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Old February 24th, 2014, 03:40 PM   #781
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Coincidentally, just before this conversation started I had a look to see how long does the Intercity train between Bordeaux and Nice (without connections required) do, and it was almost 9 hours. On the highway it's 7 hours (according to GMaps), so isn't that Intercity a bit slow? Even when compared to other Intercity trains.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 01:26 AM   #782
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Exactly that is the point. It takes roughly 9 hours by train from Nice to Bordeaux.

Even the TGV from Nice to Paris takes 6 hours....

So most of the times people take airlines, given the fact that this again is not a cheap option.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 06:27 AM   #783
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From what I read, even UK(which is just as centralized) has better railway connections between provincial cities compared to France.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 05:23 PM   #784
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
From what I read, even UK(which is just as centralized) has better railway connections between provincial cities compared to France.
It depends on the case. In France, the UK and Spain there are some good transversal routes, some average routes, and some bad routes.

Id say its Spain the one to have the worst transversal routes.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 05:53 PM   #785
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Advice: please, avoid Montpellier-Saint Roch station if you can help it for some time.
Its under heavy upgrading works and its really a mess these days.


Yesterday I had a day off, so I decided to spend the day in Montpellier, and the station there was total chaos.

They announced three TGVs (to be leaving in the space of 10 minutes) on the same platform. Not that bad apparently, but when the three TGVs concerned happen to be at 5.30pm and no less than a Montpellier-Paris Gare de Lyon, a Montpellier-Geneva, and a Paris Gare de Lyon-Barcelona, OOPS!

There were like more than 1000 people on the platform, which is not particularly wide.
I thought I was in the Paris metro at the morning rush hour on lines 13 or 4.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 06:45 PM   #786
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Quote:
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It depends on the case. In France, the UK and Spain there are some good transversal routes, some average routes, and some bad routes.

Id say its Spain the one to have the worst transversal routes.
How bad is it in Spain?
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Old February 25th, 2014, 07:08 PM   #787
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How bad is it in Spain?


As bad as some of them were closed in 1985 and you have to go through Madrid since that is the only choice.

For instance, to go from Murcia to Granada the only way is either via Madrid or Alczar de San Juan (Madrid is longer but faster), when if the transversal route had not been closed it would take much less time.

To go from Cceres to Salamanca the only way is through Madrid, a detour that takes hundreds of kilometres.

Look at a map and youll understand why I say this...

In France, travel time might not be top notch, and there might not be the best frequencies, but you can travel the whole country by-passing Paris.
In Britain too, more or less (although Britain has a different shape).
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Old February 25th, 2014, 07:55 PM   #788
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Any plans in rebuilding the lines?
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Old February 25th, 2014, 10:44 PM   #789
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Any plans in rebuilding the lines?
No, but in the case of Murcia, theres the Murcia-Almeria new line under (now halted) construction, which is supposed to make up for that stupid closure.

==============================================================================================

Now, back to France.

Yesterday I went to Montpellier, as I said, and saw the start of the future Montpellier-Nimes, which is in works, next to Villeneuve-ls-Maguelone station on the Montpellier side. Is the rest of the section advancing? The works in there are really just started (or as if they just had).

On the other hand, I have a question. I read on a French railways mag that the reopening of the Sorgues-Carpentras is supposed to happen by the end of the year (the pictures accompanying the article were quite visual, and I believe that date). Which leads to the question: will the historical Carpentras station building be reused as station building or will they do a "Grasse" thing (maintaining the old station for non-rail purpose and building a new station building next to it)?
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Old February 25th, 2014, 11:04 PM   #790
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
From what I read, even UK(which is just as centralized) has better railway connections between provincial cities compared to France.
Don't forget that Great-Britain is way smaller than France, so transversal routes are way shorter there than over here.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 11:15 PM   #791
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Don't forget that Great-Britain is way smaller than France, so transversal routes are way shorter there than over here.
Still, some of them are not ok, so many of them are still unelectrified (although yes, the Government are doing something at last).

===========================================================================================

In France, the only unelectrified sections of the main transversal lines are Bordeaux-Saintes-La Rochelle-La Roche sur Yon, Dol de Bretagne-Saint L, Tours-Le Mans-Alenon-Surdon-Argentan-Mzidon, Serquigny-Oissel, Amiens-Laon-Reims-Saint Hilaire au Temple, Saint Dizier-Chaumont-Culmont Chalindrey, Chagny-Montchanin-tang sur Arroux-Nevers, Saint Germain au Mont dOr-Le Coteau-Saint Germain des Fosss/Saint Etienne...

...and thats about it, the rest are electrified (and many of these have seen some sort of planning about its eventual electrification).

In my opinion, Bordeaux-La Roche sur Yon should be upgraded and electrified. The others too, in particular the two Saint Germains and its Saint Etienne branch (which would allow Lyon-Nantes all-electric), Nevers-Chagny (same for Luxembourg/Germany/Strasbourg-Nantes), and Chalindrey-Chaumont-Saint Dizier/Saint Hilaire-Reims-Laon-Amiens (same for a Britain-southern France, Paris-avoiding route for freight).
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Old February 25th, 2014, 11:35 PM   #792
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It's the speed really, not the amount of transverse routes each country has.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 12:09 AM   #793
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Quote:
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It's the speed really, not the amount of transverse routes each country has.
Its not so easy. Sometimes its more what it serves rather than just the speed.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 12:55 AM   #794
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France is a big country (and so is Spain), difficult to expect amazingly fast service from one corner to another.

Out of curiosity I checked several long distance routes in France (Nice-Lille, Nice-Brest, Lille-Bayonne, Strasbourg-Bayonne, Brest-Perpignan) and only the last one takes longer by train than by a car. It's just that distances are too large and times too long for most travellers...
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Old February 26th, 2014, 12:57 AM   #795
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
It depends on the case. In France, the UK and Spain there are some good transversal routes, some average routes, and some bad routes.

Id say its Spain the one to have the worst transversal routes.
What is a transversal route? One that doesn't lead to the capital?
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Old February 26th, 2014, 01:00 AM   #796
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
France is a big country (and so is Spain), difficult to expect amazingly fast service from one corner to another.

Out of curiosity I checked several long distance routes in France (Nice-Lille, Nice-Brest, Lille-Bayonne, Strasbourg-Bayonne, Brest-Perpignan) and only the last one takes longer by train than by a car. It's just that distances are too large and times too long for most travellers...
Brest-Perpignan takes longer by train than by car because there is no direct train (not that I know), and because the section Bordeaux-La Roche sur Yon isnt electrified and the tracks are in bad state, in particular the section La Rochelle-La Roche sur Yon (and also Quimper-Landerneau if you want to avoid Rennes).

And also because its the only one of the ones you named that has no section on a HSL, all the others do.

Quote:
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What is a transversal route? One that doesn't lead to the capital?
Yes.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 01:08 AM   #797
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
Brest-Perpignan takes longer by train than by car because there is no direct train (not that I know), and because the section Bordeaux-La Roche sur Yon isnt electrified and the tracks are in bad state, in particular the section La Rochelle-La Roche sur Yon (and also Quimper-Landerneau if you want to avoid Rennes).

And also because its the only one of the ones you named that has no section on a HSL, all the others do.
All that is true of course, perhaps I could have picked worse examples. As for no HSL on Brest-Perpignan route that will change in few years when Paris-Brodeaux line opens and even more when (if?) Bordeux-Tolouse line is built.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 01:19 AM   #798
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OK, I think I figured out about transversal routes. My question was premature.

Quote:
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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.
Do the rail and river transport complement each other or are they competitors? What is their respective position toward road transport?
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Old February 26th, 2014, 01:31 AM   #799
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All that is true of course, perhaps I could have picked worse examples. As for no HSL on Brest-Perpignan route that will change in few years when Paris-Brodeaux line opens and even more when (if?) Bordeux-Tolouse line is built.
Both will be built, the latter not only because of the services to Paris, but also because of the transversal Grand Sud services (Bordeaux-Toulouse-Narbonne-Montpellier-Marseille-Toulon-Nice).

It is believed that once the HSL section Nimes-Montpellier opens, all the current Intercits trains (formerly called Corail Toz) will become TGVs, since the whole Montpellier-Marseille stretch will be on a HSL.

On the other hand, Im not sure that one the HSL to Bordeaux the services to Brittany from Aquitaine will be rerouted via Tours, cities such as Saintes, La Rochelle and La Roche sur Yon would lose many connections.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 01:39 AM   #800
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
Brest-Perpignan takes longer by train than by car because there is no direct train (not that I know), and because the section Bordeaux-La Roche sur Yon isnt electrified and the tracks are in bad state, in particular the section La Rochelle-La Roche sur Yon (and also Quimper-Landerneau if you want to avoid Rennes).
The fastest (approx. 10h45 including 30-40 minutes to change trains) Brest-Perpignan is via Rennes and Montpellier, it doesn't use the sections you mentioned above. Actually it uses the direct Rennes-Montpellier TGV which takes approx. 6 hours and stops in Le Mans, Massy-TGV, Lyon-Part-Dieu, Valence-TGV & Nmes.
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