that having being said, I think rail freight in the future would find easier to use - from northern France and UK - Gotthard rather than Freius. Therefore there is no absolute need - both from passenger and freight point of view - to duplicate Gotthard towards the west
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Old November 24th, 2010, 12:15 PM   #764
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Our "autostrade" are happily open to disgruntled rail commuters
Suburbanist, the anti-rail troll in action.

Your plan is hijacking 100% of train threads in skyscrapercity for your pro-pollution and anti-regional rail propaganda?
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Old November 24th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #765
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in this case - clearly I cannot express myself - I meant freight.
The logical route for freight depends on where it's coming from. Freight enterining Switzerland in Basel mostly comes from the Low Countries and Germany, and can choose between the Lötschberg and Gotthard routes. However from the Paris area, the logical route is via Dijon and then on to the Simplon, same for freight entering via Geneva.

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I do not believe rail will ever be competitive for connections between north europe (Paris included) and Italy
Wait till oil becomes to expensive to pour in to airplanes...
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Old November 24th, 2010, 01:02 PM   #766
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The logical route for freight depends on where it's coming from. Freight enterining Switzerland in Basel mostly comes from the Low Countries and Germany, and can choose between the Lötschberg and Gotthard routes. However from the Paris area, the logical route is via Dijon and then on to the Simplon, same for freight entering via Geneva.



Wait till oil becomes to expensive to pour in to airplanes...
Logical yes, but the new Gotthard changes everything: it will be a "base" tunnel very good for freight, while the Simplon is not so. My theory is that - after opening of Gotthard - most of the freight also from France/UK will be channeled through the new, easier and faster, Gottardo. That will make the old and traditional routes through freius and simplon uncompetitive.

Theoretically a cheaper "freight solution" compared to Freius (but still not so useful in my opinon) would be to make a new simplon base tunnel between Italy and Switzerland, but I think the swiss are already overstretched with the Gottardo project, maybe in the 20'' we could start working on this

We are talking about few km difference, a 57 km base tunnel can change the current status

ps: Trains on such long distances and HSR in particular will never be competitive in price with airplanes, even with oil at 400 dollars a barrel adjusted for inflation
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Old November 24th, 2010, 01:18 PM   #767
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Theoretically a cheaper "freight solution" compared to Freius (but still not so useful in my opinon) would be to make a new simplon base tunnel between Italy and Switzerland, but I think the swiss are already overstretched with the Gottardo project, maybe in the 20'' we could start working on this
But where would such a "base" tunnel begin. At the Swiss side the current Simplon tunnel already starts at the valley floor level.

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ps: Trains on such long distances and HSR in particular will never be competitive in price with airplanes, even with oil at 400 dollars a barrel adjusted for inflation
Trains are already price competitive with planes one such distances. I can travel Milano - Köln a lot cheaper by train then by plane. The railways should however stop guarding their prices as if it were national secrets...

A third of the current cost of air travel is energy. Do you think that prices will remain low when oil quadruples in price? I would expect a rough doubling of prices in such a case.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 03:43 PM   #768
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But where would such a "base" tunnel begin. At the Swiss side the current Simplon tunnel already starts at the valley floor level.



Trains are already price competitive with planes one such distances. I can travel Milano - Köln a lot cheaper by train then by plane. The railways should however stop guarding their prices as if it were national secrets...

A third of the current cost of air travel is energy. Do you think that prices will remain low when oil quadruples in price? I would expect a rough doubling of prices in such a case.
1) the current Simplon tunnel has a very steep ramp on the italian side which prevents its usage as a "main" freight tunnel. I do not remember if also the dimension of the tunnel is a problem, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is. Probably Coccodrillo can answer this. So the Loetchberg tunnel as of today is quite useless for north-south trade

2) Train fares on long distance HSR are expensive already. Any Paris-Milan connection (for example) that is completely HSR would cost 200€ one way, or something similar (bar promotional prices). Air fares - true - will increase but planes are getting more energy efficient and the component of the fuel - eveni if doubled or quadrupled in price - will not entirely compensate the difference in price between HSR and Air on long distances.

3) On top of that, it's impossible to reach Italy (Milan, Turin, Venice, Bologna, Rome...the main destinations in Italy) within the 4 hours maximum that allow train to be competitive with air travel in terms of comfort and travel lenght

I am - no mistake - a big fan of rail and rail transport. But rail has a great - actually wonderful - future for short (commuters) and medium (within 4 hours) trips among big cities, not for fairly long range destinations.

The Alps and geofraphical complexity between Italy and north Europe will always prevent to reach the results that French achieved - for Example - with the Paris-Marseille route
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Old November 24th, 2010, 03:45 PM   #769
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But where would such a "base" tunnel begin. At the Swiss side the current Simplon tunnel already starts at the valley floor level.
There were various official proposals, but none reached any advanced stage.

One was for a tunnel between Visp and Domodossola (about 35 km long, climbing from 275 m to 700 m this means an average slope of 12‰), another one was for a single track line Domodossola-Iselle to be used only by climbing trains.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 06:13 PM   #770
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2) Train fares on long distance HSR are expensive already.
Like 39 euro for Aachen - Bern for example...
Don't forget that the cheap airfares usually handed out as comparison are promotional fares too.

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Air fares - true - will increase but planes are getting more energy efficient and the component of the fuel - eveni if doubled or quadrupled in price - will not entirely compensate the difference in price between HSR and Air on long distances.
Airplanes are getting more efficient, that is true. But there is not that much that still can be gained there. When the oil prices went up in 2007-2008 the low cost airlines all had to announce profit warnings. Ryanair even foresaw a loss, and was saved at the last moment by oil prices dropping again. About 25 airlines went bankrupt in early 2008...
The margins in the airline industry are very thin, and an increase in fuel prices will hit it hard when it comes, especially in the short and medium haul where high fuel efficiency can't be achieved.
And you are forgetting another thing: Airline travel is gradually becoming very unpleasant. It's the reason why I don't fly anymore. I and my wife actually find an 8 hour train trip more pleasant than a 1 1/2 hour plane trip (which totals to about six hours all included anyway). And we are not alone there.

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3) On top of that, it's impossible to reach Italy (Milan, Turin, Venice, Bologna, Rome...the main destinations in Italy) within the 4 hours maximum that allow train to be competitive with air travel in terms of comfort and travel length
It doesn't have too. I think many people will prefer to travel 7 hours for 150 euro in stead of 2 hours for 200 euro plus having to pose for a nude picture.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 06:25 PM   #771
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Like 39 euro for Aachen - Bern for example...
Don't forget that the cheap airfares usually handed out as comparison are promotional fares too.



Airplanes are getting more efficient, that is true. But there is not that much that still can be gained there. When the oil prices went up in 2007-2008 the low cost airlines all had to announce profit warnings. Ryanair even foresaw a loss, and was saved at the last moment by oil prices dropping again. About 25 airlines went bankrupt in early 2008...
The margins in the airline industry are very thin, and an increase in fuel prices will hit it hard when it comes, especially in the short and medium haul where high fuel efficiency can't be achieved.
And you are forgetting another thing: Airline travel is gradually becoming very unpleasant. It's the reason why I don't fly anymore. I and my wife actually find an 8 hour train trip more pleasant than a 1 1/2 hour plane trip (which totals to about six hours all included anyway). And we are not alone there.



It doesn't have too. I think many people will prefer to travel 7 hours for 150 euro in stead of 2 hours for 200 euro plus having to pose for a nude picture.
Nobody likes to travel 7 hours, or very few (too few to make a business). Your personal likes/dislikes do not change this fact
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Old November 24th, 2010, 07:01 PM   #772
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Nobody likes to travel 7 hours, or very few (too few to make a business).
That's now what I see. Every year hundreds of thousends of people travel from the Low Countries and Germany to the South of France and Italy. In their cars. Often spending 20+ hours on the road.

The major reason why railways don't have a meaningful market share in this segment is that they're not even trying.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 05:03 AM   #773
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That's now what I see. Every year hundreds of thousends of people travel from the Low Countries and Germany to the South of France and Italy. In their cars. Often spending 20+ hours on the road.

The major reason why railways don't have a meaningful market share in this segment is that they're not even trying.
This is true. Also many people will go for the absolutely lowest fare they can find, regardless of how long it takes or how. This is why long distance bus routes still operate on routes like Bucharest-London.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 10:09 AM   #774
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
That's now what I see. Every year hundreds of thousends of people travel from the Low Countries and Germany to the South of France and Italy. In their cars. Often spending 20+ hours on the road.

The major reason why railways don't have a meaningful market share in this segment is that they're not even trying.
a HSR is a very expensive infrastructure that can be justified only by a mix of business and leisure travel.

Otherwise there will never be the demand for the enormous cost involved into building one.

SO there will never be HSR between Italy (north) and north europe.

There can be some service as you said, actually there are already. But they are a small niche compared to air and car travel and will always be
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Old November 25th, 2010, 11:18 AM   #775
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There can be some service as you said, actually there are already. But they are a small niche compared to air and car travel and will always be
I don't think rail travel will remain a niche. Never say never, things change. If there is one thing that is certain is that those that claim that something "will always be" are most likely to be wrong.
What do you think the chances for rail would be in a world where oil is 400$ a barrel and a full cavity search mandatory before boarding a plane?
What about a world where most people drive electric cars with a practical range of a few 100 km?
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Old November 25th, 2010, 06:03 PM   #776
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What about a world where most people drive electric cars with a practical range of a few 100 km?
Not to mention that the ridiculously high amount of power required for powering cars for everyone would make the electricity prices skyrocket and dramatically increase product prices when this hits the industries. Actually cars would require so much electricity (65% of the current power demand would be necessary to power cars) that switching even in a 10-years timeframe would simply result in widespread blackouts.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 07:01 PM   #777
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Not to mention that the ridiculously high amount of power required for powering cars for everyone would make the electricity prices skyrocket and dramatically increase product prices when this hits the industries. Actually cars would require so much electricity (65% of the current power demand would be necessary to power cars) that switching even in a 10-years timeframe would simply result in widespread blackouts.
We'll just buy small prefab nuclear power plants from the Chinese...
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Old November 25th, 2010, 11:23 PM   #778
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I don't think rail travel will remain a niche. Never say never, things change. If there is one thing that is certain is that those that claim that something "will always be" are most likely to be wrong.
What do you think the chances for rail would be in a world where oil is 400$ a barrel and a full cavity search mandatory before boarding a plane?
What about a world where most people drive electric cars with a practical range of a few 100 km?
you keep misunderstanding me: rail has a wonderful future on short and medium range distances (within 4 hours). I just don't believe in long distance.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 10:19 AM   #779
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Guys, please translate this theoretical discuss to clear facts (no offense to any side, I'm simply interested). How many people use Frecciarossa between Milano and Roma (I mean from M to R, so excluding e.g. Bologna - Firenze passangers)?
How many people use the car for such a trip? And how many take a flight?
Do you have any data?
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Old November 27th, 2010, 11:06 AM   #780
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As far I remember before the opening of the HSL the Linate-Roma airline had around 3 million passengers per year.
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