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Old January 23rd, 2014, 01:58 PM   #761
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
The hook and chain coupler has a few advantages as well. Given that changing the consist of trains is getting less and less common I wonder whether an automatic coupling is really needed.
The future of freight in Europe is mostly inter modal block trains of more or less fixed consists between logistic nodes. For those types of trains the C-Akv doesn't add a lot of value. (If it would, the freight companies would be pushing for it's acceptance).
In case of really fixed consists you replace the coupler with a bar.
An automatic coupler will reduce the amount of time and people needed to couple a locomotive to a train and perform a brake test. That alone was enough to create a positive business case for the C-Akv. Variable consists will only increase it's benefits. Also don't forget that with automatic couplers you don't need buffers anymore. Hook and chain with buffers requirs a lot more maintenance. Freight cars have been built for conversion to an automatic coupler since the late 70's. And C-Akv is backwards compatible, you can still connect a hook and chain car to it.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 09:33 AM   #762
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Your first bit makes sense, but the ship reference doesn't.
You are unaware that 50% of all intra EU freight travels over water?

In the US very long trains are used to transport huge amounts of containers or bulk goods at once over long distances, like from one coast to the other. In Europe these kinds of freight are transported over water.

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The reason why there's not the pressure to run North American-style freight train lengths has more to do with Europe's smaller geography and the fact that the European rail system is for the most part a mixed traffic system.
It's not primarely the size, but the fact that Europe has only one coast, whereas the US has two, and that most major population centres have access to either the sea or a major river.

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The line that runs along the right side of the Rhine beautifully illustrates how Europe's rail system can carry a tremendous amount of cargo without train lengths exceeding 800 metres.
What you are however missing is that the Rhine itself carries a tremendous amount of freight itself. Several times more then the railroads on its banks even.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 09:37 AM   #763
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Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
An automatic coupler will reduce the amount of time and people needed to couple a locomotive to a train and perform a brake test.
Technolgy is less a problem than procedures. SBB couples a lcomotive in a minute with hook and chain coupler. NMBS needs 10 minutes with automatic couplers...

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That alone was enough to create a positive business case for the C-Akv. Variable consists will only increase it's benefits.
Variable consists however are dissapearing, not because of the complications of coupling, but for entirely different reasons. The move of most railway scheduling to a "supply based" model rather than a demand based one is the most important one.

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Also don't forget that with automatic couplers you don't need buffers anymore. Hook and chain with buffers requirs a lot more maintenance.
More than an complicated automatic coupler?
And buffers have their advantages to. You can push a train without needing to couple. Or do things like fly shunting...
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Old January 24th, 2014, 11:32 AM   #764
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You are unaware that 50% of all intra EU freight travels over water?
I am more than aware of the volume of waterborne cargo seen within mainland Europe (once upon a time I had been paid to research into, analyse and write about transport and logistics).

However, despite the significance of, for example, the Rhine and the Danube, for bulk cargos especially, when one is comparing the freight train styles of North America with those of Europe, the issue of Europe's waterways is, in my view, an irrelevance.

The issue of freight train lengths in particular is not one which is influenced by the fact that Europe has a few waterways which are quite useful for carrying freight.

This is my point.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 11:42 AM   #765
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It's not primarely the size, but the fact that Europe has only one coast, whereas the US has two, and that most major population centres have access to either the sea or a major river.
You've misspelt primarily, just so you are aware.

I'm not quite sure what you are saying here. Europe's smaller size and, in particular, the density of many production and consumption areas, does mean the Europe's railway system operates with a different dynamic than that of the North American railway system.

This is the case with freight trains and passenger trains, although the latter is worthy of a discussion which ought to be separate from this one.

Last edited by TedStriker; January 24th, 2014 at 11:56 AM.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 11:46 AM   #766
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What you are however missing is that the Rhine itself carries a tremendous amount of freight itself. Several times more then the railroads on its banks even.
The large cargo volumes seen along the Rhine do not detract from the fact that the rail lines along the right bank of the Rhine wonderfully illustrate just how clever Europe's rail system can be in channeling large numbers of freight trains, many of them intermodal in nature, within a short space of time, and that this kind of efficiency will always be more important in Europe than the efficiency of running freight trains that are twice the European 700-800 metre standard length.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 03:24 PM   #767
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Today on Railway Gazette:

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http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/i...ves-route.html

Passenger trains to return to Chartres - Voves route
24 Jan 2014

FRANCE: RFF President Jacques Rapoport joined François Bonneau, President of the Centre region, on January 21 to lay the first stone for a new control centre at Voves station, marking the start of work on a €71·7m project to reopen the 25 km Chartres - Voves route to passenger traffic.

The project is due for completion at the end of 2015, when three daily return services are due to be introduced between Chartres and Voves, used only by freight trains since 1942.

A wholescale programme of track renewals is being undertaken to raise the linespeed on the single-track non-electrified route from 50 km/h to 100 km/h, involving the replacement of 30 000 sleepers and laying 36 000 m of rail 'recycled' from LGV Atlantique. Nine of the route's 23 level crossings will be fitted with automatic barriers and the remaining 14 abolished.

The Centre region has provided €4·2m for studies and is funding €66·2m of the cost of the works programme. The national government is contributing €1·3m towards the works, and is meeting in full the estimated €15m cost of building a new rail bridge to replace a level crossing on the Chartres ring road which is currently used by 40 000 road vehicles a day.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 04:33 PM   #768
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More than an complicated automatic coupler?
And buffers have their advantages to. You can push a train without needing to couple. Or do things like fly shunting...
According to the research a lot more even. You need to grease the buffers regularly, the airpipe seal and hoses are prone to wear. But read it yourself: http://www.automatische-mittelpuffer...erkupplung.pdf. The document also includes French, English and German text.

In both cases I refer to the USA, where they have fully functional hump yards and they can also uncouple locomotives on the fly.

Further advantage: If you continue pushing when the train in front of you is braking there is a risk of derailment. When you're fully connected to the train you're pushing you can see the pressure drop in the brake pipe and cut traction.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 11:12 PM   #769
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I think hump yards are somehow too low tech. Relying on gravity to organize wagons is dangerous IMHO.
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Old January 25th, 2014, 05:16 AM   #770
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But also very effective. It requires no fuel at all, so it is an economical and environmentally friendly way of working.

The dangers can be avoided in several ways: the most dangerous goods should not be moved using hump yards and rail brakes should be in order to prevent freight cars from going to fast.
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Old January 25th, 2014, 12:43 PM   #771
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I think hump yards are somehow too low tech. Relying on gravity to organize wagons is dangerous IMHO.
You aren't aware about modern systems that use computer control retarders, are you?
Modern hump yard can be nearly manless.
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Old January 25th, 2014, 12:51 PM   #772
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But also very effective. It requires no fuel at all, so it is an economical and environmentally friendly way of working.
Most yards still require locomotive to pull the consist up to the top of hill, from where the gravity stars acting.
But it's definitively less resource-demanding (and especially labour-demanding) that just sorting train by shunter locomotives.
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Old January 25th, 2014, 12:52 PM   #773
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I think hump yards are somehow too low tech. Relying on gravity to organize wagons is dangerous IMHO.

Hump yards can in fact be very high-tech.

Already operating in North America, Europe, the CIS, Russia and China are hump yards that automate just about everything.

The only human element to be seen is the chap driving the locomotive that pushes the wagons over the hump, although even these operations can be undertaken by remote control.

Why not check out for example Limmattal yard in Zurich?
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Old January 26th, 2014, 09:23 PM   #774
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oh my gosh, I didn't know that! I look at yards when passing with the train and I was sure I sometimes saw single wagons moving alone when staring at them, I thought I was A- Going completely crazy or B- It was an optical effect.
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Old January 27th, 2014, 11:40 AM   #775
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There's a project underway, or about to get underway, to automate the yard at Berlin Seddin.

Once the yard at Halle (Saale) is rebuilt this means that there will be ten hump yards managing the wagonload network across Germany, all of them fully automated.
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Old January 27th, 2014, 11:46 AM   #776
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Lohr unveils new wagon for 4m semitrailers

LOHR Industrie, France, has rolled out a prototype of a new low-floor intermodal wagon designed to carry semitrailers with a corner height of 4m on routes where this has previously not been possible.

Dubbed the Lohr UIC wagon, reflecting its conformity with UIC standards, the vehicle will allow standard semitrailers, including mega-trailers, to be carried on existing routes with a P385 loading gauge without any modifications to the infrastructure.

Tests carried out on the Gotthard route last October proved successful, and there are plans to start regular services on this route between the Ruhr and northern Italy under the name Viia Transhelvetica at the end of 2016.

The new wagon is a modification of the existing Modalohr design, which has been in use in France for the last ten years. A specially developed device allows the floor level of the wagon to be adjusted according to the height and weight of the load. In addition the side walls have been reduced in height, allowing cranable trailers to be loaded if desired.

Unveiling the wagon to the press at Lohr's Duppigheim plant near Strasbourg on January 23, the company's supply chain director Mr Hervé Morel said: "We are seeing a world premiere today. We have experience of carrying hundreds of thousands of units, day and night in all weather conditions, and the system works."

Other routes are in the pipeline to link Lille with Bayonne and Calais with le Boulou.

The system is designed for horizontal loading of units which cannot be lifted by crane; it can accommodate not only semi-trailers but also tankers, tractor units, complete lorries and special units. Non-cranable semitrailers now account for 95% of the European market.

From Rail Journal, 27th January, 2014.



------------------------------------



If an intermodal operator, such as Novatrans or Kombiverkehr, chooses to employ this new wagon, it would mean that 4m-high trailers could be seen piggyback style across France, serving conventional lift-on/lift-off terminals.

At the moment the only trains carrying 4m-high trailers are those serving the purpose-built ro-ro terminals of VIIA, owned by SNCF Geodis.
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 09:58 PM   #777
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From Railway Gazette:

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http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/i...-enhanced.html

Points inspection enhanced
23 Feb 2014

FRANCE: SNCF and RFF have launched Vigirail, a three-year programme to improve the inspection and maintenance of switches and crossings. Vigirail has a budget of €410m, of which €300m is earmarked to increase the rate of pointwork renewals from 300 to 500 per year.

According to the two parties, the objective of Vigirail is to ‘enhance the monitoring, modernise the maintenance and accelerate the renewal of pointwork’. Within the next year, the manual inspection of points will be enhanced by the deployment of three inspection trains fitted with high-definition cameras and capable of automated image analysis, RFF says.

The project also foresees a significant revision to training methods for track workers from 2015, including the issuing of tablet PCs to staff to enable them to upload images of track condition remotely during inspections.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 02:03 AM   #778
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Chers amis personnellement je pense que le sud ouest est un peu mal desservi, prenons l'exemple de Nice...Nice-Bordeaux c'est long le voyage et si quelqu'un veut aller en Bretagne c'est encore pire....
Dear friends, I think that the South East part of France needs a lot to be desired in terms of rail connectivity. A train journey from Nice To Britanny or the other Northern parts of France can be a night mare.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 09:09 AM   #779
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Dear friends, I think that the South East part of France needs a lot to be desired in terms of rail connectivity. A train journey from Nice To Britanny or the other Northern parts of France can be a night mare.

It is indeed the case the as soon as you want to travel from "somewhere not Paris" to "somewhere else not Paris" the service leaves a lot to be desired in France.

SNCF needs to pay more attention to a well coordinated timetable for its intersector TGVs, and a good IC services on medium distances. In major hubs (like for example Marseilles) the arrival and departure of trains in all directions should be coordinated.

OTOH, it's not SNCFs fault that the Alps go all the way to the Med.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 03:13 PM   #780
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Touché. Agreed. To go to Castelnaudary I generally take a Teoz from Nice. I have had appaling bad experiences, twice the train got delayed by more than 6 hours. The first time they told us to get down in Montpellier as the train had developed a technical snag, so after a long wait and no help from SNCF hit the town some 5 hours later. the second we were made to get down at Narbonne (this as the return trip) and I reached Nice some 6 hours later.

Both requests for refund of fares were turned down by SNCF.

Though have no complaints about TGV, as of date.
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