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Old August 29th, 2014, 01:48 AM   #1941
quimporte
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
If a new line were to be built between Lausanne and Bern some extra traffic would be generated simply because it would be closer time wise.
So what? In your eyes, a new line between Basel and Zurich is justified, but not between Lausanne and Bern!?

It’s better to have more people in the trains than on the motorways, anyway. But in absolute terms, there wouln’t be any increase of travelers between Lausanne and Bern. Just a modal shift.

Last edited by quimporte; August 29th, 2014 at 02:37 AM.
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Old August 29th, 2014, 02:28 AM   #1942
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Originally Posted by Vaud View Post
On a larger scale it doesn't really matter whether you save those 30 minutes between Lausanne and Bern or Zurich and St. Gallen, precisely because the line runs all the way between Geneva and St. Gallen.
What I’m saying is that we can save 15 to 45 minutes on each section, that is to say at least 1h30’ on the whole journey.
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Old August 29th, 2014, 02:35 AM   #1943
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Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Would be the new traffic be enough to justify a new line? Is a continuous and endless traffic rise a good thing? That's not so sure.
The new line would not be operated as a closed system. Beyond Geneva, it would be continued to Lyon, and beyond St. Gallen, to Munich.
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Old August 29th, 2014, 02:37 AM   #1944
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Flying to the moon doesn’t make sense, but we do it the same.

In many discussions concerning Switzerland, I can read that here it’s different from elsewhere. But what’s so different? And is that a reason not to do something new or better, even if we do it a bit smaller because Switzerland is a small country. You’re just trying to find millions of reasons not to change anything. But that instead, try to find how we could do it and imagine what would be better once the new line is built.

If technology allows me not to sit during 4 hours in a train between Geneva and St. Gallen, I say do it. Build a new HSL route and make money.
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Old August 29th, 2014, 07:52 AM   #1945
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Originally Posted by quimporte View Post
So what? In your eyes, a new line between Basel and Zurich is justified, but not between Lausanne and Bern!?

It’s better to have more people in the trains than on the motorways, anyway. But in absolute terms, there wouln’t be any increase of travelers between Lausanne and Bern. Just a modal shift.
I said that new Basel-Zurich line would be great to have, not necessarily that it is justified cost wise. There is however a lot more traffic between these two cities than between Bern and Lausanne.

Not true that only modal shift occurs when new infrastructure is built. When it becomes much esier to get from point A to point B more people decide to live in A and commute to B for work and vice versa. Also more people take pleasure trips which under old conditions wouldn't be taken at all.
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Old August 29th, 2014, 09:51 AM   #1946
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Originally Posted by quimporte View Post
Probably because it is inefficient.
Also because it's right across the language border. Most of the traffic in the triangle Bern-Basel-Zürich is in fact commuter and work-related traffic. An Swiss commuter profiles, in general, tend to stay within their own language region. Thus, work and commuter traffic between Bern and Zürich is much higher than between Bern and Lausanne.
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Old August 29th, 2014, 01:11 PM   #1947
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Originally Posted by quimporte View Post
Firstly, I have to repeat what I said. The goal was not to improve the speed itself – even if it did – but to shorten the journey to one hour. These are two different paradigms.
Speed is never a paradigm, travel time always is. No traveller will prefer a route a train that runs at 300 km/h but take 60 minutes to one that runs at 200 km/h but only needs 30 minutes (e.g. because of a more direct route).

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Secondly, high speed does not prevent short transfer times.
Indirectly, yes. If you put all your money in a high speed line, you have no more money to accelerate the other lines to arrive at exactly the right time at the station.

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Originally Posted by quimporte View Post
Thirdly, you put short transfer times on a pedestal. But many people only use one train and want to pursue to their final destination as fast as possible. Rail 2000 doesn’t take account of that at all. How many times do you really need to change train?
How many people live directly at a train station? People usually get there by bus or local trains. Also, most rail traffic is not long distance traffic but commuter traffic, if you put all your money in long distance, the commuter traffic will no longer be competitive.

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In closing, I’m pleading for a REAL improvement, that is to say a high-speed line between all the major cities (Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Basel, Zurich and St. Gallen. We waisted far enough money on improving underutilised railways that don’t lead anywhere.
As you've seen in my statistic: France has done exactly what you ask and is much less successful than Switzerland. Rail traffic is a lot less and diminishing further.

Switzerland doesn't want to create extra traffic between far away cities. We only want the trains to be a bit faster than the car so people have a motivation to switch.
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Old August 29th, 2014, 06:30 PM   #1948
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Originally Posted by alphorn View Post
Speed is never a paradigm, travel time always is. No traveller will prefer a route a train that runs at 300 km/h but take 60 minutes to one that runs at 200 km/h but only needs 30 minutes (e.g. because of a more direct route).
The question is how to improve travel times, and you can get it in two different ways: either by building high-speed lines or creating a hub system that garantees short transfer times. These are two different paradigms. Travel time is the result to be achieved.

Don’t distort what I’m saying. I’m not taking France as a model, I never said that Switzerland should dismantle the hub system currently in force, I’m just saying that Switzerland should ALSO have a new high-speed-line from Geneva to St. Gallen, connected to the European network.

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Switzerland doesn't want to create extra traffic between far away cities. We only want the trains to be a bit faster than the car so people have a motivation to switch.
Just give YOUR point of view and try not to talk for all the Swiss.
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Old August 29th, 2014, 06:38 PM   #1949
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Also because it's right across the language border. Most of the traffic in the triangle Bern-Basel-Zürich is in fact commuter and work-related traffic. An Swiss commuter profiles, in general, tend to stay within their own language region. Thus, work and commuter traffic between Bern and Zürich is much higher than between Bern and Lausanne.
You’re right. But the question is to make a new line from Geneva to St. Gallen, not only between Lausanne and Bern.

And if there’s more commuter traffic between Bern and Zurich, put more trains into circulation on that section. Where’s the problem?
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Old August 29th, 2014, 07:23 PM   #1950
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You’re right. But the question is to make a new line from Geneva to St. Gallen, not only between Lausanne and Bern.
To serve whom? Both in Zurich and in Bern, about 95% of the passengers leave the train. You can count those remaining sitting in each coach on one hand. If you want to start increasing speeds, rather start between ZH and SG than between Bern and Lausanne. The benefit would be much higher there. I also question the policy that each and every train between Zurich and Winterthur has to take the detour via Zurich airport... A target travel time between Zurich and St. Gallen of 45 min would be appropriate in my opinion. Half-hourly alternating IC/IR service, the IC's stopping in Winterthur only and the IR's using the Airport-Winterthur-Wil-Uzwil-Flawil-Gossau schedule.
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Old August 29th, 2014, 08:22 PM   #1951
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Originally Posted by alphorn View Post
S
How many people live directly at a train station? People usually get there by bus or local trains. Also, most rail traffic is not long distance traffic but commuter traffic, if you put all your money in long distance, the commuter traffic will no longer be competitive.
This part is not true. I'm sure that majority of people who commute with a train use only one. The rest of the trip is either a local bus with timetable adjusted to train, city tram which comes so often that you don't have to look at a schedule or a bicycle.

We could talk about it from one side or from another, but the fact is that Switzerland could afford to build a higher speed lines between few key cities without dismantling the currently well working timetable system. Those faster lines built properly would in fact complement the system.

Bern-Lausanne is not a priority, but completing Zurich-Bern 200 km/h line and building the same or even faster Zurich-Basel and Geneva-Lausanne lines in my opinion makes perfect sense.
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Old August 30th, 2014, 12:56 AM   #1952
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Originally Posted by quimporte View Post
Just give YOUR point of view and try not to talk for all the Swiss.
Actually the Swiss have given a very clear point of view: Rail 2000, without any real high speed, was acceptet by 57% of the voters in 1987. Before that, there was a plan to build a long high speed line (see here), but it was withdrawn when it became obvious that it would not have a chance in a vote.
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Old August 30th, 2014, 01:10 AM   #1953
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
This part is not true. I'm sure that majority of people who commute with a train use only one. The rest of the trip is either a local bus with timetable adjusted to train, city tram which comes so often that you don't have to look at a schedule or a bicycle.
Well, we were talking about his high speed rail proposal, not daily commuting. High speed rail only stops at very few stations so very many people have to get there by some other bus or train, which makes transfer times important.

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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
We could talk about it from one side or from another, but the fact is that Switzerland could afford to build a higher speed lines between few key cities without dismantling the currently well working timetable system. Those faster lines built properly would in fact complement the system.
Well, check this list of things that are needed right now, even without a single high speed line draining money, many quite urgent projects (e.g. Brüttener Tunnel) can't be done in the near future.

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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Bern-Lausanne is not a priority, but completing Zurich-Bern 200 km/h line and building the same or even faster Zurich-Basel and Geneva-Lausanne lines in my opinion makes perfect sense.
Actually there is a proposal that I kind of like. This document (starting from page 31) proposes a connection from Zurich to Lenzburg, mainly for capacity (4 trains per hour to Bern, 2 to Bern, 2 to Biel, 2 Interregions), which later could be extended by a connection Lenzburg-Bern that would allow under 45 minutes between Bern/Basel and Zurich at only 200 km/h. That would create perfect nodes at xx:15 and xx:45 in Bern and Basel. But the main goal of the line is coping with the passenger count: Zurich-Bern would be 4 tracks all the way.
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Old August 30th, 2014, 01:39 AM   #1954
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Originally Posted by alphorn View Post
Well, we were talking about his high speed rail proposal, not daily commuting. High speed rail only stops at very few stations so very many people have to get there by some other bus or train, which makes transfer times important.
There is already twice an hour non-stop service between Basel and Zurich. Some of those trains continue further, but was majority of people boarding in Basel leave in Zurich. Unless you go in odd times those trains are near full (2nd class). It's just that this service could be even faster than it is. If a new 250 km/h line were to be built there could be non-stop trains to Zurich every 15 min and also more stopping trains on the old lines thus drastically increasing both capacity and speed.


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Originally Posted by alphorn View Post
Well, check this list of things that are needed right now, even without a single high speed line draining money, many quite urgent projects (e.g. Brüttener Tunnel) can't be done in the near future.
I'm well familiar with this article already. There are a lot of overlapping projects described there. Some really important, others of more marginal importance.
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Old August 30th, 2014, 01:44 PM   #1955
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Originally Posted by quimporte View Post
You’re right. But the question is to make a new line from Geneva to St. Gallen, not only between Lausanne and Bern.
But a new line from Geneve to St. Gallen would be composed of:
1) A new line from Geneve to Lausanne
2) A new line from Lausanne to Bern
3) A new line from Rothrist to Zürich
4) More capacity between Zürich and Winterthur
5) Speeding up Winterthur to St. Gallen.

Of these I would say that 1 and 4 should be build first, and 2 can be delegated to the bottom of the SBB's wish list.

Quote:
And if there’s more commuter traffic between Bern and Zurich, put more trains into circulation on that section. Where’s the problem?
That's exactly what SBB wants to do but for that it needs:
- More trains. Large numbers have been ordered, but Bombardier is already 2 years late with production (not entirely Bombardiers' fault)
- Infrastructure. That will take many years, but is going to happen as well.
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Old August 30th, 2014, 02:17 PM   #1956
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Originally Posted by quimporte View Post
Flying to the moon doesn’t make sense, but we do it the same.
Actually we stopped doing it once we demonstrated we could...

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In many discussions concerning Switzerland, I can read that here it’s different from elsewhere. But what’s so different?
Switzerland is very different than France for example. In France the main mission of the SNCF is transporting people to/from Paris. The moment you try to use public transit to move around tangentially, or just around in one region SNCF downright sucks.
The reason why SNCF is so Paris centric, is because in France Paris is basically all that matters.
Switzerland however is more decentralised. Switzerland is also very densely populated. I sometimes joke that Switzerland is basically a city with a few huge parks. The SBB network is about as big as the Sydney Cityrail, and that is what is mostly is: Commuter rail, with long distance travel almost an unintended side effect.
SBB runs lots of trains from St. Gallen to Geneve, but not because a lot of people want to travel between these two places. I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few trains left their origin without a single passenger for the final destination on board.
Those trains are mostly used by people going from Geneve to Lausanne, or Fribourg to Bern, or Bern to Zürich, or Bern to the Airport.
Of all the city pairs that the ICs on Geneve St.Gallen serve the pair "Lausanne Bern" probably has the lowest demand.
And this is not because the service is bad. It's just because people from Lausanne don't have much reason to go to Bern and vv, except for Leisure.
There is very little cross-language border commuting. The only exception being Fribourg - Bern. But that is because French speaking civil servants working in Bern usually chose to live somewhere near Fribourg, rather than in German speaking Bern.

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And is that a reason not to do something new or better, even if we do it a bit smaller because Switzerland is a small country. You’re just trying to find millions of reasons not to change anything. But that instead, try to find how we could do it and imagine what would be better once the new line is built.
The Swiss are not against changing things. In 2004 the times of 80% of the trains changed. The Swiss are all for improving the railway network. But priority should be given to where the investment generates the most benefit.


Quote:
If technology allows me not to sit during 4 hours in a train between Geneva and St. Gallen, I say do it. Build a new HSL route and make money.
You're not going to make money with such a train.

See what happened in the Netherlands when they decided to mimic the French, and build dedicated high speed lines. I lived in the Netherlands during the time that the debate over the HSL Zuid was waged. The plans to build dedicated lines were heavily criticised, and it was repeatedly suggested that upgrading and quadrupling the existing Amsterdam - Antwerpen line, allowing speeds of 200 kph would be a much wiser investment.
But the HSL Zuid was built nevertheless, and it's not a success.
In 1983 I could travel Brugge - Rotterdam in 2:32. Now I can do it in 2:26. But at twice the price, and not as frequently. That is what billions of investment has brought us...
I now live in Switzerland, and don't want money to be wasted in the same way.

300 kph lines make sense in a country with a lot of empty space between the cities. But not in a country where the area between the cities is the main market the railway serves...
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Old August 30th, 2014, 02:40 PM   #1957
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Is the criticism of Dutch HS line really fair? I've never lived in the Netherlands, but from everything I've read it has been a disaster of managment, pricing and train procurement not the line itself being somehow unsuitable.

Back to Swiss trains
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Old August 30th, 2014, 02:49 PM   #1958
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Is the criticism of Dutch HS line really fair? I've never lived in the Netherlands, but from everything I've read it has been a disaster of managment, pricing and train procurement not the line itself being somehow unsuitable.

Back to Swiss trains
Basically my contention is that the same gains in travel time could have been achieved in a way that would have left over more money for other projects as well. Which is why I rather not see SBB emulate the disaster that HSL Zuid has become in my opinion.
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Old August 30th, 2014, 02:53 PM   #1959
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What is the time difference between Amsterdam and Brussels (Thalys) before and after the line was built? If it's really only 10-15 min then I agree with you something else could have been done instead.
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Old August 30th, 2014, 05:00 PM   #1960
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What is the time difference between Amsterdam and Brussels (Thalys) before and after the line was built?
About an hour.
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