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Old May 31st, 2017, 04:16 PM   #1201
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Old May 31st, 2017, 04:22 PM   #1202
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Originally Posted by bench_mark_2 View Post
This line has been under planning/construction for decades and it seems that it will eventually open in 2018. If the Eurostar and Thalys terminate at Amsterdam South, this would significantly deteriorates the level of services. Amsterdam Central has a great location, in the historic centre of the town, within easy access to the Central Square. Most passengers on the Eurostar and Thalys would like to go there, not in the Business District which is not even in Amsterdam (I believe it is no A10 which is the orbital motorway of the town, is it not?).

With regard to the necessity of additional tunnels, I believe that the future of the passenger transport in Western and Central Europe is the high speed rail. The new line in England is designed for speed of 250 miles per hour (400 kilometres per hour) which will allow amuch shorter travel times in the future, providing rail services from town centre to town centre at relatively low costs and environmentally friendly. This is why it is important that the lines that are currently being built are designed for higher speeds, preferably 250 mph.
Amsterdam Centraal does not sit in the middle of the historic city center: it sits on the edge of it. Which is why there's nothing to its North.

The heart of the historic center these days is probably nearer to Leidseplein (Leiden square) which is roughly equally as far from Centraal as from Zuid (South) and will soon be only 3 subway stops from Zuid.

Zuid station sits on the motorway A10 and the wider financial district includes the RAI exhibition and convention center, the World Trade Center, the Vrije University as well as other major institutions. This, coupled with the fact that the entire area will see heavy investments over the coming decade, makes Zuid a perfectly fine terminus for Thalys and Eurostar. Especially for business travelers.

Moving the high speed international trains from Centraal to Zuid certainly is no stranger than moving from them Waterloo to St Pancras, which is comparatively much further away from the Palace of Westminster and even Covert Garden than Zuid Station is from Dam Square.

Also, digging tunnels underneath Amsterdam - which is a historic city built on wooden poles in an unstable marshland - is a fvcking nightmare.
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Old June 1st, 2017, 12:38 AM   #1203
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With the new subway line, Amsterdam Zuid is actually a better hub for international traffic than Amsterdam Centraal. It will have a strategic subway line connecting with other places , including Amsterdam Centraal, in a short journey. I'm not sure they will relocate trains there, though, at least not for now, as a massive tunneling project is ongoing for the highway A10 (the original plan was also to bury the train line and the station platforms, but at the time they had to clinch the project, real estate market was still slow and they decided it would not be worth the cost to put train tracks underground as well; little did they know Zuidas popularity as an office center would explode, for reasons that include the fast rising of office/commercial rents in the historical core of Amsterdam which is seeing record crowds and the virtual end of "low tourist season").
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Old June 1st, 2017, 02:15 AM   #1204
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Amsterdam Centraal does not sit in the middle of the historic city center: it sits on the edge of it. Which is why there's nothing to its North.

The heart of the historic center these days is probably nearer to Leidseplein (Leiden square) which is roughly equally as far from Centraal as from Zuid (South) and will soon be only 3 subway stops from Zuid.

Zuid station sits on the motorway A10 and the wider financial district includes the RAI exhibition and convention center, the World Trade Center, the Vrije University as well as other major institutions. This, coupled with the fact that the entire area will see heavy investments over the coming decade, makes Zuid a perfectly fine terminus for Thalys and Eurostar. Especially for business travelers.

Moving the high speed international trains from Centraal to Zuid certainly is no stranger than moving from them Waterloo to St Pancras, which is comparatively much further away from the Palace of Westminster and even Covert Garden than Zuid Station is from Dam Square.

Also, digging tunnels underneath Amsterdam - which is a historic city built on wooden poles in an unstable marshland - is a fvcking nightmare.
I am not sure that Leiden Place is the centre of the town today. I think that the most central point has been the same for the last few centuries and any plans to move international rail services 3-4 miles from it will not be a wise decision. Rather than that, modernisation of Amsterdam Central is needed.

In London the most central point is Charing Cross. It is true that Waterloo was closer (less than a mile) than St Pancras (two miles), but the former is located in Central London and is one of the old rail Termini. It cannot be compared to Amsterdam South Station, maybe Old Oak Common could be in the future, if they build it along with the proposed business area around.

Anyway, I do not think that a high speed rail tunnel between Schiphol and Amsterdam Central will be otiose. Rather than that, the problem will be the price. Today none of the former first-world countries can afford big infrastructure projects easily (for example, Amsterdam could not build its new underground line for decades, New York will never be able to build Second Avenue Line, Berlin cannot build its airport and so on).

I think that base high speed rail network for North-West Europe shoudl be entirely for speed of 250 mph and centred around London could include these few lines (with other lines as they may be necessary for the other countries):
Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds-Birmingham-London-Lille-Brussels-Cologne-Frankfurt
Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds-Birmingham-London-Lille-Brussels-Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam
Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds-Birmingham-London-Lille-Paris
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Old June 1st, 2017, 08:46 AM   #1205
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[...] Rather than that, modernisation of Amsterdam Central is needed. [...]
...which is exactly what is going to happen. Exact plans have to be revealed, but the station is set for a major overhaul before 2030.
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Old June 1st, 2017, 11:41 AM   #1206
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I really doubt they can really upgrade the capacity now that they put lots of crap beneath the ground. So solutions like Antwerp station would be damn near impossible. And you can't endlessly keep on sacrificing the river for it as it increases the flow and height of the water.
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Old June 1st, 2017, 12:09 PM   #1207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bench_mark_2 View Post
I am not sure that Leiden Place is the centre of the town today. I think that the most central point has been the same for the last few centuries and any plans to move international rail services 3-4 miles from it will not be a wise decision. Rather than that, modernisation of Amsterdam Central is needed.

In London the most central point is Charing Cross. It is true that Waterloo was closer (less than a mile) than St Pancras (two miles), but the former is located in Central London and is one of the old rail Termini. It cannot be compared to Amsterdam South Station, maybe Old Oak Common could be in the future, if they build it along with the proposed business area around.

Anyway, I do not think that a high speed rail tunnel between Schiphol and Amsterdam Central will be otiose. Rather than that, the problem will be the price. Today none of the former first-world countries can afford big infrastructure projects easily (for example, Amsterdam could not build its new underground line for decades, New York will never be able to build Second Avenue Line, Berlin cannot build its airport and so on).

I think that base high speed rail network for North-West Europe shoudl be entirely for speed of 250 mph and centred around London could include these few lines (with other lines as they may be necessary for the other countries):
Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds-Birmingham-London-Lille-Brussels-Cologne-Frankfurt
Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds-Birmingham-London-Lille-Brussels-Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam
Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds-Birmingham-London-Lille-Paris
Dam Square and the red light district are not the center of Amsterdam unless you're a tourist.

There is no point to have a high speed rail tunnel underneath Amsterdam because the distance to Schiphol is too short for any serious speed anyway.

What you're proposing is a very expensive shortcut just for the sake of reaching Amsterdam Centraal a few minutes quicker than trains currently do. This makes no sense.

There is no room, no money and no political will for such a tunnel provided it is even technologically feasible (in terms of the soil and the architecture on top of it) which is doubtful.

It would apparently also be a dead end in your plan, which again seems pointless.

Those trains are going to terminate at Zuid, and that's the sensible way of doing it.
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Old June 1st, 2017, 06:09 PM   #1208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bench_mark_2 View Post
I think that base high speed rail network for North-West Europe shoudl be entirely for speed of 250 mph and centred around London could include these few lines (with other lines as they may be necessary for the other countries):
Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds-Birmingham-London-Lille-Brussels-Cologne-Frankfurt
Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds-Birmingham-London-Lille-Brussels-Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam
Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds-Birmingham-London-Lille-Paris[/FONT]
I don't think designing with a round number expressed in an outdated unit as basis is meaningful...
Also, such high speeds are not needed. The costs of running a high speed railway go up exponentially with speed. What passengers are prepared to pay however does not. People will not pay 2 or 3 times more just so they can arrive at their destination a few minutes sooner. We already see that on Amsterdam - Brussel.
Also travel times can often be shortened just by being more efficient and clever in timetabling. Trip times on Eurostar for example can already by reduced by half an hour purely by getting rid of the security theatre. something that also would be needed if you want to run something like Liverpool - Cologne, as you propose...
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Old June 1st, 2017, 10:32 PM   #1209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slagathor View Post
Dam Square and the red light district are not the center of Amsterdam unless you're a tourist.

There is no point to have a high speed rail tunnel underneath Amsterdam because the distance to Schiphol is too short for any serious speed anyway.

What you're proposing is a very expensive shortcut just for the sake of reaching Amsterdam Centraal a few minutes quicker than trains currently do. This makes no sense.

There is no room, no money and no political will for such a tunnel provided it is even technologically feasible (in terms of the soil and the architecture on top of it) which is doubtful.

It would apparently also be a dead end in your plan, which again seems pointless.

Those trains are going to terminate at Zuid, and that's the sensible way of doing it.
1 indeed
2 indeed
3 indeed
4 indeed
5 would be the best solution, but...

Politics have been either lazy or purposeful messed up the plan to increase the actual capacity on Amsterdam Zuid!

What is the problem? With the tunnel they will start to build for the A10 motorway, the railway station, which is above the ground, will have no more than a mere four tracks. This will cause immediate problems in case one wants to put some trains on hold at the actual station. The government has totally ignored/neglected the potential future plan for the station and so for an efficient railway system around the city. At least six tracks would be required to let HST trains either return at the station or go further to end in Almere or in Amsterdam Centraal with a detour. To do this combined seven tracks are the bare minimum. And the amenities at the station should also become much better than it is now in the plans, let alone the current rundown sewergrate. Totally unworthy welcome for one from a Thalys from Paris.

Like a business class passenger ending in LaGuardia!
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Old June 2nd, 2017, 11:27 AM   #1210
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Yeah the Zuidas project has been frustrating; just a series of delays and downgrades from the original plans...
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 12:31 AM   #1211
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I think that international trains will continue to use Amsterdam Centraal as their terminus. To a tourist, the whole area around it is much more interesting than Amsterdam Zuid will ever be.

I think that domestic services (such as the Intercity Direct) will eventually be rerouted to Amsterdam Zuid, once the Noord/Zuidlijn comes into operation.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 09:25 AM   #1212
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Dam Square and the red light district are not the center of Amsterdam unless you're a tourist.
Dam Square is the centre of the town. It is the historic, geographic, social and so on centre. There is not even a single reason to assume otherwise. Just like the centre of London is Charing Cross/Trafalgar Square, althouth the notion of Central London is of much larger territory, from Whitechapel on the East to Olympia on the West, or from Camden town in the North to Elephant and Castle to the South.

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There is no point to have a high speed rail tunnel underneath Amsterdam because the distance to Schiphol is too short for any serious speed anyway.

What you're proposing is a very expensive shortcut just for the sake of reaching Amsterdam Centraal a few minutes quicker than trains currently do. This makes no sense.

There is no room, no money and no political will for such a tunnel provided it is even technologically feasible (in terms of the soil and the architecture on top of it) which is doubtful.
You might be right and as far as I remember the line between the airport and the central station is quadruple, so two sets of tracks can be re-signalled for speeds of 125 mph which should reduce the travel time from 15 to 4-5 minutes (assuming you have in-cab signalling and also that the future trains will accelerate and break even more easily).

Anyway, an overall reduction of 10 minutes of the trip is not sufficient. I believe that if this line has to be competitive, the travel times between Brussels South and Amsterdam Central with two intermediate stops at Antwerp and Rotterdam (I am not sure if there is any point that the trains are also calling at Schiphol) should be reduced to 60 minutes, which might make 2 hours and 45 minutes from Amsterdam to London in the future (provided that Amsterdam Central is upgraded and compliant to the UK safety measure requirements).

Last edited by bench_mark_2; June 3rd, 2017 at 12:49 PM.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 09:54 AM   #1213
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You, sir, are very well-informed, educated and make excellent points.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 10:12 AM   #1214
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Originally Posted by bench_mark_2 View Post

Anyway, an overall reduction of 10 minutes of the trip is not sufficient. I believe that if this line has to be competitive, the travel times between Brussels South and Amsterdam Central with two intermediate stops at Antwerp and Rotterdam (I am not sure if there is any point that the trains are also calling at Schiphol) should be reduced to 60 minutes, which might make 2 hours and 45 minutes from Amsterdam to London in the future (provided that Amsterdam Central is upgraded and compliant to the UK safety measure requirements).
Competitive with what?

Currently Thalys is already the fastest way to get from Brussel to Amsterdam. Making it faster at great expense will not generate the revenue to justify the investment. And why invest billions if travel times to/from London kan be reduced by half an hour just by getting rid of unnecessary red tape...

Stopping at Schiphol makes a lot of sense anyway, as it is an important transport hub.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 01:01 PM   #1215
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Competitive with what?

Currently Thalys is already the fastest way to get from Brussel to Amsterdam. Making it faster at great expense will not generate the revenue to justify the investment. And why invest billions if travel times to/from London kan be reduced by half an hour just by getting rid of unnecessary red tape...

Stopping at Schiphol makes a lot of sense anyway, as it is an important transport hub.
Cutting travel times cannot be achieved by scrapping the boarder control, at least not at this moment. I personally think that the UK should have been part of the Eurozone and the Schengen area, but this was not the case. Now it seems that we are leaving the Union completely.

But you are right that the check-in time in Saint Pancras might be reduced probably to 15 minutes (it is a question of capacity only, but you know that this station is much smaller compared to the big Continental Railway stations like those in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, etc.). This would also mean that such facilities have to be installed at the stations in Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Antwerp similarly to those in Paris North and Brussels South.

Anyway, the whole point of my first post here was to understand why the travel time between Brussels in Amsterdam is almost 2 hours, provided that the distance is 200 kilometres and there is a multi-billion pounds (partial) line constructed for speeds of 300 kilometres per hour.

My point was that if you have already paid so much money, remove the bottlenecks. There is no justification that you have spent so much money and as a result you are having a line which is much slower than the line constructed 150 years ago in England.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 01:16 PM   #1216
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Excellent points.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 02:05 PM   #1217
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So why is this uk line faster?
My guess would be that over longer distances it is easier to have a higher average speed. More distance to have high speed. Not that complicated.

Between Amsterdam and Brussel you simply need sone stops otherwise you miss a lot of passengers. From Groningen I would go to Schiphol or Rotterdam for example to catch high speed train to friends in Antwerp.

Would of course always be good to have it even faster, but then my hope would be for the Belgium part.

Having 177 year old infrastructure, do not get your point. Like nothing happened since?

Edit: one thing I have never understood is why we need a 300 km line on such short distances. That was a waste of money.

Edit 2: perhaps good to add, unlike other countries cities in the Netherlands are very small. But noumerous. Amsterdam not even one million inhabitants. So it makes less sense to focus on connecting these relative small cities. Instead making sure the whole network is good connected.

Last edited by Turf; June 3rd, 2017 at 02:11 PM.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 02:16 PM   #1218
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But you are right that the check-in time in Saint Pancras might be reduced probably to 15 minutes (it is a question of capacity only, but you know that this station is much smaller compared to the big Continental Railway stations like those in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, etc.). This would also mean that such facilities have to be installed at the stations in Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Antwerp similarly to those in Paris North and Brussels South.
There is no need for a check in. Ticket control can be done on the train, as well as passport control.

Running trains to more European destinations would then become much easier.

Quote:
Anyway, the whole point of my first post here was to understand why the travel time between Brussels in Amsterdam is almost 2 hours, provided that the distance is 200 kilometres and there is a multi-billion pounds (partial) line constructed for speeds of 300 kilometres per hour.
Because politicians in both countries are idiots. This line should never have been built. Now that it is built anyway they should try to make good use of it.

Quote:
My point was that if you have already paid so much money, remove the bottlenecks. There is no justification that you have spent so much money and as a result you are having a line which is much slower than the line constructed 150 years ago in England.
The fact that you have spend oodles of money itself does not justify spending another oodle of money.

Personally I think that yes, Antwerpen - Brussel should be sped up (and it soon will) and the NS should run more domestic trains over the HSL. Amsterdam Zuid should be made the main international station. I also see an opportunity for a station on the HSL near Zoetermeer, and a connection should be built so that trains from Zeeland can use it as well.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 03:14 PM   #1219
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So why is this uk line faster?
My guess would be that over longer distances it is easier to have a higher average speed. More distance to have high speed. Not that complicated.

Between Amsterdam and Brussel you simply need sone stops otherwise you miss a lot of passengers. From Groningen I would go to Schiphol or Rotterdam for example to catch high speed train to friends in Antwerp.

Would of course always be good to have it even faster, but then my hope would be for the Belgium part.

Having 177 year old infrastructure, do not get your point. Like nothing happened since?

Edit: one thing I have never understood is why we need a 300 km line on such short distances. That was a waste of money.

Edit 2: perhaps good to add, unlike other countries cities in the Netherlands are very small. But noumerous. Amsterdam not even one million inhabitants. So it makes less sense to focus on connecting these relative small cities. Instead making sure the whole network is good connected.

The British line in question (East Coast Main Line) is faster because the new trains will be able to travel with up to 140 mph (if in-cab signalling systems are installed). The number of calling points is similar to those on the line between Amsterdam and Brussels.

High speed lines connecting relatively close cities like those in North West Europe are important because they save extreme amounts of travel times, provide environmentally friendly transportation and their capacity is incomparable to any other mode of transportation.

So whereas the Dutch part of this line is concerned, it might be summarised that almost nothing more can be done and the trains travel with 186 mph on the whole route without the section between Schiphol and Amsterdam Central. This section however, if the signalling is updated, might certainly allow for higher speeds.

Then what remains to be done is the Belgium part between Antwerp and Brussels. Having in mind that the new trains allow for speed of 360 kilometres per hour (Milan-Rome for example) maybe in 10 or 20 years time we will be able to travel between London and Amsterdam in 2 hours like we now travle between London and Paris.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 03:31 PM   #1220
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A great plan, that should be implemented immediately.
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