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Old May 30th, 2011, 09:53 PM   #521
pietje01
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But the problem is that nobody still believes everything will be running as planned in the next 12 months and even then it's still the question if the new trainsets will prove reliable.
If the end up being something like the Cisalpino or something, the confidence will not come before the sevice collapses entirely.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 09:58 PM   #522
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That's indeed the bigger problem right now, to make it even work properly.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 11:28 PM   #523
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How was the NS service between Hofplein and Den Haag HS via the Zoetermeer?
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Old May 31st, 2011, 10:45 AM   #524
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NS Hispeed comes across as insecure when it comes to their communications about serving Brussels by Fyra. A little while ago, there was a news article which started with the quote "If all goes well", attributed to the commercial director of NS Hispeed. They have been very careful when it comes to giving dates for the V250 trains, surrounded by words like "hopefully" and "we expect".

If not even NS Hispeed is confident about the services they are to offer, then how do they expect us to be?
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Old May 31st, 2011, 12:34 PM   #525
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Doesn't Thalys have any new rolling stock on the pipeline, such that some of its current stock could be diverted/leased/sold to NSA operate some premium Bruxelles Midi-Anterwpen-Rotterdam-Schiphol-Amsterdam services?

Among its contemporaries, Thalys has the best HST rolling stock.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 01:10 PM   #526
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Well, the first of 55 new TGV Duplex trainsets has been delivered to SNCF yesterday. Those Duplexes are suited for the major catanary systems in Europe. So theoretically speaking, TGV Duplex could be used for the Thalys service to Amsterdam. What you're proposing is possible.

Yet, it won't happen. The current Thalys rolling stock (PBA and PBKA) is only 15 years old and just had its midlife revision. Those trains are intended to last for another 10 or 15 years until they get replaced.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 02:15 PM   #527
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Doesn't Thalys have any new rolling stock on the pipeline, such that some of its current stock could be diverted/leased/sold to NSA operate some premium Bruxelles Midi-Anterwpen-Rotterdam-Schiphol-Amsterdam services?

Among its contemporaries, Thalys has the best HST rolling stock.
I suggested this on the Dutch forums to great ridicule a few weeks ago. I don't think it will happen either, but it seems a good idea.

You don't need new rolling stock, you can just expand the current Thalys service. To artificially get 'more' rolling stock available you could break up some services in Brussels, letting Thalys stock run Brussels - Amsterdam and using the old TGVs that SNCF uses for TGV services to Brussels for the Brussels - Paris part.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 02:43 PM   #528
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They would need to ditch the Benelux trains and operate the route as a reservation-only train. Which is not a bad idea in my opinion, but would draw opposition from some. Thalys is less expensive, actually, if you buy those cheap € 29 tickets from Schiphol/Amsterdam to Belgium, than normal Benelux fares. At the last moment, they cost more (as they should), up to € 71 if I'm not wrong.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 07:25 PM   #529
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
They would need to ditch the Benelux trains and operate the route as a reservation-only train. Which is not a bad idea in my opinion, but would draw opposition from some. Thalys is less expensive, actually, if you buy those cheap € 29 tickets from Schiphol/Amsterdam to Belgium, than normal Benelux fares. At the last moment, they cost more (as they should), up to € 71 if I'm not wrong.
Benelux trains are supposed to disappear once the Fyra services with the
V250 trainsets are in commercial operation. This planned move generates
indeed a lot of opposition, and political parties are sensitive to that, both
in Belgium and in the Netherlands. So we will see if this plan finally
materializes. On the other hand, if there is a window of opportunity for
slower, non-reserved, and less expensive trains on that route, we may hope
that a private investor will jump in and provide the service.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 07:43 PM   #530
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
They would need to ditch the Benelux trains and operate the route as a reservation-only train. Which is not a bad idea in my opinion, but would draw opposition from some. Thalys is less expensive, actually, if you buy those cheap € 29 tickets from Schiphol/Amsterdam to Belgium, than normal Benelux fares. At the last moment, they cost more (as they should), up to € 71 if I'm not wrong.
Ok, we can do that. However, we need to try out passenger response first so we have elected YOU to be the only person to test fare differentation and compulsary registration on ALL your trips for the next 6 months.

Let's just say that if you decide to go on a trip (this includes your daily commute, the trips to the supermarket as well as going out for sporting, bars or drinks) right now, you pay € 1 for each kilometer you walk. However, if you carefully plan your trip 2 months in advance you only pay € 0,02 per kilometer. Careful tho, if you miss your schedule your reservation will be void and you will go back to € 1 per kilometer.

How does that sound?
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Old May 31st, 2011, 08:41 PM   #531
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
How was the NS service between Hofplein and Den Haag HS via the Zoetermeer?
The Zoetermeer Line was a branch line of the Hofpleinlijn. The services from Hofplein to Den Haag Centraal (they stopped going to HS in 1975). At the end it was a half hour interval service with some extra trains during rush hour. After the conversion the frequency was increased in steps, it's now 4 trains every hour on all service hours. It will be increased to 6 trains per hour when the link to the Rotterdam metro is completed.


~~~
Isn't the TGV Duplex unsuitable to be used to the Netherlands because they have the doors on the lower floor. I heard that it's even not allowed to have a step down from the platform into the train.

~~~
As for a reservation only Benelux service. I rather see an increase of frequency of the Thalys, people that want to book early can use that service. The new Benelux service could then be just a regular service, maybe with a small surcharge just like the Fyra now. It always has been a train that has been part of the national IC network, I see no reason why this should end when the service is diverted to the HSL.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 09:58 PM   #532
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[QUOTE=MarcVD;78774818]Benelux trains are supposed to disappear once the Fyra services with the
V250 trainsets are in commercial operation. This planned move generates
indeed a lot of opposition, and political parties are sensitive to that, both
in Belgium and in the Netherlands. So we will see if this plan finally
materializes.[/quotes]

I suppose HSA have a contractual monopoly guarantee on the route once the Fyra services opens, excluding only an all-stop service from Roosendal to Essen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
Ok, we can do that. However, we need to try out passenger response first so we have elected YOU to be the only person to test fare differentation and compulsary registration on ALL your trips for the next 6 months.

Let's just say that if you decide to go on a trip (this includes your daily commute, the trips to the supermarket as well as going out for sporting, bars or drinks) right now, you pay € 1 for each kilometer you walk. However, if you carefully plan your trip 2 months in advance you only pay € 0,02 per kilometer. Careful tho, if you miss your schedule your reservation will be void and you will go back to € 1 per kilometer.
That makes no sense. However, the differences in prices are not that high on Thalys, just a factor or 3,2 at the most extreme cases. It is enough, though, to allow people with known travel schedules to purchase tickets in advance, guarantee a seat (Fyra will be all-seat, whilst the crappy Benelux trains accept people standing on an international journey, something that reminds me of underdeveloped countries) and save money enough to buy your return ticket and another outward journey

Yet, those who are without schedule can book tickets couple minute before departure and still have a seat guaranteed. Train trips will be safer and more comfortable and you know in which rail car to look for your seat, and instead of travelling standing, you wait another hour for the next train.

How can that be a bad thing? I know some people feel a profound sense of "unfairness" that in a same train, same day and time one is paying x and other is paying 3x for same seats. But that is life: advance planning pays off.

If you are really unpredictable in your journeys, you can always use your car, which doesn't require a reservation, planning or anything. Just a stop at the gas station, which you can make the morning after your trip btw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Momo1435 View Post
Isn't the TGV Duplex unsuitable to be used to the Netherlands because they have the doors on the lower floor. I heard that it's even not allowed to have a step down from the platform into the train.
Yes. Dutch platform clearance, is I'm not wrong, is 760mm whilst in France it is 580mm

Quote:
As for a reservation only Benelux service. I rather see an increase of frequency of the Thalys, people that want to book early can use that service. The new Benelux service could then be just a regular service, maybe with a small surcharge just like the Fyra now. It always has been a train that has been part of the national IC network, I see no reason why this should end when the service is diverted to the HSL.
NS will use the paths to operate domestic trains to increase the number of daily trains on the Hooffdorp-Schiedam line and also on the Dordrecht-Vlissingen (via Roodsendal) line. One will still be able to travel in non-Fyra trains, changing at Antwerpen, Rotterdam and Leiden/Den Haag NOI.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 11:44 AM   #533
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One will still be able to travel in non-Fyra trains, changing at Antwerpen, Rotterdam and Leiden/Den Haag NOI.
You mean that piece of shit stopper train between Antwerpen and Roosendaal? Give me a break.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 06:58 PM   #534
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Had another problematic trip with NS Hispeed this week.

On the way out (north), the previous train was cancelled and while I got a seat, most of the people getting on at Brussels Central didn't. People stood throughout the train for the entire journey to Den Haag.

On the return, the train was showing as delayed by 40 minutes on the screen, but the NS website was saying it was cancelled. Eventually I asked a member of staff at Rotterdam who said it was only running to Roosendaal. She took me to the ticket office and got me to wait in line to get my ticket upgraded to Thalys - else I would have missed my Eurostar connection if I was delayed an hour. The lady in the office said she couldn't give me a new ticket, but if I asked the Thalys train manager when it arrived I could probably ride for free.

I went back to the platform and the original IC train rolled in. The screens were still showing Brussels Zuid, so I asked the driver who said it still was going there. I took a chance - it should have arrived with 5 minutes to spare before the 30 minute Eurostar check in period on that schedule, so I jumped on anyway. Well the train got slower and slower, seemingly stuck behind local stoppers. I made it to Brussels with 11 minutes to spare before the Eurostar departed. Too close in my book - and I wanted to buy something to eat and drink.

That's two trips with NS Hispeed now that are just a bit too much hassle. I've never had a problem with Thalys on that route and I think I will pay the extra to use them in the future.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 07:58 PM   #535
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You mean that piece of shit stopper train between Antwerpen and Roosendaal? Give me a break.
Yes, from Roosendaal. It will still be possible for anyone whining about not wanting to reserve a ticker in advance with excuses like "I don't know when I'll be done with shopping in Bruxelles and maybe I will have early dinner there, but I still want to be able to decide at the last moment OMG they want me to decide now" to travel on trains, if they don't want to drive: Belgian Intercity to Antwerpen + stoptrein international to Roosendaal + Intercity to Rotterdam (and from there to other points in the network).
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 08:36 PM   #536
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33hz: I had the exact same thing a couple of weeks ago. The OBB-rented coaches broke down at Roosendaal station (doors would not close). I had to wait for the next train which would have a planned 10 min transfer for the 10-minutes last call check-in time (Eurostar lets you do 10 usually if you call/something happens). Delay -> 5 minutes. I took a sprint and made it, as one of the only of the large group of Eurostar travellers supposed to make that connection. It was the last Eurostar of the day, too.

And then the same thing a month before that when the Benelux broke down at Schiphol. By being quick, loud and obnoxious I got a Thalys ride. At first they said they couldn't do it like you write, but after a while they gave in
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 09:10 PM   #537
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Yes, it doesn't bode well for Railteam if the staff don't know whether you can change to another member company in situations like this.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 09:34 PM   #538
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 33Hz
Yes, it doesn't bode well for Railteam if the staff don't know whether you can change to another member company in situations like this.
Railteam isn't worth much anyway, it's just a marketing name like the airway alliances (such as Star Alliance). The railway companies only cooperate when they really have to.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 10:46 AM   #539
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Yes, from Roosendaal. It will still be possible for anyone whining about not wanting to reserve a ticker in advance with excuses like "I don't know when I'll be done with shopping in Bruxelles and maybe I will have early dinner there, but I still want to be able to decide at the last moment OMG they want me to decide now" to travel on trains, if they don't want to drive: Belgian Intercity to Antwerpen + stoptrein international to Roosendaal + Intercity to Rotterdam (and from there to other points in the network).
Ridiculous hypotheses aside:

The point is that the rail industry these days are trying their best to take everything we hate about air travel and implementing it. Baggage checks, safety checks, rigid reservations.

All of that would be acceptable if trains were faster than planes.

But they're not.

And to worsen the situation, they're abolishing choice. If you wanna take a decent train to Belgium in the future, you're stuck with a "high speed" (which it isn't, as anyone who's ever traveled between Antwerp and Brussels can testify) train that requires you to book a family visit 3 months in advance or pay through the nose for it and you can't take a regular intercity anymore because, why sheesh, that's just gone.

All of which will lead people to... drive a car.

Well done. Really. Excellent business plan.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 10:58 AM   #540
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You forgot to add losing restaurants and replacing it with crap food...
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