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Old June 8th, 2013, 01:30 PM   #981
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maarten Otto View Post
Have you ever travelled on a V250?
Just 3 times (round-trip to Belgium + one-way trip R'dam-A'dam)
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Old June 8th, 2013, 01:33 PM   #982
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The spokesperson of Ansaldo kind of reminds me of the Iraqi minister of information. Anybody with more then 2 brain cells can understand that all these poor building quality issues are not caused by wrong usage or insufficient maintenance.

Have the NS personnel responsible for taking delivery of these trains already been fired? Most of the assembly issues were already there at time of delivery, yet they have all been accepted. How is that possible? Has a higher ranking official overruled the engineers that had rejected the trains? At the first sign that all trains were not identical I have returned them all (or have they been stupid enough not to specify that the trains had to be identical in the tender, because they considered that common practice?)
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Last edited by M-NL; June 8th, 2013 at 01:59 PM. Reason: Removed: 'He probably never had the chance to. It was in service for to short a time...'. Obviously not.
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Old June 8th, 2013, 02:00 PM   #983
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
He probably never had the chance to. It was in service for to short a time...
I had bought tickets in advance for the 2nd week of operation just to check the new train

Quote:
At the first sign that all trains were not identical I have returned them all (or have they been stupid enough not to specify that the trains had to be identical in the tender, because they considered that common practice?)
Apparently this is the source of many problems: the tender was too concise and just assumed whomever took it would follow common practices, whereas AnsaldoBreda saw a gap on the tender terms to reduce costs and sticking to its wording. At least this is one of the versions of the debacle for certain items like train horns positioned where they could get clogged with snow.

In any case, it is now clear there were some production management issues within AB plant with many ad-hoc solutions. But apparently the tender allowed for that.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 01:21 AM   #984
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So what next?

I think it would be cheaper to purchase some second hand Shinkansen trains in Japan, convert them to Dutch gauge (if necessary) and let them run.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 01:45 AM   #985
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Cheaper still to just leave it to Thalys and, maybe in the future, Eurostar.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 01:45 AM   #986
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NS and the State are still contemplating on what to do next. NS has suggested a proposal, and has been given until October 1st to come up with a detailed plan. On the short term, they want to up the number of Thalys trains to 11/day (currently 9) of which 2 will terminate in Lille. Furthermore, they are planning to reinstate the Beneluxtrein, 16x/day, The Hague - Brussels. According to the preliminary version of this proposal, NS will need until 2022 to acquire a fleet of new semi high-speed trains.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 06:24 AM   #987
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
NS and the State are still contemplating on what to do next. NS has suggested a proposal, and has been given until October 1st to come up with a detailed plan. On the short term, they want to up the number of Thalys trains to 11/day (currently 9) of which 2 will terminate in Lille. Furthermore, they are planning to reinstate the Beneluxtrein, 16x/day, The Hague - Brussels. According to the preliminary version of this proposal, NS will need until 2022 to acquire a fleet of new semi high-speed trains.
That is simply unacceptable. It should lost the concession to operate HSL trains if it wants 9 more years to have fast services between Belgium and Netherlands running there. The infrastructure of HSL works fine. Maybe that will open the door for some open-access operator? But NS is on a retreat mode of sorts: it happily supported the government decision not to go ahead with the project to make trains on the Rotterdam-Eindhoven-Amsterdam lines operate on a 8-per-hour frequency because it would save NS the need to buy more trains on the short term. Maybe NS is financially strained and prefers not to expand, who knows.

What are chances of them running trains to Beligum more or less like they run the domestic 'Fyra' to Breda - rented locos + non-powered cars traveling at 160km/h? That would still provide at least a 45 travel time gain between Amsterdam and Antwerpen.

But in any case if NS/SNCB don't want to operate fast trains between both countries, they should bring some new operator(s). Maybe Veolia is interested in operating trains there, for instance. Of Virgin Rail. Or some other group. I'm sure they don't need 9 damn years to order and commission some new trains to operate there, given the line is already opened and working.
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Last edited by Suburbanist; June 9th, 2013 at 06:30 AM.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 10:32 AM   #988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
Have the NS personnel responsible for taking delivery of these trains already been fired? Most of the assembly issues were already there at time of delivery, yet they have all been accepted. How is that possible? Has a higher ranking official overruled the engineers that had rejected the trains?
The problem is that the management has neglected the information coming from the NS controllers that visited AnsaldoBreda for inspection, so trains that did not met the expectations have been accepted by the management. Only the highest manager of NS is going to leave the railway company.

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According to the preliminary version of this proposal, NS will need until 2022 to acquire a fleet of new semi high-speed trains.
Do you have a link to this proposal?
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Old June 9th, 2013, 10:36 AM   #989
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beetle View Post
I think it would be cheaper to purchase some second hand Shinkansen trains in Japan, convert them to Dutch gauge (if necessary) and let them run.
Shinkansen trains are likely too big for European loading gauge, not to mention that they cannot run under low voltage DC and some are built fot 25 kV 60 Hz, not 50 Hz. The gauge is the only thing they have in common with European trains.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 11:20 AM   #990
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
But in any case if NS/SNCB don't want to operate fast trains between both countries, they should bring some new operator(s). Maybe Veolia is interested in operating trains there, for instance. Of Virgin Rail. Or some other group. I'm sure they don't need 9 damn years to order and commission some new trains to operate there, given the line is already opened and working.
It indeed doesn't have to take 9 years. All they have to do is avoid buying Italian.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 11:24 AM   #991
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There has been a "baby with bath water" case on the Dutch press. Many people are implying and assuming, probably naively, that the infrastructure itself has some serious problems, when it really doesn't have any.

Yes, there had been a couple hiccups at the beginning of services, especially on the HSL-Breda link, and early on some dust problems, but those were solved and haven't been an issue at all (thus the reliability of both Thalys and the domestic Fyra).
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Old June 9th, 2013, 11:36 AM   #992
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Right now the most important thing is that the government and the NS won't make any hasty decisions. The string of wrong decisions is already way too long, it's good if the government only makes a decision after the parliamentary inquiry has taken place.
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Old July 1st, 2013, 05:39 PM   #993
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I'm furious disappointed at these news.

The "plan" for NS to operate HSL will involve renting more TRAXX locomotives and attaching old cars to them. It should come with an official plan to operate an Amsterdam-Bruxelles service on HSL by Oct. 1. These are the general ideas on it, as reported:

Quote:
Dutch railways NS is replacing the cancelled Fyra high-speed train between Amsterdam and Brussels with the Canadian TRAXX locomotive, the Nos reports on Monday.

The Fyra was taken out of service in May after the NS and Belgian railways NMBS, partners in the service, said they were concerned about the safety and quality of the Italian-made train.

The NS was able to avoid the usual European Union tendering process by stating the replacement trains are an emergency, says the Nos.

The TRAXX, manufactured by Bombardier, will be made in Germany. The trains will be adjusted to reach a top speed of 160 kph. The Fyra had a maximum speed of 250 kph.

How many trains are on order has not been disclosed. This will depend on an alternative plan for the high-speed service which the NS will present to junior transport minister Wilma Mansveld before October 1.

Nor has the NS said when the first TRAXX will enter service.
See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archive....lRFuZiCj.dpuf

So NS is:
- bypassing the tendering process
- ordering 160km/h only locos (meaning: scheduled services will take at least 9-12 minutes longer between Amsterdam and Bruxelles)
- trying to hold the concession of HSL Zuid with this crappy offer

This would mean no 300 km/h B <=> NL trains before 2020 at the earliest (time it would take for an open access carrier to get all certifications and acquire rolling stock to operate there).

The only upside is that TRAXX locos have been used already on HSL Zuid/4, hence there should be no major issues with putting there into service. I don't know how busy or not are Bombardier plants in Germany, where the trains will be manufactured.

A major mistake of HSL tendering was to not specify a maximum travel time between the endpoints of the service. If it was fixed at 118 minutes, for instance, it would force adjustments to make this limit stick.
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Last edited by Suburbanist; July 1st, 2013 at 05:45 PM.
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Old July 1st, 2013, 06:35 PM   #994
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
A major mistake of HSL tendering was to not specify a maximum travel time between the endpoints of the service. If it was fixed at 118 minutes, for instance, it would force adjustments to make this limit stick.
That was specified. In fact that was the reason the maximum speed of the V250 was raised to 250 km/h (from 220 km/h), despite the fact that it would have taken a 300 km/h train to be able to keep the required travel time. However, because the Belgians ditched the plans for a HSL between Antwerp and Brussels those travel times could never be met and somehow HSA was allowed to acquire much slower trains.
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Old July 1st, 2013, 07:13 PM   #995
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HSA has received compensation for the longer travel times in Belgium, however, maximum journey times have been set for Amsterdam - Rotterdam, Amsterdam - Breda and Amsterdam - Brussels.

This crappy offer will not meet the requirements, and it is inexplicable that NS is willing to spend millions of euros to procure these locomotives, which are only intended to be a temporary solution. Keep in mind that the current Fyra, hauled by leased Traxx locomotives, is the temporary solution. This makes me think that NS is not planning on keeping this as a temporary solution, but wants to make it the permanent solution.

For such lack of respect for the passenger and the tax payer, there is only one solution: disenfranchisement.
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Old July 1st, 2013, 10:10 PM   #996
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Are you sure that these locomotives will be bought, and not just leased? Because I see them as a good solution, but only as a temporary measure until the arrival of new trains (which takes years).
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Old July 1st, 2013, 10:52 PM   #997
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NS confirmed that they intend to purchase these locomotives, according to NOS.nl.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 10:42 AM   #998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Are you sure that these locomotives will be bought, and not just leased? Because I see them as a good solution, but only as a temporary measure until the arrival of new trains (which takes years).
For a network/company like NS, owning a few locos is not a problem, specially
universal ones like the ones they will get. Even if they are not used on the
HSL more than a few years, they could easily be re-used, re-sold, or even
re-leased elsewhere once they are not needed anymore on the high-speed
services. Say in 5 years from now - the time needed to get other high-speed
trains in service. At that time, won't we have the existing 1600 and 1700
locs almost end of life ?
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 11:21 AM   #999
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Class 1800 locos have already been withdrawn from service, class 1700 can easily serve another 15 to 20 years if serviced properly.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 12:24 PM   #1000
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Class 1800 locos have already been withdrawn from service, class 1700 can easily serve another 15 to 20 years if serviced properly.
That long ? When were they built ? In Belgium they started speaking about
retiring all the fleet of locs that were built between 1980 and 1990 (class 11
and 12, 24 locs, already gone ; class 21 and 27 still to retire, 120 locs in
total) for 2023 at latest... Parts sourcing is one of the problems, difficulties
to fit ETCS signalling in is the other. I suppose the NS Alsthom locs are in a
similar situation...
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