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Old December 19th, 2011, 09:27 PM   #461
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I prefer trains with opening windows too. In Spring/Summer/Fall it's great to open them and feel the air coming in, specially when travelling around mountains! I don't mind the airconditioned, I don't think it's really needed in Switzerland if you can open windows except for some few days in the year. Unfortunately they are disappearing, altough they are still common in here for regional services to Geneva and Valais for example.
With forced ventilation, e.g., an external fan that forces air out of the cabin and an air intake, you can mechanically force air from outside to circulate within the cabin, with reduced noise and no windy sensation (the kind that bothers you if you want to read, use your cellphone or else). Indeed, almost all trains systems with weathering systems can operate that way when the cooling and heating are both off, without the passengers even knowing it.

Wind is a nuisance, both for the mechanical effect and the noise.

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They might take an example from the RhB here. The new trains ordered for the Chur - st. Moritz service will have a photographers lounge, with opening windows. The rest of the train will be airconditioned, as is now the norm.

So the right thing for the SBB to do on this route would be to continue to offer a mixture of car types.
But that is a line branded as touristic (though serving regular traffic as well). Just a tiny fraction of all rail tracks in Switzerland are branded as such. In that sector, it makes sense to provide such cars (preferably, charging a hefty surcharge), but on regular ones, it makes no sense at all.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 02:14 AM   #462
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with reduced noise and no windy sensation (the kind that bothers you if you want to read, use your cellphone or else).

Wind is a nuisance, both for the mechanical effect and the noise.
Why should it bother you? as I said I prefer to read next to one of these open windows in summer or spring when the natural breeze hits you and you can smell the nature. You know, there's a world out of your bubble, and it is fantastic, I highly recommend you to go out and check it by yourself.

But it's fine, it was just a personal comment of mine stating my preferences. You should also try to speak for yourself instead of generalizing because it might happen that not everyone agrees with you.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 02:33 AM   #463
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I like the outdoors and I'm quite an experienced trekker. However, (public) transportation is not meant to be "fun", to connect you with nature or else. It is meant to be as clean, aseptic and impersonal and neutral as possible, especially if it is subsidized.

That is why I think trains with windows are worse than those with sealed windows with controlled temperature.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 08:12 AM   #464
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But that is a line branded as touristic (though serving regular traffic as well). Just a tiny fraction of all rail tracks in Switzerland are branded as such. In that sector, it makes sense to provide such cars (preferably, charging a hefty surcharge), but on regular ones, it makes no sense at all.
But the slow trains over the Gotthard are "touristic" too. We are talking the IR here, not the fast IC/EC trains. Those trains will dissapear in the base tunnel where you won't see much scenery anyway. The IR train will continue going over the old line, to serve the communities along its route, and to server people who are not in a hurry, but do want to look at the landscape. Tourists, in other words.
So having a mixture of cars, a few of them with opening windows is a good idea on such services.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 08:13 AM   #465
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I like the outdoors and I'm quite an experienced trekker. However, (public) transportation is not meant to be "fun", to connect you with nature or else. It is meant to be as clean, aseptic and impersonal and neutral as possible, especially if it is subsidized.
Why do I have the impression that "aseptic" and "impersonal" is also how you want life to be...
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Old December 20th, 2011, 11:51 AM   #466
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Trains whose windows open are so 1970 IMHO. The word of modernity is forced ventilation (with or without heating/cooling, doesn't matter) and sealed windows that reduce noise greatly.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 02:00 PM   #467
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I prefer trains with opening windows too. In Spring/Summer/Fall it's great to open them and feel the air coming in, specially when travelling around mountains! I don't mind the airconditioned, I don't think it's really needed in Switzerland if you can open windows except for some few days in the year. Unfortunately they are disappearing, altough they are still common in here for regional services to Geneva and Valais for example.
One reason for the disappearance of opening windows is higher speeds. You really don't want opening windows at 200kph, and the number of long distance services where you can avoid running at that speed is going to be quite limited.
And in fact, modern airconditioned vehicles consume less energy...

But I hope they keep the Gotthard IRs railfan friendly :-)
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Old December 20th, 2011, 02:03 PM   #468
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They could do like they did with the "Glacier Express" route: create a handful of daily trains that cost a lot more with special perks and panoramic cars with huge window panels that allow sightseeing. Problem solved.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 02:40 PM   #469
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There are already first class panoramic cars.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 03:27 PM   #470
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They could do like they did with the "Glacier Express" route: create a handful of daily trains that cost a lot more with special perks and panoramic cars with huge window panels that allow sightseeing. Problem solved.
Quite a few tourists and photographers avoid these trains on purpose... It's mostly Asian tourists that don't know better that travel on those trains.
I do like the panorama cars though. I sometimes take the slower IR over the Gotthard in order to travel in the Ap car.

RhB in the mean time offers cars on some of its trains that don't even have windows:


You make money accommodating the differences in requirements your customers have...
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 02:47 AM   #471
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One reason for the disappearance of opening windows is higher speeds. You really don't want opening windows at 200kph
There is an opening window on the doors of British intercity trains, at 125mph. You can stick your head out the window or throw a health and safety inspector out of it. Not much of our transport system is clean or aseptic either.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 08:18 AM   #472
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There is an opening window on the doors of British intercity trains, at 125mph. You can stick your head out the window or throw a health and safety inspector out of it. Not much of our transport system is clean or aseptic either.
That't the door you pull down in order to open it by using the handle on the outside, right? But does a health and safety inspector fit through it?

The thing though is that opening windows are not very good for aerodynamics. Smooth sides are more important than a sharp end for aerodynamic drag on a train (the pointy nose of the TGV is mostly to mitigate shock waves when entering tunnels and crossing other trains).
On cars not opening the window saves more energy than the airconditioning costs. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same with trains.
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Old January 4th, 2012, 02:40 PM   #473
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« Plus d'entrain pour la Suisse »
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Old January 4th, 2012, 02:43 PM   #474
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that's Brienz Rothorn Bahn and the pictured blue mass is lake Brienz :p
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Old January 4th, 2012, 03:21 PM   #475
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So beautifull... thx a lot
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Old January 4th, 2012, 09:02 PM   #476
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WOW!! what a picture!!!
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Old January 4th, 2012, 11:14 PM   #477
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The blue thing is not sky, but a lake? Wow.
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Old January 5th, 2012, 07:45 AM   #478
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CFF abandons the pendolino technology

It looks like the CFF think they have had enough problems with pendolino
trains. They apparently decided to abandon that technology and to revert
to conventional, loco-hauled trains, for the Zurich-Milano line.

http://www.20min.ch/ro/news/suisse/s...ables-26203282

(Sorry for the news article in french)

There were discussions between the Belgian, Luxemburg, French and Swiss
railways to buy a set of pendolino trains for the Brussels-Zurich line. Works
even started on the Brussels-Luxemburg line to adapt it so that pendolino
trains can use it at higher speed. I suppose that this will be abandoned too...
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Old January 5th, 2012, 09:29 AM   #479
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It looks like the CFF think they have had enough problems with pendolino
trains. They apparently decided to abandon that technology and to revert
to conventional, loco-hauled trains, for the Zurich-Milano line.

http://www.20min.ch/ro/news/suisse/s...ables-26203282
It's not unexpected, but the article isn't entirely correct either.

There are really several things going on here.
SBB is completely fed up with the reliability of it's ETR 470 sets. (The ETR 610 sets however do fine). On top of that Trenitalia is no longer making any ETR610 sets available for Switzerland services, and has trouble even keeping one of its ETR470 sets in working order. Swiss sets also consistently get vandalized if they spend even one night in Milano...
Currently alls Swiss ETR610 sets run on Simplon services. Gotthard services are a mixture of SBB and Trenitalia (when available) ETR470, but many get replaced by an ICN service, forcing all passengers to change trains in Chiasso.

I suspect that soon SBB will throw in the towel and stop cooperating with Trenitalia, as everyone else already has. Maybe they should cooperate with NTV in stead. SNCF owns part of NTV, and with SNCF the SBB has no trouble whatsoever.

At the same time SBB was already in the process of collecting offers for a new batch of high speed trains for international services. For that they wanted tilting trains that could do 300kph. There was just one problem: Nobody is building such trains...
So they had to change their requirements. They decided to drop the tilting requirement. They probably will even just buy 249kph trains, as they are cheaper. (I suspect the Siemens ICx might have a chance here). We'll know more when the tender gets published.

Until the new sets are delivered they will indeed go to loco hauled for a while. Travel times on Zürich - Milano will not be reduced significantly in the first years after the opening of the Gotthard tunnel because of the engineering works on the Arth - Goldau to Zug line. Trains will have to run via Rotkreuz and reverse there for about two years.

Quote:
There were discussions between the Belgian, Luxemburg, French and Swiss
railways to buy a set of pendolino trains for the Brussels-Zurich line. Works
even started on the Brussels-Luxemburg line to adapt it so that pendolino
trains can use it at higher speed. I suppose that this will be abandoned too...
The SBB is not abandoning tilting trains altogether. The ICN and ETR 610 works, and the new double deckers have a limited tilting ability too.
A possible scenario would be for the new trainsets SBB is about to be order to be dedicated to services to Italy, and the ETR610 could then be made available for services on Brussel - Luxemburg - Basel.
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Old January 5th, 2012, 09:54 AM   #480
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The SBB is not abandoning tilting trains altogether. The ICN and ETR 610 works, and the new double deckers have a limited tilting ability too.
A possible scenario would be for the new trainsets SBB is about to be order to be dedicated to services to Italy, and the ETR610 could then be made available for services on Brussel - Luxemburg - Basel.
The plan was to buy a few sets in common (SNCB/CFL/SNCF/SBB) for 3
services per day between Brussels and Zurich. Re-allocating the ETR610
for that service would probably require some re-engineering, but at least
I suppose they have the right power feeding systems in place (3 kV DC,
25 kV AC, 15 kV AC).

It's a pity that ICN sets could not be ordered anymore, they were certainly
the best tilting trains ever engineered.

Is there some comparative information available about the reliability of the
ICN and ETR610 sets ? Thinks like faults per 100.000 km, maximum time
between scheduled maintenance operations, and the like ?

For the time being, the services between Brussels and Zurich are a little
bit disappointing in terms of performance - although their incorporation in
the TER200 Alsace scheme since Dec 12 should make things a little bit
better. Combined advantages of a titling train set (better acceleration,
better top speed in curvy sections like in the Ardennes) would make that
service much more attractive.
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