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Old October 29th, 2014, 12:45 AM   #2081
Coccodrillo
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All mountain railways (except the new AlpTransit tunnels) have been built before WW1, by private investors and partially nearby nations. For instance, the Gotthard railway was partly privately financed (the Credit Suisse bank was founded specifically to fund the Gotthard raiwlay), and partly by Switzerland, Germany and Italy.

So at the time of their construction there weren't competitors and railways took all traffic, as the only alternatives were boats (but obviously not across mountains, only on seas, lakes and canals), horse drawn carriages and...walking. As Swiss lakes were and are not connected by navigable canals (except a few short links) railways had no real competitors.

Many mountain railways built only (or nearly only) for touristic purposes were also private.

Modern railways are financed by taxes (all of these taxes approved by citizens in referendums).

Note that nearly all railways today in use (even those with heavy traffic) in the Alps, and most of those in North America, were built before WW1 - so to have efficient railways you don't need necessarily new lines, but just keep using the existing ones. Although most rail network in South America are isolated from each other, there are a few across the Andes - do you have a map showing them?
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Old October 29th, 2014, 12:56 AM   #2082
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http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...93240&nseq=195
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Spectacular view almost vertical down in the canyon of the Zügen gorge. Between the 450 m long Wiesen I tunnel and the 969 m long Bärentritt tunnel on the line from Filisur to Davos, there is a gap of only few more than 10 meters, where the passengers have a glimpse of less than 1 second daylight, when the train crosses the bridge over the creek, which falls down to the Zügen gorge. "Allegra" ABe 8/12 # 3507 is crossing the bridge.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 01:23 AM   #2083
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We must also remember precarious working conditions and death of many workers were considered acceptable price of doing business of big infrastructure projects.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 05:22 AM   #2084
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Quote:
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ProSurf has been discontinued last December. Maybe because it was technically old, although scandalmongers would say it was done purposefully to better hide delays (ProSurf was the base for Cessoalpino (toilet-alpino, sounding similar to Cisalpino), a website that gathered statistics of SBB's Cisalpino trains).

[...]

They have a nice logo on their website:

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Old October 29th, 2014, 09:36 AM   #2085
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Cisalpino sadly failed, first and foremost, because of lack of independence of infrastructure and rail operations in both Italy and Switzerland at the time. I'm not sure problems have been completely tackled since.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 09:19 PM   #2086
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We must also remember precarious working conditions and death of many workers were considered acceptable price of doing business of big infrastructure projects.
That's how it was 100+ years ago. For example, 20,000 workers died of disease during the construction of the Panama Canal.

Compare that to the AlpTransit tunnels where eight workers have died.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 10:09 PM   #2087
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Cisalpino sadly failed, first and foremost, because of lack of independence of infrastructure and rail operations in both Italy and Switzerland at the time. I'm not sure problems have been completely tackled since.
You know absolutely nothing about railways, especially about timetabling and Cisalpino's history, so shut up.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 11:29 PM   #2088
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I think many of the current railway lines present in Switzerland wouldn't exist if they had to be built nowadays.

Apart from the fact that, as Coccodrilo rightly pointed out, railways at the time had no real competition, the construction standards are also very different.

For instance, the railway line connecting Lausanne to Vevey/Montreux runs for some stretches right along Lake Geneva, in practise impeding the access to the lake shore for the most part. At the time it might have seemed a good idea, but today with current environmental laws and all the recours (I don't know the term in english; maybe "appeals"?) filled by particulars/associations, it wouldn't have been built. Instead, a tunnel under Lavaux or some other expensive solution would've had to be found as an alternative.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 12:12 AM   #2089
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I think many of the current railway lines present in Switzerland wouldn't exist if they had to be built nowadays.

Apart from the fact that, as Coccodrilo rightly pointed out, railways at the time had no real competition, the construction standards are also very different.

For instance, the railway line connecting Lausanne to Vevey/Montreux runs for some stretches right along Lake Geneva, in practise impeding the access to the lake shore for the most part. At the time it might have seemed a good idea, but today with current environmental laws and all the recours (I don't know the term in english; maybe "appeals"?) filled by particulars/associations, it wouldn't have been built. Instead, a tunnel under Lavaux or some other expensive solution would've had to be found as an alternative.
At least one half if not 2/3 of Swiss rail network would not be built from scratch today. That, however, is to one extent or another true in other countries as well.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 12:29 AM   #2090
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Many railways were built were it was cheaper at the time (not only because of the orography, but also following economic value - for instance, in the XIX century beaches were less important than fields in some today's sea resorts).

Another example similar to the one along Lake Geneva is the coastal railway Nice-Genoa. It was built along at the time not so interesting beaches, but today many parts of it have been put underground to free up the waterfront.

Many railways would not be built now, but that's true also for roads. For instance, many of the existing pass roads in the Alps today would not be built, or would be bypassed by tunnels instead. However, there aren't many cases of road tunnels which doesn't replace a road (the Mont Blanc, the Munt la Schera, and...that's all, except some tunnels whose "original roads" are slightly apart: Tauern, Karawanken, Gleinalm, Fréjus).

On the other side, some railways and tramways closed in the 1960s-1970s wouldn't likely be closed now.

By the way, yes, recours is appeals.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 12:39 AM   #2091
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Would Switzerland consider paying for most of the cost of improvin and twinning the railway through France on the southern bank of Lac Leman, and reconstruction of the Evian-les-Bains - St Gildoph sector? That would reduce transit times between Valais and Geneve.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 09:08 AM   #2092
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On the other side, some railways and tramways closed in the 1960s-1970s wouldn't likely be closed now.
That's where conservatism of Swiss politics had a positive effect. They were slow to close down "outdated" transport systems until they were not considered outdated anymore.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 12:42 PM   #2093
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Quote:
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That's where conservatism of Swiss politics had a positive effect. They were slow to close down "outdated" transport systems until they were not considered outdated anymore.
Except in Geneva and Lausanne

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Would Switzerland consider paying for most of the cost of improvin and twinning the railway through France on the southern bank of Lac Leman, and reconstruction of the Evian-les-Bains - St Gildoph sector? That would reduce transit times between Valais and Geneve.
Didn't you ask the same thing not long ago in this same thread? I remember answering this same question already.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 12:46 PM   #2094
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I asked about SNCF servicing the line and running trains to Martigny, which you said wasn't interesting.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 05:11 PM   #2095
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Another example similar to the one along Lake Geneva is the coastal railway Nice-Genoa. It was built along at the time not so interesting beaches, but today many parts of it have been put underground to free up the waterfront.
I think the main objective of this project is not to free up the waterfront -
even if it is a nice-to-have side effect - but to move the railway to a place
where it is possible to double-track it.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 06:13 PM   #2096
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The local communities don't like all the level crossings inside the towns, but don't care that much about train service. The last train from Ventimiglia towards Genova (of any type) is an all-station train at 19.20 in the evening. There is rarely more than one train per hour per direction. If the objective was to improve rail service, they would add trains and redesign the timetable on the existing line, not just building a new line with 60% less stations than before.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 08:30 PM   #2097
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I asked about SNCF servicing the line and running trains to Martigny, which you said wasn't interesting.
The line is not interesting as a connection from Geneva to Martigny. It might be interesting to reactivate it and integrate it in the Geneva regional network. ie, improve access to the southern lake shore from Geneva, and link it better with Valais. For that it is not a problem that the line is single track.
However, for a fast, non stop IC type service from Geneva to Martigny and beyond, via a different route there is not enough demand.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 12:41 AM   #2098
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http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...=504576&nseq=6
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"Flirt" trainset RABe 523 # 028, built by Stadler Rail, on the S4 from Palézieux to Allaman in Bossière.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 02:37 AM   #2099
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Is that an actual station platform ?
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 02:51 AM   #2100
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