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Old August 21st, 2014, 10:27 PM   #1881
AlexNL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
The target is to have within 10 to 15 years a train every 30' on all IC routes, and every 15' on Geneva-Lausanne, Basel-Zürich and Berne-Zürich (and likely also St Gallen-Zürich and Lucerne-Zürich). By then also many regional services will likely be every 30'.
I might be spoilt, but to me that sounds like a rather low frequency for the renowned Swiss rail system.

Here in the Netherlands highly frequent (at least 4 trains per hour) IC services are offered between the major stations, it's not until after 20:00 that the frequency starts to decrease.

- Eindhoven - Utrecht: 4 IC trains per hour
- Utrecht - Amsterdam: 4 ICs per hour
- Nijmegen - Arnhem - Utrecht: 4 IC trains per hour
- Utrecht - Schiphol: same

- Rotterdam - The Hague HS: 6 IC trains per hour, of which 4 continue towards Amsterdam and 2 towards The Hague Centraal.
- The Hague HS - Amsterdam: 4 trains per hour, 2 via Schiphol, 2 via Haarlem.
- The Hague Centraal - Haarlem - Amsterdam: 2 trains per hour.
- The Hague - Schiphol - Amsterdam Zuid: two trains per hour that continue all the way to Zwolle, after that alternating to Groningen and Leeuwarden.
- Rotterdam - Schiphol/Amsterdam: 2 IC Direct services per hour, during rush hour one additional train runs. Somewhere in the future this will go up to 4x/hour in the future.

Besides that there are also lots of local trains that run at least twice an hour, but even there higher frequencies are more or less the norm.

Apart from that, the Dutch government, ProRail and NS are working on plans to further increase capacity and frequency during rush hour. The plan is to offer up to 6 IC trains per hour between the major cities. See Rijksoverheid.nl for details (in Dutch).
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Old August 21st, 2014, 11:46 PM   #1882
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On the lines I cited, there will not be more than 4 IC trains per hour, however, there will be more of other types.

For instance, the target on Geneva-Lausanne is (not before 2030) 4 IC (no-stop), 4 IR (2 stops), 4 RE (7 stops), 4 omnibus (these latter not on the whole line, but on the extreme sections); which is roughly the double than today. Service on Basel-Zürich now is made by 5 tph, but again on different services: 2 no-stop and 1 IR via the Hauenstein line, and 2 IR via the Bözberg line (one of these skipping Zürich HB and going directly to the airport).

Also frequency between nearby small cities is quite high, like Bellinzona-Lugano (40.000 and 100.000 inhabitants respectively) with up to 5 tph on peak hours.

However, IC/IR every 15' still doesn't exist in Switzerland, with the exception of a few extra peak trains on a few lines.

Service on other lines now cannot be extended because of lack of capacity, for example Lucerne-Zürich is still partly single track, even if these (short but limiting) single track sections handle 170 or so trains a day.

You can find today's "netzgraph" here, together with older versions: http://www.sma-partner.ch/en/about-sma/downloads

On a side note, the Netherlands have the double of population than Switzerland on the same land area (around 41.300 km2 for both countries), but half of Swiss territory are mountains* that cannot be settled, so the actual density should be similar.

*theoretically 70%, but valley floors are quite inhabited
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 12:34 AM   #1883
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
That route should have a HSL connecting Geneve-Lausanne-Bern-Zurich-St. Gallen
That’s what I meant. But it would also make sense to have new high-speed sections between Basel and Bern, Basel and Zurich.

The crazy thing is that a few decades ago (I don’t remember exactly how many) the Swiss folk refused by referendum the construction of a new high-speed network. The reason was a hypothetical exclusion of the back country from further investments in local services. In the meanwhile, the Bern-Olten section is the only HSL that has been constructed yet.

The result is that nowadays the local services are largely oversized in some isolated regions, and the national services (IC and IR) are extremely slow because they’re still running on old historical tracks, the same that were used by steam trains in the past.
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 01:06 AM   #1884
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
I might be spoilt, but to me that sounds like a rather low frequency for the renowned Swiss rail system.

Here in the Netherlands highly frequent (at least 4 trains per hour) IC services are offered between the major stations, it's not until after 20:00 that the frequency starts to decrease.

- Eindhoven - Utrecht: 4 IC trains per hour
- Utrecht - Amsterdam: 4 ICs per hour
- Nijmegen - Arnhem - Utrecht: 4 IC trains per hour
- Utrecht - Schiphol: same

- Rotterdam - The Hague HS: 6 IC trains per hour, of which 4 continue towards Amsterdam and 2 towards The Hague Centraal.
- The Hague HS - Amsterdam: 4 trains per hour, 2 via Schiphol, 2 via Haarlem.
- The Hague Centraal - Haarlem - Amsterdam: 2 trains per hour.
- The Hague - Schiphol - Amsterdam Zuid: two trains per hour that continue all the way to Zwolle, after that alternating to Groningen and Leeuwarden.
- Rotterdam - Schiphol/Amsterdam: 2 IC Direct services per hour, during rush hour one additional train runs. Somewhere in the future this will go up to 4x/hour in the future.

Besides that there are also lots of local trains that run at least twice an hour, but even there higher frequencies are more or less the norm.

Apart from that, the Dutch government, ProRail and NS are working on plans to further increase capacity and frequency during rush hour. The plan is to offer up to 6 IC trains per hour between the major cities. See Rijksoverheid.nl for details (in Dutch).
Swiss people should maybe review their certainties and begin to understand that the Swiss railways are very good, but not as exceptional as they think. You gave us a perfect example of a very performing Dutch network. It can make us dream.

And what about the speed limits in the Netherlands?
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 01:27 AM   #1885
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A couple of years ago, Dutch national railways merged their IC and IR train products. Overall IC journey times were lengthened a bit as the trains have to make some more stops, but it resulted in more trains serving smaller stations. This also made journey times somewhat more predictable as missing one train (and then taking the next one) means that you will simply arrive 15 minutes later.

Take Schiedam for example, a satellite town to Rotterdam. Back in 2006, only IR and local trains served Schiedam. Both did so two times per hour, but IC trains did not stop. Nowadays, Schiedam sees four semi-fast trains per hour which makes for a much more attractive product despite the slightly longer journey times.

Regarding speeds: for historical reasons, most Dutch trains are limited to 140 km/h, with the exception of the high speed line. Many sections of track are limited to 130 km/h. Increasing the maximum speed along a section of track is mostly seen as a waste of money, as the time gained between two stations would be less than a minute.

However, infrastructure manager ProRail does realise that a speed increase is necessary for capacity reasons and to make the railways the most attractive form of long distance transportation. This is why they are hard at work to optimise the layout of the infrastructure, for example by building flyovers to prevent trains crossing others, and by changing the layout of tracks around stations so trains can enter and leave faster.

A couple of months ago ProRail finished the remodeling of 's-Hertogenbosch, trains can now enter and leave the station at a maximum speed of 80 km/h, which used to be 40. Similar work is being carried out around Utrecht (a major hub) and is being planned around Amsterdam.
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 02:30 AM   #1886
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Quote:
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I think the cheapest possible way for long distance train travel in Switzerland for people without GA is to pick up Gemainde tageskarte from the municipality (limited availability). In Basel it costs 44 CHF and works like a one day GA. This is what I do when I have some visitors from abroad who would have no discounts otherwise.
Is it possible for someone from outside Switzerland to get one of these tickets if they don't know any Swiss residents?
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 08:02 AM   #1887
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Is it possible for someone from outside Switzerland to get one of these tickets if they don't know any Swiss residents?
No, these could be bought only by residents. Quantity is also very limited, much easier to get if you live in a small village instead of Basel.
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 08:05 AM   #1888
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
For instance, the target on Geneva-Lausanne is (not before 2030) 4 IC (no-stop), 4 IR (2 stops), 4 RE (7 stops), 4 omnibus (these latter not on the whole line, but on the extreme sections); which is roughly the double than today. Service on Basel-Zürich now is made by 5 tph, but again on different services: 2 no-stop and 1 IR via the Hauenstein line, and 2 IR via the Bözberg line (one of these skipping Zürich HB and going directly to the airport).
How do they intend to achieve doubling of frequency on this very busy stretch? Also what is omnibus?
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 11:03 AM   #1889
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No, these could be bought only by residents. Quantity is also very limited, much easier to get if you live in a small village instead of Basel.
Yet they are a very, very, very priceworthy option as I discovered a few times (thank god I do have Swiss relatives in smaller villages). Like the GA, it also includes e.g. all ferries, busses and both Rigi railways.
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 11:07 AM   #1890
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
How do they intend to achieve doubling of frequency on this very busy stretch? Also what is omnibus?
Building a third track between Renens and Allaman, a fourth between Lausanne and Renens, and additional tracks (up to 3 or 4) along other section to allow overtakings.

An omnibus train is one stopping at every station. It is a more technical and slightly old definition, it is not used on public announcements or documentation.

***************

You can sometimes find day passes also in Postal offices and some supermarkets, but these are usually more expensive, around 60 CHF or even more.

***************

@AlexNL: I doubt IC and IR can be merged in Switzerland. However, IR is quite a indefinite definition: IR on the Gotthard make just a little less stops than Zug's line S2, while Geneva-Lucerne IRs make stops with the same frequency of ICs, except two additional stops just before Lucerne. In addition, they don't have a restaurant car, which SBB wants to have on trains to class them as ICs.
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 08:04 PM   #1891
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Coccodrillo, could I find somewhere, in an open-source document (book or internet), the speed limits on SBB’s network and specific sections?
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Old August 24th, 2014, 08:14 PM   #1892
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There might be one, but I don't know any.

I can cite a few cases I'm quite sure, but that's all:
* Gotthard railway generally 80 km/h, a few more for tilting trains, 120/140 or so on the few straightest parts
* Simplon line probably 160 from Martigny to Brig
* NBS Bern-Olten 200
* AlpTransit lines design speed 250, maximum speed used in regular service 200 (but often lower)
* Bern-Lausanne hardly above 100

That's just what I can think of, I have no sources.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 08:43 PM   #1893
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That is shockingly slow and yet again shows the importance of building new high-speeed lines in Switzerland.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 08:53 PM   #1894
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What's so shocking about slow speeds in the mountains? Have you ever taken a train over Gotthard pass? After spending many billions on the new tunnel this line will be much faster very soon, but unfortunately that's not possible for the entire network.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 09:43 PM   #1895
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There are a lot of people who say "I want", but very few who say "I pay".
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Old August 24th, 2014, 10:27 PM   #1896
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Quote:
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Coccodrillo, could I find somewhere, in an open-source document (book or internet), the speed limits on SBB’s network and specific sections?
This information should be available as part of SBB's Network Statement, a document that described nearly everything that operators need to know to run trains on rail infrastructure. Take a look at www.trasse.ch to see if you can find what you want to know.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 11:02 PM   #1897
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What's so shocking about slow speeds in the mountains? Have you ever taken a train over Gotthard pass? After spending many billions on the new tunnel this line will be much faster very soon, but unfortunately that's not possible for the entire network.
I'm not referring to the Gotthard line (which I traveled just twice by train, cringing at the low speeds and wishing for the train to reach Italy fast) or the old Loetschberg route, but the "North of the Alps" chord (Geneve- Lausanne - Bern (- Basel) (- Luzern) - Zurich - St. Gallen - Chur.

The mountains on that area are not much different than topography you find in parts of France, Spain or Germany that nonetheless have far faster (if much less frequent) rail service. Hilly, but not a 1.000m+ impenetrable ridge.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 11:27 PM   #1898
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I suppose the domestic distances in Switzerland are not particularly long. Zurich to Geneva takes about 2 and a half hours by train which is reasonably competitive with the car journey (which takes 2 hours 59 minutes according to Google Maps).

You could argue that the Glasgow to Lancaster part of the West Coast Main Line is quite a fast line through hilly country (generally 200 km/h) but it needs to be that quick because it still takes 4 hours from London to Glasgow, which means that air is still the dominant mode of transport on that route.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 11:51 PM   #1899
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The mountains on that area are not much different than topography you find in parts of France, Spain or Germany that nonetheless have far faster (if much less frequent) rail service. Hilly, but not a 1.000m+ impenetrable ridge.
Is that really so excluding high speed lines?
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Old August 25th, 2014, 12:44 AM   #1900
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If you're really interested, you can buy the official and up-to-date document from the Union of Public Transports (VöV - UTP) for CHF 45:

http://www.rte.voev.ch/30/betrieb/r%...131/D/Product/

For example Lausanne - Fribourg, which is considered as one of the slowest Intercity-lines, apart from the Gotthard:

(How to read: From Lausanne to La Conversion, the allowed top speed for an Intercity train is 110 km/h, from La Conversion to Puidoux 100 km/h, and so on)

Lausanne 110
La Conversion 100
Puidoux-Chexbres 115
Palézieux 90
Oron 85
Vauderens 140
Siviriez 100
Romont 140
Villaz-St-Pierre 130
Chénens 115
Cottens 120
Neyruz 100
Rosé 105
Fribourg

The top speed is only on a short part lower than 100 km/h.
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