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Old August 30th, 2014, 05:19 PM   #1961
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
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.
A proper comparison is Schiphol-Antwerpend Centraal (the sector served by HSL and where old trains used to stop before).

Nowadays Thalys takes 56min
Before HSL, it took 119min

How can that be a disaster, I don't really know.
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Old August 30th, 2014, 06:21 PM   #1962
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Actually we stopped doing it once we demonstrated we could...
The Americans stopped doing it. But some other countries are still working on it, like China. Nothing excludes that one day we will have an international space station on the Moon. And then you have the next step to Mars (USA, India, United Arab Emirates, etc.).

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
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.
From that point of view, you’re right. But in a certain way, Switzerland has also focused a lot on Zurich. And times are changing in France, as SNCF will also develop transvers lines (e.g. Lyon-Strasbourg or Marseille-Bordeaux via Toulouse) in the future. So yes, France’s historical mistake was to abandon more or less, and for a certain time, the historical network. But each "Département" works on developping its own services, so that it would not be fair to talk about a complete disaster.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
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...
I’m not asking for a new high-speed line disconnected from the existing network. I’m not asking for an extra service that would be added to existing ones (IC, IR, RE, R). I’m just saying that it would nice to have a new high-speed transvers line that would be used by IC trains (and eventually IR), instead of using the extremely slow historical line. 200-250 km/h would be fine.

Bern-Lausanne is maybe the less-traveled section on the mainline, but the number of passengers is by no means insignificant. With that kind of thinking, we should immediately stop transporting people from Lausanne to Bern.

And can we really talk about a specifically Dutch high-speed line? I think it is more appropriate to talk about one section (HSL-Zuid) of the European high-speed network that start/end in Amsterdam in this case. This route has very few stops in the Netherland, so that it can’t be competitive for domestic travels? Am I wrong?

Last edited by quimporte; August 30th, 2014 at 08:18 PM.
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Old August 30th, 2014, 08:05 PM   #1963
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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.
Many commuters use IC trains to go to work. The new HSL would have more or less the same stops as the current IC routes, so that it wouldn’t change anything for the commuter traffic, from that point of view, with the current situation.

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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.
No, this line makes up a small portion of the historical HSL project wich dates back to 1973. The idea at that time was to build a new line between Geneva and St.Gallen (and not only Bern and Zurich).

The project has been withdrawn because some SBB managers were extremely hostile to the project (not forgetting peasants, forest owners, environmentalists and some Swiss cantons that fought against it as well), prefering to put the accent on efficiency and capacity. This was perhaps the right solution in the sixties, but today high-speed is necessary on the main lines.

Last edited by quimporte; August 30th, 2014 at 08:19 PM.
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Old September 1st, 2014, 03:27 AM   #1964
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Old September 1st, 2014, 09:04 AM   #1965
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
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.
But then the Dutch have to ask themselves why their HSR plan is a failure,
while in Belgium, country of a similar size and population density, it is immensely successful.
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Old September 1st, 2014, 06:42 PM   #1966
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But then the Dutch have to ask themselves why their HSR plan is a failure, while in Belgium, country of a similar size and population density, it is immensely successful.
I wouldn't call the Belgian HSL a big success either. Paris - Brussel is successful, but Brussel - Liege has made the IC service only marginally faster (at great cost), the line to Germany only sees a handfuls of trains and has no benefit for domestic travelers, and 5 years after the already heavily delayed opening of HSL Zuid we still haven't got an Antwerpen - Breda service...
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Old September 1st, 2014, 07:41 PM   #1967
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Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
But then the Dutch have to ask themselves why their HSR plan is a failure,
while in Belgium, country of a similar size and population density, it is immensely successful.
In my view, HSL in Belgium and the Netherlands are just a part of the European high-speed network and should not be considered as national routes. For that reason, their commercial success is probably limited to the European corridors connecting major metropolises (Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam and Brussels-Cologne).

On the other hand, and contrary to the Netherlands, Belgium (9) has significantly more train stations that are integrated in the high-speed system than the Netherlands (4), which gives the inhabitants the benefit of a quasi-national network. That could probably explain a larger success of high-speed in Belgium than the Netherlands.

Belgium:
Antwerpen-Centraal
Brugge
Bruxelles-South
Charleroi-South
Gent
Liège-Guillemins
Mons
Namur
Ostend

Netherlands:
Amsterdam Centraal
Schiphol
Rotterdam Centraal
Breda

Last edited by quimporte; September 1st, 2014 at 08:20 PM.
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Old September 1st, 2014, 10:27 PM   #1968
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
I wouldn't call the Belgian HSL a big success either. Paris - Brussel is successful, but Brussel - Liege has made the IC service only marginally faster (at great cost), the line to Germany only sees a handfuls of trains and has no benefit for domestic travelers, and 5 years after the already heavily delayed opening of HSL Zuid we still haven't got an Antwerpen - Breda service...
Brussels-Liège is very successful. It did not add much speed to the domestic
service, but added a lot of capacity. In addition to the high speed trains to
Germany, there are now two hourly domestic services using it and a third one
will start in December. That's twice the offer of before the high speed line.
On such a trip - less than 100 km - the speed of 200 km/h doesn't reduce
travel time very much, compared to the 140 km/h of the classic line. But the
additional capacity was needed, and building a HSL did cost less than boosting
the classic line from 2 to 4 tracks.

The line to Aachen has 9 trains per day each way. Not much, yes, but what was
the other choice ? The classic line was impossible to upgrade.

And regarding the line to the Netherlands, with how much now ? 12 thalys trains
per day, each way ? It would have been much better if we did not have had this
Fyra disgrace...

Last edited by MarcVD; September 1st, 2014 at 10:37 PM.
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Old September 1st, 2014, 10:42 PM   #1969
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Originally Posted by quimporte View Post
On the other hand, and contrary to the Netherlands, Belgium (9) has significantly more train stations that are integrated in the high-speed system than the Netherlands (4)
Don't exaggerate that effect, though. Brussels, Antwerp and Liège are very
well integrated indeed, but for the the other stations (Brugge, Charleroi, Gent,
Mons, Namur, Ostend) it's only 1 train per day each way, not very successful,
and that remain in place only because the are subsidised by the belgian régions
for political reasons. Otherwise they would have disappeared already.
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 12:37 AM   #1970
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Don't exaggerate that effect, though. Brussels, Antwerp and Liège are very
well integrated indeed, but for the the other stations (Brugge, Charleroi, Gent,
Mons, Namur, Ostend) it's only 1 train per day each way, not very successful,
and that remain in place only because the are subsidised by the belgian régions
for political reasons. Otherwise they would have disappeared already.
You mean, only 1 train of the TGV/ICE class (Thalys)?

But there’s certainly more domestic IC trains that eventually use high-speed lines through Brugge, Charleroi, Gent, Mons, Namur and Ostend. Or not even?
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 01:35 AM   #1971
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Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
But then the Dutch have to ask themselves why their HSR plan is a failure,
while in Belgium, country of a similar size and population density, it is immensely successful.
Well, is it? In the last five years, Belgium has been surpassed by both the UK and the Netherlands in terms of rail usage per inhabitant. I don't doubt there are many passengers on the high speed lines, but I suspect that if the amounts spent on the HSL had instead been spent on timetable optimization and commuter improvements, more traffic would have ended up on the railways.
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 09:52 AM   #1972
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 09:57 AM   #1973
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Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
Brussels-Liège is very successful. It did not add much speed to the domestic
service, but added a lot of capacity. In addition to the high speed trains to
Germany, there are now two hourly domestic services using it and a third one
will start in December. That's twice the offer of before the high speed line.
On such a trip - less than 100 km - the speed of 200 km/h doesn't reduce
travel time very much, compared to the 140 km/h of the classic line. But the
additional capacity was needed, and building a HSL did cost less than boosting
the classic line from 2 to 4 tracks.
The classical line didn't need quadrupling. You don't need 4 tracks for 3 ICs, an INT, an IR and 2 L trains per hour.

Als the money spend on HSLs could have been spend on improving suburban service around Brussel. I don't think there are many cities in Europe where PT from the suburbs to the city is so lacking as around Brussel.
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 09:59 AM   #1974
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Originally Posted by quimporte View Post
You mean, only 1 train of the TGV/ICE class (Thalys)?

But there’s certainly more domestic IC trains that eventually use high-speed lines through Brugge, Charleroi, Gent, Mons, Namur and Ostend. Or not even?
There is no high speed line to Brugge or Oostende, Namur, Charleroi or Mons. These single Thalys services use the conventional line.
In fact, outside of the HSLs all trip times in Belgium are slower now than in the past. On Brussel - Antwerpen trains are even slower than they were in the 1930ies...
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 12:55 PM   #1975
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Originally Posted by quimporte View Post
You mean, only 1 train of the TGV/ICE class (Thalys)?

But there’s certainly more domestic IC trains that eventually use high-speed lines through Brugge, Charleroi, Gent, Mons, Namur and Ostend. Or not even?
There are no high speed lines between those stations. The two thalys train
pairs serving them use the classic lines. The train going from/to Mons,
Charleroi & Namur leaves the high speed line from Paris at Antoing, and the
one from/to Gent, Brugge and Oostende reverses at Brussels South to take
the classic line.
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 01:04 PM   #1976
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Well, is it? In the last five years, Belgium has been surpassed by both the UK and the Netherlands in terms of rail usage per inhabitant. I don't doubt there are many passengers on the high speed lines, but I suspect that if the amounts spent on the HSL had instead been spent on timetable optimization and commuter improvements, more traffic would have ended up on the railways.
High speed lines between Paris, Brussels, and Liege have added capacity that
was needed anyway, and the alternative solution - adding more tracks to the
existing lines - would have been more expensive, while providing a less
efficient solution. The real bottleneck for instating more traffic to/from
Brussels is the capacity of the Brussels stations. With the current terminal
capacity, going beyond the ~ 1200 trains that serve the city each day is
going to be challenging. Note that there are not that many cities of 1M
inhabitants in Europe that get such a level of service...
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 01:06 PM   #1977
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Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
Note that there are not that many cities of 1M
inhabitants in Europe that get such a level of service...
I do know of a few cities with less than 1M inhabitants with that level of service though...
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 01:13 PM   #1978
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The classical line didn't need quadrupling. You don't need 4 tracks for 3 ICs, an INT, an IR and 2 L trains per hour.
Many more than that during the peak hours. And you forget all the traffic
going from/to Kempen (leaving the main line at Leuven or Landen) as well
as the foreseen RER traffic which is expected to reach 6 trains per hour. You
can hardly get all that through 2 tracks. You can compare the Brussels-Leuven
interval to Geneve-Lausanne in Switzerland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Als the money spend on HSLs could have been spend on improving suburban service around Brussel. I don't think there are many cities in Europe where PT from the suburbs to the city is so lacking as around Brussel.
Really ? could we make a comparison of the number of trains serving cities
of ~ 1M inhabitants in Europe ? I'm sure there are some that have more
than Brussels (~ 1200 trains per day) but I'm also sure there are many more
having much less...
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 01:57 PM   #1979
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Many more than that during the peak hours. And you forget all the traffic
going from/to Kempen (leaving the main line at Leuven or Landen) as well
as the foreseen RER traffic which is expected to reach 6 trains per hour. You
can hardly get all that through 2 tracks.
But the HSL starts beyond Leuven. It does nothing to relieve Brussel - Leuven...
I also never claimed that 4 tracking Brussel - Leuven was a bad idea. What I am saying however is that the money spend on HSL2, 3 and 4 could have been used in stead to increase speeds to 200 kph on quite a sizeable portion of the network, and four tracking everything near Brussels.

Quote:
You can compare the Brussels-Leuven
interval to Geneve-Lausanne in Switzerland.
Which is mostly two tracks, and carries freight as well last time I looked...

Quote:
Really ? could we make a comparison of the number of trains serving cities
of ~ 1M inhabitants in Europe ? I'm sure there are some that have more
than Brussels (~ 1200 trains per day) but I'm also sure there are many more
having much less...
NMBS has a good market share in commuters that come from far away. But amongst people who commute from the closer suburbs it share is actually quite low. The fact remains that there are still quite a few suburban services that run only hourly, and some not at all during weekends. In my city (Bern) many suburban lines already run every 15 minutes. And we're talking about a town the size of Brugge.
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 03:13 PM   #1980
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What has been decided about the re-routing of some Lyra TGV services, diverting them from the Jura route to Genève?
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