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one would hardly chalk the story of Fyra as a positive example for European high-speed rail

It's mostly a negative example of using the model of price-based purchases of off-the-shelf products in the rail sector (be it high-speed or conventional). In that category, it is still second to the Danish IC4 debacle (which also involves AnsaldoBreda). I find it interesting that in addition to matters of construction quality and trust, the issue of operational practices comes up, too:

Dutch train operator NS has been pointing fingers at AnsaldoBreda, AnsaldoBreda has been scoffing back that NS should've wiped the snow from the trains during the night.

It may be that both sides are right: it may not have appeared to AnsaldoBreda that their trains will be maintained in winter differently in the Netherlands than in Italy.

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

by DoDo on Tue Jan 29th, 2013 at 07:50:10 AM EST
Maintenance : it may seem bleedin' obvious in Italy that you can spend time de-icing your trains on a relatively limited number of nights per year; likewise, it is surely bleedin' obvious in the Netherlands that you can't mobilise staff every night there's snow for such a job, you have to have rolling stock that can cope with the conditions.

i.e. the problem is either that somebody didn't read the specifications, or, perhaps worse, that nobody wrote the specifications. I can't see any excuse for that, but of course it won't be anyone's fault.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jan 29th, 2013 at 07:58:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, the busy transit lines in the Alpine parts of Italy (and some pass lines in the Appennines) get plenty of snow, probably more than Atlantic Netherlands.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 29th, 2013 at 08:49:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i.e. the problem is either that somebody didn't read the specifications, or, perhaps worse, that nobody wrote the specifications.

But you can have a situation where it would never appear to one side that usual procedures need to be mentioned in the specifications, while it would never appear to the other side to look for procedures different from usual. Before the spread of the off-the-shelf model in the rail sector, rolling stock (especially high-end rolling stock) was developed in close cooperation between producers and operators, thus they knew each other and each other's practices intimately.

I admit that this all might have been avoided, however, had they used the (now also popular) model that the manufacturer is also contracted to do the maintenance.

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

by DoDo on Tue Jan 29th, 2013 at 08:57:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Writing good specifications is an extremely difficult task, and it's easy to point out things that were overlooked--AFTER they have been exposed.
by asdf on Tue Jan 29th, 2013 at 08:56:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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