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Old December 13th, 2012, 02:30 PM   #681
woutero
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On the Dutch part of this forum, people are keeping score on how this new train is performing. The numbers are quite startling:

Monday 10-12-2012: 90% delayed, of which 15% (partly) canceled.
Tuesday 11-12-2012: 80% delayed, of which 10% (partly) canceled.
Wednesday 12-12-2012: 75% delayed, of which 20% (partly) canceled.
(thanks to user busfotodotnl for the numbers)
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Old December 14th, 2012, 01:37 AM   #682
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Are Thalys trains between Brussels and Amsterdam 12 minutes faster because they stop in fewer places? Is it more expensive to use them instead of Fyra?
If I'm not mistaken, Thalys is using the shorter line 25n between Mechelen and Brussels, Fyra still the old 'Benelux' line.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 10:42 AM   #683
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Between Rotterdam and Amsterdam, the Fyra V250 is timetabled for 160 km/h as this fits better in the timetable (where other Fyra trains also run at 160 km/h). Once all Fyra's are operated with V250 the timetable will be altered.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 01:41 PM   #684
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Between Rotterdam and Amsterdam, the Fyra V250 is timetabled for 160 km/h as this fits better in the timetable (where other Fyra trains also run at 160 km/h). Once all Fyra's are operated with V250 the timetable will be meaningless.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 01:05 PM   #685
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Fyra haters have been all over Twitter and other social networks complaining about its performance. Fair enough, its first week in service was plagued by delays, cancellations and a couple of hideous bus substitution between Breda and Antwerpen.

Now, things are running smoother. Delays, when they happen, are now almost always occurring on northbound trains.

From the HHF subsection I got this link where it is possible to monitor the performance of Fyra trains (Dutch only).

Couple days ago I traveled on Fyra to Belgium for the first time. The V250 has an awesome external design and some cool internal features such as vestibule doors that open with infrared sensors on your feet instead of requiring pressing any button. Its passenger announcement system has clear speakers (although the accent of the recorded voice is a tad strange). The interior has an industrial look that might, or might not, please some riders. I bet some people will find it "uninviting", but that is a matter or aesthetic preferences, but certainly not warranting the perojative designation of "Aldi Train"

However, the V250 is not perfect from the passenger experience viewpoint. It lacks individual reading lights (a nice thing to have considering the many tunnels on the route), it has no seat information display (reserved/unreserved/free). The luggage compartment is not big enough as well.

===================

It puzzles me that some people were going overboard with complaints about Fyra delays whereas Benelux train delays were extremely common, and often 20min+ ones, to the point many of those trains were routinely curtailed to/from Rotterdam to avoid propagating them throughout the day. So it's more an Infrabel issue than a V250 issue.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 02:24 PM   #686
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Quote:
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The V250 has an awesome external design
My personal oppinion: Especially considering that the V250 was designed by an Italian company with a large list of beautiful designs, Pininfarina, this thing looks hideous on the outside (I see nothing wrong with the inside). They blamed the crash regulations for this, but if that's the case, why do the AGV, Velaro-D and the Zefiro all look a lot better?

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but certainly not warranting the perojative designation of "Aldi Train"
I don't like this designation a single bit. In my experience Aldi has always been good value for money. A comparison with the something-tech brands of electronics (cheap stuff of so-so quality) from a few years ago is more warranted. But I can't imagine the Italian railways would still buy Ansaldo trains if the quality and delivery performance is always as bad as we're told. Also remember that part of the delays were caused by the dutch government, because they much delayed the decision on which train control system to use on the HSL-Zuid.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 02:26 PM   #687
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
It puzzles me that some people were going overboard with complaints about Fyra delays whereas Benelux train delays were extremely common, and often 20min+ ones, to the point many of those trains were routinely curtailed to/from Rotterdam to avoid propagating them throughout the day. So it's more an Infrabel issue than a V250 issue.
If you favorite bar increased its prices by 60%, but kept serving the same crappy beer, would you complain? I guess you would...
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Old December 17th, 2012, 02:29 PM   #688
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Fyra provides a ride that is 35% faster than before.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 02:35 PM   #689
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Quote:
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Fyra provides a ride that is 35% faster than before.
When it's on time.
Don't forget that even a small delay may mean for passengers that they arrive at their final destination a full hour later. Punctuality is therefore actually more important than speed.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 02:41 PM   #690
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Quote:
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But I can't imagine the Italian railways would still buy Ansaldo trains if the quality and delivery performance is always as bad as we're told. Also remember that part of the delays were caused by the dutch government, because they much delayed the decision on which train control system to use on the HSL-Zuid.
AnsaldoBreda builds crappy trains and everybody knows it. Even Trenitalia learned this: the AnsaldoBreda built E403 locomotives are still not what they should be and they won't see some of their originally intended uses. The Danes learned this with the IC4, the people of Oslo learnt this with the Ansaldo-built SL95 tram (which is to be replaced within a few years, 10 years earlier than planned) and HSA learned it with the V250.

The delays on the HSL-Zuid were caused by the government and technical difficulties, indeed, but the line was finished at the end of 2008 and has been operational ever since. Train services started in september 2009 with Thalys following in december.

It took AnsaldoBreda 3 more years to get the trains running to Brussels. You can't blame that on the government, as it's the fault of an Italian company that's simply incapable of delivering on time or delivering quality.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 02:58 PM   #691
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Quote:
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When it's on time.
Don't forget that even a small delay may mean for passengers that they arrive at their final destination a full hour later. Punctuality is therefore actually more important than speed.
You are wrong.

First, 90% of onward trains in Netherlands have a 30min frequency.

Second, since the time saved it more than one hour, even a one hour delay would mean people would be better off than with the old train.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 03:52 PM   #692
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The Netherlands has a fairly high frequency, even during the evening and throughout weekends, indeed.

However, this is entirely different in Belgium: most services run on an hourly basis, some don't run at all during the weekends. Then there's the matter of connecting services (such as ICE, TGV and Eurostar) that run only a couple of times per day.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 04:41 PM   #693
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So now a high-ranked SP politician suggested that HSA returned the V250 as "defective merchandise" to the Italians and used ICE to operate the route instead as a common train with fixed prices.

I think some people just don't get times change, there is no longer such a thing as a "fixed price" to travel to Belgium, period, end of story, modernity and 21st Century pricing arrived to Netherlands.

I keep wondering if were there any whining when ICE was introduced on the Frankfurt - Amsterdam route. By the way, which trains operated that route before the introduction of ICE?
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Old December 17th, 2012, 05:05 PM   #694
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You may have missed that the price of a regular flexible ticket has been lowered from €54 to €39 and seat reservations are no longer required with this 'jump-on' ticket.

I think it could have worked with seat reservations and price differentiation. But the introduction was terribly amateur and accompanied by:
- Incredibly bad performance of the trains;
- Frequent problems with the NS Hispeed website (inability to book tickets);
- Inability to change seat reservations;
- Inability to buy tickets at the ticket machines (result: long waiting lines at NS Hispeed desks);
- Inability to buy tickets less than 30 minutes before train departure (at the station) (even for the 37 min trip between Rotterdam and Antwerp);
- Smart phone app to buy tickets on the go was announced but is not yet introduced;
- etc.

I hope it will all work out, but I don't think anyone can deny that this service had a bit of a false start...

Interesting question about Germany. I think there is a big mental difference between international travel between NL and Germany vs between NL and Belgium. It's probably because many more non-business trips are made to Belgium, lots of same day returns are made, and distances are a lot shorter.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 05:21 PM   #695
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Heerlen - Aachen are not that far away, for instance, and they are only linked by slow regional trains.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 05:41 PM   #696
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
My personal oppinion: Especially considering that the V250 was designed by an Italian company with a large list of beautiful designs, Pininfarina, this thing looks hideous on the outside (I see nothing wrong with the inside). They blamed the crash regulations for this, but if that's the case, why do the AGV, Velaro-D and the Zefiro all look a lot better?
From what i know they based the design on the hondekop a.k.a. mat 54 and mat 57 emu's.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 07:09 PM   #697
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As for closeness, it really depends on where you are. For me, Hamburg is half an hour closer than Brussels.

e: By car, that is.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 08:26 AM   #698
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From what i know they based the design on the hondekop a.k.a. mat 54 and mat 57 emu's.
Now those were beautiful trains, despite being rolling concrete blocks (they were really heavy).
If they wanted it to look like a hondekop they could have done a far better job.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 11:27 PM   #699
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Quote:
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I keep wondering if were there any whining when ICE was introduced on the Frankfurt - Amsterdam route. By the way, which trains operated that route before the introduction of ICE?
There used to be loco hauled EC trains with German IC cars between Amsterdam and Cologne. 2 EC trains a day continued to Switzerland using SBB cars.

Because there were no problems with a new line the change from EC to ICE was not criticized as much as Fyra. Although there were some negative voices complaining about a price hike and that it skipped some of the stations. There were also some issues at first, but not anything as major as with the V250.


btw, it's very clear that you haven't followed the whole HSL Zuid project from the start, if you had you would have understood better why people are so critical. Basically everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong. It has been a continuing chain of mistake after mistake. If everything would have completed and in operation in 2007 (it was already delayed by several years back then) people wouldn't have been as critical as they are now.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 01:15 AM   #700
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I arrived in the country in 2009, I just remember having read something about "a Bruxelles-Anvers-Amsterdam line" and not really knowing much about it before 2008 when I started reading SSC.
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