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Old June 3rd, 2017, 10:20 AM   #36301
italystf
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A big obstacle to international train traffic, and not an easy one to fix, are different gauges adopted by different countries. Fortunately most of Europe adopts the same gauge, but there are some borders where trains have to change wheels, and it requires a lot of time (France-Spain, Poland-Lithuania,...).
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 02:16 PM   #36302
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This sounds like a nice idea, a hotel for the weekend stayover....

But where are these truckers going to park their truck near a hotel? The far majority of rest areas do not have a hotel and most hotels don't have truck parking.

Furthermore, how is this going to be enforced? Sorry, you can't drive because you're out of hours, so walk 20 kilometers to the nearest hotel?

Or: the driver is responsible for the load, but can't stay with it because he needs to be put in a hotel?

It seems like typical bureaucrat proposals without regard for the real world conditions.
=> The only purpose of this proposed EU regulation is protectionism of German and French markets against spedition companies from Eastern Europe. Germany has recently adopted this regulation.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 02:58 PM   #36303
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The same could be said for ridiculous tolls on Alpine tunnels, Danish straits bridges, etc... or for vignettes that must be purchased at full prices even if you drive 10 km (Bregenz? Koper?).
Infastructure is in its essence a public good. It doesn't make much sense to try it internalize the costs of it (aside e.g. from the axle load damage caused by freight vehicles).

It makes sense to internalize the construction costs of the infrastructure pieces that are very costly and specifically utilized by others than those who bear the costs.

Indeed we are talking about some tunnels, bridges, sections that connect e.g. two countries, but the country in which they run doesn't use them that much, etc etc.

Some of those problems can be addressed e.g. on the EU level, when those specific points become again a Public Good, because they increase the value added of the whole network. Then they could be simply financed from the common budget instead of the budget of one country only.


Trying to internalize the costs of infrastructure network by charging km based tolls is killing the whole purpose of this infrastructure network from the economic point of view. It's not a coincidence that toll based motorway networks thrive in southern European countries, and that those countries face competitiveness problems. Moving this to the EU level is simply stupid.

Imagine a public transport system in a city that doesn't make network passes possible but always charges distance fees. Its the same kind of nonsense.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 09:13 PM   #36304
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With vignettes there are always some routes where motorists have to pay a steep toll for a short stretch.

But on the other hand, an Austrian 10-day vignette will cost you the same as less than an hour of driving on the French or Spanish toll road.

Well, who believes motoring tax reforms will actually benefit drivers? Taxation only goes up except for some botched environmental incentive schemes. You could drive the large Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV almost for free in the Netherlands, while in practice most drivers consume 10-12L/100 km because they never or rarely charge the vehicle. Electric car incentives only benefit the wealthiest segment of the population. If you're used to buy a car for around € 10,000, you're not going to buy an almost tax-free € 90,000 Tesla. It's welfare for the rich.
i dissagree about Austria. ok, there is vignette, but Sondermaut ruins it totally, it is really expensive. i think without it Asfinag would be in problems.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 09:38 PM   #36305
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The Sondermaut is expensive on some routes indeed, but you're overestimating its importance to Asfinag. The Sondermaut system makes up only 9% of Asfinag toll revenue. The truck toll is responsible for two-thirds of the toll revenue.
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Old June 4th, 2017, 01:45 PM   #36306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italystf View Post
A big obstacle to international train traffic, and not an easy one to fix, are different gauges adopted by different countries. Fortunately most of Europe adopts the same gauge, but there are some borders where trains have to change wheels, and it requires a lot of time (France-Spain, Poland-Lithuania,...).
1. There is not many places with this problem. In Europe: especially the borders with Finland, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova and the French-Spanish border. I cannot think of anything else. Maybe somewhere in Caucasus too, I don't know. Most of the European borders do not suffer from this.

2. A very simple solution is one, where the passengers have to change the train at the border station - the most important thing is too maintain a common ticket offer and to keep the connection between the trains, so that one waits for another, which is delayed (or passengers are allowed to take the next one, if it departs so soon that the waiting makes no sense and has room for them). Both things work now in the domestic train travels, so there is no reason why they couldn't work internationally, except someone must coordinate that on the international level. Actually, train connections (so that trains wait for one another) work internationally even now. A common ticketing system also exists, but it doesn't take into account the special offers of the carriers and the pricing is adjusted to the western Europe only - it makes the international train travels in the East absurdly expensive.

3. Another solution are longer section tracks in the "wrong" gauge towards the nearest bigger city or something like that. For example, thanks to a standard gauge section of tracks in Lithuania (where broad gauge is normally used), you can take a direct train from Białystok in Poland to Kaunas in Lithuania. Unfortunately, it's a regional-style train. But it's possible to start a typical long-distance train on this route - from Warsaw or even from Berlin, or anywhere closer than Spain - too.

4. Technology also comes to play here. There are systems which allow changing of the gauge of the train "on the fly", like the Spanish Talgo or the Polish SUW2000.
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Old June 4th, 2017, 04:49 PM   #36307
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It is not only due to railway gauge, but also to different voltages. For instance, voltages are different between Italy and France, and only special dual-voltages locomotives can run on both systems.
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Old June 4th, 2017, 04:53 PM   #36308
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The solution if for the whole of continental Europe to move towards 25 kV, 50Hz AC power supply for railways.
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Old June 4th, 2017, 10:31 PM   #36309
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The solution if for the whole of continental Europe to move towards 25 kV, 50Hz AC power supply for railways.
It is much cheaper to build a multi-voltage rolling stock than rebuild the power infrastructure.
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Old June 4th, 2017, 10:37 PM   #36310
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With modern power electronics, the support for different voltages and systems (AC/DC) is not a problem at all. There is much more advanced power electronics on the locomotive than just a voltage conversion (which is present there anyway).
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Old June 4th, 2017, 11:11 PM   #36311
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With modern power electronics, the support for different voltages and systems (AC/DC) is not a problem at all. There is much more advanced power electronics on the locomotive than just a voltage conversion (which is present there anyway).
It is not a problem, but it is not free of extra cost either.
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Old June 5th, 2017, 12:40 AM   #36312
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Yes, but the extra cost is small compared to the price of the whole locomotive. It doesn't explain the high prices of international train travels (much higher than domestic ones in the Central and Eastern Europe).
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Old June 5th, 2017, 01:10 AM   #36313
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The Sondermaut is expensive on some routes indeed, but you're overestimating its importance to Asfinag. The Sondermaut system makes up only 9% of Asfinag toll revenue. The truck toll is responsible for two-thirds of the toll revenue.
i forgot about truck tolls indeed.
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Old June 5th, 2017, 10:03 AM   #36314
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It is not a problem, but it is not free of extra cost either.
The biggest problem is not the cost (which is not enormous but it is not small either) but mostly the fact that it is impossible to rebuild power infrastructure piece by piece like you can do that in construction sense. First you must build new complete power system in parallel and then suddenly in one moment switch to new system - with all the new trains too. That is too complicated so just new high capacity or high speed railways have 25 kV (just in countries that otherwise have different system). Non 25 kV systems will stay in EU for decades.
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Old June 5th, 2017, 11:29 AM   #36315
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The biggest problem is not the cost (which is not enormous but it is not small either) but mostly the fact that it is impossible to rebuild power infrastructure piece by piece like you can do that in construction sense. First you must build new complete power system in parallel and then suddenly in one moment switch to new system - with all the new trains too. That is too complicated so just new high capacity or high speed railways have 25 kV (just in countries that otherwise have different system). Non 25 kV systems will stay in EU for decades.
Exactly. It is doable, but there is no business case to do it.

Instead of buying all new trains, the old locomotives could be retrofitted to dual-voltage input. Most probably no business case either.

Last edited by MattiG; June 5th, 2017 at 11:30 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old June 5th, 2017, 10:58 PM   #36316
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The Warsaw Commuter Railway (WKD) has recently switched from 600 V DC to 3 kV DC.

Initially it was built as a more tram-like network, hence the 600 V voltage.
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Old June 5th, 2017, 11:09 PM   #36317
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in Croatia we have switched the last remaining 3 kV between Moravice and Jelšane (around Rijeka) to 25 kV 4-5 years ago. but those are only lone projects.
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Old June 6th, 2017, 02:26 AM   #36318
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Something odd I've noticed in the forums is the tendency for our Slavic friends to misspell "length" as "lenght".

Neither are particularly phonetic, of course. But I would pronounce them differently. "Length" ends with that weird English th-thingy -- the one that becomes T or D in most Germanic languages and can be approximated with F -- while "lenght" comes across sounding like Lent. Literally.
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Old June 6th, 2017, 03:13 AM   #36319
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being Canadian I've seen "lenght" from a lot of francophone people over the years
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Old June 6th, 2017, 08:59 AM   #36320
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Last year I took the IELTS testing. Since it is internationally covered, I was curious about the success rate by countries. Surprisingly, the worst results were from anglophone countries (English-speakers are required to pass it as well in order to apply for visa in another country). I asked my native-speaking teacher about that and he just answered laughing: "They underestimate the preparation phase because they think they know it".

Everyone does mistakes. There are pretty much things in Slovak language I am still not sure about yet.
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