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Old December 5th, 2012, 09:28 PM   #961
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Old December 5th, 2012, 11:44 PM   #962
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at 7'43'' one can spot the Pau Casals train Zurich-Geneva-Barcelone, unfortunately the service has just been suspended and no longer trains directly link Switzerland with the catalan capital
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Old December 6th, 2012, 01:34 AM   #963
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A nice look at the Swiss railways on BBC Two - Great Continental Railway Journeys last week:

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Old December 6th, 2012, 07:28 AM   #964
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at 7'43'' one can spot the Pau Casals train Zurich-Geneva-Barcelone, unfortunately the service has just been suspended and no longer trains directly link Switzerland with the catalan capital
This is only temporary though. Normally from April on the TGV from Geneva to Montpelier will be extended to Figueres, and as soon as the Spaniards managed to lay that last 700m of track it will be extended all the way to Barcelona and possibly even Madrid.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 01:01 PM   #965
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This is only temporary though. Normally from April on the TGV from Geneva to Montpelier will be extended to Figueres, and as soon as the Spaniards managed to lay that last 700m of track it will be extended all the way to Barcelona and possibly even Madrid.
Even better than that, I think from April already services will be extended to Barcelona even though the new station won't yet be ready, as the tunnel crossing the city will all be ready so they'll be using the old Sants train station as terminal. But I'll still cry the loss of one more night train.

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A nice look at the Swiss railways on BBC Two - Great Continental Railway Journeys last week:
Thanks a lot for sharing! It was a pity they didn't do the train trip along Lavaux approaching to Lausanne from Fribourg, I think the guy would have had an orgasm :P
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Old December 8th, 2012, 01:47 PM   #966
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Even better than that, I think from April already services will be extended to Barcelona even though the new station won't yet be ready, as the tunnel crossing the city will all be ready so they'll be using the old Sants train station as terminal. But I'll still cry the loss of one more night train.
If Switzerland had invested on more high-speed lines within its territory, its passengers would enjoy very fast trips to other countries. But since it didn't, it will still take more time to travel between Geneve and Innsbruck than between Paris and Barcelona when the new line is opened, if I'm not mistaken.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 02:25 PM   #967
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If Switzerland had invested on more high-speed lines within its territory, its passengers would enjoy very fast trips to other countries. But since it didn't, it will still take more time to travel between Geneve and Innsbruck than between Paris and Barcelona when the new line is opened, if I'm not mistaken.
That's an entirely improper comparison - Geneva and Innsbruck together is 1/20th of size of Paris + Barcelona. There would be little demand for such an unusual journey regardless of price and time.

Swiss train system is excellent with investment going into frequency, reliability and good connections not greater speed (which is about on par with driving on most major routes). French rail, for example, is much faster but it's as convenient only if you don't need any connections and preferably in the direction of Paris.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 03:45 PM   #968
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If Switzerland had invested on more high-speed lines within its territory, its passengers would enjoy very fast trips to other countries. But since it didn't, it will still take more time to travel between Geneve and Innsbruck than between Paris and Barcelona when the new line is opened, if I'm not mistaken.
It doesn't make much sense to have HSR in Switzerland since the whole Swiss train system is mostly based on connections which is why it enjoys high ridership levels, not counting the fact that population and centers are all much better distributed than in France or Spain.

But what applies to Switzerland does not apply to the rest, and given your statement I guess you are aware that Switzerland does invest in HSR outside its borders so that for example Geneva is linked to Paris by HSR.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 04:52 PM   #969
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But what applies to Switzerland does not apply to the rest, and given your statement I guess you are aware that Switzerland does invest in HSR outside its borders so that for example Geneva is linked to Paris by HSR.
Yes, but it is quite insane they invest on that French line connection, while not investing on a 300km/h line between two of its major cities, Geneve and Zurich, that could be connected with some service taking less than 75 min

(sorry for lack of accents)
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Old December 8th, 2012, 05:33 PM   #970
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If Switzerland had invested on more high-speed lines within its territory, its passengers would enjoy very fast trips to other countries. But since it didn't, it will still take more time to travel between Geneve and Innsbruck than between Paris and Barcelona when the new line is opened, if I'm not mistaken.
What the Swiss are also right now enjoying are unemployment levels far lower than in Spain or France, a balanced budget, low taxes and a well functioning state. I don't think the citizens would be willing to give that up for faster trains...

Building a HSL the length of the Alps would basically be a horrendously expensive exercise, with relatively few benefits.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 05:38 PM   #971
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Yes, but it is quite insane they invest on that French line connection, while not investing on a 300km/h line between two of its major cities, Geneve and Zurich, that could be connected with some service taking less than 75 min
Building a 300kph line from Géneve to Zürich would cost a tremendous amount of money. I think that the inhabitants of Géneve and Lausanne would rather see that money spend in making the Genéve - Lausanne four tracks and running more trains on that. And I don't think you could get travel time down to 75 minutes while still calling at Lausanne and Bern (and you wouldn't be able to fill a train if you didn't stop in those places...)
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Old December 8th, 2012, 05:48 PM   #972
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Building a 300kph line from Géneve to Zürich would cost a tremendous amount of money. I think that the inhabitants of Géneve and Lausanne would rather see that money spend in making the Genéve - Lausanne four tracks and running more trains on that. And I don't think you could get travel time down to 75 minutes while still calling at Lausanne and Bern (and you wouldn't be able to fill a train if you didn't stop in those places...)
If Genève and Zürich became commuting areas of each other, you could probably fill a lot of trains. At least some 20 trains a day per direction. You could then have some trains stopping in Bern (but not Lausanne).

As for the argument of investing on local services vs. national services, it is an old trick that doesn't fly (at least with me): the mobility of people living around Lac Léman will not improve by having a crap 2h40 long connection between Genève-Zürich (a travel time that makes it difficult even to live in a city and work just 2/3 times a day in other, for instance). Gosh, you could even make the argument (as many people sometimes do, in a naive fashion) that inter-city non-commuting transportation should always have less priority than trams, local trains and subways that cater for much more people on a daily basis...

Even commuting daily Bern-Genève today seems a bit long for daily commute, despite their relatively short distance. Apparently the policy of making the "triangle" Bern-Basel-Zürich a common multi-centered big metropolis with plenty of traffic in all directions doesn't apply to Western parts of the country...

This is of course assuming the paradigm the Swiss set for themselves of making rail travel something that should be available nationally.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 07:16 PM   #973
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Well, I do agree with you on saying that Western Switzerland is not getting enough investments, we can quote the fact that it got "7% of rail investments over the 25 last years" [1] when it hosts 25% of the population and economy of the country. It recently managed to get a compromise for new investments but only after huge lobbying efforts from Vaud and Genève and after agreeing with East-Switzerland cantons to also do some investments there. People is actually getting a bit pissed off in here about this topic actually since the Gotthard and Bern-Zurich axes get disproportionately huge investments with relatively few problems.

But as K_ said people in here would rather see 4 tracks between Lausanne and Genève with faster trains and more frequencies than a HSR between Genève and Zurich that would serve few people in comparison. Improving West-East connections is also necessary and that's why recently the long-term projects included the improvement of the line in Fribourg, but it's definitely not a priority to do anything other than that. As for your proposal for a high speed train service that wouldn't call in Lausanne and Bern... it denotes some ignorance on the topic, honestly, because that's where most passangers would probably hop on and off.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 08:02 PM   #974
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The canton of Geneva is in advanced planning for a new mostly subterranean line that would link the enlarged Gare Cornavin with the airport through the UN area and then Meyrin and Zimeysa to link with the existing La Plaine line.

That would allow trains from the new CEVA line coming from Annemasse to link directly with the airport station for which new platforms underneath the existing ones would be built, without having to change trains.

When finished basically 80 to 90% of jobs from the canton would be served by train stations located in less than 1.5km distance. Total cost of the project is estimated at CHF2bn and not going to be finished before 2030.

I transcribed the article appearing today in the local press in here: post

And here are some two maps I got to show where exactly would it go through (the blue line, "raquette"):

Et deux cartes du projet d'agglo:



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Old December 8th, 2012, 08:11 PM   #975
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Suburbanist maybe doesn't realize it, but Switzerland is quite divided by language. A bit like Belgium but with significantly better relations. Therefore there is much less traffic between Zurich and Geneva than one would ordinarily expect between #1 and #2 cities of the country. Certainly nothing like Zurich-Bern and Geneva-Lausanne which are two most heavily used routes in Switzerland.

I've taken a train from Basel to Lausanne or Geneva couple time. It stops in several places in both German and French speaking areas an between stations where the language border is crossed the train is always significantly less full. Almost like crossing the border with France itself.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 08:55 PM   #976
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Suburbanist maybe doesn't realize it, but Switzerland is quite divided by language.
The comparison with Belgium is not appropriate in either linguistic quagmires or rail connections.

Well, Ticino is not well connected to the rest of Switzerland, but that is for strictly natural factors and an unwillingness of the Federal Government to build a Tshuis-Bellizona or St. Moritz-Belizona rail line.

The other linguistic areas are well connected. Moreover, Switzerland for all matters have a dominant language groups, one big minority, one small minority and one oddity. It's not like Belgium at all where the split is 52-43-4
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Old December 8th, 2012, 08:56 PM   #977
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Another question: have those works on the Martigny - Chamonix line been completed? Will the line re-open for this winter season?
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Old December 8th, 2012, 09:11 PM   #978
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The other linguistic areas are well connected. Moreover, Switzerland for all matters have a dominant language groups, one big minority, one small minority and one oddity. It's not like Belgium at all where the split is 52-43-4
What he actually means is that your proposal of improving the rail and building HSR between Genève - Lausanne - Bern so that there could be more commuters between cities is a bit pointless since people commute from Lausanne to Genève and viceversa and between Zürich and Bern, but since people in Bern speak german and people in Genève speak french, those from Genève look for jobs mostly in french-speaking Switzerland and those in Bern in german-speaking Switzerland, so relationships between both sides are lower than one would expect from an otherwise unified country, i.e. having few commuters is not a matter of having better rail connections, it's something almost unavoidable, and that's why people care more for the line Genève - Nyon - Gland - Rolle - Morges - Lausanne - Vevey - Montreux or even rail connections of Genève with neighbouring France but not so much about Fribourg - Bern.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 09:29 PM   #979
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What he actually means is that your proposal of improving the rail and building HSR between Genève - Lausanne - Bern so that there could be more commuters between cities is a bit pointless since people commute from Lausanne to Genève and viceversa and between Zürich and Bern, but since people in Bern speak german and people in Genève speak french, those from Genève look for jobs mostly in french-speaking Switzerland and those in Bern in german-speaking Switzerland, so relationships between both sides are lower than one would expect from an otherwise unified country, i.e. having few commuters is not a matter of having better rail connections, it's something almost unavoidable, and that's why people care more for the line Genève - Nyon - Gland - Rolle - Morges - Lausanne - Vevey - Montreux or even rail connections of Genève with neighbouring France but not so much about Fribourg - Bern.
Exactly. I thought I explained it clearly enough...
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Old December 8th, 2012, 09:38 PM   #980
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The other linguistic areas are well connected. Moreover, Switzerland for all matters have a dominant language groups, one big minority, one small minority and one oddity. It's not like Belgium at all where the split is 52-43-4
That would be the case only if the distribution were homogenous. French speaking areas are certainly not German dominated. If you don't believe me go to Geneva and try to get by with German. You'd be much better off with English.
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