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A minor news in connection to my The Old Westbahn diaries. In mid-August, German Rail's (DB) high-speed test train ICE-S achieved a new national rail speed record for Austria, 336.4 km/h, during the commissioning of the new Vienna–St. Pölten line. It seems they want to know whether the line, which is meant for 230 km/h only, is suitable for 300 km/h. (The ICE-S broke its own record of 305 km/h from August 2004, achieved on another section of the Vienna–Linz quadruple-tracking project.)

In honour of the event, here is one of the trains that shall run on the new tracks at 230 km/h from December, an Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) railjet (photographed at Unter Oberndorf on the old line):



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

by DoDo on Sat Oct 13th, 2012 at 05:23:46 AM EST
I should note that perhaps the most important news of the last two weeks has been the scandal around the cancellation of the West Coast intercity franchise awarding in the UK. However, on one hand, this has been covered extensively in earlier comments in the [2 October] Tuesday Open Thread, the October 3rd Salon, the 4 October Salon, the [4 October] Thursday Open Thread, the 5 October Salon and the last Weekend Open Thread. On the other hand, this would deserve a diary bringing all the threads together – would anyone from ET's UK contingent like to write it?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 13th, 2012 at 05:34:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a primarily political decision rather than anything to do with railways.

If ceebs can't put it together (he seems better connected than me) I'll have a stab later in the week

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 15th, 2012 at 03:17:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DfT plans interim West Coast franchise - Railway Gazette

UK: The Department for Transport announced on October 15 that it intended to launch a competition for an interim franchise to operate the Inter-City West Coast franchise, following Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin's decision on October 3 to cancel the previous refranchising round due to `significant technical flaws'.

Open to `all bidders', the interim franchise would provide more time for the government to reconsider its franchising strategy before another competition is held for a `new long term West Coast franchise'.

In the meantime, DfT confirmed that it would negotiate with Virgin Rail Group for it to continue operating ICWC for `between nine and 13 months', until the interim franchise could be awarded. The government believed that retaining Virgin was `the best way to ensure services are maintained and that there is no impact on passengers.'



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Oct 16th, 2012 at 03:42:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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