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Betuweroute Opens:

source: welcomeurope.com

New priority section of the trans-European transport network completed: the Betuweroute starts operating between the Netherlands and Germany

On 16 June 2007 about 160 km of dedicated rail freight line will start moving freights between the port of Rotterdam and Germany at a speed of 120 km/h. Through this new railroad, an average of 160 trains per day is expected to cross the Dutch-German border, carrying around 37 million tons of freight a year.
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source: railway-technology.com

Infrastructure

The 160km line includes five tunnels with a total length of 18km and 130 bridges and viaducts with a total length of 12km. Major tunnels include the 3km Botlek rail tunnel, which was bored using the earth pressure balance method, the 8km Sophia Rail Tunnel, which uses the hydroshield method, and the 2.7km Pannerdensch Canal Tunnel. All tunnels on the Betuweroute can accommodate double-stack trains.

Significantly, the line has overhead wires energised at 25kV AC even though the Kijfhoek end remains with Dutch standard 1.5kV DC. The German end is electrified at 15kV AC. There will be four transformer stations, and a booster power house every 10km to provide consistent supply.
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Map (click)


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Stats:
Length: 160km
Construction Start: 3 June 1997
Opening: 16 June 2007
Costs: 4.7 Billion Euro
Electrification: 25kV 50Hz
Signaling System: ETCS level 2 (Alstom)
Exploitation: Keyrail

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Further reading:
http://en.betuweroute.nl/home?setlanguage=en
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betuweroute
http://www.railwaypeople.com/rail-projects/betuweroute-freight-line-netherlands-35.html
 

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It's not really a high speed line; it's a freight-only line. Although, for freight trains, the speeds they will be getting here will be very high.
 

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They haven't got a high speed line so far. The high speed line from Amsterdam to the South (Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brussels) is still being tested.
 

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Can anyone give an update on HSL Zuid please? I'm affraid my Dutch isn't good enough to read this thread http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=456531 :eek:hno:


Specifically I'd like to know

1) Where things are at with the testing?
2) Have the ETCS issues been sorted out?
3) When is the projected start of service for HSA trains?
4) When is the projected start of service for Thalys?
5) What is being said regarding the possible direct Eurostar services?
6) Any other HSL ideas being discussed in the Netherlands

Thanks.
 

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I can't answer all your questions, but the answer to 2) is definitely no. Nothing has been sorted out, and no one really knows when trains will be able to actually ride on the line. 3) The ordered HSA trains that are being constructed by AnsaloBreda are delayed and no one really knows when they will arrive.
4) Thalys hasn't built ETCS into their trains yet. I think this should be done within a year.
5) This is a possibility, but all the other problems will have to be solved first. Eurostar would also require isolated platforms and customs faclities.
6) The Zuiderzeelijn from Amsterdam to Groningen and on to Hamburg/Bremen has been cancelled, but people do keep suggesting it. The tracks from Amsterdam Eastwards to the Rhine area have partly been quadrupled and are capable of handling 200 km/h. The rest of the line may get the same treatment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The services that were planned to start on 9 December 2007 are delayed because of:
1. Testing and certification of ETCS level 2, it was recently updated from the 2.2.2 to the 2.3.0 version. Because it was updated at the last moment all the test that had been were with the 2.2.2 version and should be done again. These are the only infrastructure test that need to be done, the other test are only to see if the new trains actually work properly on the line.

2. Cleaning up dust in the "Groene Hart Tunnel", because of testing the tunnel was completely covered in dust that was sucked in by the trains.

3. Approval and testing of the Class 186 locomotives build by Bombardier. These haven't been approved yet, but that's hopefully just a matter of time. Then they have to start test first before they can enter the service, these were sceduled to start in October but have been delayed.

For the High Speed Operations there's a target date of 1 October 2008. But because a 26 weeks testing period is needed before starting any commercial services the line should be completely finished on 1 April 2008. The line can be finished by then, but it's a question if the AnsaldoBreda trains are ready or at least 1. If a Thalys set is fitted with the ETCS it can also start testing by then. So hopefully we will see some high speed services next year, but I wouldn't be surprised if it will be delayed even more.

Most train manufacturers are open about the progress they make with the trains, but not AnsaldoBreda, we don't know anything. And since they already they already got such a good reputations, for example long delays and faulty new trains for Denmark and Norway. I'm scared that when the trains are here the problems won't be over.
 

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3. Approval and testing of the Class 186 locomotives build by Bombardier. These haven't been approved yet, but that's hopefully just a matter of time. Then they have to start test first before they can enter the service, these were sceduled to start in October but have been delayed.
latest news about this: E186 still suffer from differences in signalling systems implemented in Belgium and Holland, next plans are to use the 12 machines in pairs for the classic Benelux services between Amsterdam-border area-Brussels starting on January 15th. However, already a back-up date, February 15th, is mentioned...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The main problem right now is the change from the ETCS on the HSL to the ATB on the rest of the Dutch network. If a train comes of the HSL onto the regular tracks the safety systems won't change automatically without problems.

Hopefully it's just a software problem but it could also something more difficult to sort out.
 

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Currently, there are problems with the trains, delivery is delayed, it should've been tested in the Czech town of Velim (near Prague), but from what I've heard, the train wasn't even assembled completely, so they're having problems with the testing.

Besides that, there are still problems with the tunnel underneath the "green heart" area, a lot of dust is present there, making the advanced safety systems thinking there's a fire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
^ Yes damn them for making crap trains that don't work. And damn the NS for buying trains in Italy, that was also very stupid.

Besides that, there are still problems with the tunnel underneath the "green heart" area, a lot of dust is present there, making the advanced safety systems thinking there's a fire.
Actually the dust problem in the tunnel seems to be under control, the SNCF allowed their Thalys trains to do test rides on the line. So if all the ERMTS level 2 works and enough Thalys sets are equipped we could at least see them on the line soon. But then the SNCF has to do their job and make it possible.
 

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^^It's AnsaldoBreda who builds the trains... And the Dutch Railways (NS) ordered it... Not the Belgians NMBS! :drunk:.
 
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