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Old September 28th, 2015, 02:44 AM   #2941
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Four single deck second class coaches between the two biggest citys during peak and some have standing passengers.
Several times I have been unable to board Amsterdam bound intercitys coming from Rotterdam in Haarlem during morning peak and had to jump on the following sprinter, and these are 8 car double deckers. I know these are also collecting from other citys but come on, when are people going to stop defending the whole HSL zuid/ Fyra thing. look at all the billions that have been pumped into it compared to what it has delivered. Even if the appropriately named albatross trains arrived without a hitch its benefits would still have been disproportionally expensive. Why are people having to pay extra to use a route built using public funds? The trains (except Thalys) that use it go no faster than any other dutch train. In the future are NS going to charge extra for using other new (taxpayer funded) infrastructure which cuts journey time?
The lack of appropriate trains seriously affect the possibilities of use HSL Zuid! When new trains arrive, they could run up to 400 trains per day on HSL Zuid if they want.

Remember also a crucial factor: the Rotterdam-Hooffdorp link is much shorter than the old line via Den Haag. 19km shorter I think.
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Old September 28th, 2015, 09:25 AM   #2942
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First, its only such a long journey because of the timetabling.
Second,who hasn't said "feck it, lets go to Paris (insert short timesacle here)" or anywhere else for that matter.
I haven't. But when I lived in the Netherlands Paris was still 6 hours away...

Anway, if you just want to turn up at the station, buy a ticket, and go, you can. I once even bought a ticket for a Rotterdam - Brussel Thalys when the train in question was already it the platform.
Ok. that was when the International desk at Rotterdam was still facing platform 1. Wouldn't be possible now.


Quote:
I alluded to Brussels-Paris (sorry wrong forum) which is one hour by hispeed train yet 5 hours by normal train. But try booking a train in advance with thalys and see the price.
Before Thalys Brussel - Paris took three hours. Seeing how many more people now travel by train between Brussel and Paris I would guess that the fare structure and policies of Thalys aren't really a deterrent to passengers.

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I am not against Thalys charging what they like for their superior connection time, I am against them (and other hi speed services) having a monopoly on routes and forcing passangers to a) pay extra for speed they don't need or b) take a stupid route to avoid the surcharge.
If you don't need the speed, and don't want to pay extra, you can just take a coach. You are acting as if train travel is an entitlement. It isn't.

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Anyway we are off in a tangent here discussing international journeys in the Netherlands Forum.My original point was about wasting money on Grandiose flagship schemes instead of improving the whole network.
I agree that the HSL Zuid should never have been built, and that now that it has been built anyway, it should be integrated in the domestic IC network. That last thing appears to be going to happen.
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Old September 28th, 2015, 10:30 AM   #2943
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The channel tunnel was built by a private consortium and so it is only right that they choose which trains pass through to maximise profit.
But your point was that it shouldn't matter as long as there is still a good alternative. You said that Amsterdam to Paris now takes too long unless you go by Thalys. I could say the same about London to Paris. I could argue SNCF should still run a fast non-TGV train from Calais Maritime to Paris.

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But to answer your question, I know travelling between Koln and Basel you have the option to take a eurocity which takes about an hour longer than the ICE and if I remember right it cost about €20 Euros extra for a walk up fare. I used to leave work earlier to get this train as I would rather relax on the train than work and half my pay would have gone on the extra ticket cost. Plus the traditional route between Mainz and Kobelenz is quite stunning. I don't know of any routes in Germany that are ICE only. But if there are, the ICE is not disproportionally exensive compared to IC trains and your rail pass works on them as well.
I have got out my 1996 Thomas Cook European Timetable and back then you could go from Köln to Basel every hour direct with the IC. Now if you want to go from Köln to Basel direct without ICE there are only three trains per day including one night train. Otherwise you need several changes and have to use RE trains. Most trains from Frankfurt/Mannheim to Basel are ICE now.

https://www.bahn.de/p/view/mdb/bahni...nnetz_2015.pdf

https://www.bahn.de/p/view/mdb/bahni...nnetz_2015.pdf

Last edited by radamfi; September 28th, 2015 at 03:03 PM.
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Old September 28th, 2015, 05:20 PM   #2944
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But your point was that it shouldn't matter as long as there is still a good alternative. You said that Amsterdam to Paris now takes too long unless you go by Thalys. I could say the same about London to Paris. I could argue SNCF should still run a fast non-TGV train from Calais Maritime to Paris.
Actually Calais Maritime doesn't exist anymore.

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I have got out my 1996 Thomas Cook European Timetable and back then you could go from Köln to Basel every hour direct with the IC. Now if you want to go from Köln to Basel direct without ICE there are only three trains per day including one night train. Otherwise you need several changes and have to use RE trains. Most trains from Frankfurt/Mannheim to Basel are ICE now.

https://www.bahn.de/p/view/mdb/bahni...nnetz_2015.pdf

https://www.bahn.de/p/view/mdb/bahni...nnetz_2015.pdf
I don't think you could go direct every hour. AFAIK DB then already ran hourly trains from Köln to Mannheim alternating to from Basel/München and hourly from Frankfurt to Basel/München as well, with cross platform transfers in Mannheim. Pretty much as they do now.
This gives/gave an hourly service. but only direct every two hours.
The ICE service is an improvement, as nowadays you can do Basel - Köln in 3h50, whereas in the 80ies it was almost an hour longer. And in the future trave will be even faster.
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Old September 28th, 2015, 05:52 PM   #2945
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If I may interject something; do we know to what extent the demographics overlap?

It seems to me that before:
1) Students, city-breakers used to take the regular trains.
2) Businessmen and other professionals took a flight.

These days, most of the people from group 2 have moved into Thalys while many of those in group 1 are now taking the bus because they either can't afford Thalys or they don't like being stuck to reservations.

So Thalys may shift a lot of people; but how many of them were on the trains before? And how many of them used to take a plane?
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Old September 28th, 2015, 06:59 PM   #2946
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Originally Posted by Slagathor View Post
If I may interject something; do we know to what extent the demographics overlap?

It seems to me that before:
1) Students, city-breakers used to take the regular trains.
2) Businessmen and other professionals took a flight.

These days, most of the people from group 2 have moved into Thalys while many of those in group 1 are now taking the bus because they either can't afford Thalys or they don't like being stuck to reservations.

So Thalys may shift a lot of people; but how many of them were on the trains before? And how many of them used to take a plane?
I thing you overestimate the way that having a reserved seat is considered a negative by the travelling public. In fact. people like the fact that they have an assurance of a seat.
City breakers usually do have a plan which train to take to get somewhere for example, so having a ticket that is tied down to a train you were going to take anyway is not a downside.
And Thalys tickets are only about 40% more expensive than TCV tickets, for a travel time that is a lot less.
Only a small minority of people take the bus, and those people would not have taken the former EC trains as well.

The only thing I am missing with Thalys is a fully flexible second class fare, like the Base fare in Italy or the Pro fare in France. A fare where you can indeed even on the day itself rebook to another train in seconds.

But given the success of Thalys I think they're not to worried about missing out on the custom of people who prefer trains the way they were when they were slowly dying...
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Old September 28th, 2015, 07:09 PM   #2947
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Actually Calais Maritime doesn't exist anymore.
That's my point. Calais Maritime and Dover Western Docks both closed because the railway companies concerned didn't think that the rail-sea-rail option was worth keeping. That was a direct result of the introduction of Eurostar.
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Old September 28th, 2015, 07:30 PM   #2948
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I don't think you could go direct every hour. AFAIK DB then already ran hourly trains from Köln to Mannheim alternating to from Basel/München and hourly from Frankfurt to Basel/München as well, with cross platform transfers in Mannheim. Pretty much as they do now.
This gives/gave an hourly service. but only direct every two hours.
Here is a sample from my 1996 timetable. It was every hour from both Basel and München to Köln. Every 30 minutes Köln to Mannheim:

IMG_0048 by radamfi, on Flickr
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Old September 29th, 2015, 12:51 AM   #2949
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I'm not interested in the channel tunnel,as it was built privately.


I never said train travel was an entitlement, but economists and governments seem to think that efficient affordable transport is essential to society to the extent that governments subsidise railways to the tune of billions.

Quote:
It seems to me that before:
1) Students, city-breakers used to take the regular trains.
2) Businessmen and other professionals took a flight.

These days, most of the people from group 2 have moved into Thalys while many of those in group 1 are now taking the bus because they either can't afford Thalys or they don't like being stuck to reservations.

So Thalys may shift a lot of people; but how many of them were on the trains before? And how many of them used to take a plane?
It was widely reported when the fyra was introduced, many passangers who could not afford it and had no more Benelux train to use were forced onto the local train between Roosendaal and Antwerp.

Do people not think that new publicly funded (HSL 1 section cost €1.5 B in the '90s)infrastructure should not come at the detriment of low income passengers. (A big problem is the Thalys (and Fyra) don't accept the national traincards.

Reservation only trains, get full and when all seats. Thats fine when you want to have a standard of service for your customer but not so fine when all the trains on the route are like this. You can't squeeze standing passangers on these trains so in effect they drive down capacity helping increasing yield.

So I ask the question, is it right that massive sums are poured into these flagship projects which only benefit a section of the travelling public?
For example, why should 1.4 billion of railway infrastructure funds (not counting LGV Nord section) have been spent to quicken the journey of the individuals who can afford expensive tickets while forcing the existing passangers off the train?
This shouldn't be a zero sum game, all I'm arguing for is that transport improvements for some shouldn't come at the expense of transport connections for others?
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Old September 29th, 2015, 12:55 AM   #2950
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Remember also a crucial factor: the Rotterdam-Hooffdorp link is much shorter than the old line via Den Haag. 19km shorter I think.
I know, that is why I said
Quote:
Why are people having to pay extra to use a route built using public funds? The trains (except Thalys) that use it go no faster than any other dutch train. In the future are NS going to charge extra for using other new (taxpayer funded) infrastructure which cuts journey time?
Which you quoted in the same post
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Old September 29th, 2015, 01:23 AM   #2951
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So I ask the question, is it right that massive sums are poured into these flagship projects which only benefit a section of the travelling public?
For example, why should 1.4 billion of railway infrastructure funds (not counting LGV Nord section) have been spent to quicken the journey of the individuals who can afford expensive tickets while forcing the existing passangers off the train?
This shouldn't be a zero sum game, all I'm arguing for is that transport improvements for some shouldn't come at the expense of transport connections for others?
The Dutch government didn't and doesn't see rail transport as a social program meant only to cater to people who can't afford other means of transportation. If it did, the management philosophy would be entirely different. And everyone who could afford would run from it.

Your argument is like saying airports shouldn't be built because most fliers are on the top quartile of income distribution.

There is also economic effects of having high-speed train connections.

A secondary issue is that countries lost the political will to support the operation of international train services even as they increased investment in infrastructure.
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Old September 29th, 2015, 01:41 AM   #2952
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As I've said already, the Dutch government does spend lots of money making affordable public transportation.

I am not against High speed travel, I am against it when it comes at the detriment of existing users> A zero sum game is where people can only gain when others lose.

No it is not like aviation.
First. Governments in Europe are not allowed to subsidise airlines.
Second. There is no lmit on how many airlines can fly one airport to the next (Within the EU and to a lot of other countrys).
Where governments do fund airport improvements they cannot kick the LCC out and only allow concordes to fly.

Please read my posts in the future before replying.
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Old September 29th, 2015, 01:50 AM   #2953
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I have got out my 1996 Thomas Cook European Timetable and back then you could go from Köln to Basel every hour direct with the IC. Now if you want to go from Köln to Basel direct without ICE there are only three trains per day including one night train. Otherwise you need several changes and have to use RE trains. Most trains from Frankfurt/Mannheim to Basel are ICE now.
A fair point.
But a least there are some direct connections available.
The ICE is not hugely more expensive and there are now two options per hour
Walk up fares tomorrow are ICE €100 and €122, EC €94 (€122 ICE is 1 hour faster)
And you can still use your discount cards eg BC25 is €75 and €90.5 for ICE and €70.5 EC

Hardly in the same league as above
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Old September 29th, 2015, 07:38 AM   #2954
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I am not against High speed travel, I am against it when it comes at the detriment of existing users> A zero sum game is where people can only gain when others lose.
However if for 1000 people to gain 10 people must lose that's also good policy.
Personally I'd rather see railways move forward, and try to make sure thay have a good commercial footing, rather then slowly wither away, as they for example did in the US for a long time.
If this means that some services become hardly relevant enough to be maintained, then so be it. We do't expect Apple to still produce iPhone 2's, do we?

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No it is not like aviation.
First. Governments in Europe are not allowed to subsidise airlines.
Second. There is no lmit on how many airlines can fly one airport to the next (Within the EU and to a lot of other countrys).
Where governments do fund airport improvements they cannot kick the LCC out and only allow concordes to fly.
Your comparison doesn't hold. The governments aren't making the running of "low cost" trains impossible. It's just that conventional long distance trains are often just not profitable. If someone wanted to run a conventional train from Amsterdam to Paris they could do so. There is probably not enough of a market to sustain such a train however.
The reality is that most people are willing to pay more or put up with fare restrictions in order to travel faster on long distances.
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Old September 29th, 2015, 07:44 AM   #2955
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Reservation only trains, get full and when all seats. Thats fine when you want to have a standard of service for your customer but not so fine when all the trains on the route are like this. You can't squeeze standing passangers on these trains so in effect they drive down capacity helping increasing yield.
One recurring annoyance I often encounter during my travels in Germany is trains running late because they are so full. So I, who had the foresight to reserve a seat, end up arriving late at my destination because 100s of people can't be bothered to plan their trips a bit better. I really hate that.
Personally, I like long distance trains with compulsory reservation. And in fact, many people do so. Compulsory reservation means that you know you will have a seat.
However if you do this, you must make it possible to easily change the reservation. SNCF and Trenitalia do this right. One problem with Fyra was that they didn't have ticket vending machines where you could quickly get or exchange a ticket.
The main issue with Fyra were the crap trains of course.
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Old September 29th, 2015, 12:08 PM   #2956
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One recurring annoyance I often encounter during my travels in Germany is trains running late because they are so full. So I, who had the foresight to reserve a seat, end up arriving late at my destination because 100s of people can't be bothered to plan their trips a bit better. I really hate that.
Personally, I like long distance trains with compulsory reservation. And in fact, many people do so. Compulsory reservation means that you know you will have a seat.

I'm so sorry that in order to facilitate 100's of people the train company annoys you. How dare they!

The trains are overcrowded because there is not enough capacity at peak times. You would rather leave hundreds behind each day so you can have some comfort. The whole idea of railways is to move lots of people.
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Old September 29th, 2015, 01:20 PM   #2957
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I'm so sorry that in order to facilitate 100's of people the train company annoys you. How dare they!

The trains are overcrowded because there is not enough capacity at peak times. You would rather leave hundreds behind each day so you can have some comfort. The whole idea of railways is to move lots of people.
Then you have India and Bangladesh with overflowing trains, people travelling clinging to the doors or even in the roof... they surely move lots of people!

Don't forget if train services degrade, most people in Western Europe can do something else: drive. Or take a plane.
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Old September 29th, 2015, 02:06 PM   #2958
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The trains are overcrowded because there is not enough capacity at peak times. You would rather leave hundreds behind each day so you can have some comfort. The whole idea of railways is to move lots of people.
Increasing capacity at peak times is often not possible, or when possible it will be costly. Are you willing to finance all these trains that then will sit around idle outside of the peak hours, so you don't have to plan ahead?

Or do you expect others to pay for what you consider your comfort?

Maybe we could start by making trains more expesnive during busy times. After all, the mere fact that a train is overflowing indicates that the ticket prices are in fact to low...
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Old September 29th, 2015, 11:07 PM   #2959
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Increasing capacity at peak times is often not possible, or when possible it will be costly. Are you willing to finance all these trains that then will sit around idle outside of the peak hours, so you don't have to plan ahead?

Or do you expect others to pay for what you consider your comfort?

Maybe we could start by making trains more expesnive during busy times. After all, the mere fact that a train is overflowing indicates that the ticket prices are in fact to low...
Is there such a thing as "too low" ticket prices as long as the operator is making enough money to cover costs and improve services/infrastructure? If of course it is loss-making and/or sub-standard service then yes, the fares should go up to allow for improvement, but in general a crowded service is a successful one in my mind.
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Old September 29th, 2015, 11:25 PM   #2960
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Working with the prices during peak hours could work, the NS is already doing it a bit.

But it will be hard to turn it into a more effective strategy. It's the politicians who have the final word. They make the decision if the NS can raise prices, even if it's during peak hours. Both the right wing and left wing parties will be against it for completely different reasons. Right wing = fear of more traffic jams on the roads. Left wing = fear that poorer people can't afford to travel anymore, limiting the access to jobs.

This basically makes it impossible to implement.

Another option is to work together with the universities and other schools to change their schedules. If all the students travel later it will already ease the number of passengers on the busiest hours. As a bonus it will stretch the rush hour, resulting in a more effective use of the rolling stock. All the extra rush hour capacity could be parked later. It's already happening a bit, but again its difficult to change this on a larger scale.
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