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Old November 8th, 2011, 02:20 PM   #341
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Now they should do something to boos tourism in Amsterdam: build more freaking parking lots in the central area!
Sure. It's for the parking lots the tourists come after all...
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Old November 8th, 2011, 05:09 PM   #342
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No but a global city must have good air rail and road connections
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Old November 8th, 2011, 05:17 PM   #343
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It has great road connections, but there are very few major european cities in which you can go strait downtown and park your car for next to nothing.

But we know your tendency towards cars, and your inability to see the use of public transport in urban enviroments.. so I'm not going to argue any further
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Old November 8th, 2011, 11:48 PM   #344
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Apparently, Fyra ridership increased 23% the 3rd quarter 2011, but I couldn't find the official number to back this reporting yet.

Also, delays and cancellations have been reduced on Fyra, and increased on the crappy Benelux trains Amsterdam-Bruxelles. When this happen, they usually short Benelux trains at Rotterdam and allow passengers to board Fyra to/from Amsterdam or Schiphol to Rotterdam.

I think they should make this solution permanent giving the unreliability of the locos they use in those trains, though the u/c status of Rotterdam Centraal makes it uncomfortable for passengers.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 12:08 AM   #345
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Quote:
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Apparently, Fyra ridership increased 23% the 3rd quarter 2011, but I couldn't find the official number to back this reporting yet.
The most official numbers you can get are to be found in the latest progress report ('Voortgangsrapportage HSL-Zuid'), the 29th edition was published last month.
Quote:
Also, delays and cancellations have been reduced on Fyra, and increased on the crappy Benelux trains Amsterdam-Bruxelles. When this happen, they usually short Benelux trains at Rotterdam and allow passengers to board Fyra to/from Amsterdam or Schiphol to Rotterdam.

I think they should make this solution permanent giving the unreliability of the locos they use in those trains, though the u/c status of Rotterdam Centraal makes it uncomfortable for passengers.
I think this is a good solution for the problems with the Benelux trains as it minimizes the inconvenience for the passengers (as well as getting rid of excessive delays). However, the Benelux is the only international service next to the Thalys from Amsterdam, it shouldn't be restricted to Rotterdam - a lot of passengers are either heading for The Hague, Schiphol or Amsterdam and having to change trains at Rotterdam only makes things harder for them.

Fyra cancellations and breakdowns, I don't know... last Friday a Fyra train got stuck in the tunnel to the north of Rotterdam, the Fyra I was in got diverted over the classic route (after initially terminating it and leaving Schiphol with +12). The stuck Fyra continued to Rotterdam and was terminated there. My diverted Fyra was terminated at Rotterdam as well and the next Fyra was cancelled entirely. As all of those trains got delayed and cancelled, that means that no Fyra left Breda for 1.5 hrs.

Monday morning, a Fyra broke down on the high speed line and caused major disruptions, including my Fyra getting delayed with 23 minutes. Two weeks ago I passed by a Fyra that had broken down on the fly-over near Hoofddorp.

So no, I wouldn't say that things have gotten better... I really hope NS Hispeed gets it V250 trainsets soon and that they'll be the stars of the railway when it comes to performance and reliability.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 11:14 PM   #346
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Virgin tried to take over Dutch high speed train services

So they are now looking to take over Fyra.

Quote:
British transport group Virgin submitted a formal plan to take over the operation of high speed train services in the Netherlands to the transport ministry this summer, Nos television reports on Wednesday.

(...)

Phil Pacey, the director of Virgin Rail's new projects arm, has also been involved in the takeover efforts. According to Nos, Pacey is concerned about the quality of the Dutch trains, the fact they leave from platform 13 at Amsterdam's central station, and the pricing structure.


(...) Germany's Deutsche Bahn and France's SNCF are also interested in taking over the Dutch operations, Nos says.

Transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen is currently in talks about a rescue plan.
I like the idea of Virgin taking over Fyra. It could bring some competition, maybe NS would then try to restore old trains on the crappy old line and we'd see true competition. But I guess the minister is thinking in some franchise-style agreement, routes pre-determined by the authority.

Also, they will likely want to shift rolling stock risk to the government, because of the unfortunate problems with V250 due to excessive bureaucracy of NS (HSA) and SNCB.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 11:41 AM   #347
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Fyra ridership numbers in the last HSL report were updated up until the 2nd quarter. I have not seen numbers for the 3rd quarter yet. These are the numbers that were published earlier:



Normally I would expect Fyra numbers to drop in the 3rd quarter due to summer holidays.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 09:27 PM   #348
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NS franchises and new contracts

In a move that disappointed me (I wanted to see NS gone), minister of transportation M. Schultz announced that it plans to extend NS franchises on main lines beyond 2015.

I was expecting the whole network to be broken apart and tendered to different train companies, like in UK. So this is a huge setback for the expectations of more competition in domestic rail in Netherlands, which could see SNCF, DB, Virgin rail taking over different lines and implementing competing services.

There are a few positive notes, though. Some lines will be likely tendered to private operators. These lines are not on the "main network":

- Zwolle-Groningen
- Zwolle-Leeuwarden
- Appeldoorn-Enschede
- Eindhoven-Weert-Maastricht-Heerlen

It's a step, but it is like lip service to competition and free market. To make competition happen, they would have to auction off for franchises on the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Eindhoven-Utrecht-Amsterdam triangle. Without that, no true rail competition will happen in this country.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 12:26 AM   #349
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The lines you mention are on the main network and will remain there. However, local trains will be put out for tender. Intercity services will remain with NS.

So there will be competition between Zwolle and Groningen, for example.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 04:18 AM   #350
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Quote:
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The lines you mention are on the main network and will remain there. However, local trains will be put out for tender. Intercity services will remain with NS.

So there will be competition between Zwolle and Groningen, for example.
Ah, too bad. For once I just tought we'd see two companies operating a Maastricht-Alkmaar train service, for instance, each with 2 trains per hours.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 08:09 AM   #351
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I was expecting the whole network to be broken apart and tendered to different train companies, like in UK. So this is a huge setback for the expectations of more competition in domestic rail in Netherlands, which could see SNCF, DB, Virgin rail taking over different lines and implementing competing services.
In the UK there isn't any real competition (as you seem to interpret it) in the rail market either, except on some long distance routes. But those are routes of a length that don't fit in a country the size of the Netherlands. There are franchises in the UK that are bigger than the NS in size.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 02:07 PM   #352
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In the UK there isn't any real competition (as you seem to interpret it) in the rail market either, except on some long distance routes. But those are routes of a length that don't fit in a country the size of the Netherlands. There are franchises in the UK that are bigger than the NS in size.
But NS network is less concentrated than the British one, which relies in a couple of mainlines.

They could easily have 3 companies operating trains between Amsterdam and Rotterdam, for instance.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 09:35 PM   #353
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The price may go down with competition, but what really counts in the Netherlands is the frequency.

And with direct competition effectively reduces the frequencies. If 3 companies run 2 trains per hour you have just 2 trains per hours of the company you choose to use instead of 6 trains per hour. When most people use their OV Chip card and just take the 1st departing train no matter what company operates the train it's basically goes against all the advantages of competition on the same tracks.

It will also make it even more confusing for people, it's not exactly fool proof. Now you already see that when people take the bus they don't realize what company it is operated by. If there's for example a problem with the chip card they don't know who to turn to with their inquiries or complaints.

If the competition is done on separate tracks with each company having it's own stations it's a completely different story. But that's not the case in Holland right now and it's not likely that will change.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 11:25 PM   #354
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They can integrate OV Chipkaart with different operators. So the fee is charged automatically according to each train passengers take, so prices can vary, as do can discounts.

Those needing the cheapest ride will go for single-company subscription, less frequency. Those wanting the first available train go for the reize op saldo or something, and pay more or less according to each train they take!
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Old November 18th, 2011, 11:16 AM   #355
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Making life bloody complicated... I'm happy with one railcompany per segment..
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Old November 20th, 2011, 05:03 PM   #356
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Another rail fiasco in the making.... The Hanzelijn, a brand new rail line between Leylstad and Zwolle with two intermediate stations (Dronten and Kampen Zuid), will be put into service Dec. 2012, one year from now.

It fills a gap that existed in the network and is fit with ERTMS-2 and design speeds up to 220 km/h. Though not a "high speed line" properly, it has gentle curves, no at-grade crossing and it is fairly modern.

However... reports were released saying that in the first 2 years or so of operation the time savings on journeys between Zwolle - Amsterdam, expected to be almost 30 min, will not be more than 5-10 minutes because they are late making trains compatible with ERTMS-2 and, thus, they will have to run at reduced speeds of 120 km/h only. It's a downright fiasco for NS: they are building a new line mostly on time and on budget, and they can't get trains upgraded in time.
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Old November 20th, 2011, 05:57 PM   #357
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Yes, it's a bloody shame. And you can fully blame NS for that, as they simply refuse to upgrade their trains to be equipped with ERTMS. The same goes for the ERTMS-equipped stretch of track between Amsterdam and Utrecht: the trackside infrastructure has been in use for almost a year now, yet there are no trains (except for an occasional cargo train) that uses ERTMS. NS is planning to have 10 double deck VIRM trains and 10 SLT sprinter trains retrofitted somewhere in 2012.

And this company just gets awarded the concession for the core network + the high speed line?!
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Old November 20th, 2011, 06:46 PM   #358
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The same goes for the ERTMS-equipped stretch of track between Amsterdam and Utrecht: the trackside infrastructure has been in use for almost a year now, yet there are no trains (except for an occasional cargo train) that uses ERTMS.
What about the ICEs running to Frankfurt?
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Old November 20th, 2011, 06:53 PM   #359
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What about the ICEs running to Frankfurt?
Retrofitting those trains is still in progress. According to this press release the ICE 3 trains running between Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Basel will be equipped with ERTMS somewhere in 2012. Those trains can then benefit from ERTMS train protection, and maybe a slight increase in max speed: from 140 kph to 160 kph.
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Last edited by AlexNL; November 20th, 2011 at 07:05 PM.
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Old November 20th, 2011, 10:03 PM   #360
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Hopefully it will open soon
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