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Old November 24th, 2008, 07:10 PM   #221
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The Welsh Highland extension involves goes through great scenery - I went along part of the route at Easter en-route to Pwllheli. It's very, very cool. Definitely worth a ride when it opens.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 02:54 AM   #222
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Some photos of the Class 395 "Javelin" trains at their rather shiny and new depot!

http://paulbigland.fotopic.net/c1599018.html
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Old November 26th, 2008, 11:21 AM   #223
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What are the frequencies like on the suburban rail systems in cities like Birmingham, Manchester & Liverpool? Do they made for good mass transit systems - or are the too irregular for that?

Basically, do they operate in an S-bahn type fashion?

I can't believe I've never even wondered about this before...
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Old November 26th, 2008, 02:31 PM   #224
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The City Line in Birmingham operates 6tph for it's central section. The other lines are in the 2tph range, IIRC.

The Wirral Line is made up of three 4tph services (Liverpool-West Kirby, Liverpool-New Brighton, Liverpool-Hooton splitting to 2tph Chester, 2tph Ellesmere Port). The Northern line is also made up of three 4tph services (Central-Kirkby, Central-Ormskirk, Hunts Cross-Southport).
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Old November 26th, 2008, 05:48 PM   #225
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Outside London the major cities don't really have dedicated suburban networks as such - the stations and lines in the suburbs are basically part of the national network that just happen to be within the urban area! There are dedicated commuter/suburban services and ticketing though, its just they run as part of the wider network and on national lines.

Greater Manchester's railway network:
http://www.gmpte.com/pdfmaps/GMPTERaildiagA4.pdf

The frequencies vary from line to line and I find that these days it's pretty good. They vary from 2 trains per hour up to about 4 or 5. It's not amazing but then the demand isn't that high as Manchester has a good bus network as well as trams and much of the employment is towards Trafford Park, etc where people commute generally by car.

The map above also includes the city's tram network ("Metrolink"), which is growing and is of course a dedicated network specifically for more local transit. Manchester's trams are quite heavily engineered and the infrastructure resembles actual railway lines/stations (probably because much of the network is ex-railway!) and frequencies are good with trams around every 8 minutes or so usually.



toot!

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Old November 26th, 2008, 05:58 PM   #226
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Whilst on the subject of the Metrolink - it's being rebranded over the next few years and the first station to have received the new branding is Piccadilly.



The network is to be expanded in the next two years with 4 additional lines (one long one, two medium length ones and one very tiny extension!) -
http://www.gmpte.com/pdfmaps/Geo_Met...Extensions.pdf - new map of the network, come 2011 or so.

And the new trams will look like this:

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Old November 27th, 2008, 12:18 PM   #227
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Dots are the new racing stripe of trams!

Looks good though! I have to agree with your comment about commuter rail in the UK. I do wish we had more discernable suburban services like the continent, but at least routes are operated on a fairly frequent basis on the whole.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 11:17 AM   #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manchester Planner View Post
Outside London the major cities don't really have dedicated suburban networks as such - the stations and lines in the suburbs are basically part of the national network that just happen to be within the urban area! There are dedicated commuter/suburban services and ticketing though, its just they run as part of the wider network and on national lines.

Greater Manchester's railway network:
http://www.gmpte.com/pdfmaps/GMPTERaildiagA4.pdf

The frequencies vary from line to line and I find that these days it's pretty good. They vary from 2 trains per hour up to about 4 or 5. It's not amazing but then the demand isn't that high as Manchester has a good bus network as well as trams and much of the employment is towards Trafford Park, etc where people commute generally by car.

The map above also includes the city's tram network ("Metrolink"), which is growing and is of course a dedicated network specifically for more local transit. Manchester's trams are quite heavily engineered and the infrastructure resembles actual railway lines/stations (probably because much of the network is ex-railway!) and frequencies are good with trams around every 8 minutes or so usually.



toot!
Thanks for the information!

When I was growing up in the UK, both cities I lived in had metros (London & Newcastle) so I'd never really thought about other cities and their rail systems. It seems strange that the heavy rail systems of Britain's largest cities haven't really been utilised to their full potential - sure 4 trains an hour is good - but considering how dense cities like Brum, Manchester and Liverpool are, S-bahn type rail systems seem like they'd work really well. Even though [I presume] that the national rail lines going through the cities would be so congested that billions of pounds would have to be spent on signaling and track work to prepare them.

I also find it astounding how well the bus systems of the UK work. Australian cities would crumble to pieces without their suburban rail systems - and Britain copes brilliantly with buses, narrow streets and bigger populations, not to mention a lower rate of car ownership. I guess decentralisation might be a factor working in the UK's favour in this respect?

I also have to commend Manchester on it's Metrolink - brilliant system. I spent a week in Manchester a few years ago and used it extensively. Manchester has to be one of my top three cities on earth for sheer coolness!
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Old November 28th, 2008, 12:17 PM   #229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by city_thing View Post
It seems strange that the heavy rail systems of Britain's largest cities haven't really been utilised to their full potential - sure 4 trains an hour is good - but considering how dense cities like Brum, Manchester and Liverpool are, S-bahn type rail systems seem like they'd work really well. Even though [I presume] that the national rail lines going through the cities would be so congested that billions of pounds would have to be spent on signaling and track work to prepare them.
Yeah you've hit the nail on the head. the best example is Birmingham, the route there between new street and Wolverhampton has a pathetic service for the locals, primarily due to the route being a two track line in a very densely built area, and that it is mainly used up by intercity and inter-regional services. This is part of the argument for HSR, in that having many of these services removed would allow a better local service giving benefits all round. the unfortunate truth for the UK is that many of the railways were designed and built primarily for freight operation, especially in the industrial heartlands, and so are not at all what any sensible railway planner would wish to have as passenger railway infrastructure. Still, we have to make do and where possible ake improvements. Slowly this will happen, and I think in 20 years time the local services in the cities will be much better due to infrastructure changes like Birmingham New st redevelopment and (fingers crossed) HSR.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #230
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I'm getting pretty certain that high speed lines will begin to be built within a decade.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 07:35 PM   #231
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Yeah me too but I don't like to tempt fate!
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Old November 29th, 2008, 12:45 AM   #232
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crap! sorry.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 07:53 PM   #233
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I tried to postsome phtoso but it went wrong (moderators delete!)
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 11:34 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Britain needs true 300 + km/h HSR. For such a developed and wealthy nation, with so many kilometers of track and so many people traveling via rail, to not have more than just one high speed rail line (London-Paris) is very sad.

Then again, it is a shame that the richest country in the world, America, has such a shitty rail system as well.
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Originally Posted by elfabyanos View Post
I don't understand, where has high speed rail not been segregated?
I'm not sure about your point about the frequency of stops either, London - Glasgow trains are slowed down by many stops yes, but if Virgin didn't stop at these places there would almost be no one stopping there as the line is at capacity. HSL is as much to relieve capacity, have intermediate places served by intermediate services and make long distance travel separate as it is about decreasing journey times. Source Netwrok Rail.
A problem with building completely new HSR in the UK is precisely that everywhere that seems to be a good plasce to build one already has a double track railway that can be upgraded at a fraction of the cost.

:shake:

Padington-Reading = 55km = 4 tracks ... why are 2 of them not at least at 140mph/250kph ??? (actually the speed there is of 125mph)

Padington-Reading-Didcot = 4 tracks ... 80km of underused "possible" HSR ... something like 20 minutes of travell time ??

Didcot-Swindon = 40km of more 125mph/200kph
Swindon-Bath = 40km more of 125mph/200kph
Bath-Bristol = 20km
Bristol-Exeter = 120km of 125mph/250kph


London-Bristol is only 190km ... well under the 1h travel time in a nonstop train ... or even with a stop at reading ... reported to be 1h21 currently

London-Exeter is 210km ... roughly 1h30 with a couple of intermediate stops at bristol , reading and somewhere else ... reported to be 2h40 currently

From bristol there are also possible HS trains to Wales and east of Exeter

Just one of "way too many" examples of WHY HSR (at more than 125mph) is not such a great improvement over the current HSR (at 125mph) network ...

Being a little bit liberal about it:

London-Swindon = 4 track 2 of wich could easily be put at "above" 125mph if desired

Swindon-Bristol = there are two concurrent double track routes (one via bah and one via Yate?) .. if both were at 125mph and a section of 8km near Swindon were quadrupled then we could claim that there was a 4 track route all the way

an hourly service under the 1h travel time would be very competitive
a couple of aditional services with some intermediate stops would also be competitive at the 1h travel time

Pay the price to upgrade to 300kph ??? to gain some 10/20 minutes ???

London-Birmingham is operated with half hourly frequencies by two different companies ... one in the express 1h30 time and another in a regional 2h30 time.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 12:02 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by elfabyanos View Post
Yes thats true, although they still built new lines for it. They didn't just upgrade existing routes for v. high speed services, although they have done that on certain sections. The point I'm trying to make is that actually there is no reason for any HSL we build to be totally segregated either. HS1 isn't in theory, it will have domestic services on it that under EU regs don't count as high speed, and it is also designed to accept freight. In fact, the class 375 southeastern use are also designed with using HS1 in mind, although the purchase of 395s has put paid to that. So segregation, if it occurs, would be down to other considerations that would cause it, and not be a central tenet of the proposal.

In terms of long distance high speed services on their own, probably not. Add in to the equation a doubling of freight, local and regional capacity (varied stopping patterns and vehicle speeds brings inefficient use of a network), an increase in TOC performance that a less diverse service mix always brings (local and regional trains don't spread any disruption so far throughout the network, and freight trains aren't too bothered about being kept on a loop for other things to pass if they are delayed so again they don't propogate delays in the same way), and suddenly the equation looks very different. This is what NR have said in the Network RUS.
People easily neglect the fact that HS1 was only necessary due to the souteastern railways having an ultra-restrictive gauge.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 12:50 AM   #236
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Firstly, I dont think that upgrades of existing lines will be cheaper - the WCML upgrade to 140mph was cut bacxk because it cost £8-10bn to get it up to 125mph.

Also, its not just about speed. Its capacity, the existing lines are full or close to it. With passengers expected to rise by 40% in the near future, we need new lines. The capacity of the old lines will then increase as the fast trains which use most time on the lines due to their speed will be gone.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 01:31 AM   #237
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Quote:

New ski train goes from downtown London to the footsteps of the Austrian Alps

November 9, 2008

http://www.skirebel.com/magazine/archives/1923

An overnight rail service between the UK and Austria’s ski area is being promoted as an alternative to the hassles of flying for British skiers.

The Bergland Express train travels overnight direct to famous Austrian ski resorts such as St Anton, Kitzbuhel, Innsbruck and Zell am See. In many cases you arrive ready to hit the slopes at 9am.

This winter the Bergland Express will stop at Aachen every Friday after a short connection with the Eurostar in Brussels at 14:34 local time.

Double and three-berth sleepers are available, as well as four- and six-berth couchette compartments.

The train returns a week later on Saturday evening for a mid-morning London arrival on Sunday.
Bergland Express Austrian Sleepers sound like good news for the ski crowd
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 01:51 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by Manchester Planner View Post
The very recently built Tornado is the first new steam locomotive built in Britain since 1960 and will be used for special trains on the national mainline and on heritage lines.

http://_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki..._60163_Tornado



She will be painted soon. Currently undergoing extensive safety checks so that she can run at full speed on the mainline!
This is indeed interesting:

Quote:
Additionally, to meet with current safety and operation standards, Tornado includes:
Up-rated electrical supplies
Primary air (not steam) brakes[7]
Vacuum brakes[7] (for heritage railway stock)
1 inch reduction in overall height[27] (for OLE regulations[27])
Automatic Warning System (AWS),
Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS).
Data recorder
European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) compatible GSM-Railway (GSM-R) cab radio
ERTMS and TPWS on a steamer while 1/2 de NEW locomotives around the world can't claim the same.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 01:59 AM   #239
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Deutsche Bahn refuses to slow down.

The Guardian
November 25 2008

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...europe-germany

"More Germans believe the banks should be nationalised than Deutsche Bahn should be privatised," admitted Alexander Hedderich, head of DB's corporate development, as pouring rain darkened the depressed mood in the federal capital.

The state-owned rail group has pulled its long-promised stockmarket float of a 24.99% state in its passenger and freight/logistics business. This was due to go ahead in late October and raise up to €5bn (£4.25bn): with equal thirds of the proceeds going to the federal budget, the network of track, signals and stations and "future growth".

The planned IPO was always controversial, not least because it came with prospective bonuses for the DB executive team headed by Hartmut Mehdorn, and because it was heavily opposed by members of Transnet, the main rail union. The union, which is shedding its pro-privatisation general secretary, reaffirmed this at its congress this week.

But DB, which wants to become top dog when the EU market for passenger services is fully liberalised in 2010 and overtake France's state-owned SNCF, is undaunted. It knows it has perhaps just six or seven months to revive the IPO next year. There are federal elections in September and much uncertainty about the outcome, notably for the deeply divided grand coalition of centre-right CDU and centre-left SPD.

The political scene in Germany is frozen – and the capital markets even more so in the unfolding financial and economic crisis. The worst recession since 1993 is taking hold. But Hedderich insists DB's business model remains intact and forecasts a small increase in passenger traffic next year as the car and aviation markets slump. At most he can envisage a 1% decline on the rails.

Even so, nobody outside DB's headquarters near the Potsdamer Platz believes the float will go ahead next year. So Mehdorn and his team have developed an alternative strategy and claim the backing of chancellor Angela Merkel and her CDU, attracting capital from sovereign wealth funds in an initial stage. Mehdorn has spoken about DB being "an ice-breaker" in a Germany highly wary of state-controlled foreign investors.

Andreas Hamprecht, head of international business at DB Long-distance, insisted during a high-speed ICE journey from Hanover to Berlin that talks with funds in the Middle East, Russia, China and elsewhere in the Far East, including Singapore, have gone down well. "It gives us the perspective of fulfilling our growth strategy," he said.

Hedderich added that much less than the 25% equity stake in the "mobility and logistics" business for sale in the IPO was on offer, with no single investor offered more than 10% and, most likely, no more than 5%. It could be the Saudis, for instance, as they're planning enormous investments in rail and need European (preferably German) expert help.

But there's considerable scepticism about the wisdom of accepting capital from state-owned Russian Railways even though Hedderich insisted no investor was excluded a priori. DB is working with the Russians on speeding up journey times on the 20-day rail transit for container trains from China to Hamburg, an expansionist project already used by PC-makers Fujitsu Siemens and designed to offer a cheaper, more eco-friendly service than sea or air freight.

Hedderich suggested DB could, in a second stage of its capital raising, return to the postponed IPO. Either way, the group wants to raise capital rather than increase its €15bn debt to finance its expansion, including in the UK, France and eastern Europe.


DB paid around £130m in January for Chiltern Railways, which operates services from London to Birmingham and Aylesbury, after previously buying freight company EWS. It has half of the new service to Shropshire and Wrexham and 50% of Lorol, the above-ground former North London Line expanding to the east.

Executives made plain that the Chiltern acquisition was a springboard to bidding for more franchises when they become available, probably including the west coast mainline operated by Virgin. There's even the distant possibility of running ICE trains through the Channel tunnel in competition with Eurostar, but that would require huge investment in compatible traction, safety and security controls at German stations.

What is certain is that EWS, which already runs a pilot freight service from Wembley to Cologne, is the front-line force for an assault against SNCF in France's freight market. Axel Marschall, an executive vice-president at DB Schenker, the freight and logistics business, said the goal was to capture up to 25% of the French market. Through its holding in Spanish freight operator Transfesa, DB plans to dominate the north-south European axis from Britain — and Denmark/Sweden — to Spain.

We're witnessing a new front in the Franco-German battle for supremacy in Europe's rail network. SNCF, the leader in passenger services, collaborates with DB in running nine daily services between Paris and Frankfurt/Stuttgart and, through Thalys, between Cologne and Brussels/Amsterdam. But the pair, both members of Railteam, are more likely to end up as sparring partners, not least in Britain.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:23 AM   #240
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Firstly, I dont think that upgrades of existing lines will be cheaper - the WCML upgrade to 140mph was cut bacxk because it cost £8-10bn to get it up to 125mph.

Also, its not just about speed. Its capacity, the existing lines are full or close to it. With passengers expected to rise by 40% in the near future, we need new lines. The capacity of the old lines will then increase as the fast trains which use most time on the lines due to their speed will be gone.
That depends on how you analyse the actual british High Speed network:

CTRL1 can be divided into different sections:

channel Tunnel = 15km of conventional rail double track (the tunnel itself)
folkestone-Ashford = 20km quadruplication of the OLD route (yes ... simply quadrupled) ... adding 2 new HSR tracks to the existing ones
Ashford-Northfleet = 50km of HSR built alongside an existing motorway (not that expensive)
The thames tunnel = 3km?
TTT-Barking(?) = 12km of track quadruplication
Barking(?)-St.Pancras = 20km of tunneling (where most of the cost went?)



Looking back at the WCML upgrade program (with the same argumentation that was used upon the local HSR upgrade here in portugal) we clearly see that the gamble on Pendular trains was a faulse money saver ...

It would be better if 2 aditional tracks were added alongside the route (or on a more direct route)

Due to the british "standards" that are made to 125mph the jump to 140mph or even to anything below 187mph/300kph is suposed to be considered nonsense

For an example we over here (portugal) made the jump from 140kph to 220kph in the current railways precisely because it was an enormous speed jump with lots of gains at minimal costs.

Brand NEW pure HSR are only considered when adding more tracks or just upgrading the old routes in not viable ...

WCML south from Manchester/Liverpool/Bristol and the ECML should have 4 tracks (At least) ... and theres abundant space for upgrading.

And it's ridiculous (both there in the UK and everywhere else) that railways with 125mph speed limits still have stations with passing double track layouts and with no side platforms other than those on the main tracks.
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