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I'm wondering what can the impact of previous infrastructure on new construction.

Most subway stations are in built-up areas and most tunnels under built-up areas.

the MTA in NY is struggling to ameliorate its service because the underlying infrastructure is subpar and eats too much into its budget.

New York has an extensive old system to maintain. However, for new projects, costs tend to climb to the sky in the USA for reasons not entirely clear to me -- the hiring of consultancies, redundant planning jobs, handed out to political clients, among them.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Nov 23rd, 2009 at 06:59:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry I wasn't clear, I meant previous transportation infrastructure. Existing lines can eat up budgets if maintenance hasn't been taken seriously for too long, but it may also push planner towards incremental ameliorations on the existing lines rather than build new lines... and delay the inevitable at the expense of commuters.

As for NY, the lines can't be much older than London or Moscow, can they? But let's not get into the subjet of U.S. infrastructure, it's just too much of a shame.

On a side note, since I know that you are a train fan, I did NY-SF by train last summer. A great, great experience. I did take picture of bridges too !

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine

by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Mon Nov 23rd, 2009 at 07:10:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Existing lines can eat up budgets if maintenance hasn't been taken seriously for too long, but it may also push planner towards incremental ameliorations on the existing lines rather than build new lines...

This is more a question of tight budgets and priorities than old vs. new. The time it takes to build a new line should not grow, unless money is taken from the new project in the same tight budget.

In Madrid, there was already a major subway system, but new construction in recent years quadrupled that. What's more, in the same timeframe, there was money for major upgrades on old lines, too: many stations were lengthened, some tunnels were entirely rebuilt for a wider gauge [cross-section].

As for NY, the lines can't be much older than London or Moscow, can they?

Older than Moscow, more like London or Paris. But, much of the tunnel and track infrastructure is depreciated, ripe for an upgrade, and AFAIK this situation is worse than in Moscow or Paris (but maybe not London).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Nov 23rd, 2009 at 07:29:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Older than Moscow, more like London or Paris.

That's presumably the oldest lines you are talking about. But some of the London and Paris systems are much newer (I'm not sure what proportion). On the other hand, I can't think of anything recent in NY apart from the Archer station extension in Queens.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Nov 23rd, 2009 at 07:35:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The first line in Moscow was opened in 1935. Most of the present systems in London, Paris and NYC were in place a decade earlier. Paris and NYC started -- with rapid expansion -- at the start of the 20th century, London even before.

After WWII, Paris, Moscow and New York kept extending old lines and building an entirely new one every few decades, and even London built a new line into the nineties. But New York more or less stopped in the early seventies. The one big project today is the Second Avenue Subway, put on hold repeatedly since the early fourties(!), but now in construction at last. To be fair, New York also built less spectacular but capital-intensive connectors and track quadruplings, the last one being the 63rd Street Connector.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Nov 23rd, 2009 at 08:16:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dodo, I just remembered talking to someone working in Paris on the extension of a subway line. She said they were moving forward at the rate of 1m per 3 weeks, iirc.

How large of an impact can geology have?

At the end of the day, my question is how fast can demand for mobility channelled to new public transportation. If anyone has any idea...

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine

by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 04:59:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The work on the Gotthard Base Tunnel gets up to 40m per day. I doubt there is anything geologically comparable in Paris, though you obviously have other problems, such as not to disrupt everything around you.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 05:09:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Up to, but even on average, multiple meters certainly. You can actually check advance reports:

  • Project organisator AlpTransitGotthard has a monthly update. It isn't awfully detailed, though: no October data for one of the two pairs of still active attacks, the one from Sedrun to the South (they only report the passing of the originally planned meeting point of the final two tunneling attacks, which was moved South by 1.7 km); and daily averages of 12.4 resp. 14.8 m for the pair of attacks from Faido to the North.

  • For Sedrun, the contractor's progress report is not much help, either, but in the reports from 2007, you find earlier averages of 6-6.5 m for this (blast-excavated) pair of attacks, and data for the geologically most difficult section of the entire tunnel (a zone of fractured, expanding rock North of Sedrun): traversed at 1.4-1.5 m/day.

  • For the Faido tunnel boring machines, there is also the contractor's semi-regular weekly report (showing a progress of 110.9 resp. 73.5 m in the two tubes).


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 06:07:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The website still talks about Cisalpino trains. Any idea whether the end of Cisalpino will have any effect on the technology?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 06:12:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
None at all.

  1. Cisalpino's trains are to continue to be run by SBB resp. FS.
  2. Even if the new ETR610 Pendolinos continue to be troubled, no tilt technology needed in the NEAT tunnels.
  3. If the ETR610 are retired for whatever reason, what could be a result is that there will be no need for 250 km/h 'paths' [e.g. schedule slots], which would increase tunnel capacity. However, opening of the tunnels is still so far away that new 250 km/h capable trains could be purchased by then. (Or, who knows, some other operator -- DB, SNCF, Italy's new private NTV -- might request extended runs acorss the tunnel for their proper high-speed trains.)


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 06:23:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the Faido tunnel boring machines, there is also the contractor's semi-regular weekly report (showing a progress of 110.9 resp. 73.5 m in the two tubes).

...and you get averages for the entire Faido tunnels (including weeks-long stops for vacations and maintenance) of 9.44 resp. 9.04 m/day. (So the final holing-through can be expected in the first half of 2011.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 06:13:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rate of 1m per 3 weeks, iirc.

That slow would be possible across a problem zone, and even then only with long stops. 100m in 3 weeks would be more like it under a city like Paris, or even multiples of that.

Nowadays, unless facing unexpected geological problems (see the ill-fated North-South metro across Amsterdam), tunnel boring itself is not even the majority of the time of construction: there is surveying before, and elaborate tunnel fitting afterwards, and then track commissioning. For example, Paris's line 14 was dug for two years (at a rate of 350m/month), but opened three and a half years after tunnel boring was finished.

how fast can demand for mobility channelled to new public transportation

That's too broad a question... always depends on local circumstances, and what you mean by "channelled to new public transportation". (Do you mean how long it takes for inhabitants to switch to a new project? Or how long it would take to get a majority of them to switch to public transport? Or 100%?)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 05:31:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, this is too broad a question. I ask it the light of the RES directive objective of 10% RE in transportation. It is clear that such a penetration of RE will be possible only if overall fuel consumption of the transportation sector diminishes.

Since we know that demand for mobility is unlikely to decrease, the only solution a shift towards vastly more efficiency transportation systems -- public transportation. But then the time constraint kicks in, hence my earlier remark on subway/tramway line construction times.

I don't know what to think about this, given, as you said, how central political commitment is. The point is not really to forecast what may take place but to understand what is actually possible if there is a strong political will. Madrid, seems to be a clear case. What impact can we expect overall?

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine

by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 06:09:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I note Madrid is an example for strong political will resulting in quick construction -- however, unfortunately, it is also an example of no priority in a shift to public transport. At the same time subway construction accelerated, road construction ran amok, too, with the result that the modal shift didn't change much -- while overall traffic increased.

Now, 10% renewables in transport? How exactly is that spelled out in the directives? On the face of it, that would require (1) a much more than 10% share of electric public transport in overall transport, and/or (2) a rather significant share of RE in the generation of that electricity. Now, in some countries, hydro takes a major part of railway electricity generation, don't know about the whole EU though.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 06:40:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
10% renewables in transport? How exactly is that spelled out in the directives?
As we know, biofuels were initially a substantial part of that. But 10% biofuels at the current level of fuel consumption in road transport is not attainable.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 07:18:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. I wonder if the biofuels part in the 10% RE in transport goal is explicit.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 07:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Luis de Sousa - "The 10 per cent agri-fuels target has been seriously undermined"
an agreement that up to almost a third of the EU's 10 percent goal would be met not through biofuels but through electric cars and trains

That's a quote from a report on last-minute negotiations between the EP and the Commission a year ago. So two-thirds of the 10% are still supposed to come from biofuels.

See also Shifting The Biofuel Goalposts.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 08:12:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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