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Old December 18th, 2008, 12:37 AM   #281
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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
We do need it, but we're a far closer in country than France and Spain - the vast majority of the British population is within 200 miles of London. The speed doesn't give as many benefits - hence why, once we got 125mph running years ago, we haven't accelerated.
If there were no issues regarding construction cost and Virgin Trains won the ECML franchaise (though they'll have to give up WCML to prevent monopoly), we'd already have trains running at 140mph on WCML and 200mph on ECML by now!

Regarding MML's speed upgrade, if HS1 can be connected with Leicester and take over MML north of Leicester, all they need will be new tilting trains with high acceleration like commuter trains, for services between Leicester and Bedford to London, including the Corby branch. Of course that'll also mean electrification of the whole MML, if they decided that HS1 shouldn't be hauled by diesel locomotives north of Leicester.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 02:16 AM   #282
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I'm not sure if a Pendolino can do a better job than Javelins with its tilting capability (the Javelins don't tilt), but if it's not for higher acceleration I'd rather see a faster train such as one derived from Tsubame (800 Series, also manufactured by Hitachi) or N700. I wonder how the Eurostars may be slowed down by sharing the high speed track with the slower stopping Javelin services...
As far as I'm aware tilting trains are only necessary on non-HSR track (for instance the Pendolino trains on the West Coast Mainline) and would not add much to dedicated HSR-built lines (such as the CTRL). As for the Eurostars being slowed down - no, I believe the CTRL was designed with domestic services in mind. There are sections with four track, which allow "fasts" to overtake the slower freight and domestic trains. In any case, the Javelins do 140mph, which is not that much slower than the Eurostar trains which go 186mph in England.



Ashford's new Javelin depot. Very, very, very, very nice!
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Old December 18th, 2008, 03:10 AM   #283
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As far as I'm aware tilting trains are only necessary on non-HSR track (for instance the Pendolino trains on the West Coast Mainline) and would not add much to dedicated HSR-built lines (such as the CTRL).
I've done a bit of research on this last night. According to Virgin Trains, the Pendolinos have an acceleration of ONLY 1.55km/h/s (http://www.virgintrainsmediaroom.com...?articleid=196) which is even lower than Shinkansen trains with an acceleration of up to 2.6km/h/s (N700) which enables them to reach 270km/h within 3 minutes. The same N700 series are also equipped with tilting system which enable the trains to run on curves at 2500m radius at 270km/h. Despite of the tiny 1 degree tilt, Without the tilting system, trains can only pass these curves at 255km/h, this doesn't only reduce travel time but also conserves energy which would've been wasted on additional deceleration from top speed in order to pass the curves, and acceleration back to top speed after them.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 10:25 PM   #284
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Aren't those the ones that are called sardine cans because the access is shit and they are short!
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/n...re/7747873.stm

185 any day.
Well a 158 can be coupled together and made as long as you want, where you can walk the full length of the train, so it is easier to move seats if you are in a crowded section...unlike the 185s which you cannot.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 09:11 AM   #285
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Upgrading railways: The new age of the train
20 December 2008
The Economist

A big engineering project highlights the contradictions of Britain’s railways

IT WAS one of the shortest-lived revolutions ever. On December 14th Network Rail, the firm that maintains Britain’s railway tracks, trumpeted its "massive" achievement in at last completing the decade-long upgrade of the West Coast Main Line, an arterial railway that connects London to Glasgow by way of Birmingham and Manchester. The shining new tracks would enable Britain’s private rail firms to run over 1,000 extra journeys a week and shave up to 30% off journey times between some of the country’s biggest cities. A full hour would be cut from the five-and-a-half hour trip from London to Glasgow.

Sadly, the scenes that greeted curious commuters the very next day were dishearteningly familiar. A blown fuse in north London delayed trains for over an hour. The night before, travellers on another line had been stranded for six hours, thanks to broken power cables.

Britain’s trains rank alongside its weather as a standing national joke, but that hasn’t stopped people flocking to them over the past decade. Passenger kilometres travelled by rail, likely to total around 50 billion in 2008, are the highest in history. The network has shrunk by roughly a third since its postwar heyday, but more trains now trundle up and down the country than ever before. Even punctuality--which fell after the Hatfield rail crash in 2000, when speed restrictions were introduced across much of the network--is improving, and 88% of trains arrive more or less on time. One of the biggest problems on the modern network is overcrowding and congestion, something that the improved west-coast line should help to ease, at least for a few years.

Although the upgrade was prompted by rail’s popularity, its progress reveals some underlying problems too. When the work began in 1998, it was expected to cost around £2 billion (some $3 billion, at the exchange rate of the day) and to be ready in 2005. Problems with a planned high-tech signalling system and the collapse of Railtrack, Network Rail’s predecessor, caused costs to balloon to £9 billion. Similar cost inflation has plagued the network as a whole. The Department for Transport spent £4.4 billion last year subsidising private railways, a number roughly four times larger than the subsidy paid to British Rail, the state-owned firm that ran the railway until it was privatised in the mid-1990s.

Alarmed by the cost, ministers have decided that passengers must bear more of the burden. Total subsidies are forecast to fall to £3.3 billion by 2009-10, and to keep falling thereafter. To fill the gap, fares will continue to rise by more than inflation (a 7% increase is scheduled in January).

That will provoke howls of protest, and reinforce the impression (which surveys by Passenger Focus, a travellers’ watchdog, show are widespread) that railways are a rip-off for those who use them. But it is far from clear that trains deserve the state support they get. Rail journeys account for just 6% of total travel (roads for 84%), but subsidising rail consumes around 20% of the government’s £21 billion transport budget. Using an average price for road-building over the past decade, the £9 billion spent on the west-coast railway line could have added an extra lane to around 450 miles of motorway--roughly the length of the M1, M3 and M4 combined.

Admittedly, cost-effectiveness is not the only consideration. Rail travel is usually cleaner, greener and faster than travel by car. And it is hard to see roads offering an alternative means of shuttling millions of commuters in and out of built-up large cities, a niche that trains dominate.

As for apportioning the cost of rail, David Leeder, vice-chairman of the Commission for Integrated Transport, a state-funded think-tank, points out that businessmen and commuters are exactly the sort of people who can most easily afford to pay higher fares. "Currently, we have rich people from the south demanding that poorer people in the north subsidise a service that, by and large, they don’t use," he says. "I’m not sure that makes a lot of sense".
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Old December 20th, 2008, 09:05 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by andysimo123 View Post
Pacer

Class 185


Vast difference.
One has aircon, the other doesn't.
One has electronic boards with information on, the other doesn't.
One has tables, the other doesn't.
One has plug sockets, the other doesn't.
One has beer for sale, the other doesn't.
One has a first class section, the other doesn't.
Basically one is a cold shed with seats in from an old class room put on two steel beams and the other is conformable. I refuse to travel on a Pacer. Its something that should be sent to Eastern Russia.
the difference between a "pacer"(railbus) and a "sprinter"/whatever(dmu) is basicaly that a pacer is a 4 wheeled (2 axles) vehicle and the others have bogies ... all the rest is left to the operator's discretion.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 10:13 AM   #287
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[QUOTE=andysimo123;29480458]Pacer


The Pacer has to be one of the most miserable experiences known to man.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 05:13 AM   #288
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The pacer is just a railbus ... most of the parts used to build them were standard bus parts (at least in theory) ... so it's as cheap as it could be feasibly constructed.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 02:36 PM   #289
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They are very spacious.
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Old December 28th, 2008, 04:16 PM   #290
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Japanese-style bullet trains to run in UK ‘within 20 years’

SNP on board for high-speed bullet train to London

Last edited by 33Hz; December 28th, 2008 at 04:42 PM.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 10:00 AM   #291
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[QUOTE=Chafford1;29679716]
Quote:
Originally Posted by andysimo123 View Post
Pacer


The Pacer has to be one of the most miserable experiences known to man.
I know they are well past their sell by date but it is said that a lot of low capacity lines would of closed if it wasn't for the "cheapness" of the pacer. I was on one from Urmston to Liverpool a few months back, it was OK but would not want to do it everyday.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 03:56 PM   #292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manchester Planner View Post
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:


Very similar to merseyrail livery and proposed merseytram...

Strange, Yellow colours seem to be a popular transport colour....
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Old December 30th, 2008, 10:35 AM   #293
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The station refurb reminds me of the Tyne & Wear Metro...
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Old December 30th, 2008, 04:50 PM   #294
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The station refurb reminds me of the Tyne & Wear Metro...
Was just thinking that myself. What is it with yellow and transit? At least it isn't quite as lurid as the BVG!

Tyne and Wear metro is looking a little more dingy though.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 07:05 AM   #295
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Yeah, the T&W Metro is looking quite 'under-funded'. Isn't the rolling stock the same as the Berlin U-Bahn? I'd love to see the Metro get some of Berlin's new trains, they're stunning. And get rid of that god-awful 'BUZZZZZZZZZZZ DOORS CLOSING!' noise (which I think iampuking is a fan of).

It'll be interesting to see how the Haymarket Station upgrade goes though.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 10:06 AM   #296
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Yeah, the T&W Metro is looking quite 'under-funded'. Isn't the rolling stock the same as the Berlin U-Bahn? I'd love to see the Metro get some of Berlin's new trains, they're stunning. And get rid of that god-awful 'BUZZZZZZZZZZZ DOORS CLOSING!' noise (which I think iampuking is a fan of).

It'll be interesting to see how the Haymarket Station upgrade goes though.
The rolling stock is not the same no as the Berlin U-bahn uses custom made carriages which are heavy rail whilst the Tyne and Wear metro uses the Stadtbahnwagen B based light rail vehicles.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 06:40 PM   #297
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Latest train fare rises attacked

For and against: Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus and Michael Roberts, ATOC

Above-inflation rail fare increases of more than 6% are "completely out of kilter with the real economy", passenger groups have said.

Anthony Smith of Passenger Focus said hikes were "difficult to explain" as wages were not rising by the same rate.

Train firms say more money will allow greater investment in services.

Michael Roberts, of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said Monday's increases were partly because taxpayer funding was being reduced.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Fare changes this year will help pay for 265,000 extra services, all against a background which is determined by government policy to reduce the call on us as taxpayers."



Good value? Passengers offer their opinions

Train users to 'shiver' at rises
Full list of rises

The fare changes "actually in our view strike the right balance between trying to ensure a reasonable level of increase to fund in return much improved services," he added.

Mr Roberts said the average increases amounted to just £1 or £2 a day for many season ticket holders.

Commuting by rail was still "considerably less expensive than commuting by car - even allowing for falling petrol prices", he went on.

A spokesman for the Rail Maritime and Transport union said fares should be set at levels that encourage people to use them.

"All franchising can deliver is fat dividends for shareholders and it is clearer than ever that we need a not-for-profit railway run for the public good in the public sector."

'Particularly unpalatable'

Unregulated fares - off-peak and leisure fares - have gone up by an average of 7%.
HAVE YOUR SAY

The problem is the 'improved services' never arrive (like some of the trains)

Emily, Manchester
Send us your comments

The 6% increase for regulated fares, including standard, rush hour and season tickets, is based on the inflation rate for July.

Mr Smith, chief executive of Passenger Focus, said: "What makes these rises particularly unpalatable is the fact that inflation is currently about 3%.

"Here we have rises that are on average 6 or 7% and in some cases 10%.

"Rail fares have got completely out of kilter with what is happening in the real economy and people are going to have dig very deep to find the extra money."

CrossCountry, whose network of sevices covers 1,500 miles (2,414 km) and stretches from Aberdeen to Penzance and from Stansted to Cardiff, has the highest increase for its unregulated fares - up 11%.

East Midlands Trains, Chiltern Railways, National Express East Coast and South West Trains have put their unregulated fares up by more than 7%.

Source:- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7808058.stm
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 06:42 PM   #298
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I think trains are getting ridiculously expensive in UK....I dont see why I would leave my car and shift on the rail especially when even the oil prices have come down.....
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 06:52 PM   #299
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I think trains are getting ridiculously expensive in UK....I dont see why I would leave my car and shift on the rail especially when even the oil prices have come down.....
No one is forcing you to ride the train, but highways are congested and expanding them is not feasible.

If the UK undid the privatization of its railroads and invested more money in them the price would go down.

In the U.S. roads are heavily subsidized without question but every rail line is subject to intense scrutiny and cost/benefit analysis.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 08:18 PM   #300
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I've found that booking in advance and traveling at off peak hours, I can get a fantastically decent deal especially if I am traveling alone. Though I also qualify for a 16-25 railcard and have one so I get another discount.
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