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Old February 20th, 2015, 01:43 PM   #421
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MTR Express: an agreement with Swebus

MTR Express have chosen Swebus, one of the major bus companies in Sweden, as a partner company responsible for transportation of passengers in the case of an unexpected delay or other acute situations.
Swebus was chosen as an experienced company with the focus on quality of service which was very important for MTR Express.
MTR Express will start their service in the line Stockholm-Gothenburg next month. It is already known that there will be no train traffic between the two largest cities of the country during Easter due to scheduled maintenance works.

Source: Swebus kör ersättningstrafik för MTR Express
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Old February 20th, 2015, 02:17 PM   #422
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I really don't want to be a backseat-moderator, but why not move the discussion about train fare discussion to a separate topic about that subject, since I feel that this thread have been derailed with all this talk about the fare system (the same way it did in the Japanese rail topic a little time ago).

Back to Railways in Sweden, and speaking of MTR Express, here is a new video that shows two test runs, along with other traffic on the western mainline, near Partille.
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Old February 20th, 2015, 05:15 PM   #423
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Well, it was relevant to Sweden in the past given we were discussing the fact that I believe Sweden has one of the worst rail systems I have ever used and that its pricing strategies are a big part of the reason I won't tour round this country.

But then people who haven't used this poor excuse for a system tried to say its pricing strategy is a good one...
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Old February 20th, 2015, 08:09 PM   #424
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But the problem is that most discussions on the last page is about the Swiss rail fare system instead of the Swedish..

Don't get me wrong, I do love the discussion, but I think that the discussion itself is to general and interesting that it may warrant it's own thread instead of clogging up this one.

And on the note on the fare system, then I agree with you to 100% on the subject, the system we have now is stupid and it's one of the reasons why the rail system here in Sweden is shot. The other one is that the government have for the past decades have done nothing but trying and save as much money as possible on maintenance, which is the major reason why the system is shot.
I mean, after a few years without any proper winter (the 90's) then they start to question why we need so much snow clearing equipment, so they sell it of, and when the snow starts falling again, they wonder why there isn't any snow clearing equipment around to deal with the problem. Politicians are so short-sighted in many questions today that we won't be able to get a functioning system for many years to come, or at least until there is a general consensus among the parties in the government, but since most parties today are all "Stockholm centric" then it may not happen..
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Old February 20th, 2015, 08:50 PM   #425
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Yield management is unavoidable in one form or another. Chinese high-speed rail is going to switch to it too. The issue, apart from it killing my favourite mode of transport, spur of the moment. Hotels, trains, planes, buses, events have variable prices. In many cases, including Norwegian airline and SJ, those prices are ever-increasing until travel time. Truly dynamic pricing would have falling prices as well if there are vacant seats, and have an eye to undercut the competitors.

Now there are good reasons for ever-increasing. It gives an incentive to pay early (in itself a boon), but also means that the customer will pick that transport company, and not a competitor, out of fear that the prices will increase, as they will. Furthermore if a ticket can be cancelled, unless there is a fee (which is often exorbitant in the case of SJ), nothing would stop a customer from cancelling his old ticket and buy a new, cheaper, one.
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Old February 21st, 2015, 01:37 PM   #426
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loefet View Post
And on the note on the fare system, then I agree with you to 100% on the subject, the system we have now is stupid and it's one of the reasons why the rail system here in Sweden is shot.

So suppose the railways would only charge one, single high fare for the trains (like the Japanese or the Swiss), more people would take the train?
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Old February 21st, 2015, 01:46 PM   #427
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loefet View Post
But the problem is that most discussions on the last page is about the Swiss rail fare system instead of the Swedish..

Don't get me wrong, I do love the discussion, but I think that the discussion itself is to general and interesting that it may warrant it's own thread instead of clogging up this one.
There is a thread for that already:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1749227
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Old February 21st, 2015, 07:23 PM   #428
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So suppose the railways would only charge one, single high fare for the trains (like the Japanese or the Swiss), more people would take the train?
Considering the modal share in both of these countries is more tilted towards rail, I would say that is a safer assumption than assuming the inverse to be true.
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 12:11 PM   #429
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Considering the modal share in both of these countries is more tilted towards rail, I would say that is a safer assumption than assuming the inverse to be true.
Well, in a captive market you can charge what the market will bear. In another post this was called "price gauging". In a competitive market it is different. There you need to have price differentiation if you want to compete successfully.

Strangely enough I see the same people reject both monopolistic price gauging and yield management, even though they are more or less the opposite...

That is why I asked wether getting rid of yield management in Sweden would increase passengers? Maybe I need to illustrate this with figures:

Suppose the SJ sold for Göteborg - Stockholm trips only one type of ticket: Fully flexible, at 1194 SEK. Would they have more or less passengers on that route then they have now with flexible prices?

I personally doubt that getting rid of advance purchase reduced fares will improve passenger numbers...
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 01:39 PM   #430
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#1. Where did you get that figure for the cost between Stockholm and Gothenburg?

#2. This is purely hypothetical.

Price gouging (not gauging, different things) is common in the yield management situation in many countries as they punish captive riders, much like they do for London. Competition is available and it is a "competitive market" on paper (there are buses and of course you can take a car), but the reality is that this competition is a veneer due to the competition being hamstrung (lack of parking primarily for cars in London for commuters and of course the unreliability of bus travel due to congestion).

To answer your question properly in a Swedish context, I would have to get statistics on the purchase of advance tickets vs same day travel. I am not sure that SJ gives out that data, but I can look. I don't think a change in ticketing would make an instant difference, but if they improved the crumbling network here at the same time I think it would improve things. Whenever I travel around the world, I refuse to use railways that are yield managed if I can avoid it because it just restricts my travel too much - I would rather drive. I really value flexibility in travel over all others, and a lack of flexibility over any other consideration is the reason I will take a car over public transport.
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 01:39 PM   #431
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#1. Where did you get that figure for the cost between Stockholm and Gothenburg?

#2. This is purely hypothetical.

Price gouging (not gauging, different things) is common in the yield management situation in many countries as they punish captive riders, much like they do for London. Competition is available and it is a "competitive market" on paper (there are buses and of course you can take a car), but the reality is that this competition is a veneer due to the competition being hamstrung (lack of parking primarily for cars in London for commuters and of course the unreliability of bus travel due to congestion).

To answer your question properly in a Swedish context, I would have to get statistics on the purchase of advance tickets vs same day travel. I am not sure that SJ gives out that data, but I can look. I don't think a change in ticketing would make an instant difference, but if they improved the crumbling network here at the same time I think it would improve things. Whenever I travel around the world, I refuse to use railways that are yield managed if I can avoid it because it just restricts my travel too much - I would rather drive. I really value flexibility in travel over all others, and a lack of flexibility over any other consideration is the reason I will take a car over public transport.
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Old February 23rd, 2015, 10:04 AM   #432
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Tractor VS Train

An accident occured just after 11 o'clock this sunday. There was a collision between a railbus Y31 and a tractor.

The accident occurred on the branch line "Stångådalsbanan" north of Västervik.

The train hit the plow blade of the tractor.

The accident happened when the tractor plowed snow on the road at the railroad crossing.

The driver of the tractor was not able to get into reverse, and could therefore not get away with the tractor when the train arrived.


Only 12 passengers were onboard, no one was injured, all sunday departures from Linköping to Västervik were replaced by buses.

Cancelled departures is nothing new on this railway, which has been on the verge of beeing unprofitable for many years.
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Old February 24th, 2015, 03:15 AM   #433
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Stadler Flirt (MTR Express) in Stockholm (november 2014):


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Old February 24th, 2015, 10:29 AM   #434
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The planned implementation of ERMTS on Malmbanan (the line from Narvik in Norway via Kiruna to Luleå) in 2018 will be delayed. The issue cited is lack of vehicles ready for it.
http://www.sjk.se/65/artikelarkiv/ny...narelaggs.html
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Old February 24th, 2015, 02:30 PM   #435
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Frequency Stockholm-Oslo to increase from two to three trains a day this August. Travel time reduced from 6 hours to 4 hours 37 minutes, only stopping in Karlstad and Arvika (and possibly Kongsvinger depending on political pressure).

Reisetiden mellom Oslo og Stockholm skal kuttes med halvannen time
Kuttet reisetiden mellom grensen og Oslo med 20 min - uten investeringer
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Old February 26th, 2015, 09:35 AM   #436
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This Friday, Infrastructure Minister Anna Johansson (S) comes to Malmö for a conference on next years' large investments in the region.

At the meeting Per Corshammar will present statistics showing the needs for investment in rail in South Sweden is by far the largest in the country.

Here are ten of Sweden's 25 busiest rail routes.

The railway between Arlöv and Lund is Sweden's busiest double track with 479 passing trains per day. Meanwhile, the railway through Arlöv is the busiest tripple-track section with 502 passing trains per day.

This means that a train runs through Arlöv every three minutes - around the clock.

- Along these routes the trains are constantly in a queue. It is not possible to run more trains than it is on the busiest railways through Skåne. This is the busiest railway track in Sweden.

Among Sweden's seven most busy double track is also the City Tunnel, Lund Eslov, Eslov Hoor and Hoor-Hässleholm. Only the Arlanda airport line can messure with the train frequency along these distances in Southern Sweden.

In addition, the Öresund bridge is well traveled. The bridge is Sweden's sixteenth busiest double track and this will probably cause problems with the capacity when the Fehmarn Belt tunnel is completed in about six or seven years.



http://www.sydsvenskan.se/sverige/sk...-ar-overfulla/
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Old February 28th, 2015, 06:23 PM   #437
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Tannefors, Linköping

Linköping has 2 railway stations, the central station and Tannefors. When a bypass road was built the old Tannefors station was removed and rebuilt about 500m to the south in opposite of the SAAB aviation factory.

Few passengers use this station, but those who do are usually employees of SAAB.

From here you can travel to central Linköping and to Västervik/Kalmar.


[
The new Tannefors station


The location of the old removed station.


A Y31 railbus from Västervik passes by, only a few of them stop here.


The train from Kalmar heading for Linköping C

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Old March 1st, 2015, 10:49 AM   #438
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
#1. Where did you get that figure for the cost between Stockholm and Gothenburg?
The SJ website.


Quote:
#2. This is purely hypothetical.
No it isn't. If you sell something at different price points, for example 200, 300 and 400 and you remove the 200 price point you will lose every single customer for whom your product was worth more than 200, but less then 300.

Quote:
Price gouging (not gauging, different things) is common in the yield management situation in many countries as they punish captive riders, much like they do for London.
No, you don't have "yield management" and "price gouging" at the same time. You need yield management when you don't have a captive market. If you have a large captive market (like the Japanes or the Swiss railways) you don't need to offer discounted fares.

Sweden is different, in that you will never have the traffic levels you have on Japanese HSL in Sweden. Also you don't have the situation like in greater Tokyo area where the average person simply can't afford to own and operate a car.

I assume that there are not that many free seats on the Tokaide Shinkansen on a regular bases.

Quote:
Competition is available and it is a "competitive market" on paper (there are buses and of course you can take a car), but the reality is that this competition is a veneer due to the competition being hamstrung (lack of parking primarily for cars in London for commuters and of course the unreliability of bus travel due to congestion).
There is always the alternative of not commuting to London... That you seem to forget. But apparently the cost of commuting to London is worth working there.

Quote:
To answer your question properly in a Swedish context, I would have to get statistics on the purchase of advance tickets vs same day travel. I am not sure that SJ gives out that data, but I can look. I don't think a change in ticketing would make an instant difference, but if they improved the crumbling network here at the same time I think it would improve things.
But to improve the network they need to get more money -- but is it really Crumbling? The speeds on Stockholm - Göteborg are nothging to be ashamed of.

Anyway, yield management is a way to, given a certain market, make more profit. When a railway makes more profit usually it improves. I am all in favour for that.
I could explain that in more detail, but that would require a long post, and would get us of topic.

Quote:
Whenever I travel around the world, I refuse to use railways that are yield managed if I can avoid it because it just restricts my travel too much - I would rather drive. I really value flexibility in travel over all others, and a lack of flexibility over any other consideration is the reason I will take a car over public transport.
There is not a single railway in Europe where you can't buy a ticket at the last minute. So what are you actually complaining about?
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Old March 1st, 2015, 12:14 PM   #439
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
The SJ website.
But that's a ridiculous price and no one would pay that - take a look at the MTR Express prices for travel too. Don't forget, we have a new company competing against SJ now (thank goodness).

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
No it isn't. If you sell something at different price points, for example 200, 300 and 400 and you remove the 200 price point you will lose every single customer for whom your product was worth more than 200, but less then 300.
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
No, you don't have "yield management" and "price gouging" at the same time. You need yield management when you don't have a captive market. If you have a large captive market (like the Japanes or the Swiss railways) you don't need to offer discounted fares.
Why are they captive? They don't need to take the train - certainly not for the Shinkansen. You're thinking too much of the Tokyo metro area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Sweden is different, in that you will never have the traffic levels you have on Japanese HSL in Sweden. Also you don't have the situation like in greater Tokyo area where the average person simply can't afford to own and operate a car.
Actually, the average person can own a car, and many do. Amount driven is low, but often people do have cars - especially in cities like Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya more than Tokyo. The difference is the amount of use and the modal share. How about Switzerland too? They have high car ownership but still high railway use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
I assume that there are not that many free seats on the Tokaide Shinkansen on a regular bases.
Yes there are - and I've used them. 80% occupancy is the average. But you also forget that the Tohoku Shinkansen goes through the Tohoku region, which is much less populated. You also have the Kyushu Shinkansen and now the newer Hokuriku Shinkansen that goes along the northern coast of Japan that connects smaller cities. Finally, the Tohoku Shinkansen is being extended to the Hokaido Shinkansen that links Sapporo to the Tohoku region. I would learn a bit more about the Japanese rail system before commenting further.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
There is always the alternative of not commuting to London... That you seem to forget. But apparently the cost of commuting to London is worth working there.
Then you don't understand the draw of London - it's the type of jobs and the unavailability of such jobs outside of the capital. It's because of a severe lack of affordability of the houses in London that forces people to commute, so yes they don't have much of a choice if they want that particular kind of job. My parents were one such example - researchers working at a top institute in London that was particularly specialised in their field so they commuted from Luton first off and then from Northampton later. This was back in the days when your employer subsidised your rail pass during British Rail days, though. Now with privatisation and the switch to yield management prices have increased exponentially.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
But to improve the network they need to get more money -- but is it really Crumbling? The speeds on Stockholm - Göteborg are nothging to be ashamed of.
No, but service quality, rolling stock and customer service are something to be ashamed of for SJ. For infrastructure, the tracks and signals are old as is evidenced by the number of signal failures and speed restriction points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Anyway, yield management is a way to, given a certain market, make more profit. When a railway makes more profit usually it improves. I am all in favour for that.
I could explain that in more detail, but that would require a long post, and would get us of topic.
I seriously don't believe it does. Like I said, there are private and public examples abroad that don't use yield management and have the most successful systems of all. I prefer to emulate and use those systems than the nonsense we have here.

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There is not a single railway in Europe where you can't buy a ticket at the last minute. So what are you actually complaining about?
For a premium price, and that is the problem. Why should I pay a premium? I can just drive instead, and that is exactly what I would do if I was allowed to drive in this country, but I am not. So I just don't travel around Sweden and fly abroad instead rather than bother with travelling here. I can get cheaper last minute deals to fly around Europe rather than waste money on train travel within Sweden.
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Old March 1st, 2015, 08:20 PM   #440
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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
But that's a ridiculous price and no one would pay that
And yet you keep on arguing that they should only ask that price...
Quote:
take a look at the MTR Express prices for travel too. Don't forget, we have a new company competing against SJ now (thank goodness).
I've just had a look. I notice they do yield management as well. They're cheaper than SJ, slightly slower and offer less departures (for now, I assume).

Quote:
Actually, the average person can own a car, and many do. Amount driven is low, but often people do have cars - especially in cities like Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya more than Tokyo. The difference is the amount of use and the modal share. How about Switzerland too? They have high car ownership but still high railway use.
The main reason is parking (or lack thereof). Most employers in the main cities do not provide parking for their employees.

Quote:
Yes there are - and I've used them. 80% occupancy is the average. But you also forget that the Tohoku Shinkansen goes through the Tohoku region, which is much less populated. You also have the Kyushu Shinkansen and now the newer Hokuriku Shinkansen that goes along the northern coast of Japan that connects smaller cities. Finally, the Tohoku Shinkansen is being extended to the Hokaido Shinkansen that links Sapporo to the Tohoku region. I would learn a bit more about the Japanese rail system before commenting further.
That is why I am asking.
But if average occupancy is 80% with upwards of 10 trains per hour they do indeed not need yield management.
This has been my argument al along: It depends on the market. If you run 1 tph and average occupancy is 30%, how do you get more people in to those empty seats. Is it wrong for a railway to try to better fill the trains?

Quote:
Then you don't understand the draw of London -
Oh. But I do.

Quote:
it's the type of jobs and the unavailability of such jobs outside of the capital. It's because of a severe lack of affordability of the houses in London that forces people to commute, so yes they don't have much of a choice if they want that particular kind of job. My parents were one such example - researchers working at a top institute in London that was particularly specialised in their field so they commuted from Luton first off and then from Northampton later. This was back in the days when your employer subsidised your rail pass during British Rail days, though. Now with privatisation and the switch to yield management prices have increased exponentially.
Commuter tickets to London are not subject to "yield management". I don't know what you are talking about. Yield management refers to trying to fill empty seats (that in fact have a zero marginal cost to the railway) by offering discounted fares for those seats.
What commuter passes to London apparently still are is rather cheap, or the trains wouldn't be so full.

Think of it. A train cannot be full and "too expensive" at the same time. If you think this is possible you don't understand basic economics.

Quote:
I seriously don't believe it does. Like I said, there are private and public examples abroad that don't use yield management and have the most successful systems of all. I prefer to emulate and use those systems than the nonsense we have here.
There are also examples of systems that do use yield management and that are very successful.
It all depends on the market you are operating in.
What should a railway do that finds itself in the position that regardless of which prices (high or low) they ask for tickets they will never make a profit, but with differentiated prices they can make a profit. What should a railway do that finds itself in this situation?

Quote:
For a premium price, and that is the problem. Why should I pay a premium?
Why should the railway not charge you what the market will bear?

If someone wants me to come and fix hist network first thing tomorrow, without advance warning, he's going to pay a hefty premium as well.

Quote:
I can get cheaper last minute deals to fly around Europe rather than waste money on train travel within Sweden.
And there reason you can get these deals is because the airlines are even more aggressive when it comes to yield management.
But this of course begs the question: Why do you not find it an issue to plan your travel in advance when it is by air, but do take issue when it is by rail.
I mean, Stockholm - Göteborg is a distance that if I were to undertake it from my hometown would take me across three borders. Why is it such a problem that you need to plan ahead a bit if you want to do it at bargain prices?

Last edited by K_; March 1st, 2015 at 08:27 PM.
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