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Old February 15th, 2015, 09:09 PM   #381
Sunfuns
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Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
Railway systems in Scandinavia aren't that impressive from what I understand despite their wealth. Denmark seems to be only country who is investing into a modern, faster rail system.
Actually Denmark until recently had one of the least developed rail infrastructures in Western Europe. Now they are investing heavily to improve on that which is of course a positive development.
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Old February 15th, 2015, 09:23 PM   #382
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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
A non-stop train that leaves you centre to centre in a bit less time that runs twice an hour is quite an impressive feat if one gets a decent level of service and comfort with that. If price also becomes more competitive (if you own a card that allows access to local public transport as well as trains) then it does become very attractive. Like I said, it's a different situation here whereby you have inflexibility (due to yield management) which kills the spontaneous traveller, you have poor service and in my opinion poor reliability and comfort too, that is why SJ will fail to capture the modal share one sees elsewhere. This is why I don't like the train system here.

Sure, it's easier in flat countries, and this is exactly why the Swiss rail system consistently impressed me with its comfort, punctuality and speed. Here doesn't have the excuse of difficult terrain on the whole.
The strength of Swiss rail system is a density of network (artefact of 19th century to be honest), punctuality and frequency of service. Also if something extraordinary happens replacement buses are provided. Comfort as such is on par with most other services I have used elsewhere in Western Europe.

Return Basel-Zurich ticket with a half-fare card (140 eur/year) costs ca 30 eur. Whether that is cheap or expensive for ca 85 km journey is a subjective question depending on your income...

Flexible pricing system wouldn't work well on such a short journey. Some people even commute from one city to another. On the other hand we also have a TGV to Paris (ca 3 h) and it works for that service. People going that far on a whim is a very small percentage of all passengers.

Maybe all you need in Sweden is a competition to your incumbent operator. That however would almost certainly result in even more widespread use of yield management pricing with a benefit being lower overall prices than with SJ alone doing it.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 05:36 AM   #383
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Railway systems in Scandinavia aren't that impressive from what I understand despite their wealth. Denmark seems to be only country who is investing into a modern, faster rail system.
For what its worth, the population of Sweden is just shy of 10 million, and its not exactly a small country in terms of land area. What exists can't be taken for granted.

Svart, do you think is it ticket price yield management's fault or is it the people making the strategy behind it? What politics or dynamic is to blame for them setting up fares in a way that seems to harm the railway network's popularity? Is there some obvious gain, like reducing the subsidies to the rail system, or having lower prices on certain routes?
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Old February 16th, 2015, 01:10 PM   #384
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Trains in Solna (inc. the red one Stadler Flirt for MTR Express):

arenastaden_solna_stockholm-23 by Grishasergei, on Flickr

arenastaden_solna_stockholm-22 by Grishasergei, on Flickr
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Old February 16th, 2015, 03:47 PM   #385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Return Basel-Zurich ticket with a half-fare card (140 eur/year) costs ca 30 eur. Whether that is cheap or expensive for ca 85 km journey is a subjective question depending on your income...
To give a point of comparison : Brussels-Brugge, 100 km, done in one hour,
half-hourly service, with return, in second class, costs € 28,20 full fare,
€ 15,20 with a 50% reduction card or during the week-end.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 11:09 AM   #386
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Don't know if you saw it, but there was a discussion about this in the Spanish thread. I was a bit surprised, but apparently maintenance costs of a regular line and HS line are very similar and if so you can't expect it to be much cheaper unless the service is subsidised in one way or another.

The reason I mentioned population density is that very high density has allowed Japanese to build HSR by private investment. In every other country so far it has been a government funded endeavour.
I wouldn't say that the railway is expensive. All depends on the system used. For example Finland is building 200km/h to as far north as Oulu. If to want to make possible for everyone to go 200km/h on motorway (200km/h taxis for those without driving licence and give everibody 200km/h cars + build a 4+4 lane motorway) then it would be expensive as hell, also it would be a huge waste of energy plus a lot of pollution (tyres, gas, very high accumulation of the mechanical parts, very high accident costs etc). I rather would say railway gives high benefit. Also you don't need airport to every mid-sized city with a lot of small airplanes giving all the connections, instead there is a semi fast train making let's say about 10 to 15 intermediate stops. Actually I think you are familiar with all that but I write because of the impression I got from your post about railway being something very expensive. Maybe I got wrong impression.

And where you park all those cars speeding into city from motorway - waste of land and money and time.

Why there are some missing fast train connections in Sweden like Stockholm - Gothenburg - Malmö. I mean they could be a lot of better. My opinion is that it is because there is car industry in Sweden. The car lobby by Volvo, Saab etc is the reason by my opinion why the railway is as it is in Sweden.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 07:33 PM   #387
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I wouldn't say that the railway is expensive. All depends on the system used. For example Finland is building 200km/h to as far north as Oulu. If to want to make possible for everyone to go 200km/h on motorway (200km/h taxis for those without driving licence and give everibody 200km/h cars + build a 4+4 lane motorway) then it would be expensive as hell, also it would be a huge waste of energy plus a lot of pollution (tyres, gas, very high accumulation of the mechanical parts, very high accident costs etc). I rather would say railway gives high benefit. Also you don't need airport to every mid-sized city with a lot of small airplanes giving all the connections, instead there is a semi fast train making let's say about 10 to 15 intermediate stops. Actually I think you are familiar with all that but I write because of the impression I got from your post about railway being something very expensive. Maybe I got wrong impression.
You are indeed preaching to a choir here.

What I actually intended to say is that apparently there isn't that much difference in maintenance costs between a regular (say 120 km/h) and HS railway. Of course this maintenance is not for free, but then motorway maintenance is not for free either.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 09:53 PM   #388
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod View Post
Svart, do you think is it ticket price yield management's fault or is it the people making the strategy behind it? What politics or dynamic is to blame for them setting up fares in a way that seems to harm the railway network's popularity? Is there some obvious gain, like reducing the subsidies to the rail system, or having lower prices on certain routes?
Yield management is bad for occasional, last minute travellers. In a country with very changeable weather like here I, and others, like to travel on a day of good weather, so of course people will just take the car on a good weather day. It's only good if you plan miles in advance, and you'd be surprised at how many people don't want to have to do that for a simple weekend trip.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 10:48 PM   #389
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What is the cost of a ticket from Malmo to Gothenburg?
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Old February 17th, 2015, 10:55 PM   #390
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What is the cost of a ticket from Malmo to Gothenburg?
Depends. It fluctuates, that's the problem. It goes from as little as 195kr one way if you travel in advance in the week at least two weeks from now at certain hours. If you try to buy a ticket tomorrow it costs between 298kr and 379kr depending on the hour you travel. This is for a journey that is 271km approximately.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 11:31 PM   #391
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The ticket will cost even more, if you travel in one hour or so.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 11:34 PM   #392
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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Depends. It fluctuates, that's the problem. It goes from as little as 195kr one way if you travel in advance in the week at least two weeks from now at certain hours. If you try to buy a ticket tomorrow it costs between 298kr and 379kr depending on the hour you travel. This is for a journey that is 271km approximately.
Insane , It should be a flat rate based on the distance.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 11:37 PM   #393
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The ticket will cost even more, if you travel in one hour or so.
Indeed, therein lies the problem... I mean, booking a ticket for the next day is possible indeed (so you still get some savings) but if you try to book on the day it'll cost you your kidney.

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Insane , It should be a flat rate based on the distance.
Welcome to most European railways these days. This is why I say yield management (the practice of giving cheap fares if people buy them a long time in the future, but making people who are captive, in other words need to buy on the day pay more for their trip) is a disaster. I really, really hate the practice with a passion.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 11:45 PM   #394
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Indeed, therein lies the problem... I mean, booking a ticket for the next day is possible indeed (so you still get some savings) but if you try to book on the day it'll cost you your kidney.



Welcome to most European railways these days. This is why I say yield management (the practice of giving cheap fares if people buy them a long time in the future, but making people who are captive, in other words need to buy on the day pay more for their trip) is a disaster. I really, really hate the practice with a passion.
I have no problem with them charging more during peak hr departures. But they should not being charging such high rates off peak. I'm sure ridership would be even higher if a person knew they could pay a few kronas to ride the train for a day excursion into Malmo or Stockholm or one of the smaller towns... It reminds me of Amtrak's wild pricing , you have to book 3 weeks in advanced to get the lowest fare and its still to high.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 11:50 PM   #395
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I have no problem with them charging more during peak hr departures. But they should not being charging such high rates off peak. I'm sure ridership would be even higher if a person knew they could pay a few kronas to ride the train for a day excursion into Malmo or Stockholm or one of the smaller towns... It reminds me of Amtrak's wild pricing , you have to book 3 weeks in advanced to get the lowest fare and its still to high.
Hm, I do have a problem with charging extra for peak. Why would they have to do that? There isn't a great enough demand for that to be required. If they don't need to charge a peak surcharge in Japan, why would they need to in Sweden? It's just a way to grab money off people and again, it's only done because the companies KNOW they have a captive customer who needs the service, and so they exploit that. This is why there is a peak surcharge in London - because they know that people don't want to commute by car to London as it is expensive and stressful, so they take advantage of that.
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Old February 18th, 2015, 10:21 AM   #396
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What is the cost of a ticket from Malmo to Gothenburg?
Prices can vary a lot. If you buy tickets up to 2-3 months in advance, it's really worth taking the train. No tickets are sold for dates further than 3 months. For me a ticket Linköping to Copenhagen in late april would cost 23 $. (3hours 279miles straight connection) If I want to go tomorrow morning that same trip would be 51 $.

For distances more than 400km/250miles the train is the preferred mode of transport for the average traveller. On the shorter distance Linköping-Stockholm ( 200km/125miles) there are more options. If I want to go by train to Stockholm tomorrow morning I would pay 34-79 $ depending on departure time. I also can take an express bus and arrive about the same time. So today ticket prices are about supply and demand. If you want to arrive in Stockholm at 8AM which is a convenient time for office workers, you will have to buy an expensive ticket. If arrival time is not important you can pick the cheaper ticket.

For what I can remember, back in the socialist 1970's there was a flat rate, which meant that the trains with popular departure times sold out quickly, so you had to buy tickets in advance to be able to travel at all.




Regional- and expresstrain at Malmö Central Station
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Old February 18th, 2015, 10:40 AM   #397
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For what I can remember, back in the socialist 1970's there was a flat rate, which meant that the trains with popular departure times sold out quickly, so you had to buy tickets in advance to be able to travel at all.
With the Swiss km-based tariff and no reservations* many people concentrate on peak hours/days, but these times are predictable thus SBB simply adds more trains, with prices affordable to most Swiss (which have at least an half-fare card) and still SBB covers the costs.

*it is possible to reserve places on Swiss trains (@5 CHF per place), but nearly nobody do that, usually Swiss just take the train their want without planning (there are some exceptions for tourist and international trains, however)

(you can distinguish a Swiss French/Italian-speaker from French/Italians by how they behave on trains: Swiss simply board the train without stamping tickets (they do not have to), French/Italians always try to put their ticket in whatever thing ressembles a stamping machine and always search for a reserved seat) (German/Austrian systems are similar to the Swiss one, so this doesn't happen with Grman speakers)
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Old February 18th, 2015, 11:09 AM   #398
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This is a very nice discussion and I am interested in what's the solution for Sweden then
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Old February 18th, 2015, 11:28 AM   #399
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I'd argue that at least in comparison to UK fares, Swedish fares aren't too expensive.

On the otherhand, UK fares are a mangled mess and most of the time you have no idea how much yo will have to pay.
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Old February 18th, 2015, 11:47 AM   #400
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Quote:
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With the Swiss km-based tariff and no reservations* many people concentrate on peak hours/days, but these times are predictable thus SBB simply adds more trains, with prices affordable to most Swiss (which have at least an half-fare card) and still SBB covers the costs.
No reservations and you buy your ticket just before departure?

The railways in Swizerland have an advantage. It is a small densely populated country. The topography makes driving complicated, time-consuming, demanding and expensive. Longest direct train distance in Switzerland is about 250km (?)

To operate railways Sweden is more difficult. Sweden is a big sparsely populated country, the topography is more open and flat, driving is easier and cheaper with less toll roads. There is competition from express buses on ~300km routes. People travel longer distances with train, usually +450km Stockholm-Göteborg or longer Stockholm-Malmö +600km, which requires reservations. You can board the train without a ticket and buy a ticket from the conductor, but you will pay an extra fee of 100SEK(10€), only 1 % of all tickets are sold aboard the trains.
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