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Old February 17th, 2011, 09:24 AM   #461
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NS Reizigers would have to pay way more to use HSL-Zuid than it pays Pro-Rail. Even more, Thalys trains already travel at 250km/h on HSL-Zuid and the HSL-4 in Belgium. HSL doesn't have sidings to allow lower NS rolling stock to yield to faster Thalys trains, which would mean one of the following:

- Thalys trains would be slowed down (and any other further services)

- Only V250 or other stock meant to ride at 250km/h and above would be allowed on the line, bringing issues of compatibility with the rest of the network, something not planned when orders where placed with AnsaldoBreda.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 09:44 AM   #462
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NS Reizigers would have to pay way more to use HSL-Zuid than it pays Pro-Rail. Even more, Thalys trains already travel at 250km/h on HSL-Zuid and the HSL-4 in Belgium. HSL doesn't have sidings to allow lower NS rolling stock to yield to faster Thalys trains, which would mean one of the following:

- Thalys trains would be slowed down (and any other further services)

- Only V250 or other stock meant to ride at 250km/h and above would be allowed on the line, bringing issues of compatibility with the rest of the network, something not planned when orders where placed with AnsaldoBreda.
Firstly in Belgium 200kph IC trains run on the same routes as 300kph Thalys trains. On a short stretch this is not such a problem. (And the current Fyra service only runs at 160 kph even...). The distance from Amsterdam to Rotterdam is only 60 km.
Secondly the AnsaldoBreda V250 stock is compatible with the conventional NS network.It would be impossible to use it if it weren't. When this stock was ordered it was planned to use them for services on the conventional network. This is still planned.
Thirdly NS has IC stock that could run at 200 kph.

So technically it is possible. Please pay a bit more attention to the facts.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 10:49 AM   #463
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Firstly in Belgium 200kph IC trains run on the same routes as 300kph Thalys trains. On a short stretch this is not such a problem. (And the current Fyra service only runs at 160 kph even...). The distance from Amsterdam to Rotterdam is only 60 km.
Secondly the AnsaldoBreda V250 stock is compatible with the conventional NS network.It would be impossible to use it if it weren't. When this stock was ordered it was planned to use them for services on the conventional network. This is still planned.
Thirdly NS has IC stock that could run at 200 kph.

So technically it is possible. Please pay a bit more attention to the facts.
I don't think IRCM and similar stock could ride HSL-Zuid without major refurbishment. In any case, any of the solutions would mean the Dutch state taking a € 2,1 bln. tab for HSA as "sunk losses", as regular services couldn't ever pay, at the conditions presently set, for the financial debt burden of HSA (the company who own the infrastructure of HSL-Zuid).
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Old February 17th, 2011, 11:53 AM   #464
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I don't think IRCM and similar stock could ride HSL-Zuid without major refurbishment. In any case, any of the solutions would mean the Dutch state taking a € 2,1 bln. tab for HSA as "sunk losses", as regular services couldn't ever pay, at the conditions presently set, for the financial debt burden of HSA (the company who own the infrastructure of HSL-Zuid).
Ouch...

First... who's talking about ICRm coaching stock at 200 km'h? vIRM can run at 200 km'h and is prepared to run under 25Kv.
Secondly HSA doesn't own anything, even not the trains. HSA is only an administrative body who holds the concession to operate trains on the HSL-Zuid. HSA pays NSHispeed to operate the trains for them.
Thirdly, HSL-Zuid is an asset of the Dutch ministry of transport which sells capacity to anyone who wants to operate trains on the line, however special terms and conditions apply regarding the HSA concession in relation to domestic services.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 01:49 PM   #465
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Ouch...

First... who's talking about ICRm coaching stock at 200 km'h? vIRM can run at 200 km'h and is prepared to run under 25Kv.
Secondly HSA doesn't own anything, even not the trains. HSA is only an administrative body who holds the concession to operate trains on the HSL-Zuid. HSA pays NSHispeed to operate the trains for them.
Thirdly, HSL-Zuid is an asset of the Dutch ministry of transport which sells capacity to anyone who wants to operate trains on the line, however special terms and conditions apply regarding the HSA concession in relation to domestic services.
Thanks for clarification. In any case, hasn't HSA agreed to pay a huge sum of money for the exclusive rights to use HSL-Zuid for domestic services? Isn't that money coming from HSA the mains income source predicted to ultimately pay for the construction of HSL-Zuid?

If they just integrated HSL-Zuid in the regular network without any supplement, and with regular train sets, how could they ever recoup money from the V250 running to Brussel/Bruxelles? Ability to charge more for whole NL-B trips would be severely limited.

I am not saying I support the scheme designed, but once it is what's in place, greater care should be taken no to take HSA into bankruptcy. That could trickle problems in the NS Hispeed - AnsaldoBreda contracts for the V250. We could end up with a situation in which HSA *AND* NS Hispeed risk financial ruin, meaning V250 fleet would be at risk. How could NS Hispeed make money if they can't charge more for premium domestic services? Those are some arguably the best trains Netherlands have ever contracted (though the ICE3 puts a good challenge), and the whole contract with AnsaldoBreda could be at jeopardy if the scheme collapse.

A no-supplement required for domestic services policy would mean some savvy travelers from Belgium would rather start buying expensive tickets only to Breda, using domestic tickets or an OV-Chipkaart to travel for far less in the same train for the remaining of their journey. Unless you had all those gate systems in place to allow price discrimination on the same train on solely basis of point of embarkation, it wold be hard to keep milking the international passengers, and NS Hispeed could, also, face bankruptcy.

The only way out would be the government recognize losses as sunk costs and charge it to the annual budget. In other others, recognizing the project's financial engineering failed, and failed large - a measure that would yield significant political repercussions.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 02:41 PM   #466
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I am not saying I support the scheme designed, but once it is what's in place, greater care should be taken no to take HSA into bankruptcy. That could trickle problems in the NS Hispeed - AnsaldoBreda contracts for the V250.
Actually getting rid of the V250 (and sinking Ansaldo Breda in the process) would be a good thing. These trains are arguable _not_ the best thing ever ordered by the Dutch Railways.

Quote:
A no-supplement required for domestic services policy would mean some savvy travelers from Belgium would rather start buying expensive tickets only to Breda, using domestic tickets or an OV-Chipkaart to travel for far less in the same train for the remaining of their journey.
Savvy travellers would always find their way.
But the way that I would liek to see it is with the following services:
1) Domestic intercities Amsterdam - Rotterdam - Breda and beyond.
2) International Service Amsterdam - Rotterdam - Antwerpen - Brussel.
2b) nice to have: International Service Breda - Antwerpen - Mechelen - Brussels Airport - Brussel.
3) Thalys Amsterdam - Rotterdam -Antwerpen - Brussel - Paris. Concentrates on the to/from Paris market.
4) Whatever other open access operators wish to run, eg DB Amsterdam - London.

It is possible on the current infrastructure to have 6 train paths per hour for 200 kph trains for 1), and 6 train paths per hour for 250 - 300 kph services to be shared by 2),2b),3) and 4).

1), 2) and 2b) get integrated in the Dutch - Belgian IC network, with a similar, km based tariff, although a small surcharge might be justifiable.
3) and 4) can charge whatever they please...
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Old February 18th, 2011, 03:22 AM   #467
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In my opinion, HSL-Zuid should never have been built either (upgrade the classic route through Leiden instead!). But it's there so we might as well use it, and luckily Thalys does. Ridership on Thalys went through the roof so that's a good thing.

However, we can still kill Fyra. The entire business case for Fyra is based on way too optimistic expectations, a business case which can't even be found anymore. A new business case has been made which turned out far less optimistic than the first one. Also, after running Fyra trains for a year and a half the public's opinion about Fyra is "expensive, unreliable and unneccessary". The Dutch aren't willing to pay more for so little gain and have proven it - they clearly vote with their money.

Getting rid of AnsaldoBreda as an entity would be a good thing for the railway industry. While the technical competency is obviously there (they are able to build trams and trains) they are terribly bad at scheduling and planning and have been like this for like 10 years. Get rid of AnsaldoBreda and merge their activities into Stadler and/or Alstom.

Even if HSA were to collapse it would probably be hard to get rid of the V250 trainsets: NS Hispeed will lease these trains from NS' rolling stock leasing company: NS Financial Services based in Ireland. The collapse of NSFSC is very unlikely, but also very undesired, as NSFSC owns most of the Dutch rolling stock including loco's, VIRM, SLT, you name it.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 08:38 AM   #468
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THE HSL-Zuid is an effective shortcut between Hooffdorp and Rotterdam, it cuts the route's length by 38%. Moreover, to make the Hooffdorp-Rotterdam railway 4-track all the way, costs would soar, particular if you wanted a similar project (one that allows trains to bypass, at full speed, stations Leiden, Den Haag HS and Delft). Some stretches are narrow, meaning wither demolition near downtown areas (unpopular) or tunneling (very expensive in the same areas) would have to be done.

So costs would have been high anyway. South of Rotterdam, situations wouldn't be much different near Dordrecht.

As another forumer posted, Fyra ridership soar with reduced or waived supplements. Let's see how figures goes when the extension of services to Breda opens in April. When the Benelux trains will be discontinues with Fyra going into Belgium, passengers will not have much options anyway, except travelling to Roosendal and then takin a regional train to Beligum, and changing again there (too much time consuming).
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Old February 18th, 2011, 12:07 PM   #469
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But why discontinue the current Benelux service?
It makes profit and would make even more profit if it was using rolling stock of 200 km/h and would go via the HSL-Zuid.
I bet the rideship would be enough to have 2 trains per hour or double-deckers.

So I'm also waiting for someone to pull the plug on Fyra
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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:11 PM   #470
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As another forumer posted, Fyra ridership soar with reduced or waived supplements. Let's see how figures goes when the extension of services to Breda opens in April. When the Benelux trains will be discontinues with Fyra going into Belgium, passengers will not have much options anyway, except travelling to Roosendal and then takin a regional train to Beligum, and changing again there (too much time consuming).
Many Dutch now even drive their cars to Essen and take the regional train there. You underestimate the willingness of the Dutch to endure some discomfort in order to save a few Euros...
You also underestimate the extra cost imposed on travellers when you force them to commit to a specific departure. Ridership on cross border trips to Antwerpen will be low if spur of the moment travel is no longer possible, or very expensive.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:29 PM   #471
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But why discontinue the current Benelux service?
It makes profit and would make even more profit if it was using rolling stock of 200 km/h and would go via the HSL-Zuid.
I bet the rideship would be enough to have 2 trains per hour or double-deckers.

So I'm also waiting for someone to pull the plug on Fyra
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Many Dutch now even drive their cars to Essen and take the regional train there. You underestimate the willingness of the Dutch to endure some discomfort in order to save a few Euros...
You also underestimate the extra cost imposed on travellers when you force them to commit to a specific departure. Ridership on cross border trips to Antwerpen will be low if spur of the moment travel is no longer possible, or very expensive.
I am not saying I agree with the model of giving Fyra such protection (discontinuing Benelux trains), but that is how contracts were signed and that is why HSA agreed to paid millions to use the line.

Fyra trains will be essentially Benelux trains, without the stops in Den Haag Hollandspoor and Roosendal and more costly. They will be terminated so Fyra becomes the option of choice. If that is too expensive, there is always the great A16 highway as an alternative But I will not go down that road.

The prices will only increase because the arrangement was made to pay for HSL with higher priced tickets. If they decide to take the losses and not charge much more for high-speed service, drop amenities like reserved guaranteed seats and so, Fyra will get fully loaded on peak times.

Thalys already saw a surge on passengers in NL, even those travelling only from Amsterdam to Brussels.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:54 PM   #472
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...Fyra will get fully loaded on peak times.
...which is exactly the purpose of the railways since 1804.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 02:05 PM   #473
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...which is exactly the purpose of the railways since 1804.
But if Fyra is run like Benelux trains, that would mean stranding passengers, which means decreased comfort, and less attractiveness for the commuter. So they should come up with a system of gate-sealed platforms that, even without ticket reservations, do not allow more people to board than the number of seats available. It should be quite easy to manage that with electronic-only ticketing system, even without seat reservation or time-specific reservation.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 02:07 PM   #474
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A better solution would simply be adding more trains.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 02:48 PM   #475
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But if Fyra is run like Benelux trains, that would mean stranding passengers, which means decreased comfort, and less attractiveness for the commuter. So they should come up with a system of gate-sealed platforms that, even without ticket reservations, do not allow more people to board than the number of seats available. It should be quite easy to manage that with electronic-only ticketing system, even without seat reservation or time-specific reservation.
Actually, the thing that I liked about the Shinkansen in Japan. They had reservation only cars (which I booked into as I know they get very crowded) and they have non-reservation cars. This way it satisfies both types of passenger demand - the turn up and go and the planned transport.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 05:54 PM   #476
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Fyra will have those cars as well IIRC
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Old February 18th, 2011, 07:58 PM   #477
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But if Fyra is run like Benelux trains, that would mean stranding passengers, which means decreased comfort, and less attractiveness for the commuter.
Standing passengers are passengers that rather stand on this train than sit on the next. How does limiting their choice increase their value?

Quote:
So they should come up with a system of gate-sealed platforms that, even without ticket reservations, do not allow more people to board than the number of seats available. It should be quite easy to manage that with electronic-only ticketing system, even without seat reservation or time-specific reservation.
Even gate sealed platforms won't avoid standing passengers. What about same or cross platform transfers (something a good system has lots of...)
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Old February 18th, 2011, 11:58 PM   #478
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From what I've understood, plan is that for all cross-border Fyra trains reservation is compulsory, just like Thalys and Eurostar. This would prevent the overcrowding issue that Suburbanist talks about, because the booking system knows when a train is full.

I just don't expect this plan to work: most Dutchmen wanting to travel to Belgium by train will opt for the classic route to Roosendaal and change to a Belgian domestic train there, such as the local service to Antwerp. Or they might go straight to Essen by car and choose one of the intercity services starting from there.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 02:45 PM   #479
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But if Fyra is run like Benelux trains, that would mean stranding passengers, which means decreased comfort, and less attractiveness for the commuter. So they should come up with a system of gate-sealed platforms that, even without ticket reservations, do not allow more people to board than the number of seats available. It should be quite easy to manage that with electronic-only ticketing system, even without seat reservation or time-specific reservation.
Eh?

So watching your train leave without you is more comfortable than standing? Maybe if there are sofas at the station you're stranded at, with free commiseration cocktails being delivered by helpful station staff and some buddhist monks to help you with your anguish maybe. However I'm sure for most people having their day's plans ruined is not a sacrifice worth making for some peculiar box-ticking exercise that allows the infrastructure managers to boast that everyone on the train is comfortable.

I do wonder about some of the things you say. The primary function of transport is to get somewhere. I repeat my first point though.....Eh?
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Old February 19th, 2011, 06:24 PM   #480
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Eh?

So watching your train leave without you is more comfortable than standing? Maybe if there are sofas at the station you're stranded at, with free commiseration cocktails being delivered by helpful station staff and some buddhist monks to help you with your anguish maybe. However I'm sure for most people having their day's plans ruined is not a sacrifice worth making for some peculiar box-ticking exercise that allows the infrastructure managers to boast that everyone on the train is comfortable.

I do wonder about some of the things you say. The primary function of transport is to get somewhere. I repeat my first point though.....Eh?
Thalys trains attract a low of commuters, if not daily ones, on the Brussles-Paris route. And it doesn't take standing passengers, which adds to the perceived quality of the service, allowing it to brand itself as worth their rather expensive last-minute fares. If your train is full, take the next one - or plan in advance.
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