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Here is a short TV documentary (in Italian) on the inauguration:

The stuff I could make out sound like out of a tragicomedy.

  • Though the train did make the trip in the advertised 65 minutes, that involved an unplanned stop -- because of signal loss with the new signalling system (ERTMS Level 2 strikes again)...

  • The President of FS emphasized that they don't want to compete the ailing national air carrier Alitalia - huh... He said they more want to compete cars.

  • The protest you see on the video is by commuters: to make way for more high-speed trains at Milan's Central station, commuter train runs were cut (e.g. diverted to other stations in Milan). In this context, I should look up how much of the project to build a tunnel route across the city for commuter trains is in service so far (IIRC it should pass under Milano Centrale).


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Dec 14th, 2008 at 03:58:53 PM EST
Still better than the inauguration of the TGV Est when the French politicians had the train stop midway so that they'd reach the stop by plane...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Dec 14th, 2008 at 04:25:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL... no, methings that French story (haven't heard it yet) is better: it is an advertisement for the speed of the TGV...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Dec 14th, 2008 at 04:31:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The  story is that at the start of the inaugural train the journalists were told Fillon was working in car 11 ; the train made an unexpected 20 minutes stop in Nancy-Lorraine and afterwards the PM made himself available to the rest of the journalists... The Ecology minister at the time, Juppé, also came in the Falcon that was bringing Fillon !

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Dec 14th, 2008 at 05:07:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I should look up how much of the project to build a tunnel route across the city for commuter trains is in service so far (IIRC it should pass under Milano Centrale).

I find Passante ferroviario di Milano was finished in 2004, and rapid transit lines at both ends were re-routed across it the summer of this year (also see UrbanRail's Milano page) - however, it passes one subway stop (or a good 600 m walk) away from Milano Centrale.

That's not an awful good planning... they should be building a second, North-South passante via the Central Station.

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

by DoDo on Mon Dec 15th, 2008 at 06:33:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's your take on ERTMS? It seems to me that the implementation is fairly disasterous so far. I think the idea of harmonisation is worthwhile, though.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 03:51:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The idea of harmonisation is extremely worthwile, even if it takes 30 years to fit out all mainlines. Such interoperability issues is what keeps rail freight from achieving what it an on the most ideal distances -- when 600-1000 km crosses borders...

I should also underline that ERTMS Level 1 (in which signals are given only by fixed magnets in the middle of the track, the "Eurobalises") is not problematic, and I think having it everywere would be a plus even if some of the current national signalling systems allow a higher train frequency.

For ERRTMS Level 2, I think the problem is clearly the system chosen. (Though I imagine that getting a conventional cable and lineside signal based, high-speed-capable signalling system would face the difficulty of choice -- e.g. the fight between something based on the French TVM430 or the German LZB.)

To put it simply: it is but a minute nuisance if you lose signal in the middle of a phone call and the call breaks off, in say every 20th call. But when that happens for a continuous signalling system, the train will have to stop. So normal 3G wireless is just not stable enough for this purpose. You can try to get through signal holes with software, but the HSL Zuid experience seems to show that may not be a universal patch.

Maybe ERTMS Level 2 will one day master these problems fully, I don't know -- but when just in Italy, two years of experience on two lines running on ERTMS Level 2 only is not enough, I'm not optimistic.

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

by DoDo on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 05:42:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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