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Old December 2nd, 2009, 11:13 AM   #21
Ivanski
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Some photos form the launch of Varna-Caucasus ferry line , March 2009:





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Old December 2nd, 2009, 08:51 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hans280 View Post
Ah, in that case I stand corrected. But, you must admit that the following text makes believe that this is a newly built line:

"Several new lines with a top speed of 160 km/hr for regular trains and 200 km/hr for tilting trains are being constructed and planned.

The first railway section allowing for higher speed trains in Bulgaria is currently being constructed between the city of Plovdiv and town of Svilengrad, more accurately, to the Captain Andreevo border checkpoint with Turkey."
According to http://www.plovdivsvilengradrailway.com/en/ and www.kuk.de/content/pro/2004-0180/2004-0180-d.pdf (in German) it's just an upgrade of the existing lines.

Quote:
The rest of your argument I just don't agree with. Of course it's less expensive to build for 160 km/h than to build for 200 km/h. But, then again, it's less expensive to build for 120 km/h than to build for 160 km/h. And so on... Where does it end?

There is something like cost-benefit-ratio...?


And there is also the normative force of the factual: Limited availability of money....


Quote:
The European TEN standard, as you probably know, is upgrade to 200 km/h and newly built track for at least 250 km/h. I have no clue whether the railways around Plovdiv are part of the TEN, but I can only repeat my earlier concern about spending other countries' taxpayers' money on solutions that, by the standards of the 21st century, are very much sub-standard.

I'm sure that line is part of a TEN corridor, but the TEN standards are just a guideline. If you applied all standards coming from Brussels everywhere without questioning them from case to case, upgrading the railway network would be much too expensive.

And as I said, many lines for example in Austria, Switzerland or Germany, which are TEN-lines, will remain at top-speeds of 160-200 km/h for the foreseeable future as even current projects on this lines don't plan any further speed-upgrade.


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Old December 3rd, 2009, 01:02 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachalnik View Post
And there is also the normative force of the factual
That is an excellent phrase to use in response to hyperbole, consider it stolen!
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 08:00 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachalnik View Post
According to http://www.plovdivsvilengradrailway.com/en/ and www.kuk.de/content/pro/2004-0180/2004-0180-d.pdf (in German) it's just an upgrade of the existing lines.
I see. It appears to be a combination of upgrades and some newly built stretches, which is billed overall as a line upgrade. Similarly, the line is really enabled for 160 km/h, but they save the seventh veil by adding that "...but tilting trains will be able to do 200 km/h".

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Originally Posted by nachalnik View Post
There is something like cost-benefit-ratio...?
Of course there is. We have this discussion all the time in "my" part of Europe. The French generally take the attitude that, if we are to build a new railway line then either for speeds well above 300 km/h or not at all. Their German neighbours "look at the cost-benefit ratio" and go on and on about "would it be so bad if the train ran at only 250 km/h? It would save over a billion euros and cost only 5-10 minutes? And surely the train shall continue stopping in Offenburg? It always has..."

Consequently the new French highspeed trains are an envy of the world, whereas the Germans struggle to connect even their capital to (other) main cities in less than 4 hours.

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Originally Posted by nachalnik View Post
And there is also the normative force of the factual: Limited availability of money....
It is because of "the normative force of the factual" that many people in times of poverty or war do disreputable, unspeakable things. Nothing wrong with taking a principled stand....

Seriously now, I'm not saying that railway shouldn't be built. All I'm saying is, IMO categorising it as a TEN project is a political swindle of the highest order. The TEN categories say clearly that new lines should be 250+ km/h, whereas line upgrades may be considered HS if they enable 200 km/h. What we have here is a line that is partly new, but (since it's nowhere near 250 km/h) is classified as an upgrade. It enables 160 km/h but the words "200 km/h for tilting trains" is evidently added to the project description in order to clear the second TEN hurdle. An interesting thing to test would be this: is the line equipped, from the outset, with ERTMS or some other signalling system allowing speeds above 160 km/h? If not then the lie is truly exploded.

All I'm saying is, if the Bulgarians want a new railway which - as you said because of limited cash and cost-benefit considerations - falls short of the TEN norms then, fine. They can do whatever they like in their own country. But, IMO they should not receive one cent of EU money for this.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 08:08 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachalnik View Post
According to http://www.plovdivsvilengradrailway.com/en/ and www.kuk.de/content/pro/2004-0180/2004-0180-d.pdf (in German) it's just an upgrade of the existing lines.
I see. It appears to be a combination of upgrades and some newly built stretches, which is billed overall as a line upgrade. Similarly, the line is really enabled for 160 km/h, but they save the seventh veil by adding that "...but tilting trains will be able to do 200 km/h".

Quote:
Originally Posted by nachalnik View Post
There is something like cost-benefit-ratio...?
Of course there is. We have this discussion all the time in "my" part of Europe. The French generally take the attitude that, if we are to build a new railway line then either for speeds well above 300 km/h or not at all. Their German neighbours "look at the cost-benefit ratio" and go on and on about "would it be so bad if the train ran at only 250 km/h? It would save over a billion euros and cost only 5-10 minutes? And surely the train shall continue stopping in Offenburg? It always has..."

Consequently the new French highspeed trains are an envy of the world, whereas the Germans struggle to connect even their capital to (other) main cities in less than 4 hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nachalnik View Post
And there is also the normative force of the factual: Limited availability of money....
It is because of "the normative force of the factual" that many people in times of poverty or war do disreputable, unspeakable things. Nothing wrong with taking a principled stand....

Seriously now, I'm not saying that railway shouldn't be built. All I'm saying is, IMO categorising it as a TEN project is a political swindle of the highest order. The TEN categories say clearly that new lines should be 250+ km/h, whereas line upgrades may be considered HS if they enable 200 km/h. What we have here is a line that is partly new, but (since it's nowhere near 250 km/h) is classified as an upgrade. It enables 160 km/h but the words "200 km/h for tilting trains" is evidently added to the project description in order to clear the second TEN hurdle. An interesting thing to test would be this: is the line equipped, from the outset, with ETCMS or some other signalling system allowing speeds above 160 km/h? If not then the lie is truly exploded.

All I'm saying is, if the Bulgarians want a new railway which - as you said because of limited cash and cost-benefit considerations - falls short of the TEN norms then, fine. They can do whatever they like in their own country. But, IMO they should not receive one cent of EU money for this.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 04:08 PM   #26
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Hans you assume to know an awful lot about these projects when any of a possible millions reasons could justify the approach they have taken.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 11:02 PM   #27
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On the contrary, I know next to nothing. The one single thing I do know is this: I feel awful about my tax money being used to co-finance this kind of project.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 03:03 AM   #28
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then if you have no information how have you decided your position on the validity of the project, and then firmly defended your position?

Last edited by makita09; December 4th, 2009 at 03:18 AM.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 03:34 AM   #29
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to build over 160km/h track it very very expensive..for all countries and especially for smaller countries ...there is very few track in the whole World - except developed counties and other big countries (over 100 mil. population) whom can afford finance it.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 06:17 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makita09 View Post
then if you have no information how have you decided your position on the validity of the project, and then firmly defended your position?
When I say, I have little information, I mean the only information I have is the very parsimonious disclosure that the Bulgarian authorities and the EU have made. It was linked higher up on this thread, but here it is: http://www.plovdivsvilengradrailway.com/en/

As I said, there's not a wealth of information, but enough to establish that this project would normally not have benefited from TEN financing because, as I've said repeatedly, newly built track should normally be laid out for 250 km/h to qualify. Upgrades to 200 km/h may under some circumstances receive TEN funds, but upgrades to 160 km/h would in the past not be considered. (I must admit, though, that on second reading I see that the new line is in fact ETCMS enabled.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marek.kvackaj View Post
to build over 160km/h track it very very expensive..for all countries and especially for smaller countries ...there is very few track in the whole World - except developed counties and other big countries (over 100 mil. population) whom can afford finance it.
Sorry, but that's not true. If you surf the other European threads on this board you'll see that almost all that is built from scratch these days is enabled for 300 km/h. The exception is Spain and France where it's mostly enabled for 350 km/h.

This applies to very small countries as well, such as Belgium and the Netherlands - although, frankly, considering the distances Rotterdam-Amsterdam and Brussels-Liege one wonders why they bother. I suggest you take a look at the Portugal threads as well, which throws an interesting light on their ambitious undertakings on Lisbon-Porto and Lisbon-Madrid. It must be admitted, though, that mountainous countries like Austria and Switzerland have mostly been limiting themselves to 200-250 km/h.

Last edited by hans280; December 4th, 2009 at 06:29 AM.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 12:36 PM   #31
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I can understand why they might not bother with HSR speeds if they are just getting the core network up to scratch first. What I mean is, if the routes concerned will be used heavily for freight and all sorts of local and regional trains, then an HSR just reduces capacity on the line. Introducing really fast passenger trains is fine in countries where there are alternative routes for freight and slow stuff, but perhaps not here. Railways aren't just long distance passenger operations. Without knowing a little bit more about the project it is a shame to write it off as a poor solution for the money. I'll wager its actually preciesly what they need, and HSR will follow on other routes in 20-30 years.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #32
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Hans seems to like to pick on small underdeveloped countries and rave about why they do not build railways like France (he did the same in the Turkish thread). Of course we would be happy to see this kind of investment everywhere, but you have to be a bit realistic. Besides, it is not true that all parts of TEN are 250 k+. Germany, which admittedly could be doing more for its high speed network, operates Berlin-Leipzig (part of TEN 1) at just 200 km/h (an upgrade), because this still gets you from city to city in an hour. South of Leipzig, the line will be built to suit 300km/h.
Bulgaria, one of the poorest countries in the EU, has hardly enough passenger traffic to warrant these kind of investments at the moment, and you all know international passenger traffic in this region is sparse and mostly on the road and by plane and will not pick up until some serious economic and political changes. The main reason Dragoman-Sofia-Svilengrad is being developed as a TEN is the freight traffic.Trucks carrying imports/exports from and to Turkey clog up this road non-stop. Freight trains do not go at more than 160+. Besides, BDZ first has to develop the capacity to deal with operating these lines.
Finally, the introduction of ERTMS is binding for all new and redeveloped lines in the EU.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post
Hans seems to like to pick on small underdeveloped countries and rave about why they do not build railways like France (he did the same in the Turkish thread).
"Rave" is a bit strong, Baron, and I don't pick selectively on small underdeveloped countries. I am generally harsh on lack of progress - and even harsher on lame apologetism for lack of progress - and this principle I apply to all countries, and nowhere more than to my native Denmark. (Albeit, admittedly, the latter mostly in Danish and on other boards than this.)

In the case of Turkey I was amazed that, apparently, they had a piece of 30 km/h railway in direct prolongation of an HS line (a point made much more forcefully by some of my Turkish colleagues here in Paris, I may add); in the case of Bulgaria my concern is mostly that I consider the Plovdiv-border project as a bastardisation of the TEN concept that I care greatly about. I'm a regular critic of the Montpellier-Perpignan and Poitiers-Limoges projects here in France, both of which I consider as pure crap. Perhaps some countries are more sensitive to outside criticism than others?

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Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post
Besides, it is not true that all parts of TEN are 250 k+. Germany, which admittedly could be doing more for its high speed network, operates Berlin-Leipzig (part of TEN 1) at just 200 km/h (an upgrade), because this still gets you from city to city in an hour.
Now you're quoting me for something I haven't said. I have repeated over and over that TEN normally means 250+ km/h in new construction and 200 km/h in upgrading. I'll grant you the French are a bit bitter with the Germans because non-trivial investments in TEN-related lines within France are often either not reciprocated or meet with the most minimalistic response our neighbours can get away with. That said, while the French may privately think the spirit of TEN is "as fast as possible" no one denies that the Germans act within the letter of signed agreements.

The German work on Berlin-Leipzig-Nürnberg, alas, has bigger drawbacks than a bit of upgraded track here and there. Local political considerations make it impossible to bypass any large city, and imperative to draw the line on a far-western trajectory via the provincial capital of Erfurt. In consequence the ICEs - even the "sprinters" going non-stop - will waste oceans of time (1) doing a long detour and (2) bumpling in slow-montion through citycentres.

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Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post
The main reason Dragoman-Sofia-Svilengrad is being developed as a TEN is the freight traffic. Trucks carrying imports/exports from and to Turkey clog up this road non-stop.
Thanks for the clarification. Well, at least that explains the single-track stretches: with freight rail it doesn't matter so much.

Last edited by hans280; December 5th, 2009 at 11:22 AM.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 09:30 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by makita09 View Post
I can understand why they might not bother with HSR speeds if they are just getting the core network up to scratch first. What I mean is, if the routes concerned will be used heavily for freight and all sorts of local and regional trains, then an HSR just reduces capacity on the line. Introducing really fast passenger trains is fine in countries where there are alternative routes for freight and slow stuff, but perhaps not here.
Makita, I begin to see what you mean: I probably misunderstood the nature of the Plovdiv-border railway extension. What threw me was the somewhat "boastful" statements from the Bulgarian authorities about how fast trains can travel on this new(ish) route. I assumed that they had billed it as a highspeed line and, as we both know, this project falls well short of the European TEN Guidelines on high speed.

If, as I now seem to sense, it was approved as a freight line project then the picture is quite different. Paragraph 3 of the Guidelines say "The conventional rail network shall comprise lines for the conventional transport by rail of passengers and freight, access links to sea and inland ports of common interest and those freight terminals which are open to all operators." Connecting central Bulgaria with the deep sea port of Istanbul would certainly fall in this category.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 11:03 AM   #35
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The port is not really the thing, Bulgaria has its own ports at Varna and Burgas. But the idea would be to transfer the imports and exports between Turkey and the EU from the road to rail. Turkey produces much fruit and vegetables that are consumed on the European market, plus textiles, some electric products such as refrigerators... It is quite dependent in its imports on the EU too.
In these countries with neglected rail infrastructure, any kind of improvment in train speeds is often called "high speed". The problem is however that Turkey has planned (but not started) a "real" high speed line on its side leading up to the Bulgarian border at 250 km/h, while apparently planning to leave the freight on the old slow, curvy tracks. That would confuse things quite a bit. On the rational of high speed vs. conventional construction I quote
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Originally Posted by Rail_Serbia View Post
The problem is that isn't bit more.
- On high speed lines there are no employ with lesses then finished faculty
- On high speed line you need to close traffic evry day (usualy night 00-06) for maintance. On line 160km/h that is only 2h.
- The most of freight trains are for speeds <=100km/h or <=120km/h. There are no economical reason to make high speed freight trains (especialy some 1-2% of freight). Pushing trains with low speed and high speed pushing down the capacity. (compare with driving car behind old lorry on narrow road)
- Construction of high speed need high standards, and it is very expensive. Kilometer of HSR is 15.000.000-100.000.000 eur (high costs are with tunnel sections and earthquakes), but conventional double truck line can be only 3.000.000-10.000.000 eur.
- For HSR sometimes is used 3,3% rise, when for freight trains is best <1,0% rise.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 12:20 PM   #36
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posted by Avtomat
Speed limit between Katunitza and Popovitza has now been raised to 160 km/h Unfortunately BDZ doesn't have locomotives capable of such speeds...

Some pics from SoAlien on http://www.90minuti.info/bgrail/forum/ :










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Old January 26th, 2010, 12:37 PM   #37
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sofia central railway station





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Old January 26th, 2010, 12:50 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stelian View Post
posted by Avtomat
Speed limit between Katunitza and Popovitza has now been raised to 160 km/h Unfortunately BDZ doesn't have locomotives capable of such speeds...
Thanks for the update, but where are Katunica and Popvica? Could not find them on any map.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 12:50 PM   #39
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central station in Sofia from above :

Zaharna fabrika(sugar factory)station in Sofia



Sofia sever(north) station:

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Old January 26th, 2010, 01:10 PM   #40
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Thanks for the update, but where are Katunica and Popvica? Could not find them on any map.
These are two villages.Katunica is about 11 km east of Plovdiv and Popovica is about 28 km east of Plovdiv.I will try to find a map
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