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Old April 12th, 2012, 04:56 PM   #661
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
No. An S-Bahn is not defined by cheap imitations, no matter how many there are, but by its original.
Oh, yes? In this case S-Bahn in Berlin shall not be called as "Bahn", since by its original "Bahn" is something that is in motion by steam engines.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 04:59 PM   #662
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No. An S-Bahn is not defined by cheap imitations
Btw., why don't you spam in German Railways and Austrian Railways thread? Why do you hate Swiss railways so much and have nothing against Deutsche Bahn and Österreichische Bundesbahnen although they have lots of "cheap imitations"?
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Old April 12th, 2012, 05:20 PM   #663
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This looks like the "is-it-a-subway-or-underground-rail" discussion about the RER in Paris...
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Old April 12th, 2012, 06:17 PM   #664
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Oh, yes? In this case S-Bahn in Berlin shall not be called as "Bahn", since by its original "Bahn" is something that is in motion by steam engines.
The word Bahn has a vastly broader meaning. It isn't restricted to railways nor steam-traction.

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Btw., why don't you spam in German Railways and Austrian Railways thread? Why do you hate Swiss railways so much and have nothing against Deutsche Bahn and Österreichische Bundesbahnen although they have lots of "cheap imitations"?
Why should I hate Swiss railways. I just can't stand the boasting attitude by many Swiss toward their railways when these very same railways use and dilute a term whose characteristics they fail to meet. I'd be rather ashamed of that if I were Swiss.
And yes, the Austrians and Germans are barely better on this point.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 06:23 PM   #665
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Why should I hate Swiss railways. I just can't stand the boasting attitude by many Swiss toward their railways when these very same railways use and dilute a term whose characteristics they fail to meet. I'd be rather ashamed of that if I were Swiss.
And yes, the Austrians and Germans are barely better on this point.
Why should the Swiss be ashamed because their railways cause some discomfort for a tiny minority of extreme nitpickers?
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Old April 12th, 2012, 06:28 PM   #666
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This looks like the "is-it-a-subway-or-underground-rail" discussion about the RER in Paris...
Under or overground is not really that important. The London underground has large above ground parts too. The RER does however qualify as a "suburban" railway system, a system that links the suburbs with the downtown area. The Zürich S-Bahn certainly qualifies as such too.

Did you know btw that the Swiss law does not make a distinction even between a tram and a train? Everything that runs on rails is a "train". Quite simple. Marketing is however left to the marketing departments...
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Old April 12th, 2012, 07:08 PM   #667
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What is the minimum frequency then so that you can call it an "S Bahn" according to you?
Literature doesn't define an S-Bahn by frequency. And neither do I. To answer your question, I expect services on an S-Bahn line at least every 20 min.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 07:22 PM   #668
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Why should the Swiss be ashamed because their railways cause some discomfort for a tiny minority of extreme nitpickers?
They are show-offs, that's why. Running service under a nicked label doesn't go along with the reserved nature of natural Swiss.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 08:59 PM   #669
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I have received complaints about the thread, and whilst the discussion may be fairly academic if handled correctly, it is not on to start derailing (no pun intended) the topic to the point where it is dominated by what is a trivial issue.

So this is just a polite request to curtail it and accept that the name is as it is and is probably here to stay and won't be influenced in the slightest by any discussions to be had on here. Infractions will be issued to offending parties as unproductive discussions like this do nothing but detract from real news.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 11:11 PM   #670
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Literature doesn't define an S-Bahn by frequency. And neither do I. To answer your question, I expect services on an S-Bahn line at least every 20 min.
Quite a few S-Bahn lines around Bern and Zürich now have service every 15 minutes. The medium term goal is to do that for most lines.
The goal is to also have most long distance services in the Mittelland go from every 30 minutes to every 15 minutes. So then the whole nation would have an S-Bahn.

But it's basically academic. It's just marketing.

Around Zug they decided to call it "Stadtbahn". Around Lausanne its "Reseaux Express Vaudois". Bern uses an S symbol, Zürich doesn't. It's all part of people in Switzerland all doing things in their own peculiar ways. And this is good so.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 11:29 PM   #671
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So there is nothing against using 60 minutes then...

If you want to maximize the value of your network you need to same base interval network wide. And you can only achieve this if you set the value a priori, and then use it as a basis for planning your investments.
And if you are going to choose an interval a priori, and implement that network wide, then choosing "60 minutes" is the sensible choice.
The basic interval used should be the one that is most efficient for the physical infrastructure (current of future) of a network.

To artificially impose 60min as a base interval is bumd. Maybe a 72m base, or a 48min base, or whatever will be the optimum for a given scenario.

When some network forces itself to a number like computers, smartphones and else didn't exist so people needed to memorize timetables, you end with aberrations like not investing any money to speed lines if they can't reduce travel time by 15 minutes or 30 minutes, such as a 21min reduction were "pointless".

CH is not a poor country, it is not an illiterate bush where people need pictograms to remember destinations because they can't read. I bet majority of CH population has some phone of enhanced cell-phone and thus any point on considering "memorization" as a criteria for timetables is an offense to intelligence and ability to make systems more complex.

I once read they used possible intervals and timetables to finance a MASSIVE project - the Gottardo tunnel - just out of capriciousness, instead of building the damn bore with the chosen design and then looking how to run trains over it. Ditto for the Lötschberg tunnel.

It is like only start a diet because you want to fit in a given cloth, instead of losing weight then worrying bout your new outfit.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 12:03 AM   #672
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You seem to be overlooking the main reason for the 60 minutes base.

It's not to make it more easy, it's to always give a good connection with other trains. Some routes could indeed have it's speed increased without to much effort. But if the result would be that a good percentage of passengers will have to wait longer at the station for the depart of the connecting trains you could still see it as a wasted investment.

Therefor with the 60 minutes base the efficiency of the system as a whole is very high. Because the SBB has implemented this timetable very systematically all over the country I wouldn't be surprised (I haven't seen data) that the majority of the passengers actually benefit from it with shorter overall travel times.


ps.
For the people who don't know what the 60 minutes base is. It's a system where at all the bigger stations all trains arrive minutes before the whole hour (or half hour or even quarter, depending on the frequency) and depart again minutes after the whole hour. This way there's always a good connection with other trains in every direction. Limiting the time you have to wait at the station.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 12:18 AM   #673
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But what if the whole network was planned on, say, 72min instead of 60? you could have trains on frequency of 144min, 72min, 36min, 18min, 9min, 4min50, 2min25... - for instance.

Or a base of 48min (trains running every 96, 48, 24, 12, 6, 3, 1.5 minutes).

Or a base of 53min (train running every 106min, 53min, 26min30s, 13min15s, 6min37.5s, 3min18.55s).

The principle might hold regardless of what basic frequency you chose. There is nothing magical about "every hour" instead of "every 53 minutes" or "every 1h12min". This is the point I want to make - you can chose whatever intervals you want, even if they look like a mess on outdated and unnecessary printed timetables nobody plugged into 21st century uses.

As for the second argument, I wasn't calling it, but it is worth to critique as well: while minimizing total travel time is the ultimate goal, there is nothing wrong in speeding up part of the journey leading to a connection point. It is better to spend more time waiting a train in a station than riding a slower train.

Example: route A to B transferring in X.

Situation 1: A-X 120min + 7min layover + X-B 55min => total travel time 182min

Then, let's assume they build a cool high speed line that slashes travel time A to X by 25min, without affecting other connections though. We'd then have:

Situation 2: A-X: 95min + 32min layover + X-B 55min = > total travel time 182min

Situation 2 is much better than situation 1 because people have more time to spend on the ground instead of on a slower train. Think of a flight: if you have a Toronto-Frankfurt-Mumbai flight with a 7h layover in Germany, would anyone rather slow down the planes, staying on the air more time to avoid being sit at Frankfurt Airport waiting the connection?

This idea of reducing connecting times is a plot for monopolistic rail companies not to invest in their stations, so that crappy station can be kept longer because people are confined in trains instead.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 12:24 AM   #674
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
The basic interval used should be the one that is most efficient for the physical infrastructure (current of future) of a network.

To artificially impose 60min as a base interval is bumd. Maybe a 72m base, or a 48min base, or whatever will be the optimum for a given scenario..
Theoretically you're right.

However, there are no local networks with no interaction between them, but they are connected to a big European network. Sometimes the interaction between the local networks are more intense, sometimes less. At least some long-distance services using the same tracks/stations as local trains always cause some interaction.

And as the a base interval of 60 minutes is used all over Europe (at least in those countries where the railways are operating on a periodic timetable; but the number of those countries is growing... just have a look at France...), there is not much choice for local networks...
Of course, the sub-intervals may be different, provided that they are a factor of 60'... so 12' is possible as well as 15' or 20'.


Also the symmetry minute of periodic timetables is nowadays mostly the same (at around min. 00) all over Europe; even a 60min base interval in a given local network may cause problems (with long distance trains, connections to neighbouring networks), if the symmetry minute differs.


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Old April 13th, 2012, 01:38 AM   #675
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International rail traffic is minimum compared to domestic traffic, except maybe for Luxembourg.

They should treat interntional traffic as a separate animal, thus allowing different intervals. Again, longer connection layovers are not a problem if overall travel time is made shorter.

I also have troubles with things like trains needing to take same routes and same stops all day, peak or off peak.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 02:52 AM   #676
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Quite a few S-Bahn lines around Bern and Zürich now have service every 15 minutes.
A 15 min headway is not achieved by a single line but by multiplexing two or more lines. That's not what we've talked about.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 09:43 AM   #677
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International rail traffic is minimum compared to domestic traffic, except maybe for Luxembourg.

They should treat interntional traffic as a separate animal, thus allowing different intervals. Again, longer connection layovers are not a problem if overall travel time is made shorter.

I also have troubles with things like trains needing to take same routes and same stops all day, peak or off peak.
One way of turning a loss making international train in to a profit making international train is to integrate it in the domestic train system. A Frankfurt - Interlaken train is also used by people travelling Basel - Interlaken or Bern - Interlaken.
That only works however if the international train can be integrated in the local pattern.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 09:57 AM   #678
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The principle might hold regardless of what basic frequency you chose. There is nothing magical about "every hour" instead of "every 53 minutes" or "every 1h12min". This is the point I want to make - you can chose whatever intervals you want, even if they look like a mess on outdated and unnecessary printed timetables nobody plugged into 21st century uses.
Printed timetables are already unnecessary between major Swiss cities.

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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
As for the second argument, I wasn't calling it, but it is worth to critique as well: while minimizing total travel time is the ultimate goal, there is nothing wrong in speeding up part of the journey leading to a connection point. It is better to spend more time waiting a train in a station than riding a slower train.
A shorter travel time may not always be an advantage. For example (a quite real one, as the 50' is the time gained by the Gotthard base tunnel located between Zürich and Lugano, as Lugano-Milano trains run only every two hours, and as until quite recently there weren't trains between Milano and Parma between 9.20 and 11.20).

Before:

Zürich 7.09-Lugano 9.48-Milano 10.50 + Milano 11.20-Parma 12.56

After:

Zürich 7.09-Lugano 8.58-Milano 10.00 + Milano 11.20-Parma 12.56

Zürich-Milano travel time is shortened by 50', Zürich-Parma doesn't change, Lugano-Parma takes 50' more.

It is important to note that around 60% of travellers on Milano-Zürich trains leave the train before the terminus (and a lot of them before the Gotthard tunnel) and that around 30% of passengers (and even more on peak days) don't have Milano as destination.

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International rail traffic is minimum compared to domestic traffic, except maybe for Luxembourg.
With the opening of two new lines in each of Geneva and Ticino regional rail networks most of their trains will cross the border. Also many trains around Basel are international.

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Old April 13th, 2012, 10:05 AM   #679
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But what if the whole network was planned on, say, 72min instead of 60? you could have trains on frequency of 144min, 72min, 36min, 18min, 9min, 4min50, 2min25... - for instance.

Or a base of 48min (trains running every 96, 48, 24, 12, 6, 3, 1.5 minutes).

Or a base of 53min (train running every 106min, 53min, 26min30s, 13min15s, 6min37.5s, 3min18.55s).

The principle might hold regardless of what basic frequency you chose. There is nothing magical about "every hour" instead of "every 53 minutes" or "every 1h12min". This is the point I want to make - you can chose whatever intervals you want, even if they look like a mess on outdated and unnecessary printed timetables nobody plugged into 21st century uses.
Remember that the basic time interval is not an emergent property of a network. It's not something you discover. It's something you design in to your network. The timetable determines where you need switches, signals and fly overs in your network, and where you don't. So efficient network infrastructure planning starts with the timetable.

Can you give me a good argument against using 60 minutes?
You keep repeating that it does not matter, and that you could use other intervals. However the fact that you _can_ use other intervals doesn't mean you should. I can give you a very good one against 53: That is a prime, and primes are very inconvenient. You can't easily divide them in subintervals.
When I studied engineering one of the things my instructors told me was that if you could use a certain value, a certain dimension in a design freely, than you should use a round number.

"One Hour" is such a round number. So is "Two Hours", which is the basis RFF uses. So when you start designing a timetable, using an hour is logical. It is efficient. It is aesthetic. And it is a good way of maximizing both the value for the customer and the company simultaneously.
But we know you don't like that...

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As for the second argument, I wasn't calling it, but it is worth to critique as well: while minimizing total travel time is the ultimate goal, there is nothing wrong in speeding up part of the journey leading to a connection point. It is better to spend more time waiting a train in a station than riding a slower train.
Here you have it completely backwards. Research has shown that subjectively time is perceived as moving faster when in a moving vehicle than when waiting in a terminal. 10 minutes spend on a train doesn't appear as long as 10 minutes on a platform. Waiting is not fun.
That is also one of the reasons why punctuality is more important than speed.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 10:10 AM   #680
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Therefor with the 60 minutes base the efficiency of the system as a whole is very high. Because the SBB has implemented this timetable very systematically all over the country I wouldn't be surprised (I haven't seen data) that the majority of the passengers actually benefit from it with shorter overall travel times.
When the new 2004 timetable was published the SBB produced a matrix of all IC/IR stations in the country and travel times between them, and how much the time was reduced between them. This matrix showed that most origin - destination pairs were faster in the new timetable.
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