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Old March 2nd, 2015, 03:14 PM   #441
Svartmetall
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
And yet you keep on arguing that they should only ask that price...
No, I am advocating a middle of the road price, not a set "highest-possible-price-one-can-see-on-the-website" price.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
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).
Yes, they do use yield management. Where did I say they didn't? Of course they offer less departures, they're only just starting to operate...

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
The main reason is parking (or lack thereof). Most employers in the main cities do not provide parking for their employees.
In Switzerland or Japan? There is plenty of private parking in Japan if one wants to pay for it. Your choice, free market and all that.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
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?
Yet NONE of the railways in Japan use yield management - even 3rd sector ones.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
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.
Now you're being obtuse. I meant since the introduction of yield managed fares and the privatisation of BR, fares have gone up exponentially for commuter passes as well. Nowhere did I imply that the commuter passes were subject to yield management.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
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.
You can make any system full by paring back services to minimum required services.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
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?
Which examples are "very successful" and turn a profit with yield management? Who are the profitable railways? What other railways manage to capture such a share of the market compared to private vehicles and aircraft as in those two examples I just named? This is also an important point - it's not just about profitability, it's about utility and achieving mode balance in a country. Roads are not expected to be profitable, they are a public service - why should railway be different, hm?

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Why should the railway not charge you what the market will bear?
In which case we should do the same with road tolls and just keep putting them up until we start seeing diminishing returns.

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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.
That's hardly the same example is it? You're talking about travelling and competing against the car as a mode of transportation.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
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?
Because I, unfortunately live in a country with rubbish weather and have a job that requires me to work most weekends at least for a few hours. This constrains my travel to actual booked holiday leave (for any longer distance travel). If it is going away for a weekend, I like to just up and go (for example, when the weather is good), and that is simply impossible with yield managed railways. Just because the distance is greater because Sweden is a gigantic, sparsely populated mess doesn't mean that it is in any way the same as you travelling a similar distance in your own country.

No, the car is the only way I would ever consider travelling around Sweden based on flexibility and cost. Funnily enough, most other people feel the same.
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Old March 2nd, 2015, 07:51 PM   #442
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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
No, I am advocating a middle of the road price, not a set "highest-possible-price-one-can-see-on-the-website" price.
1) Why then do you keep pointing at JR and SBB, two companies that charge premium prices, not middle of the road ones.
3) What if with the "middle of the road" price the railway becomes unprofitable?
4) What do you think that people who have gotten used to take advantage of cheap fares will do? (For example, I usually book my trips from Switzerland to Belgium a month in advance, which allows me to travel in first class at a price I am willing to pay).
5) People for whom travelling is not worth the new, higher price, will not travel. So you will lose customers.

Quote:
You can make any system full by paring back services to minimum required services.
You cannot force someone to board a train. Every single passenger on board a train is there because he wants to.
If I offer standing room in cattle cars at 100 euro a pop, and I manage to fill my trains, then the conclusion is that apparently people value standing upright in cattle cars more than hanging on to their 100 euro.
That's an extreme example, but it's econ 101. People's behaviour tells us what they value. If a train is full it means that for a train load of people this train was not to expensive.

Quote:
Which examples are "very successful" and turn a profit with yield management?
Who are the profitable railways? What other railways manage to capture such a share of the market compared to private vehicles and aircraft as in those two examples I just named?
In Europe not a single railway is really profitable, not the way the Japanese are. But some are doing better then others. The French TGV system is undeniably quite successful. On Paris - Brussel the train dominates.

Quote:
This is also an important point - it's not just about profitability, it's about utility and achieving mode balance in a country. Roads are not expected to be profitable, they are a public service - why should railway be different, hm?
You can turn this around: Why shouldn't roads be profitable as well?
But I agree that where there is a positive externality this changes things. That is why I do treat commuter and regional rail different from long distance rail.

Quote:
In which case we should do the same with road tolls and just keep putting them up until we start seeing diminishing returns.
Yes. We should. Like in Japan...


Quote:
That's hardly the same example is it? You're talking about travelling and competing against the car as a mode of transportation.
For competing against the car the main tool is transit passes. That is how SBB is so successful. When I commute to work almost everyone in the train has a GA.
However, when the main competitor is air or long distance buses, and they offer discount fares you have to follow. Or lose your customers.

Actually SBB is getting really aggressive with it's discount fares now. I see adds for them everywhere.

Quote:
Because I, unfortunately live in a country with rubbish weather and have a job that requires me to work most weekends at least for a few hours.
It's of course your job. And I know the feeling. However I assume the job pays well, so that ought to compensate for the fact that you can't buy discounted rail tickets...
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Old March 2nd, 2015, 10:53 PM   #443
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
1) Why then do you keep pointing at JR and SBB, two companies that charge premium prices, not middle of the road ones.
3) What if with the "middle of the road" price the railway becomes unprofitable?
4) What do you think that people who have gotten used to take advantage of cheap fares will do? (For example, I usually book my trips from Switzerland to Belgium a month in advance, which allows me to travel in first class at a price I am willing to pay).
5) People for whom travelling is not worth the new, higher price, will not travel. So you will lose customers.
JR (and the other private railways in Japan) are not premium services. Only the Shinkansen is. If you have time, and the inclination, you can take non-premium services around Japan and pay almost half what you would on the Shinkansen. That's the joy of the service, there is a price sensitive alternative. Commuting costs are not that high relative to income in Japan. Do you really feel that SBB is highly priced relative to income in Switzerland (and this is the crux, the cost for locals not necessarily for visitors). Sweden is expensive for locals too to travel on the trains without one of the time-sensitive offers.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
You cannot force someone to board a train. Every single passenger on board a train is there because he wants to.
Or has little choice for another mode.


I
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
f I offer standing room in cattle cars at 100 euro a pop, and I manage to fill my trains, then the conclusion is that apparently people value standing upright in cattle cars more than hanging on to their 100 euro.
That's an extreme example, but it's econ 101. People's behaviour tells us what they value. If a train is full it means that for a train load of people this train was not to expensive.
Or it means that the alternative choice is simply not a viable option. Like I said, the example I can think of is the London commuter where it is simply impossible to drive due to no parking at the job.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
In Europe not a single railway is really profitable, not the way the Japanese are. But some are doing better then others. The French TGV system is undeniably quite successful. On Paris - Brussel the train dominates.
HSR being profitable is less of a stretch of the imagination than the network as a whole. Again, the Japanese railways are, network-wide. That is because Japan is smart enough to do exactly what we discuss below.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
You can turn this around: Why shouldn't roads be profitable as well?
But I agree that where there is a positive externality this changes things. That is why I do treat commuter and regional rail different from long distance rail.
I think they (roads) should be profitable. I also see some common ground emerging between us. I think HSR and premium services are more price-elastic than the bog standard service. I think my compromise would be to use yield managed premium services and then fixed price commuter and regional services. To a point I would be happier with this solution, as long as there is a fixed price alternative to the premium service.

The thing is, that Sweden subsidises roads tremendously and thus skews the modal split towards cars. If there was equitable treatment to all modes then railways should have more subsidised fares to make them competitive with the car. Even for a single passenger, the car can be cheaper than the train, and therefore the modal choice is excessively skewed. Either subsidise both or make both fully user pays like, as you point out, Japan.

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For competing against the car the main tool is transit passes. That is how SBB is so successful. When I commute to work almost everyone in the train has a GA.
However, when the main competitor is air or long distance buses, and they offer discount fares you have to follow. Or lose your customers.
But there we go - you're advocating low-cost alternatives that would never exist if yield management was widespread in Switzerland. Our rail pass in Sweden costs 43,300 SEK. This price point is well out of the reach of your average Swede as it is 1.8 times the median monthly salary. If you want public transport added onto this, it comes to 59,300 SEK. No one is going to be able to afford that for each family member. There are no other discount tickets like 50% off. This level of price inflexibility is crazy in my mind. There is no incentive to take the train unless you plan a month in advance...

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It's of course your job. And I know the feeling. However I assume the job pays well, so that ought to compensate for the fact that you can't buy discounted rail tickets...
Nope, I get paid terribly. Scientists never get paid well. I do it because cancer ain't gonna cure itself (Cancer pharmacologist here, yey).
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Old March 2nd, 2015, 11:16 PM   #444
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Stockholm-Gothenburg to me at least seems more similar to TGV services competing with air travel (you can fly this route, right?) than Swiss regional services meant mostly for people commuting to their jobs.

About alternative choices: in pretty much every country I can think off there is an alternative to buy and use a car instead of public transport. Of course there are costs to that too. In my case commuting with a car would be 2-3x more expensive and that's not counting depreciation of the car itself.
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Old March 3rd, 2015, 12:28 AM   #445
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Stockholm-Gothenburg to me at least seems more similar to TGV services competing with air travel (you can fly this route, right?) than Swiss regional services meant mostly for people commuting to their jobs.
Except they are FAR slower and not well priced.

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About alternative choices: in pretty much every country I can think off there is an alternative to buy and use a car instead of public transport. Of course there are costs to that too. In my case commuting with a car would be 2-3x more expensive and that's not counting depreciation of the car itself.
I believe a car is cheaper here by quite a way for two people. If I could drive here I would.
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Old March 3rd, 2015, 07:35 AM   #446
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JR (and the other private railways in Japan) are not premium services. Only the Shinkansen is. If you have time, and the inclination, you can take non-premium services around Japan and pay almost half what you would on the Shinkansen. That's the joy of the service, there is a price sensitive alternative. Commuting costs are not that high relative to income in Japan. Do you really feel that SBB is highly priced relative to income in Switzerland (and this is the crux, the cost for locals not necessarily for visitors). Sweden is expensive for locals too to travel on the trains without one of the time-sensitive offers.
You were talking about prices. You called the SJ flexible fare a "premium price", and I just used the terminology. SBB would probably ask a full price of around 160-170 Euro for Stockholm - Göteborg. If you adjust for purchasing power that would come to about 120,-. Pretty much what SJ charges.

It's just to counter your argument where you keep pointing at SBB as an example to follow.

Quote:
Or has little choice for another mode.
One always has the choice not to travel.
Quote:
Or it means that the alternative choice is simply not a viable option. Like I said, the example I can think of is the London commuter where it is simply impossible to drive due to no parking at the job.
You're missing my point. I am telling that the simple observation that people commute to London using a particular mode at a particular price _proves beyond reasonable doubt_ that for those people commuting to London using that mode is worth the price they are paying for it.

The fact that there are all kinds of circumstances that make commuting to London harder means basically that the _value_ of the product offered by the railways is higher.


Quote:
HSR being profitable is less of a stretch of the imagination than the network as a whole. Again, the Japanese railways are, network-wide. That is because Japan is smart enough to do exactly what we discuss below.
But that is a fallacious argument. You are arguing that the Japanese railway network is profitable (which last time I looked as only the case on Honshu), because they don't use Yield management.
However, correlation is not causation. As a scientist you should know that...

There several possible alternative explanations. And I have put them forward here.
One alternative explanation is that the market they operate in is different, they don't need yield management.
But another alternative explanation is that they are simply not allowed to do yield management. I don't know how prices are regulated in Japan. I do know that SBB would like to charge rush hour commuters a lot more then they do know. They however are not allowed to do this. So they in stead are gradually increasing prices, and offering incentives to travel off peak by introducing discounted fares.

Quote:
I think HSR and premium services are more price-elastic than the bog standard service. I think my compromise would be to use yield managed premium services and then fixed price commuter and regional services. To a point I would be happier with this solution, as long as there is a fixed price alternative to the premium service.
But isn't this exactly what we have now?

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There is no incentive to take the train unless you plan a month in advance...
I'll be in Sweden this summer. On a first class interrail pass...

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Nope, I get paid terribly. Scientists never get paid well. I do it because cancer ain't gonna cure itself (Cancer pharmacologist here, yey).
So part of your "pay" is non monetary. Still the fact that you are doing what you are doing proves that to you it's worth doing over not doing it...
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Old March 3rd, 2015, 11:13 PM   #447
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
You were talking about prices. You called the SJ flexible fare a "premium price", and I just used the terminology. SBB would probably ask a full price of around 160-170 Euro for Stockholm - Göteborg. If you adjust for purchasing power that would come to about 120,-. Pretty much what SJ charges.
Fair enough, I'll acknowledge single fares are expensive in Switzerland, but is that with the 50% reduction card? If not, then you cannot compare given how we don't even have the option of such a card. This is what makes the railways there more viable even if the single fares are expensive. Here the fares are just expensive and there is no potential for discount unless you book in advance. That's just stupidity.

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One always has the choice not to travel.
And that is the thing about this country that makes me positively suicidal.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
You're missing my point. I am telling that the simple observation that people commute to London using a particular mode at a particular price _proves beyond reasonable doubt_ that for those people commuting to London using that mode is worth the price they are paying for it.
Lack of choice doesn't mean that they think the price is worth it.

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The fact that there are all kinds of circumstances that make commuting to London harder means basically that the _value_ of the product offered by the railways is higher.
Is it a good thing to just take advantage of such a situation and milk it? I, personally, think such practices are actually bad for a country as a whole economically as the only people who miss out are the middle class. Reduced disposable income in the middle class has a big knock-on effect to the rest of the economy (especially the UK which is so sensitive to drops in domestic consumption).

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But that is a fallacious argument. You are arguing that the Japanese railway network is profitable (which last time I looked as only the case on Honshu), because they don't use Yield management.
However, correlation is not causation. As a scientist you should know that...
No, JR East, JR Central, JR West, JR Kyushu and JR Shikoku are all profitable, though Shikoku suffers a wee bit more due to low population relative to extensiveness of railway coverage - heck they had a record profit of 850,000,000yen. Even JR Hokkaido isn't doing that badly. JR Shikoku and JR Hokkaido are both owned indirectly by the Japanese government though for this reason as the railways are seen as a social service. This is also the case with the unprofitable or less profitable lines that are dubbed "third sector" that are subsidised by local councils or communities. Some of these "third sector" lines are actually turning profits now - the most famous of all is in Wakayama with Tama, the railway cat. Also, you really should consider more than just the JR group - you have many, many large companies such as Nishitetsu (to use a profitable Kyushu company) that operate private railways alongside and sometimes competing with JR across Japan.

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There several possible alternative explanations. And I have put them forward here.
One alternative explanation is that the market they operate in is different, they don't need yield management.
But another alternative explanation is that they are simply not allowed to do yield management. I don't know how prices are regulated in Japan. I do know that SBB would like to charge rush hour commuters a lot more then they do know. They however are not allowed to do this. So they in stead are gradually increasing prices, and offering incentives to travel off peak by introducing discounted fares.
Railway culture in Japan is just so ingrained that they are seen as an intrinsic part of their culture, and they are largely proud of their railways. Prices are not increased as they don't need to be because railways make money. They make money because they have priced at the correct point for their market. The interesting thing is that the private railways are nearly universally cheaper than JR, yet the quality difference is not noticeable (and sometimes is superior in the case of Tokyu for example).

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But isn't this exactly what we have now?
Since when? SJ operate the regional rail and no. No discounts. You can buy an expensive commuter 10-ride pass if you want, but it is not that cheap compared to even regular fares. The whole set up of the regional railways here is a nightmare.

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I'll be in Sweden this summer. On a first class interrail pass...
Oh, please do share your impressions. Personally, I pity you as I have had nothing but miserable experiences on the rail system here.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 01:47 PM   #448
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MTR Express at Stockholm Central

(c)MTR
source: https://twitter.com/mtrtunnelbanan/s...17784832598016

That tweet also contained the twitterhandle of MTR Express: @MTRExpress
Still set to private though.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 02:49 PM   #449
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Very nice! The official traffic start is a few weeks from today. Thank you for sharing, Swede.

I found an unseen visualisation of the Stadler Flirt EMU for MTR Express:


Source
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Old March 6th, 2015, 03:33 PM   #450
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I really wish SJ would go back to the old colorschemes they used the dem olden days. Anything's better than the washed-out grey they use now. Even the old brown with yellow markings used on the passenger cars. Or the orange used on the locos for much of the 20th century. It would stand out, having the trains be this colorscheme:

/wiki
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Old March 7th, 2015, 08:38 PM   #451
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A railtrip Linköping-Åtvidaberg PHOTOS from TODAY


Departure Linköping station. Today at 12.32






Y31 Interior. A very comfortable railbus


Arrival Åtvidaberg station

The station building


Uncut Youtube onboard video the whole trip took 32 min

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Old March 8th, 2015, 04:39 AM   #452
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Is that mini section behind the glass wall first class?
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Old March 8th, 2015, 05:36 AM   #453
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Yes it is!

"1 Kl" is an abbreviation for "första klass" which translates to "First class".
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Old March 8th, 2015, 06:05 AM   #454
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Yes it is!

"1 Kl" is an abbreviation for "första klass" which translates to "First class".
That's abit silly to have a section that small dedicated to first class on a rural train..
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Old March 8th, 2015, 10:52 AM   #455
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That's abit silly to have a section that small dedicated to first class on a rural train..
Well I didnt see any difference at all between the 2nd and 1st class compartment, only that the seat were red in 1st class and that it's more expensive to sit there.

This railbus carries about 20 passengers on average but it can take up to 120 people, if it was crowded maybe the 1st class ticket would make sense.
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Old March 8th, 2015, 11:21 AM   #456
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I wouldn't mind paying more for first if they served food. Does the train have wifi?
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Old March 8th, 2015, 12:37 PM   #457
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They make money because they have priced at the correct point for their market.
you are actually repeating my argument here. It's the market...

What if a railway finds itself in a market where there is no single price point that would allow it to make a profit, but where with differentiated prices I can make a profit....
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Old March 9th, 2015, 07:12 AM   #458
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Train journey on the Bothnia line

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Old March 11th, 2015, 02:22 PM   #459
NordikNerd
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Motala, railway station

Motala-The rebuilt railway station. Now also commutertrains stop here. There are direct trains to Örebro, Gävle and Norrköping.




Commutertrain to Mjölby-Linköping-Norrköping


Now there is an underground passageway.


New double railway tracks. This used to be a single track line.



The railwaystation building. It was built in 1873.



The railwaystation building interior.


A lot of freight trains pass by.


Train schedule


Train to Örebro


Take the youtubetrain to Motala

Last edited by NordikNerd; March 11th, 2015 at 10:56 PM.
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Old March 12th, 2015, 03:14 AM   #460
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MTR Express commercial:



The first Stadler Flirt train had a debut in Stockholm on March 9th this year! The train was booked for a private trip to Nykvarn. The official service in line Stockholm-Gothenburg will start on March 21st.


Source

More information: MTR Express rullade ut premiärtåget
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