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Old April 6th, 2017, 06:46 PM   #3661
LtBk
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How would you guys rank the Dutch passenger rail system on a 0-10 scale?
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Old April 6th, 2017, 07:14 PM   #3662
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Quote:
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It is possible to purchase tickets from other railway operators (like DB) that obviously aren't Chipkaarts (like Cellphone or Online- tickets) How are people with such tickets able to access the platforms?
Every station has some gates that read QR codes, printed or through your phone screen.
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Old April 6th, 2017, 07:18 PM   #3663
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okay, thanks
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Old April 6th, 2017, 11:11 PM   #3664
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There are QR-code scanners at the gates. The wide ones (for strollers and such) always have them.
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Old April 6th, 2017, 11:40 PM   #3665
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Quote:
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How would you guys rank the Dutch passenger rail system on a 0-10 scale?
Pff I hardly know where to start.

In terms of daily use, reliability and accessibility (density), probably 8. I also quite like the rent-a-bike system (OV-fiets). If you live in town A and you work in town B, the Dutch railways will get you there.

In terms of what it could be (how the high speed line is completely underutilized and how the speeds are generally quite low at 140, as well as the shortage of reliable and decent international connections) I'm gonna have to go with a 5.
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Old April 6th, 2017, 11:55 PM   #3666
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How would you guys rank the Dutch passenger rail system on a 0-10 scale?
9,99
It may not be perfect, but it comes pretty close to that.
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Old April 6th, 2017, 11:58 PM   #3667
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The Dutch government is too slow to approve new high speed projects, and it canceled a project to bring Groningen within a 90min travel time from Amsterdam
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Old April 7th, 2017, 12:14 AM   #3668
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I would go with a 7.5. Overall I am pretty satisfied with the railway network, but there are a couple of buts:

1) The drama around the high speed line. It has been handled badly when the line was first put out to tender, and has been dealt with horribly ever since. NS hasn't performed well, still doesn't perform well, and is unlikely to perform well. Maybe things will improve when the ICNG trains arrive, but that is so far away that any other operator could have also realised that.

2) The network itself is being stretched to its limits with project such as PHS (a train every 10 minutes), which creates bottlenecks and forces ProRail to take drastic measures (DSSU) which reduce flexibility and make different service patterns very hard.

3) 140 km/h top speed, on only a part of the network. Seriously? When I am traveling from Den Bosch to Utrecht, it's not uncommon to see cars on the adjacent A2 highway overtaking my train. The speed of the train should at least be 160 km/h, not 130 km/h.
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Old April 7th, 2017, 12:31 AM   #3669
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Is there any demand for faster service? Does the Dutch gov have long term plans for faster services?
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Old April 7th, 2017, 12:56 AM   #3670
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Demand for faster services will definitely be there. The current infrastructure setup doesn't give much leeway for faster services, because:

1) The overhead lines supply 1500V DC to the trains. While trains can run 160 under 1500 V, it takes a long time to actually reach that speed and the power draw is heavy. Conversion to 3000V would help.

2) The signalling system (ATB-EG) is programmed to not allow speeds above 140 km/h. As ATB is a "Class B" system, changing the parameters is no longer allowed under EU regulations. To get higher speeds, ETCS will have to be installed.

3) There are still many level crossings, so these would either have to be adapted (i.e. close a bit earlier) or would have to be removed altogether.

4) There are still many lines where there are intermediate stations whose platforms are right next to the running lines, i.e. there are no passing loops. If trains were to run at 200 kph, these intermediate stations would have to be reconstructed. On newly built/upgraded infrastructure this is however taken into account (see Hanzelijn).
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Old April 7th, 2017, 02:23 AM   #3671
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I would say 8.5

a) Trains are clean, safe, modern. Since the removal of Mat'64 there is barely any old stock left. All trains are modern or refurbished. Comparing this to some other modern/major EU nations the Netherlands is at the top of its field.

Yes there are only few food/drink options on board, but at all non-local stations there are shops/coffee stands etc.

Nearly all trains have on-board-info, and soon nearly all have WiFi (great Dutch invention).

B) Trains are frequent, and I mean really frequent. We Dutch forget that. But having (nearly) all lines at 30min/intervals is amazing. Major stations have a 15min/interval and trunk routes are evolving to a 10min/interval local / 10min/interval Intercity interval. I don't think any nation on earth (even Japan) can beat such a comprehensive and wide-spread frequent service.

C) Investments, while engineering is anyoning for passengers from time to time. Even these are well-handled now-a-days with frequent bus replacements (and often free coffee/thee). The network is evolving constantly.

All the major stations have been renewed, renovated or extended.

D) Delay

While dutch people will not generaly agree, trains run on time. Delays if they happen are often not more then 5/10minutes. While Dutch people think this is a lot, it really issnt. Especially in combination with 30min/interval Intercity services, even if you miss the connection, your delay will be minimal. Unlike some major EU nations where 2h intervals are not unknown for IC services.

---------------

Down points might be the High speed service. But does a country where IC-trains have stops every 15-30min need a genuine high speed service? I dont think so. Average journeys are short, and few people do a daily Groingen-Amsterdam or Amsterdam-Maastricht. And even then it takes only 2-3hr so what are we talking about.
I'dd love to see more frequent services and faster station speed (yards at 80 instead of 40) save more time then 5min at 200km/h.
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Old April 7th, 2017, 02:27 AM   #3672
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The opportunity for higher station speed was pretty much dropped when they did not build higher-grade switches on major reconstruction projects in Breda, Utrecht and Rotterdam.
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Old April 7th, 2017, 02:33 AM   #3673
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A positive aspect of the Dutch trains is that they are relatively cheap for intense use. A few years ago NS restructured its subscription/pass offers, and now there are some bargains, such as a € 99/month unlimited offpeak + weekend pass.
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Old April 7th, 2017, 04:25 AM   #3674
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While I consider the Dutch network as an inspiration for high capacity solutions, it also looks like who designed it couldn't care less for speed...
Yes, speed in stations can give a significant advantage, and some of these stations are a triumph of double switches

Amersfoort, Nijmegen, Amsterdam CS itself... In some cases (Rotterdam) space costraints didn't leave much room for improvement, in others they just went for the simplest design with the cheapest Lego blocks. Hilversum is an example.


Overall I like the approach used with DSSU, not flexible but has high capacity without giving up on decent speeds.
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Old April 7th, 2017, 03:47 PM   #3675
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
Demand for faster services will definitely be there. The current infrastructure setup doesn't give much leeway for faster services, because:

1) The overhead lines supply 1500V DC to the trains. While trains can run 160 under 1500 V, it takes a long time to actually reach that speed and the power draw is heavy. Conversion to 3000V would help.

2) The signalling system (ATB-EG) is programmed to not allow speeds above 140 km/h. As ATB is a "Class B" system, changing the parameters is no longer allowed under EU regulations. To get higher speeds, ETCS will have to be installed.

3) There are still many level crossings, so these would either have to be adapted (i.e. close a bit earlier) or would have to be removed altogether.

4) There are still many lines where there are intermediate stations whose platforms are right next to the running lines, i.e. there are no passing loops. If trains were to run at 200 kph, these intermediate stations would have to be reconstructed. On newly built/upgraded infrastructure this is however taken into account (see Hanzelijn).


I think in the end it is a primary priority for ProRail to mull on 160km/h as soon as ERTMS is fully in use on each part of the network and to introduce 3000V at the same time. This will especially be effective on lines around Utrecht where speeds near the station are much higher than they once were, infrastructure has been changed and most of all many passengers are passing by. Another one is those of dead-end branches where travel times to the Randstad and other economic important regions are longer than an hour.
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Old April 7th, 2017, 04:00 PM   #3676
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You realize that going from 1500 to 3000V would require a complete renewal of the whole NS fleet ?
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Old April 7th, 2017, 04:05 PM   #3677
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You realize that going from 1500 to 3000V would require a complete renewal of the whole NS fleet ?
They can retrofit the motors, can't they?
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Old April 7th, 2017, 04:09 PM   #3678
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Not really, you have to rebuild all the electronics and it's an expensive and long job. Probably easier on recent stuff (Stadler), while for VIRM or ICM it will probably mean the end of their life.

I don't get why NS is not buying new trains with both voltages, it would make the switch immensely easier.
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Old April 7th, 2017, 04:13 PM   #3679
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Not only the electronics but also all the high voltage cabling insulation. If you have space for the transformer, upgrading for 25 kV is much easier.
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Old April 7th, 2017, 04:22 PM   #3680
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Quote:
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Not really, you have to rebuild all the electronics and it's an expensive and long job. Probably easier on recent stuff (Stadler), while for VIRM or ICM it will probably mean the end of their life.

I don't get why NS is not buying new trains with both voltages, it would make the switch immensely easier.
Ten bucks says the knuckle-draggers haven't even thought about it.

They're probably reading this right now, with a sinking feeling, thinking: "Oh ****."

I see you, NS.
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