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Old August 9th, 2010, 06:10 PM   #261
K_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB Colbert View Post
The Ansaldo problems are due to the fact that they haven't a single interface, i.e. the customer, in this case the HSA, but a dozen of interlocutors.
On the paper the customer is HSA but in practice there are NS, SNCB and some others, each of them have own requests and these are different for the different parts.

Other kind of problems are listed below:
  1. The production tools must be conserved for 30 years (how many V250 would be constructed in 2040?).
  2. The standards of the train are not freezed after the signature of the contract.
  3. The national rules, omologation procedures, in minimum details as well, but of wich the absolute respect is required, are different and conflictual, not only as Netherlands vs Belgium but between different boards inside the two nations.
  4. The above procedures were changed on the run.
  5. The two national infrastructure managers, Infabel and Prorail, have different technical and normative characteristics, often in contrast between them, at least incompatible with the request
On the other hand Alstom had no problem building TGV sets that met the requirements of all the parties involved. Siemens also seems capable of building trains that can run in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France...
So I think the blame for the late delivery of the V250 sets lies mostly with Ansaldo - Breda.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 05:39 PM   #262
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@K
I forgot to mention that the tests, by contract, would be executed for the 80% on the belgian network and for the 20% in Netherland, for 7 days per week, for a maximun of 8 hour, during night and day.
Subsequently was imposed that the test had to be executed only on belgiam network; some times later was imposed tests only during the night, subsequently test only in the weekend, 3 nights per week for a maximum of 4 hours and so on.
To meet delivery times AB has decided to send in Belgium other 2 trains for test but Infrabel not allow to use these 2 trains for testing because only 1 train is permitted for test on the network.

When you talk about Alstom or Siemens trains you talk about a product tested years ago and configured; the V250 is a new train and must be tested, if Infrabel or Prorail not allow the tests will be very difficult to respect the delivery timetable.


By the way, the Siemens ICE-T bogies are affected of severe defect that constrain to repair and test them often.
The Alstom Pendolino bought by Trenitalia and classified as ETR600 (ETR610 for Switzerland) had a lot of problems, was a calvary the tests.
As you see even other train constructors have problems.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 08:57 AM   #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB Colbert View Post
@K
I forgot to mention that the tests, by contract, would be executed for the 80% on the belgian network and for the 20% in Netherland, for 7 days per week, for a maximun of 8 hour, during night and day.
Subsequently was imposed that the test had to be executed only on belgiam network; some times later was imposed tests only during the night, subsequently test only in the weekend, 3 nights per week for a maximum of 4 hours and so on.
To meet delivery times AB has decided to send in Belgium other 2 trains for test but Infrabel not allow to use these 2 trains for testing because only 1 train is permitted for test on the network.
The trains should all have been delivered by 2007, In stead by summer 2008 one half finished train could start doing tests. Looks like the manufacturer has a lot to answer for. I don't see how this could have been the railway's fautl.



Quote:
By the way, the Siemens ICE-T bogies are affected of severe defect that constrain to repair and test them often.
The Alstom Pendolino bought by Trenitalia and classified as ETR600 (ETR610 for Switzerland) had a lot of problems, was a calvary the tests.
As you see even other train constructors have problems.
The bogies for the ICE-T trains were build by Fiat. The Alstom Pendolino were also build in Italy. I'm starting to see a pattern here...
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Old August 11th, 2010, 10:27 AM   #264
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
The trains should all have been delivered by 2007, In stead by summer 2008 one half finished train could start doing tests. Looks like the manufacturer has a lot to answer for. I don't see how this could have been the railway's fautl.
If you don't see is not my fault.

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The bogies for the ICE-T trains were build by Fiat. The Alstom Pendolino were also build in Italy. I'm starting to see a pattern here...

The problems of Pendolino were not on the bogies, moreover the italian Pendolino, built by Fiat Ferroviaria (now Alstom), never had problems with bogies.
What I posted are deed, not suppositions, and I don't want a stupid nationalistic discussion.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 12:22 PM   #265
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But the statement of AB that they can't build a train if they don't know the version of ETCS is not realistic, the version can always be adapted if the train is fully assembled. If not it's just poor design from AB.

The difficult coöperation from Infrabel or Prorail is something AB had to check before they committed to a delivery schedule. Infrabel and Prorail are not the customers, so it's not their fault that the train has to be modified if a test is not succesful.

AB can't expect that large portions of a network that is in use, be taken out of use so they can test and test and test ...
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Old August 11th, 2010, 02:28 PM   #266
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB Colbert View Post
If you don't see is not my fault.
I could say the same thing about you...

Ansaldo Breda had promised to deliver all sets by 2007. In fact however they didn't even have a single finished set by that time.
Fact is that Ansaldo Breda was extremely late in delivering trainsets to DSB too.

They give all the impression of being a very inept company.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 03:14 PM   #267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
...
Ansaldo Breda had promised to deliver all sets by 2007. In fact however they didn't even have a single finished set by that time.
Fact is that Ansaldo Breda was extremely late in delivering trainsets to DSB too.

They give all the impression of being a very inept company.
If the customer has changed the rules on the run how can someone respect the delivery timetable?!?
Even AB claims the respect of the contract.

@pietje01
The time usage of infrastructure was on contract and this was changed on the run too.

Chapter DSB:
DSB's IC3 has a ZF 5-speed mechanical transmission, built by Scandia Randers.
After this DSB choosed to have ZF mechanical transmission 16-speed on IC4; the only one company that has accepted this kind of parameters was AB, probably was an evaluation error.
Infact the biggest problem was put into dialog the four engines with the four transmissions.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 03:31 PM   #268
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB Colbert View Post
After this DSB choosed to have ZF mechanical transmission 16-speed on IC4; the only one company that has accepted this kind of parameters was AB, probably was an evaluation error.
Now we're getting somewhere, I think that AB makes a little bit too much evaluation errors and this is giving them a bad name.

The fact that AB just accepted changes 'on the run' implies to me that they were themselves not ready with their production and wanted an excuse to deliver late.

Fact is that the mechanical part of the first set was not ready in time.

If they were in time, they should have produced a working set, without the ETCS and that could have been tested on schedule.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pietje01 View Post
Now we're getting somewhere, I think that AB makes a little bit too much evaluation errors and this is giving them a bad name.
Probably yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pietje01 View Post
...
The fact that AB just accepted changes 'on the run' implies to me that they were themselves not ready with their production and wanted an excuse to deliver late...
It is your supposition.
I didn't read and I don't know which clauses has the contract about withdrawal.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 04:15 PM   #270
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But the Amsterdam - Paris market isn't big enough to justify building a HSL. The most popular destination for Dutchmen south of the Belgian - Dutch border is Antwerpen. The railways ought to concentrate on getting the whole corridor Brussels - Amsterdam running as efficiently as possible. Fast timings on Amsterdam - Paris would have been a still possible.
It doesn't need to justify it on its own. A high speed line serves many connections. They make it worth building it altogether. A HSL cuts time between Amsterdam and Antwerpen in the same way as it does between any other city along its way. You kill several birds with one stone.

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Travel speeds on non-upgraded conventional railway lines were often allready 140kph and more. On upgraded lines speeds of 220 kph are possible.
I meant average speed when I wrote travel speed.

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What we have now, with the HSL, is a travel time of 1h55 minutes. As I have pointed out before: The distance is only about 240km via the old line. The new line is a bit shorter about 220 km (but if someone has an exact figure, please correct me).
The average speed of ouar 300 kph train is 115 kph...
First of all it takes only 1:39 h from Amsterdam to Bruxelles. But the poor average speed are a consequence of the discontinuous nature of HSL Zuid. On the real high speed section of the line between Rotterdam and Antwerpen an average speed of 190 km/h is achieved.

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I repeat again: If the whole corridor had been upgraded, with four tracks from Leiden all the way to Dordrecht, vMax of 220 kph, and a new line from Antwerpen to Breda, also build to 220kph trip time of under 2 hours on Amsterdam - Brussels would have been possible too. Overal travel times would have been shorter for more passengers though, and it would have cost a lot less.
What you propose isn't particular cheap either. A railway line designed for top speeds of 220 km/h is hardly cheaper than on with vmax of 300 km/h in lowlands. You neither save money by quadrupling existing lines through urban areas. And in the end you don't even achieve the time savings of a properly designed HSL.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 04:43 PM   #271
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(double post due to timeout :-( )

Last edited by pietje01; August 11th, 2010 at 05:10 PM.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 04:51 PM   #272
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Old August 11th, 2010, 06:11 PM   #273
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It doesn't need to justify it on its own. A high speed line serves many connections. They make it worth building it altogether. A HSL cuts time between Amsterdam and Antwerpen in the same way as it does between any other city along its way. You kill several birds with one stone.
You can indeed "kill several birds with one stone", but to continue the metaphor, the way it's done now a lot of the birds, even easy ones, are getting away.

Quote:
First of all it takes only 1:39 h from Amsterdam to Bruxelles. But the poor average speed are a consequence of the discontinuous nature of HSL Zuid. On the real high speed section of the line between Rotterdam and Antwerpen an average speed of 190 km/h is achieved.
According to the Thalys website it's currently 1h54...
The discontinous nature of the line is indeed the problem. Which is why it wouldn't have needed to be a 300kph line.


Quote:
What you propose isn't particular cheap either. A railway line designed for top speeds of 220 km/h is hardly cheaper than on with vmax of 300 km/h in lowlands. You neither save money by quadrupling existing lines through urban areas. And in the end you don't even achieve the time savings of a properly designed HSL.
Well in the end a lot of that is going to be build anyway. And that you can achieve good time savings with incremental increases you see when you compare Germany with France.
From Switzerland to Belgium I usually am faster via Germany than via France, even though France has more dedicated HSLs, and top speeds are higher.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 06:53 PM   #274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
What you propose isn't particular cheap either. A railway line designed for top speeds of 220 km/h is hardly cheaper than on with vmax of 300 km/h in lowlands. You neither save money by quadrupling existing lines through urban areas. And in the end you don't even achieve the time savings of a properly designed HSL.
I don't believe a 220 km/h line is hardly cheaper in our "lowlands". The soil in the area is very bad and the forces exerted by a train running at 300km/h are a lot higher. A smoother alignment needed for going faster also means you have more problems avoiding expensive area's of land (because of buildings for instance) in the highly populated area. The 50km Hanelijn built for 200km/h costs about 900 million while the hsl-zuid costs over 6 billion (is that the right translation for "miljard"?).
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Old August 11th, 2010, 07:10 PM   #275
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I don't believe a 220 km/h line is hardly cheaper in our "lowlands". The soil in the area is very bad and the forces exerted by a train running at 300km/h are a lot higher. A smoother alignment needed for going faster also means you have more problems avoiding expensive area's of land (because of buildings for instance) in the highly populated area. The 50km Hanelijn built for 200km/h costs about 900 million while the hsl-zuid costs over 6 billion (is that the right translation for "miljard"?).
I'm sorry, but you can't just compare construction conditions of a Lelystaad-Zwolle line in Flevoland with the HSL project. In the former, you are actually accounting for... rail construction.

In the latter, the € 6 bln. budget includes a lengthier route (remember: it is HSL all the way to Belgian border), 3 very expensive tunnel bypasses done not by engineering reasons (like presence of buildings) but to protect the environment and abate noise, and the signaling of HSL Zuid is revolutionary, or so I was told.

The € 6 bln. also account for state-of-the-art rolling stock.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 08:12 PM   #276
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I found the following posting on the Dutch website OpeensHadIkHet.nl (Suddenly I had it, which was a marketing phrase used by NS to find new personnel a couple of years ago). I have done my best to translate it to English, but since I am not an expert at technical terms there might be flaws in the translation:
Quote:
Marc-sch wrote on OpeensHadIkHet:

The Amsterdam - Breda Traxx-Fyra test runs have been cancelled immediately (this week because of track works between Rotterdam and Dordrecht, but after that until further notice). The EMC related problems that we have seen before around Hoofddorp also cause a problem on the Moerdijk - Breda part of the route. To avoid any risks, several measures are being taken. At present, this is done by limiting the number of trains and the maximum current drawn by each trains, meaning:

On the north section (Schiphol - Rotterdam):
- an unlimited amount of Fyra-trains with a single Traxx loc combined with a maximum of two Thalys trains, where the traction current is limited to a max of 411A
- max two Thalys trains with a maximum current of 500A per train (this can be interpreted as two coupled Thalys-sets).

On the south section: (Rotterdam - Antwerp):
- at max two trains with a maximum traction current of 500A per train, which comes down to one train per track
- one coupled Thalys set

These measures mean that the Prio-sets would need the entire track (stretching from Rotterdam to Antwerp) for themselves. This is not possible when combined with the Thalys services already using the tracks, therefor the test runs have been cancelled until further notice.

ProRail and the Ministry of Transport are working on completely solving the EMC problems, by taking these measures:
- modifying the safety systems on the conventional track
- adding additional technical systems to reduce the impact of the electro magnetic current
- adding more base stations (transformers)
- making alterations to the first generation of VIRM rolling stock.

It is expected that all this work will be completed halfway through 2011, which should permanently eradicate EMC problems.

All in all it has become incrtain that Fyra services from Amsterdam will be possible starting december 2010. On the 23rd of August the decision will be made whether or not the testing runs will continue. However, the Fyra frequency on Amsterdam - Rotterdam will double starting October 4th, bringing the total to 2 trains per direction per hour.
"EMC is the phenomenon that equipment, machinery or other electrical objects produce strong magnetic fields, which interfere with the magnetic fields of other nearby devices and systems. The ATB safety system works with weak magnetic fields, the ATB receptors of the VIRM-1 train sets are affected by this."
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Old August 11th, 2010, 09:06 PM   #277
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You can indeed "kill several birds with one stone", but to continue the metaphor, the way it's done now a lot of the birds, even easy ones, are getting away.
And who are these birds that got away?
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Old August 11th, 2010, 10:37 PM   #278
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB Colbert View Post
If the customer has changed the rules on the run how can someone respect the delivery timetable?!?
Even AB claims the respect of the contract.

@pietje01
The time usage of infrastructure was on contract and this was changed on the run too.
Do we have an AnsaldoBreda employee in the house?

The testing period was two years LATER than in the contract, so that's not something AB can complain about...

It might be true that SOME specifications were changed, but this doesn't explain why AnsaldoBreda wasn't able to deliver anything at all. AB just didn't had the capacity because the Danish became very frustrated and angry about Ansaldo's continuing unperformance and imposed an ultimatum on AB: deliver the 14 IC4-trainsets ready for commecial operations by the end of the year, or we cancel the entire contract.

We're heading for a same scenario with the V250-trainsets. All trainsets had to be delivered in 2007. Now, three years later, not a single trainset is ready for commercial operations. And it is very unlikely any trainset will be certified soon. In fact, the pantograph is the only thing certified. Those V250-trainsets are a joke and should be returned to Italy asap.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 10:48 PM   #279
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...the Danish became very frustrated and angry about Ansaldo's continuing unperformance and imposed an ultimatum on AB: deliver the 14 IC4-trainsets ready for commecial operations by the end of the year, or we cancel the entire contract.
AnsaldoBreda delivered 15 trainsets to the Danish just a couple of weeks before the deadline (somewhere in may 2009 if I remember correctly) expired. However, the trainsets hadn't been approved yet... eventually DSB renegotiated the contract with AnsaldoBreda.

AnsaldoBreda will pay € 300 million back to DSB, and by 2012 all 83 IC4 trains will have been delivered to DSB, along with 23 IC2's. Of course, only time will tell if they are able to meet this deadline: the IC4-project started in 2000...
Quote:
We're heading for a same scenario with the V250-trainsets. All trainsets had to be delivered in 2007. Now, three years later, not a single trainset is ready for commercial operations. And it is very unlikely any trainset will be certified soon. In fact, the pantograph is the only thing certified. Those V250-trainsets are a joke and should be returned to Italy asap.
I agree with that. I think that the best thing that could happen for anyone is the cancellation of the V250 trains (the ones that have been built already can be disassembled), the dissolving of HSA and a massive restructuring at AB to prevent future failures like the DSB and HSA ones. If not, let AB go bankrupt or bought by Stadler or something.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 12:01 AM   #280
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Quote:
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I think that the best thing that could happen for anyone is the cancellation of the V250 trains (the ones that have been built already can be disassembled), the dissolving of HSA and a massive restructuring at AB to prevent future failures like the DSB and HSA ones. If not, let AB go bankrupt or bought by Stadler or something.
God forbid! That would only add the delays of the operation of HSL Zuid/HSL-4. The Nederlandse Spoorwegen has no spare VIRM transets to retrofit into these routes, and the 10 V250 are badly needed, with or without delays.

It would take many months to upgrade the VIRMs to run on HSL at ERTMS-2. Nowadays, Thalys services already spend 8 extra minutes because the new HSL between Hoofdorp and Rotterdam has been "degraded" to allow Fyra-Traxx operation with ERTMS-1 and VMax 160 km/h.

Scrapping the V250 would either leave the new HSL idle, or obligate its "downgrade" to 200km/h until new ETCS-2 trains can be bought.

So that would be disaster: a brand new lines where no trains can run, only Thalys.
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