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Some projects I'd like to see advanced for strategic reasons.

  • One I discussed here in April 2007 is in France. I wrote that the Paris-Lyon main trunk of the Southeast network is near saturation level in rush-hour already, but it is supposed to carry the traffic boosted by all the additional lines there. A Paris-St. Étienne-Valence line, bypassing Lyon, could separate off the Paris-Mediterranean traffic. Something similar is advocated now in the framework of Transline, and the new long-term programme presented by Sarko includes the Paris-Orléans-Clermont-Ferrand part.

  • An East-West corridor from Paris to Bratislava/Budapest is supposed to be the EU's top priority project, but, as I lament periodically, that's all smoke and mirrors. A key piece not even on drawing boards, though not cheap, could be Vendenheim[future end of TGV Est North of Strasbourg]-Karlsruhe-Stuttgart. In addition to speeding up the big EU East-West corridor by up to an hour, it could serve Paris-Frankfurt, North Germany - Western Mediterranean, and domestic South German traffic.

  • Munich is a big node on transit routes, yet has no through main station, and not even plans for high-speed lines -- even though separating express traffic would make sense on at least two of the connecting lines just for capacity reasons. So, methinks dusting off the "Munich 21" concept of a subterranean station, and then two 100 km lines (N to Ingolstadt and SE towards the Austrian border), would make more strategic sense than "Stuttgart 21".

  • In Austria, it was long discussed, but no one would commit themselves to a Salzburg-Linz high-speed line. But, at least the section used by Salzburg's suburban trains should be bypassed.

  • Germany is blocking further East-West trans-EU routes: Aachen-Düren (the gap between Brussels and Cologne) would be a real no-brainer, along the highway; and there is the issue of going East from Frankfurt (though that would be expensive).

  • Also in Germany, of the projects on the map, I consider the Hannover-Hamburg/Bremen "Y-Trasse" an idiocy. It is tailored for being the cheapest possible: the shortest route. However, by connecting to the existing Hamburg-Bremen line, not only would time savings be moderate, capacity problems would not be solved at all. Not to mention that the route would be across pristine areas. No wonder that lots of locals and environmentalists protest the plans, and private freight railways are negative, too; no wonder either that Germany's new government chose to put it on the backburner in the latest round of budget cuts.

    So: if I were DB's CEO, I would rather advocate an alternative Y, one paralleling the highways between the three cities: higher costs, but also higher benefits. (The argument is made in German here by Markus Groebe, too.)

  • Sweden is disussing an Y of its own, from Stockholm to Gothenburg and Malmö. I say go for it...


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 18th, 2009 at 10:16:35 AM EST
I do not have high hopes for the Y. As rumor has it, the government study that proposed the Y was in itself a pay-off to the centre party for supporting the FRA-law. So actually getting rail would demand more.

The greens has so far been more efficient. The Botnia track was part of their deals with the socdem government 2002-2006. But I doubt they could get the Y either (assuming left wing victory in 2010). At least not without a really good negotiation position.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Dec 18th, 2009 at 07:17:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that we spend far too little money on domestic infrastrucure and far too much on stupid shit. I bet I could cut useless spending to such a degree we could finance the Swedish Y on a 100 % equity basis with the accumulated buget cuts of just 2 years, 4 tops.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Dec 19th, 2009 at 06:59:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean stupid shit like Gripen? ;-P

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Dec 19th, 2009 at 07:05:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Touché!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 19th, 2009 at 07:14:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, let's put it like this. Gripen is the cheapest modern fighter in the world, but did we really need all of 200 of them (Finland and Norway have roughly 50 fighters each), and are they really useful when we haven't bought any weapons for them, when we don't let the pilots train in them and have decided to destroy the C3I-system? (as a matter of fact, due to a powerful blogging campaign, that last thing has just been stopped)

Currently, the armed forces are extremely badly managed. Extremely. I know plenty of people with a good insight in the actual sausage-making, and it's worse than you can imagine. We get zero effect from the money we spend. Zero.

This means we should either stop the expenditure (roughly 5 billion euros per annum) or completely restructure it, something the current government is doing its best to fool people they are doing, but actually aren't.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat Dec 19th, 2009 at 07:15:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know plenty of people with a good insight in the actual sausage-making, and it's worse than you can imagine. We get zero effect from the money we spend. Zero.

I bet the FSB knows this just as well from its own sources in the sausage-making. But Russia doesn't invade, despite zero true military potential! So, perhaps, all of it is pointless?

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

by DoDo on Sat Dec 19th, 2009 at 07:22:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia is going to get themselves 4-6 Mistral class amphibious assault ships during the next few years, which will roughly make them 2-3 times as dangerous to Sweden as they were during the cold war. What's the hurry?

:: ::

Pointless? Certainly at the moment. The question cannot be allowed to be "should the status quo stand?". Either we must have a defence which works and spends tax money in an efficient way, or we should dismantle it entirely.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat Dec 19th, 2009 at 07:25:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This far we have dismantled all the capacity while maintained all the costs.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Dec 19th, 2009 at 07:30:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Really, the Gripen program is one of the things that's actually relatively well managed. Under budget, before schedual. The real disasters are things like the Visby stealth corvette (in the water since 10 years, still no weapons beyond the 57 mm gun, helicopter doesn't fit in the helicopter bay), helicopter 14 (delayed 15 years, no fines payed because we forgot to specify that in the contract), this new communications systems which was just stopped by bloggers, all the NBF/RMA-shit (don't even ask - 5 years of work, 1 billion (euros) spent, total result: a few power point-slides). Of yes, and business management systems like SAP, PRIO, the new central storage depot, the total fucking up of the SSG120 armored mechanized mortar program, the AMV/SEP debacle, the list goes on and on and on. And on. I could keep on for hours really.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Dec 19th, 2009 at 07:22:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And these are just equipment programs which while they are easy to critizise are far less important than the real deal: the number and efficiency of our combat brigades. Going from about 30 brigades and semi-ok efficiency (and another maybe 500 badly trained and equipped light batallions) we are now at 0 brigades at, ah, very high efficiency (and who knows how many light territorial batallions? Maybe 20...) . Or so they claim...

Mobilisation time is no longer 24 hours for frontline units and 7 days for total societal mobilisation, but 52 weeks (not days, not hours, but weeks) for the handful (8) of qualified "light manoeuvre battalions" we're supposed to have.

So mobilisation time has increased by more than 300 times, numbers are down by more than 95 % and costs are... the same.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Dec 20th, 2009 at 02:27:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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