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Old August 12th, 2010, 12:53 AM   #281
AlexNL
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
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.
If NS would order more Velaro from Siemens now, they might have them running before the V250's would even be admitted.

You have got to admit that if after over a year of tests the only thing which has been admitted is the pantograph... it's one hell of a crappy train! The comfort levels might be good (I don't know about that) but it sure is a horrible result that anyone should be ashamed of.

Oh, about VIRM on the HSL-Zuid? If they aren't even able to attract enough passengers to fill one ICRm-coach off-peak, a VIRM offers way too much capacity... about 5 times as much It is an interesting thought if VIRM would be retrofitted for 25 kV/ERTMS L2/200 km/h, but mostly because if that would happen those VIRMs could be used on the Utrecht - Amsterdam section.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #282
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And who are these birds that got away?
Running all Asterdam - Rotterdam and beyond services via a high speed line for example.

When the new HSL opened between Bern and Olten all IC's on the Bern Olten route immediately started to use the new line.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 10:43 AM   #283
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
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.
Now what is the choice:
1. wait for all the AB trainsets to be eventually certified and delivered. Time 1-5years (or is there anyone that expects it sooner ?)
2. Break the contract and start a new order 3-5 years
3. Break contract and integrate the line in the normal IC network by retrofitting of an amount of VIRM's 2-3 years.

Possibility 1 is unsure, 2 is expensive and 3 can be introduced gradually.
I don't see why they don't break up the contract, the V250 is a failure and nothing indicates it's gonna change soon.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 11:19 AM   #284
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Originally Posted by pietje01 View Post
1. wait for all the AB trainsets to be eventually certified and delivered. Time 1-5years (or is there anyone that expects it sooner ?)
From what I have understood from somebody who does test runs with the V250 trains, they are a pleasure to ride with, but the list of issues is endless. So nope, don't expect them to be running in passenger service within 2 years.
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2. Break the contract and start a new order 3-5 years
Velaro or Zefiro, please?
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3. Break contract and integrate the line in the normal IC network by retrofitting of an amount of VIRM's 2-3 years.
Unfortunately the Ministry of Transport created this situation themselves, but perhaps a new administration changes things.
Quote:
Possibility 1 is unsure, 2 is expensive and 3 can be introduced gradually.
I don't see why they don't break up the contract, the V250 is a failure and nothing indicates it's gonna change soon.
Easy: a very bad contract with AnsaldoBreda which provides in almost no penalty or escape clauses.

Remember that Bert Meerstadt (CEO NS) said a couple of months ago that they would place a claim of 60 million euro's with AnsaldoBreda? This claim has never been filed, because after intense debating with NMBS, the Ministry and HSA they decided that a different approach would probably lead to better results.

I guess they were afraid that a € 60 million claim would cause AB's bankrupcy.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 12:01 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by pietje01 View Post
3. Break contract and integrate the line in the normal IC network by retrofitting of an amount of VIRM's 2-3 years.
One way would be to use NMBS class 18 with I11 carriages. Ofcourse NMBS will need a replacement, but that could come from keeping the class 13 in passenger service a bit longer, and maybe temporarily trading I11 with ICR cars.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 12:16 PM   #286
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One way would be to use NMBS class 18 with I11 carriages.
Not possible: the HLE 18 will not be equipped with ATB and thus will not be allowed to run on the Dutch railway network.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 12:26 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by pietje01 View Post
3. Break contract and integrate the line in the normal IC network by retrofitting of an amount of VIRM's 2-3 years.
.
If you want to run VIRM sets there without compromising the HSL overall speed (e.g., not affecting Thalys), you would have to make very expensive upgrades to make it compatible with ERTMS-2.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 12:28 PM   #288
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Not possible: the HLE 18 will not be equipped with ATB and thus will not be allowed to run on the Dutch railway network.
I thought that the demand from NMBS was that it would be certified for B, LU, NL and FR ?
I also think that it can be a lot quicker to fit them with ATB then to order a new loc/trainset.

Is it possible to retrofit the ICR cars for 200 km/h ? then all they need is a suitable loc
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Old August 12th, 2010, 12:31 PM   #289
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If you want to run VIRM sets there without compromising the HSL overall speed (e.g., not affecting Thalys), you would have to make very expensive upgrades to make it compatible with ERTMS-2.
Have those costs been calculated?
Please share them with us.
I can assume that the mechanism of the doors of the VIRM has to be reinforced to withstand a relative crossing speed of up to 500 km/h, but I don't know the cost of it

By the way, the speed of Thalys is already compromised (to 160 km/h) due to the fact that the Traxx is limited to ETCS1, so that makes no difference at this moment.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 12:49 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by pietje01 View Post
3. Break contract and integrate the line in the normal IC network by retrofitting of an amount of VIRM's 2-3 years.
.
If you want to run VIRM sets there without compromising the HSL overall speed (e.g., not affecting Thalys), you would have to make very expensive upgrades to make it compatible with ERTMS-2.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 02:47 PM   #291
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It's very acceptable to compromise the overall speed. The Thalys is just a minor part of the proposed HSL-trains. I wouldn't mind if the Thalys would be slowed down to 200 km/h on the Dutch part of the HSL. What would be the delay? Five to ten minutes? Big deal.

Thalys performance is not important. There are more than 10 times as many passengers who would use the HSL for domestic travel. We don't need trains running at 300 km/h because the distances in this country are way too small. It doesn't make sense to run at 300 km/h for just a few minutes.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 03:08 PM   #292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
...

Remember that Bert Meerstadt (CEO NS) said a couple of months ago that they would place a claim of 60 million euro's with AnsaldoBreda? This claim has never been filed, because after intense debating with NMBS, the Ministry and HSA they decided that a different approach would probably lead to better results.

I guess they were afraid that a € 60 million claim would cause AB's bankrupcy.
Generous people!

Maybe they are afraid that there is a good possibility to lose the lawsuit since the contract was changed on the run...
AB is a Finmeccanica company, a company with a revenue of 18 billion of euro, 60 million are very small amount for it.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 03:14 PM   #293
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Originally Posted by pietje01 View Post
3. Break contract and integrate the line in the normal IC network by retrofitting of an amount of VIRM's 2-3 years.
There would be a short term solution: lease more Traxx locomotives and start domestic services with ICL-carriages from Deutsche bahn which were leased by NS before. This could be done in a very short time.

When retrofit VIRM equipment is ready for duty, they can gradually replace temprorary equipment on the HSL, starting with the Traxx+ICL trains which then can return to their owners.

So I prefer an option 4:

4. Break the contract and start more domestic services with Traxx+ICL and existing Traxx+Prio equipment (dec 2010). Meanwhile, start a retrofit program for VIRM to make them capable for service on the HSL. (gradually replacing temporary train within 2-4 years)
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Old August 12th, 2010, 03:23 PM   #294
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It's very acceptable to compromise the overall speed. The Thalys is just a minor part of the proposed HSL-trains. I wouldn't mind if the Thalys would be slowed down to 200 km/h on the Dutch part of the HSL. What would be the delay? Five to ten minutes? Big deal.
It's about 5 minutes, I'd estimate. In fact, if the entire line were build for 200kph a non stop Amsterdam - Rotterdam train could do it in about 20 minutes...
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Old August 12th, 2010, 03:33 PM   #295
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Originally Posted by pietje01 View Post
I thought that the demand from NMBS was that it would be certified for B, LU, NL and FR ?
I also think that it can be a lot quicker to fit them with ATB then to order a new loc/trainset.
Only for BE, LU and FR. The HLE 18's will not go any further into the Netherlands than Roosendaal and Maastricht.
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Is it possible to retrofit the ICR cars for 200 km/h ? then all they need is a suitable loc
The ICR cars are already very noisy at 160 km/h on the HSL, I don't think they will be suited for 200 km/h. It would require changing the bogies.

As for ICL: this has been considered in the past, but the ICL carriages are not suitable for the HSL-Zuid as well because of requirements from Infraspeed (the consortium that is responsible for maintenance e.d.): any train using the HSL-Zuid must be fitted with a closed toilet system, i.e. a bioreactor. ICL just drops the load onto the tracks, just like VIRM-1 to -3 do. Only VIRM-4 is equipped with a bio-reactor.

There are other things, such as an older system for the doors (now considered unsafe), and I believe there were some issues with the space between two cars not being pressure tight.

For VIRM: even if the trainsets would be retrofitted with 25 kV, ERTMS, and bogies capable for speeds up to 200 km/h, they would only serve a purpose for national services. VIRM is out of the normal European loading gauge, so they would cause problems in Belgium (scraping against other trains or bridges), and they would need 3 kV and Memor/TBL support too.

I think the current situation (Traxx + cars) is a more viable option than using VIRM.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 03:42 PM   #296
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Originally Posted by JB Colbert View Post
Generous people!

Maybe they are afraid that there is a good possibility to lose the lawsuit since the contract was changed on the run...
This is so-called "non-conformity". AnsaldoBreda is NOT ABLE to deliver in accordance with the contract. A contract can only be changed when both parties agree. It's just bullshit to say "yes but the contract has changed". And it's bullshit because it is very normal to sign a contract while some specific specifications have to be filled in afterwards.

First, HSA should impose a "ultimate deadline" with a reasonable time for AnsaldoBreda to prove they can match the criteria for delivery. If AnsaldoBreda fails to meet this deadline, HSA can go to court and ask for cancellation of the contract for reason of non-conformity of the product, and because it is highly unlikely AnsaldoBreda can deliver the product described in the contract within a reasonable time.

Believe me, if a manufacturer does screw up like AnsaldoBreda does, it is likely the court will cancel the contract. It is HSA who can make a claim against AnsaldoBreda, which could push them into bankruptcy.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 03:42 PM   #297
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I think the current situation (Traxx + cars) is a more viable option than using VIRM.
If AB really gets kicked out then another train that could be put in to production quite quickly would be the Railjet. I think such a train would be quite suitable for domestic and Amsterdam - Brussel services.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 03:57 PM   #298
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Originally Posted by ArthurK View Post
...
Believe me, if a manufacturer does screw up like AnsaldoBreda does, it is likely the court will cancel the contract. It is HSA who can make a claim against AnsaldoBreda, which could push them into bankruptcy.
There is no chance for this hypothesis.
Take it easy.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 03:58 PM   #299
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Believe me, if a manufacturer does screw up like AnsaldoBreda does, it is likely the court will cancel the contract. It is HSA who can make a claim against AnsaldoBreda, which could push them into bankruptcy.
Correct, but I don't think HSA will do this as it will cost them a lot of money. AnsaldoBreda/Finmeccanica will fight this, and it will become a long battle which could take many months. All this time, HSA would still have to pay for using the HSL-Zuid while the production of trains is halted (why would AB invest in keeping the factory working for the V250's while it's not certain anymore they will be sold?) and HSA has to continue with what they have - Traxx and 160 km/h.

When the battle has finally been won, HSA has to do a new tender, before they can finally give out the order to Bombardier, Siemens, Alstom, Stadler, whatever... European regulations require this because of the inheritance of HSA (90% owned by NS which is 100% owned by Dutch government).

I think that if HSA were to follow this route, we would not have to expect any high speed trains (except Thalys) using the HSL-Zuid until at least 2015, and I am being optimistic here.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
If AB really gets kicked out then another train that could be put in to production quite quickly would be the Railjet. I think such a train would be quite suitable for domestic and Amsterdam - Brussel services.
Railjets would be awesome. One of the ÖBB engines has actually done test runs on the HSL-Zuid at high speed.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 04:20 PM   #300
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It's very acceptable to compromise the overall speed. The Thalys is just a minor part of the proposed HSL-trains. I wouldn't mind if the Thalys would be slowed down to 200 km/h on the Dutch part of the HSL. What would be the delay? Five to ten minutes? Big deal.

Thalys performance is not important. There are more than 10 times as many passengers who would use the HSL for domestic travel. We don't need trains running at 300 km/h because the distances in this country are way too small. It doesn't make sense to run at 300 km/h for just a few minutes.
To the extent I know, if the Hoofdorp-Rotterdam sector had not been temporarily downgraded to accommodate the twin Traxx sets, Thalys would travel 14km at full-speed in that sector. They can also travel 61km at full speed between Rotterdam and Antwerpen/Anvers in services that do not call at Breda (e.g., all Thalys services).

IF the Breda-Rotterdam sector were to be downgraded, it would cost Thalys 8 more minutes or so (on top of the 6 extra minutes it already costs the "downgrade" in from Rotterdam northward). You are than talking about a net loss of 14 minutes between Schiphol and Antwerpen/Anvers!

That is because the downgrade has not only to do with VMax, but also with other operational features of ETCS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurK View Post
There would be a short term solution: lease more Traxx locomotives and start domestic services with ICL-carriages from Deutsche bahn which were leased by NS before. This could be done in a very short time.

When retrofit VIRM equipment is ready for duty, they can gradually replace temprorary equipment on the HSL, starting with the Traxx+ICL trains which then can return to their owners.

So I prefer an option 4:

4. Break the contract and start more domestic services with Traxx+ICL and existing Traxx+Prio equipment (dec 2010). Meanwhile, start a retrofit program for VIRM to make them capable for service on the HSL. (gradually replacing temporary train within 2-4 years)
That would be doomsday. If you start regular (without supplement) services on the route, it will be an instant success in terms of ridership. Then, you will start seeing the same problems we had before HSL Zuid: real FAST trains like Thalys getting curtailed and lowered because the tracks they use are full of NS trains.

Essentially, you'd have Breda-Amsterdam services in 1h05 (Fyra is expected to take 0h54, 11 minutes less, which seems "nothing", but it is a 18% time improvement). But if heavily subsidized pass-holders, 100% subsidized students and so on can use the line without paying extra, they will need something like a 60 daily runs in each direction, maybe more from Rotterdam.

The reason I'm saying that is because the HSL provides a real shortcut between Schiphol and Rotterdam, a sector where delays and overcrowds are frequent and abundant. But people must pay to have the comfort to travel on HSL, otherwise we'll soon see standing passengers cutting travel times in half (in your doomsday scenario) without paying anything more.

If a 18% travel time reduction is nothing, then I don't know what an improvement might be.

Then the next step would say "well, let's just run new 200km/h new Benelux trains to Brussels and that is it, no Fyra anymore"

If you started running faster (200km/h on new tracks) trains on the HSL Zuid-HSL-4 from Brussel/Bruxelles to Amsterdam, you are essentialy killing any possibility of operating a profitable service there at 300km/h that charges supplement. And the whole project was built under the assumption there would be new, improved, with seat-reserving availability, services running on HSL Zuid (I'm not saying it was the best move, but it was done deal).
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