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Old August 25th, 2014, 12:50 AM   #1901
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But bear in mind that this line is still quite mountainous, like here near Grandvaux, between La Conversion and Puidoux (top speed: 100 km/h).

How would you build a high-speed line on this part?

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Old August 25th, 2014, 04:38 AM   #1902
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steple View Post
But bear in mind that this line is still quite mountainous, like here near Grandvaux, between La Conversion and Puidoux (top speed: 100 km/h).

How would you build a high-speed line on this part?

Tunnels!
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Old August 25th, 2014, 01:43 PM   #1903
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Originally Posted by quimporte View Post
Coccodrillo, could I find somewhere, in an open-source document (book or internet), the speed limits on SBB’s network and specific sections?
One problem is that there are a lot of factors governing train speeds. Length and weight plays a role, as does the train type. SBB uses a concept where different speed profiles can exist for the same route. These profiles are designated with a letter, like A, B, R or N. (If you always wondered what the difference was between an Ae4/4 and an Re4/4, well here it is...)

So when a driver prepares to start a service he will enter in his tablet computer the profile, which is for passenger trains usually, R, and for tilting trains N, and his train weight, and he will get a listing of the speed he can go for each section.
I once rode up front with a driver, where an ICN set was used for an IR service. The driver would normally have stuck to the R profile which was sufficient for keeping the schedule, but decide to show me what an ICN could do, and drove according to the N profile. We arrived minutes early at every stop...
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Old August 25th, 2014, 01:45 PM   #1904
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Tunnels!
You're paying?
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Old August 25th, 2014, 01:51 PM   #1905
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
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)
Odd you would say that, as the Chiasso - Milano part isn't particularly fast either...


Quote:
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.
Frequency and punctuality is more important then speed. Your competitor is the car. And you only get people to switch from car to train on short distances if you run at least every half hour, and that till late.

Your comparison with France is also not correct. On the conventional network speeds are not that fast, especially as soon as you are not traveling to or from Paris.
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Old August 25th, 2014, 07:04 PM   #1906
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As far as i know, high speed trains can get up steeper hills if needed than ordinary trains, so I dont see problem here, or you want to imply the curvature?
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Old August 25th, 2014, 08:29 PM   #1907
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
That is shockingly slow and yet again shows the importance of building new high-speeed lines in Switzerland.
Sinuous lines are of course a reason for low speeds, but not the only one. In some cases, the tight cohabitation of commuter (many stops) and national (non-stop) trains seriously limits the speed on historical lines.

The funny thing is that SBB uses the Martigny-Sion section (26 km) for high-speed tests up to 250 km/h (e.g. Pendolino). But for the above described reasons, the commercial speed is limited to 160 km/h for regular services on that same line. I hope it might be upgraded in the next years thanks to the ETCS control system.

Let’s compare motorways and railways. Have you never asked yourself why motorways always have at least 4 (often more) lanes, and why railways generally only have 2 tracks. Isn’t that a paradox? Motorways and railways have to resolve the same issues: bring together slow and fast vehicules or trains, while making overtakings possible thanks to an overtaking track. Why is that obvious for cars but not for trains? All the main lines like e.g. Geneva-Lausanne-Brig carrying IC, IR, RE and R trains should have 4 tracks (in parallel or not).

Creating points of intersection or partial 3- track sections between Geneva and Lausanne is just ridiculous and looks like tweaking. It’s an expensive short-term solution without any global sustainable vision for the Lake Geneva region.

New high-speed line projet between Geneva and Lausanne: http://static.nzz.ch/files/8/2/8/Bahn_1.18324828.pdf
It’s in french but the charts are explicit enough.

Last edited by quimporte; August 25th, 2014 at 08:36 PM.
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Old August 25th, 2014, 08:43 PM   #1908
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenkey View Post
As far as i know, high speed trains can get up steeper hills if needed than ordinary trains.
I presume thanks to fictitious force (due to high speed). If the train has to stop for any reason before a steep hill, it has to go back and regain its momentum.

Last edited by quimporte; August 26th, 2014 at 01:11 AM.
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Old August 25th, 2014, 08:48 PM   #1909
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
One problem is that there are a lot of factors governing train speeds. Length and weight plays a role, as does the train type. SBB uses a concept where different speed profiles can exist for the same route. These profiles are designated with a letter, like A, B, R or N. (If you always wondered what the difference was between an Ae4/4 and an Re4/4, well here it is...).
I’m just asking about the speed limits indicated along the railways.
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Old August 25th, 2014, 08:58 PM   #1910
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steple View Post
But bear in mind that this line is still quite mountainous, like here near Grandvaux, between La Conversion and Puidoux (top speed: 100 km/h).

How would you build a high-speed line on this part?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Tunnels!
Or a new road layout.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 09:40 PM   #1911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quimporte View Post
I’m just asking about the speed limits indicated along the railways.
You won't find a lot of speed signs a long the railway, as the speed a train is allowed to run is, as I explained, dependent on many factors.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 10:25 PM   #1912
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
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.
Money is a limited resource. You can either spend it on a low number of very high speed lines or you can invest it in the network as a whole, trying to get decent train service everywhere, often for commuters. Let's see how those strategies work in various countries:



The graph shows the number of kilometers an average inhabitant of those countries travels by rail, based on UIC numbers. All the classical high-speed countries in Europe (FR, IT, DE and ES) have stagnated or lost customers, in the case of Italy a lot of customers. All the countries where things are going well are, except for Japan, countries which have no significant high speed rail (Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and, surprisingly, UK).
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Old August 26th, 2014, 10:36 PM   #1913
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In some countries speed limits are shown. For instance, in Italy there are big panels showing speed limits for each category allowed on the line. In Switzerland, on the Gotthard railway I see round white signals, borded in orange and with a number inside. I think that's the (higher) speed limit for tilting trains (but I have never seen other categories' speed limit signs).
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Old August 26th, 2014, 10:36 PM   #1914
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IT and ES probably lost passengers because of the severe economic problems in those countries. UK is doing well largely because of strong growth in London's economy. Travel to Central London is almost exclusively by rail.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 10:41 PM   #1915
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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.
The frequencies in NL are indeed impressive, but there is a high price to pay for that: With so many trains, all trains need to run at similar speed, otherwise they're in each other's way.

In Switzerland, on the route Zürich-Olten-Bern, there is one stop per 2.5 km for the slowest trains and one stop per 95 km for the fastest trains (at 200 km/h). That is a factor of 38.

In the Netherlands, between Amsterdam and Eindhoven, the stop distances are between 37 km (at 140 km/h) and 5.6 km. That is only a factor of 6.6.

That low factor has two drawbacks: People who need to go all the way have many unnecessary stops and run at slow speeds. And people who need to get to a local railway station (by bus or bike) have to travel further, maybe too far for many.

Also note that the Swiss railway network has to accommodate a lot more goods traffic than the Dutch one, creating further obstacles to increased frequency.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 12:25 AM   #1916
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
In some countries speed limits are shown. For instance, in Italy there are big panels showing speed limits for each category allowed on the line. In Switzerland, on the Gotthard railway I see round white signals, borded in orange and with a number inside. I think that's the (higher) speed limit for tilting trains (but I have never seen other categories' speed limit signs).
In Switzerland, as you mentionned, we have round traffic signs indicating the speed limit for tilting trains, but also square ones indicating two different speed limits, one on top of the other, for conventional trains.

Last edited by quimporte; August 27th, 2014 at 01:56 AM.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 12:31 AM   #1917
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphorn View Post
The frequencies in NL are indeed impressive, but there is a high price to pay for that: With so many trains, all trains need to run at similar speed, otherwise they're in each other's way.

In Switzerland, on the route Zürich-Olten-Bern, there is one stop per 2.5 km for the slowest trains and one stop per 95 km for the fastest trains (at 200 km/h). That is a factor of 38.

In the Netherlands, between Amsterdam and Eindhoven, the stop distances are between 37 km (at 140 km/h) and 5.6 km. That is only a factor of 6.6.

That low factor has two drawbacks: People who need to go all the way have many unnecessary stops and run at slow speeds. And people who need to get to a local railway station (by bus or bike) have to travel further, maybe too far for many.

Also note that the Swiss railway network has to accommodate a lot more goods traffic than the Dutch one, creating further obstacles to increased frequency.
In Switzerland we have InterCity, InterRegio, RegioExpress, and Regional (commuter) trains. What categories do you have in the Netherlands?
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Old August 27th, 2014, 12:34 AM   #1918
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In Switzerland we have InterCity, InterRegio, RegioExpress, and Regional (commuter) trains. What categories do you have in the Netherlands?
InterCity, InterCity Direct and Sprinter.

InterCity Direct at the moment comprise just two services: Breda-Amsterdam and Rotterdam-Amsterdam that run on the new high-speed line.

Most rail lines have jsut 2 stopping patterns during the period between 6h-22h.

85% of stations have 32 or more trains per day.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 12:53 AM   #1919
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I wouldn't call InterCity Direct a train type, a national shame would be a better name for it...

Right now a lot of work is being undertaken to increase the capacity along the railway lines, so InterCity trains can go faster while Sprinter (local) trains can serve more stations.

For example, around Utrecht ProRail has been adding lots of capacity by doubling tracks. This is mostly done, between Houten and Utrecht Lunetten two new tracks have been added. Between Lunetten and Utrecht Centraal the amount of tracks will be doubled, from 4 to 8. One of the few remaining things is the building of a new bridge between Utrecht Centraal and Leidsche Rijn so that tracks can be doubled there as well. This is expected to be completed somewhere between 2018 and 2020 (due to budgettary constraints).

Schiphol - Amsterdam - Almere - Lelystad (SAAL) is another impressive project, whereby tracks along the Zuidas (the railway axis south of Amsterdam) will be doubled from 2 to 4 tracks.

Rijswijk - Delft-Zuid will be doubled from 2 to 4 tracks (est. completion 2017), a bit further on the Hoekse Lijn (Rotterdam - Hoek van Holland) will be cut off from the mainline network and added to the subway network. The tracks that now connect Schiedam with Vlaardingen will be rerouted towards The Hague. The section inbetween Schiedam and Delft Zuid will remain 2 tracks for now, but I imagine it will be doubled later on as well.

And there are many more projects...
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Old August 27th, 2014, 01:40 AM   #1920
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So, these are "only" 2 or 3 categories!?

It may explain that NS offers up to 6 trains per hour and service on one line. In Switzerland, we have so many categories that use the same historical lines, that it makes impossible to have more than 2 trains of each category per hour (except on the few 4-track sections).

SBB is falling behind on improving the capacity of its lines (except Bern-Olten and around Zurich), that is to say doubling the number of the tracks from 2 to 4, especially in the french part of Switzerland and the Geneva-Lausanne section.

For example near Biel, on the line running along the foot of the Jura mountains, you can still find a one-track section (that will fortunately be doubled in the next years). And these last weeks, we learned that SBB needs money to catch up the lack of maintenance of the tracks. So, not all is rosy on the Swiss railways.
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Last edited by quimporte; August 27th, 2014 at 02:08 AM.
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