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Old July 7th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #561
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Does anyone know how to see this video in Europe?
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Old July 8th, 2011, 04:35 AM   #562
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Can't play the video two posts ago since "it's not selected to be available for my country". I guess it would be possible to play it through a proxy server, but those generally try to block out videos since they use quite a bit of bandwidth...

Greetings,
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Old August 8th, 2011, 02:47 PM   #563
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Arriva angry at possible Dutch state deal over high-speed services

From NRC by DutchNews
Quote:
Bus and train operator Arriva has threatened to take the Dutch state to court if it reduces the fee Dutch Rail (NS) pays to operate high speed train services, the NRC reports.

A consortium of the NS and Air-France KLM won the contract to operate high speed trains in the Netherlands 10 years ago, agreeing to pay an annual fee of €148m.

But so far, the service is heavily loss-making and, the Telegraaf reported on Tuesday, the government and NS are looking for a solution.

One option, the paper said, is to merge the high-speed and normal rail systems into a single franchise package, which would lead to a fee reduction.

But if this happens, Arriva director Anne Hettinga said legal action will follow. Arriva is now owned by Deutsche Bahn, which lost out to the NS during the high speed service tender process. The NS is a state-owned company.

Stupid

'If we had been so stupid as to bid a high price, the state would never have given us a discount. The NS is being rewarded for mismanagement,' Hettinga is quoted as saying.

Deutsche Bahn offered just under €100m a year in fees to run high speed train services.

The infrastructure and environment ministry has confirmed talks are under way with NS but declined to give any details. The NS owns 90% of the operating company, Air-France KLM has the remaining 10%.
I agree somehow with Arriva. It the financial troubles of HSA are not solvable, they should put it to tender, not just absorb it into NS. That would be, AFAIK, a breach of new rules of European Union in regard of fair competition in rail markets of high-speed services.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 07:36 PM   #564
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Re-tendering the HSL-Zuid won't make the problem go away, it will just create new ones. So far, NS has planned to scrap some intercity services between Rotterdam and Amsterdam to replace them with more Fyra services, which is also necessary because of limited capacity between Schiphol and Amsterdam Centraal.

Should NS lose the HSL concession, I am 100% sure they will revert those plans and give a high speed operator no chance of expanding high speed services (until the government or the operator invests in extra capacity).

Furthermore, the passenger won't benefit from this situation at all: currently, whenever there's a disruption on either HSL or the classic route, trains can be diverted through The Hague or passengers can be allowed to take the Fyra. This will go away if a competitor of NS takes over the HSL-Zuid.

Therefor, I think that HSL and the rest of the railway network (Hoofdrailnet or HRN for short) should be integrated into one single package.

However, this doesn't mean NS should keep it: the current HRN-concession ends end 2014, and can either be given to NS or tendered. I feel that the entire HRN should be tendered, as not to reward NS for their misconduct: the troubles with the Sprinter trains, the winter problems (twice in a row), not meeting the agreed-upon punctuality, and the HSL drama.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 09:53 PM   #565
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I think they can do this without breaking the EU rules, if they handle it clever.
I also agree that the HSL should be integrated with the HRN, like most of us already knew for ages, but they'll first have to make a strong case to survive the complaints of Arriva/DB.

I also agree that the HRN should be tendered and not automatically be given to NS, it might keep NS sharper to serve their customers, if not it all ends for them and noone will miss them.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:59 PM   #566
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pietje01 View Post
I also agree that the HRN should be tendered and not automatically be given to NS, it might keep NS sharper to serve their customers, if not it all ends for them and noone will miss them.
But should it be tendered as one package, or maybe split in a few parts?
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Old August 9th, 2011, 02:32 PM   #567
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If it's reasonably possible to split the HRN, it can be a good choice, it all depends on the possibilities of the infra.
I think it would be very good if IC trains are run by a different company than the local trains, especially in the Randstad area. Also the IC network can be split over 2 or more franchises, each with their own connections.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 10:25 PM   #568
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I don't think you can reasonably split the HRN. Most of the regional lines are already tendered as regional concessions. The remaining lines have a mix of IC's and train that stop at intermediate stations. The country is not that big. It can be seen as a big metro-system. Everything running as a takt system, with trains every 15 minutes (soon every 10 minutes).

If they want to have multiple operators on the mainlines, they first need to fix the OV-chipkaart (national public transit smartcard) so that you do not need to check in/out for each separate operator as is now the case on the regional lines. Customers should not need to care who is running the trains, just that they are running frequently enough.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 04:44 AM   #569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeroenMostert View Post
If they want to have multiple operators on the mainlines, they first need to fix the OV-chipkaart (national public transit smartcard) so that you do not need to check in/out for each separate operator as is now the case on the regional lines. Customers should not need to care who is running the trains, just that they are running frequently enough.
If they have enough check-in totems, that shouldn't be an issue, it takes 4-6 seconds to complete the operation. Even in Rotterdam Metro, which is a subway with much more frequent services, you can find stations (Blaak) where certain transfers require you to check-out and check-in in two different gates (a station that was not originally designed as having an isolated gated area).

In any case, they should make upgrades to the system to allow for this split-revenue control based on check-in/check-out stations for the beggining and end of the journey only.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 07:15 AM   #570
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeroenMostert View Post
I don't think you can reasonably split the HRN. Most of the regional lines are already tendered as regional concessions. The remaining lines have a mix of IC's and train that stop at intermediate stations. The country is not that big. It can be seen as a big metro-system. Everything running as a takt system, with trains every 15 minutes (soon every 10 minutes).

If they want to have multiple operators on the mainlines, they first need to fix the OV-chipkaart (national public transit smartcard) so that you do not need to check in/out for each separate operator as is now the case on the regional lines. Customers should not need to care who is running the trains, just that they are running frequently enough.
I would keep tariffs integrated, so that it doesn't matter to the customer. But you could split eg the IC "star" around Utrecht in one company, and the Amsterdam (Den Haag) - Rotterdam - Brabant/Limburg routes in another.
The advantages of having several franchises is that you can benchmark their performance, and so avoid that when you give subsidies they don't first go in to masking inefficiencies...
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Old August 10th, 2011, 05:30 PM   #571
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Which is more or less the British model.

If you want to bring that to the Netherlands, you'll also need to bring in the Office of Rail Regulation, the independent safety and economic regulator for Britain's railways. And you'll need to bring in the Association of Train Operating Companies as well.

ATOC offers:
- A central clearing house for the train operators, allowing passengers to buy tickets to travel on any part of the rail network, from any station, through the Rail Settlement Plan
- A customer service operation, giving passengers up-to-the-minute information on train times, fares, reservations and service disruption across the country, through the National Rail Enquiries (NRE)
- A range of discounted and promotional railcards, cutting the cost of travelling by train for groups including young people, families, senior citizens and people with disabilities, through Commercial activities

In the Netherlands, most of the work done in Britain by ORR and ATOC is currently done by NS. If the HRN were to be split up, that has to change. You can't have one company that's responsible for those things while other companies that perform similar services on different parts of the network are dependant upon a competitor.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 04:23 PM   #572
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
In the Netherlands, most of the work done in Britain by ORR and ATOC is currently done by NS. If the HRN were to be split up, that has to change. You can't have one company that's responsible for those things while other companies that perform similar services on different parts of the network are dependant upon a competitor.
The problem with the British franchise model is that the franchises are too much of a micromanaged operation. As such, they have little, if any, freedom to innovate, buy new rolling stock with long-term plans in mind etc.

On the other hand, NS can't just sell its trains on the secondary market should it lost the franchises because there would be no trains left to run in Netherlands on the medium term. Put other way, the franchises would be compelled to buy NS rolling stock. Or lease it - but the problem, then, is that there is little room for improvement, and the government will keep deciding which rolling stock should be used, or not.

Then, there is the lingering V250 contract. I doubt a private contractor would like to embrace the risks associated with the V250 contract.

Otherwise, I agree that it is needed to remove systemic roles, such as coordinating ticket selling, from NS and put it in hands of an independent authority. The organization around the OV Chipkaart is a good start.
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Old October 25th, 2011, 01:12 PM   #573
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Usage of High Speed Line Zuid

I quote the following table for passenger usage of HSL-Zuid for Fyra and Thalys.

kwartaal = quarter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxd View Post
^thanks!

Tabel 2: Reizigersaantallen Fyra en Thalys
Code:
                     Fyra      Thalys
2010 – 1e kwartaal    92.000   323.000
2010 – 2e kwartaal   149.000   437.000
2010 – 3e kwartaal   152.000   464.000
2010 – 4e kwartaal   215.000   422.000
2011 – 1e kwartaal   553.000   393.000
2011 – 2e kwartaal   688.000   512.000
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Old October 25th, 2011, 03:51 PM   #574
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Interesting.

Why did Fyra's ridership jump 100% between 4Q 2010 and 1Q 2011?

It also appears Thalys' ridership is depressed 1Q of both years, but Thalys has more of a ramp of increasing usage in general. Fyra has a ramp, then a jump, and then another jump...Is the equipment keeping up?
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Old October 25th, 2011, 03:53 PM   #575
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
Interesting.

Why did Fyra's ridership jump 100% between 4Q 2010 and 1Q 2011?

It also appears Thalys' ridership is depressed 1Q of both years, but Thalys has more of a ramp of increasing usage in general. Fyra has a ramp, then a jump, and then another jump...Is the equipment keeping up?
Thalys: normal seasonality + accident on Bruxelles 2010-1

Fyra: increase on frequency + service to Breda
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Old October 25th, 2011, 03:57 PM   #576
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Fyra: increase on frequency + service to Breda
Ah, that would explain it.
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Old October 25th, 2011, 04:03 PM   #577
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Thalys: normal seasonality + accident on Bruxelles 2010-1

Fyra: increase on frequency + service to Breda
They also significantly lowered the surcharge for the service...
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Old October 25th, 2011, 05:22 PM   #578
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Indeed, and the surcharge will remain on the current price level throughout 2012, however an inflation correction will be applied to the prices of tickets and passes.

During rush hour, people often have to stand on Fyra trains nowadays.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 09:19 PM   #579
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HSL-Zuid loses another € 300 million

Despite increased ridership, HSL-Zuid keeps losing money as Fyra services don't start. The last accrued loss was of € 300 million, according to this news article (Dutch)

The ministry for infrastructure wants regular trains to use the line as well as it is flopping because of Fyra delays. However, in my opinion, they completely miss the point that at least, on the best case scenario, 14-18 months would be needed before existing and viable Dutch rolling stock could be fit with signaling equipment and systems to run over HSL-Zuid. And only a handful of newer trains can develop the needed speeds over HSL-Zuid. Older stock cannot run there no matter what.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 12:25 AM   #580
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The quickest way to get more trains on the HSL-Zuid is to use the ICRm rolling stock. These coaches are similar to the ones already used on Fyra, yet they're used for intercity services combined with a class 1700 locomotive. Swap the locomotive for a Traxx, Prima 2 or Eurosprinter, and you're almost good to go.
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