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Thanks for the expert additions! Definitely forgot about Mattstetten-Rothrist, and I wasn't aware of the upgrade background of the Seetalbahn ETCS dismantling.

Therefor a lot of experiences Bombardier already made on the Zofingen - Sempach line had to be repeated by Alstom

Thant makes sense. The exception is operation at higher speeds, though I guess that took up only a third of the development time. (And going from 200 to 250 km/h was abandoned apparently?)

Lötschberg Base Tunnel (full operation since December 2007)... This led to the situation that ETCS equipped vehicles can only operate on the ETCS route for which they have bee designed for and not every where were ETCS of the proper level has been installed.

When Italy started ETCS Lev 2 operation at 300 km/h on the Rome-Naples and Turin-Novara lines, initial policy was to have only one single train on the line, so that train control not be needed for much, train frequency was ramped up in three years1. I wonder if the fact that much of the Lötschberg Base Line is single-track could simplify matters, too?

:: :: :: :: ::

What about Spain? Do you have any insight into why ADIF is drawing out the switch to ETCS Level 2 (and 350 km/h) for so long? (I was told it's the stability but that was 2-3 years ago.)


  1. The last train stop caused by signal loss I saw reported hit the inauguration train on the Milan-Bologna line a year ago.

 

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Dec 13th, 2009 at 08:07:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mattstetten-Rothrist was actually not planed to operate at higher speeds than 200 km/h. The loco 2000 of SBB are only designed for 230 km/h.

Lötschberg Tunnel is 34.6 km long where 20 km are single line. The trains follow each other in the single track section. Double track is not yet finished for cost saving reason.

Spain will be soon ready. There was not a real high priority for this since they have ETCS Level 1 and LZB in service. In case these system fails they can still go on the old ASFA. Spain has high-speed trains with 5 different train protections: ASFA, LZB, ETCS Level 1, ETCS Level 2 and Ebicab (used on Mediterranean coast corridor).

by pcrail on Wed Dec 16th, 2009 at 06:28:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mattstetten-Rothrist was actually not planed to operate at higher speeds than 200 km/h. The loco 2000 of SBB are only designed for 230 km/h.

The ICE1 trains to Interlaken, the Cisalpino trains to Basel, and eventual TGVs coming from the LGV Est and Strasbourg down to Berne could have used it at 230-250 km/h, however. I can't cite any extant sources now (will check if I have anything on paper later), and maybe it was all just PR and not something seriously considered by the engineers; but back when the line was in construction, I remember this was mentioned prominently in leaflets and on the line's website.

Lötschberg Tunnel

BTW, checking, line speed was raised from 200 to 250 km/h in December 2008 (albeit apparently without Cisalpino trains to exploit that potential).

Spain will be soon ready. There was not a real high priority for this since they have ETCS Level 1 and LZB in service.

Well, Madrid-Barcelona has ETCS L1 and ASFA now; but got those after ETCS L2, and the top speed was a major PR issue (getting to 300 km/h with L1 was lots of R&D itself). Around January 2008, ADIF's official position was that they won't set a date for 350 km/h operation ( = switch to ETCS L2), but will conduct continuous tests until they can say they trust the system (but again that's official and two years ago, and I didn't hear what's up now with the tests even from inofficial sources).

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

by DoDo on Fri Dec 18th, 2009 at 04:00:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mattstetten-Rothrist:
The line was designed for 200 km/h. See here. The ICE1 is using the high speed line with on-board ETCS equipment sponsored by the Swiss. The TGV did for a long time not use the newline Mattstetten - Rothrist since they did not have the power to reas 200 km/h. This was because of the derating of the transformer when operated with 17 Hz instead of 50 Hz. $

Lötschberg Tunnel
True, max speed is 250 km/h, but no vehicle able to run it in commercial service.

Madrid-Barcelona
The trains operated first only with ASFA, than with ETCS Level 1 with ASFA as fall back system. Getting to 300 km/h was a major issue since the data could not be red correctly from the balises. The line is ready for ETCS Level 2 operation between Madrid and Llerida, but the system is not yet in use. Maybe they want to wait till also the part between Llerida and Barcelona is ready. See also here    
   

by pcrail on Sun Dec 20th, 2009 at 08:16:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The line was designed for 200 km/h. See here.

OK, if the track-builders say that, then indeed any higher speed must have been PR department fluff or early planning.

This was because of the derating of the transformer when operated with 17 Hz instead of 50 Hz.

This is an issue with the older TGV, including the Thalys (though those were modified to run on the Cologne-Düren line at full speed). The TGV POS, however, which in my memory were at one time supposed to come down from Mulhouse to Berne, got new transformers meant for 16.7Hz from the onset.

The trains operated first only with ASFA

...which was installed after Ansaldo's L2 tests didn't go well, resulting in a ten-month delay in the line's opening.

Maybe they want to wait till also the part between Llerida and Barcelona is ready.

Apparently. Many thanks for that link!

* Madrid-Lérida line has fullfilled all the internal tests. Line is fully ready (including Safety Dossier)

  • From May-Dec 2008 Siemens EVC has finished its internal test on this line (Stable EVC SW)...

  • Siemens validation tests and MFOM-ADIF-RENFE Complementary Test has been started. This process will end in July 2009.

  • The other lines are performing internal tests.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Dec 22nd, 2009 at 03:09:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The trains operated first only with ASFA

...which was installed after Ansaldo's L2 tests didn't go well, resulting in a ten-month delay in the line's opening.

Do you have any source for this? When was that?

by pcrail on Tue Dec 29th, 2009 at 11:56:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This was from notes I took following Spanish media reports and some personal communication, so the links in the reconstruction below are ones I searched now (in the archive of a single paper). Some details are different. To sum up the events in short:

  1. After some other delays, the date for opening in regular service was finally set for 22 December 2002. For lack of own 300km/h+ trains, RENFE planned to lease ICE3 sets from DB.
  2. The inoperability of Ansaldo's ERTMS and the switch to ASFA was reported in January 2003, when the delay was still expected to be short. Also the failure of the DB ICE3 lease was announced, at the time, the (also abandoned) alternative plan was to use some of the TGV-derived AVE sets from the Madrid-Sevilla line.
  3. ASFA installation itself proved problematic. Regular service, with Altaria (locomotive-pulled Talgos) only, finally started on 11 October 2003.

Links (all in Spanish, I read them with help of Google translate):



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 07:11:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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