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Old March 19th, 2016, 06:16 PM   #3181
Silly_Walks
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Also a waste of 700 million, as it will have to be upgraded to 25kV eventually anyway, due to capacity and speed increases.

Might as well do it correct right away.

This short term thinking is devastating.
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Old March 19th, 2016, 06:30 PM   #3182
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The gangway passage on these new trains is much narrower than on the spacious SLT ones, which allow very easy movement between the cars...
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Old March 19th, 2016, 08:38 PM   #3183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
That is a massive cop-out from plans to go to 25kV AC
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
Also a waste of 700 million, as it will have to be upgraded to 25kV eventually anyway, due to capacity and speed increases.

Might as well do it correct right away.
The thing is that they can't do it correct right away. The currently used ATB system works on a frequency incompatible with 50 Hz AC. Even though that could be easily changed, the EU probably wouldn't allow it. ATB will eventually be phased out in favour of ETCS, but that will take at least 15 to 20 years. In the mean time 3 kV could be a good step up.

On the other hand, when you look back in history Dutch railways have made poor choices in the past. They started in 1908 with 10 kV 25 Hz AC, but that was dropped in 1926 in favour of 1.5 kV DC, which in the meantime had been used on other lines because it was cheaper. After the second world war no working electric 1.5 kV DC rolling stock was left, so that would have been the ideal moment to switch to 3 kV (switching to the German 15 kV would have been a bit sensitive and 25 kV wasn't feasible yet), yet they stuck to 1.5 kV DC. Since then all infrastructure has been made with 1.5 kV safety clearances, which even though cheaper, makes a switch to any other system again even more difficult.

If they had just remained with 10 kV AC longer...
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Old March 19th, 2016, 11:14 PM   #3184
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Quote:
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Also a waste of 700 million, as it will have to be upgraded to 25kV eventually anyway, due to capacity and speed increases.

Might as well do it correct right away.

This short term thinking is devastating.
25kV can take decades, and who knows what better options are available by then. Only going for the ideal but most expensive solution is devastating for ones budget, and that isn't any different with railways.

It isn't a waste of 700 million anyway, to say that you'd have to know what the cost reduction / advantage is each year and how long 3kV will stay, and you don't.
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Old March 19th, 2016, 11:19 PM   #3185
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How much would it cost to get 25 kv AC plus the reconstruction of bridges etc? Maybe € 3-4 bln or something like that? It is not little money, but it could be tied as part of a big project to deploy ETCS, eliminate more grade crossings on busy lines etc. Since most lines have good alignment and almost all of them are flat, this would allow a system-wide maximum speed of 220 km/h with few exceptions on the current NS network.
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Old March 19th, 2016, 11:23 PM   #3186
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25kV can take decades, and who knows what better options are available by then. Only going for the ideal but most expensive solution is devastating for ones budget, and that isn't any different with railways.

It isn't a waste of 700 million anyway, to say that you'd have to know what the cost reduction / advantage is each year and how long 3kV will stay, and you don't.
Except that the study that has been done, already showed that in the long term, 25kV is cheaper. 3kV would be cheaper in the short term only.

Doing 3kV AND 25kV is just a waste of money.

Switching to 25kV and ERTMS doesn't have to take decades. It just takes political will. It can be done within 5 years.
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Old March 19th, 2016, 11:28 PM   #3187
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Doing 3kV AND 25kV is just a waste of money.
You don't know that because you don't know all parameters. If there isn't enough budget for 25kV the only question is whether on 3kV is worth it's money. Knowing 25kV is a better solution doesn't change anything to that. If it's a given 25kV isn't reachable within 10 years, and 3kV returns its investments within 10 years it's a very wise decision.
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Old March 20th, 2016, 05:17 AM   #3188
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25kV is attainable in 10 years. It can be done in 5.

They just lack the political will to push it through.
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Old March 21st, 2016, 09:58 AM   #3189
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When you interpret 'lack the political will' as 'the politicians only have limited resources and they consider other matters to be more urgent', then your statement is correct. Note that I totally disagree with what the politicians currently do consider more urgent matters.
Also note that those same politicians are trying to find ways to slow down the roll out of ERTMS because they find it to expensive.
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Old March 21st, 2016, 10:56 AM   #3190
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Quote:
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You don't know that because you don't know all parameters.
I don't have an opinion on this specific matter, but in my experience I've seen a certain attitude of some railfans to glorify the most advanced solutions just for the sake of it, without a real reason.
I've heard so many times praises for more HS lines, no matter how useful they can be. My answer is that HS is an instrument and not a goal.

I see a similar pattern in this 25 vs. 3 kV issue, or sometimes in the "ERTMS immedately no matter what" outcries (and I'm a supporter of ERTMS).

The point is that the right choice in technics is not "the best system" but the best compromise, and they're often different.

I recognize the advantages of 25k but I don't see how many low clearance spots in the Dutch network could be solved without massive works (which is also a problem in term of disruptions of main lines).
There's also the limit of rolling stock, with a lot of recent materials that cannot be scrapped and are much easier to convert to 3 kV CC than 25 AC (and to allow for mixed operations meanwhile).



I also think that, losing NL, 1,5 kV is pretty much dead in Europe: the last one standing will be half of France which -in theory- is ready for the conversion to 25 kV given the amount of dual voltage materials they have.
There could still be the limit of clearances, I don't have info about that.
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Old March 21st, 2016, 11:28 AM   #3191
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1500 V DC : 2300 km in The Netherlands versus 5800 in France. New electrifications
using this system will probably become very rare but there are enough km of lines already
electrified to keep the system running. And given that SNCF almost stopped investing on
anything else than TGV those days, I do not see a conversion project starting anytime
soon...
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Old March 21st, 2016, 11:32 AM   #3192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
are much easier to convert to 3 kV CC than 25 AC
That is something I'm not really sure. In both cases, traction motors, power
electronics, and cabling will all have to be replaced. The only additional
difficulty with 25 kV conversion is the physical place to install the transformer.
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Old March 21st, 2016, 11:53 AM   #3193
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25kV 50Hz has the advantage of being on the same frequency as the national grid...
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Old March 21st, 2016, 01:41 PM   #3194
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That is something I'm not really sure. In both cases, traction motors, power electronics, and cabling will all have to be replaced.
You don't need to replace traction motors and the majority of the power electronics don't need to be changed either. Most modern trains, regardless AC or DC, except for some 1.5 kV DCs, are essentially running on about 3 kV DC. The AC models have an additional transformer and rectifier to produce that DC voltage. DC models are connected directly from the overhead line. That why the power rating on 3kV DC, 15 kV AC and 25 kV AC is usually about the same and slightly lower on 1.5 kV DC. Also nowadays, a DC-DC 'transformer' exist.

Quote:
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25kV 50Hz has the advantage of being on the same frequency as the national grid...
Which is actually a disadvantage, because the national grid has three phases and the overhead wire uses just one. Thus you're always stuck with uneven phase usage, because you use at most only two of the three phases, which power plants do not like at all.
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Old March 21st, 2016, 04:42 PM   #3195
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That why the power rating on 3kV DC, 15 kV AC and 25 kV AC is usually about the same and slightly lower on 1.5 kV DC. Also nowadays, a DC-DC 'transformer' exist.
Yes, and the conversion itself is not a nightmare: you may even put in parallel under 3 kV two subsystems that now are directly connected to 1,5 kV (I'm simplifying to the extreme here).
This gives also the flexibility to switch immediately to 1,5 kV when needed, which will be important to avoid cutting the country in half during the conversion.
And just in case, a 3 kV train can run under 1,5, with limited performance (it happens everyday at Italian/French borders).

They'll also have to replace all the wiring needing more insulation, but I'm quite confident there won't be much to update under this point of view.
Take the new Flirts: I really don't think Stadler uses different wiring for the 3 or 1,5 kV versions, it's an industry standard.
With 25 kV this aspect would be much more difficult, needing a heavy redesign.


Overall I don't have enough data to judge if the choice is correct, but I can see many good reasons why they're going that way (and I also tend to assume they're not idiots).
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Old March 21st, 2016, 07:49 PM   #3196
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Putting 2 1.5 kV systems in series for 3 kV running used to be the trick in the time of power control using resistors. Nowadays using (additional) power electronics would be a much more practical solution.

In the past several models of the Siemens Taurus were built. The only technical difference between the ES64U3 and ES64U4 seems to be that the capability to run on 1.5 kV DC is disabled in the software for the U3 model, hardware wise they are identical. It wouldn't surprise me if Stadler, with its highly standardised product portfolio has done the same.

Note that for instance the Belgian Desiros can't run on 1.5 kV DC, despite being suitable for 3 kV DC. Whether that's because of a technical limitation, because the software wasn't programmed to cope with that situation or it could, but isn't allowed to because it interferes with the Dutch track occupation circuits, I don't know.
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 12:54 AM   #3197
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Which is actually a disadvantage, because the national grid has three phases and the overhead wire uses just one. Thus you're always stuck with uneven phase usage, because you use at most only two of the three phases, which power plants do not like at all.
There is no need to use just two phases. You can use one phase and the neutral, changing the phase every X km of track, so to have a more or less balanced usage of the three-phase current coming in from the power plants (roughly, 1/3 of track-km for each phase). Or also alternate using two of the three phases, again with each combination used roughly for 1/3 of the tracks.

Note that such problems don't exist with the 15 kV 16,7 Hz system (as it is produced differently).
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 01:14 AM   #3198
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Why did the Swiss opted for 16.7Hz instead of 50Hz?
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 09:00 AM   #3199
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I have a question about the usage of slab track in the Netherlands (we already mentioned it a few months ago).

It seems that for many decades slab track was preferred by NS for almost all of its "modern works" from the '70s, any tunnel, any viaduct, even simple overpasses or small bridges, including the full HSL Zuid.
I believe no other European network made use of slab track like NS did.

In recent works (roughly last 10-15 years) I notice that slab track was completely abandoned by ProRail in favor of the classic ballast, including the whole Betuwelijn and any work going on right now (OV SAAL, for example).

This change was quite radical and it is probably supported by a specific policy and by experiences with the large amount of previous works.
So, I'm quite curious to understand the reasons behind this choice
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Well, sir, there's nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car monorail!

Marchionne means never having to say you're sorry.

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Old March 22nd, 2016, 09:24 AM   #3200
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Why did the Swiss opted for 16.7Hz instead of 50Hz?
Because they started electrification in 1919 when 50 Hz power wasn't viable yet. By the time 50 Hz was starting to be viable - in the 50s - the network was already nearly 100% electrified with 15 kV 16.7 Hz.
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