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Old March 1st, 2009, 06:49 AM   #341
Northsider
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I just got back from Berlin, I absolutely loved the Sbahn.

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I'm starting to like the Berlin S-Bahn over the Paris RER
I'd take the Sbahn over the RER any day. The RER for me was slow and every car smelled like poo.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 02:37 PM   #342
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For already some weeks the S-Bahn is operating with reduced number of trainsets and lower intervalls.
For at least the next two weeks only 1/3 of the S-Bahn fleet is in operation. The track between Zoologischer Garten and Ostbahnhof is not being served at all during that time!

To cope with the masses of public transport users:
- Deutsche Bahn will run several additional Regional Express trains between Zoologischer Garten and Ostbahnhof
- More busses and trams
- ferry lines on the river Spree

Normal S-Bahn operation is expected to start again in December.

Reason for these complications:
S-Bahn Berlin hasn't properly maintained their fleet. After an accident due to broken wheels some weeks ago the Federal Railway Authority has now put 2/3 of the S-Bahn fleet out of service in order to check them.

Background:
S-Bahn Berlin is a subsidiary company of Deutsche Bahn AG. Critics complain that in order to make Deutsche Bahn AG fit for a launch on the stock exchange, S-Bahn Berlin had to transfer 14% of their earnings as profit to Deutsche Bahn AG. Usual are 4-5%. That means that S-Bahn Berlin had much less money left for operation and maintenance.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 06:00 PM   #343
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This is a joke, right? Berliner S-Bahn is one of the best systems! And they have one of the best trains as well! It's a shame!
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Old July 20th, 2009, 11:00 PM   #344
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All hail market economics. They make the world a much better place.

A great shame to hear that the system has suffered as a result of dodgy business practices. Is it possible that another company could take the tender for the Berlin S-bahn?
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Old July 21st, 2009, 02:16 AM   #345
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Yes, it could be possible. But only when the current service contract between the city of Berlin and S-Bahn Berlin is about to expire.

I have read in Hamburg this could be possible from 2014 when the contract between City of Hamburg and S-Bahn Hamburg will expire.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 05:19 AM   #346
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Quote:
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All hail market economics. They make the world a much better place.
Bingo. This makes the EU's forced privatization of intercity rail operations all the more angering. But hey, if something is going to make a few people a lot of money and **** over the public- the government will endorse it wholeheartedly!!
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Old August 6th, 2009, 06:51 PM   #347
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Budget woes cut metro line through Berlin's historic heart
6 August 2009
Agence France Presse

A new metro line will open Saturday in the heart of Berlin, but its planned route was cut in half as building costs exploded, underlining the poor financial state of affairs in the German capital.

Thousands of Berliners are expected to attend the inauguration of U-Bahn Line 55 linking the landmark Brandenburg Gate, Chancellor Angela Merkel's imposing offices and the city's ultramodern main train station.

But soaring costs and doubts about the necessity of the line in the cash-strapped city are overshadowing the party.

Local media have dubbed the link "The Chancellor Line" or less flatteringly, "The Stump" because of its curtailed route and lack of connections to other metro trains.

The route takes three minutes to ride but cost 320 million euros (460 million dollars) to build -- 25 percent more than earmarked for that part of the planned route.

Meanwhile Berlin is about 60 billion euros in debt -- more than 17,000 euros for each citizen of the reunited city -- due in part to the end of lavish federal subsidies for its western half while it was still a divided Cold War outpost.

Under plans approved in 1994 -- five years after the Berlin Wall fell -- the line was to stretch to the Alexanderplatz commercial centre, a showcase of communist-era prefab architecture just over a kilometre (mile) away, under the Unter den Linden boulevard running through the east of the city.

But Mayor Klaus Wowereit pulled the plug soon after his election in 2001, saying the city could not afford the luxury of a route which is already well-served by buses and commuter trains.

However existing contracts prevented the plans from being scrapped entirely, leading to the construction of the abbreviated Line 55.

"This is a typical case of Berlin's delusions of grandeur ending up a flop," said Jens Wieseke from an association public transport users in Berlin.

"A (wealthy) city like Zurich might be able to pay for it but not Berlin which is broke."

The BVG metropolitan transport service estimates that only about 6,400 people a day will use Line 55, versus an average of about 135,000 for each of the nine existing lines in Berlin's sprawling underground network.

The extension of the new line to Alexanderplatz, which binding construction contracts stipulate must begin by next year, is expected to cost another 400 million euros.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 08:03 PM   #348
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I love the sound the Heulsuse makes make it enters a station, it's very recognizable!
And I think the system is perfect: fast, takes you right into the centre ánd you can actually see the surrounding buildings, and it's great you can still see the differences Ost-West in the style/atmosphere of the S-Bahn-stations.

I love the S-Bahn in Berlin much more then the U-Bahn.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #349
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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
All hail market economics. They make the world a much better place.
Actually, market economics is the best system for a great deal of trade and business. This is easily proved by comparing with countries that don't have market economies. We certainly wouldn't be communicating like this on the Internet today in opposite ends of the world if governments were relied upon for technological innovation, development and deployment.

That said, the one model simply doesn't work in all circumstances. Public transport is one area which is generally better suited to government control and funding. It is a public service more than anything else.
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Old August 9th, 2009, 03:01 AM   #350
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Is the EU going to force privatization of railway companies?
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Old August 9th, 2009, 07:42 PM   #351
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Any pics of the U55 in operation?
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Old August 9th, 2009, 09:08 PM   #352
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I always really liked Berlin's S-Bahn, but there has been a lack of investment in the last two decades: The modern train control system is still not operating and the current system is absolutely outdated, it's a mechanical system.
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Old August 10th, 2009, 12:28 AM   #353
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Any pics of the U55 in operation?
This one and the ones that follow in that set.
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Old August 10th, 2009, 10:57 AM   #354
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This one and the ones that follow in that set.
Thanx!
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Old August 10th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #355
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Is the EU going to force privatization of railway companies?
No, but it is going to open the markets for competition, like it did with the airlines...
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Old August 10th, 2009, 05:13 PM   #356
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Old August 10th, 2009, 07:09 PM   #357
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I'm not impressed at all by this ridiculously short line. The architecture is rather dull and boring, the only trainset seems to be the oldest one they could find in all of Berlin and the whole line works with only one platform. Even on the opening day that seems to work just fine... Soon this line will change nicknames: from chancellor's u-bahn to ghost-u-bahn.
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Old August 10th, 2009, 07:12 PM   #358
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Actually Germany is a great example, that competition - if done correctly - can benefit PT. Up till a few years ago, rail transport in the south of Bavaria was terrible. These days Arriva operates trains between Lindau and Munich and the quality really improved a lot.
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Old August 10th, 2009, 09:46 PM   #359
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Actually Germany is a great example, that competition - if done correctly - can benefit PT. Up till a few years ago, rail transport in the south of Bavaria was terrible. These days Arriva operates trains between Lindau and Munich and the quality really improved a lot.
The same in Northern Germany. In the early 2000's Hamburg, Bremen and Lower Saxony have together founded their own railway company: Metronom. The service, quality and punctuality have improved a lot since then and nowadays Arriva is the biggest shareholder of this company which operates the regional lines Hamburg-Uelzen-Hannover-Göttingen, Hamburg-Bremen and Hamburg-Cuxhaven.

OK, that was now off-topic.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 04:49 PM   #360
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A few more pictures of all three stations of the new underground line.
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