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Friday Rail News Blogging

by DoDo Sun Oct 16th, 2011 at 08:55:10 AM EST

It was suggested that I spin off my Special Focus Rail in Friday Salons into a separate diary. Here is the first attempt: rail news with short commentary, this time four items.

Region Aachen: Euregiobahn-Netz soll elektrifiziert werden- Nachrichten bei Eurailpress Aachen area: Euregiobahn network will be electrified - News at Eurailpress
Das Netz der Euregiobahn soll bis 2016 komplett elektrifiziert sein.The network of the Euregiobahn should be fully electrified by 2016.
Dies hat die Verbandsversammlung des Aachener Verkehrsverbundes (AVV) beschlossen. Mit der Umstellung auf E-Triebwagen sollen die Betriebskosten gesenkt werden, zudem seien sie gerade auch auf kurzen Streckenabschnitten schneller unterwegs.This is what was decided at the association meeting of the of Aachen Transport Association (AVV). By switching to electric multiple units, operating costs are to be lowered, in addition, EMUs are faster just on short line sections.

Euregiobahn is a couple of local train services around Aachen operated as a separate unit under former federal railways DB for a decade now. With new diesel multiple units (DMUs), renewed stations, restored branchlines and some new cutoffs, it was a successful model of local passenger rail revival with local government support. A metropolitan area, however, deserves something more like an S-Bahn system – a realisation that finally came to those sitting on the money pots.

frontpaged - Nomad

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Deutsche Bahn: TGV nach Marseille ab März - ICE 3/BR 407 ab August- Nachrichten bei Eurailpress German Rail: TGV to Marseille from March 2013 - BR ICE 3/Class 407 from August - News at Eurailpress
Ab dem 23.03.2012 will die Deutsche Bahn und die SNCF ein neues Zugpaar zwischen Frankfurt/M. und Marseille mit Zwischenhalten in Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Baden-Baden, Straßburg, Mühlhausen, Belfort, Besançon, Chalon-sur-Saône bzw. Mâcon, Lyon, Avignon und Aix-en-Provence anbieten.As of 23/03/2012 German railways DB and French railways SNCF want to offer a new pair of trains between Frankfurt/M and Marseilles, with stops at Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Baden-Baden, Strasbourg, Mulhouse, Belfort, Besançon, Chalon-sur-Saône or Mâcon, Lyon, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence.
Eingesetzt werden die neuen TGV 2N2, die spätestens zu diesem Termin auch zwischen Frankfurt und Paris über Saarbrücken zum Einsatz kommen.The new service will be operated with the new TGV 2N2, which should also operate by this date at the latest between Frankfurt and Paris via Saarbrücken.
Unterdessen hat Siemens bestätigt, die neuen ICE 3/Velaro D nicht vor August an die DB AG abzuliefern, da der Bahnkonzern auf die Zulassung für Frankreich besteht.Meanwhile, Siemens has confirmed that it won't deliver the new ICE 3/Velaro D to DB AG before August, because the railway company insisted on approval in France.

The new service will use the new LGV Rhin–Rhône high-speed line between Belfort and Chalon-sur-Saône, which opens in two months (see recent Salon comment on the inauguration ceremony, another Salon comment 13 months ago on the first Velaro D plans for the Frankfurt–Marseille relation, and China's premier line on the Velaro D).

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Railway Gazette: Saudi Landbridge to go ahead as state project

SAUDI ARABIA: On October 10 the Council of Ministers decided to proceed with the Saudi Landbridge east-west freight line as a state-funded project.

The line linking Dammam on the Gulf with Jeddah Islamic Port on the Red Sea will be state owned and financed by the Public Investment Fund, with the operations contracted out. This is similar to the model adopted for the North-South Railway, where operations began earlier this year, and the future Haramain High Speed Rail line.

...The government had originally envisaged developing the Landbridge project using private finance through a public-private partnership. After four consortia has been shortlisted, the Tarabot consortium was named preferred bidder for a 50-year BOOT contract in April 2008, however financial terms could not subsequently be agreed. Industry insiders have suggested that investors were unwilling to take on the political and demand risks of such a long-term project, which is estimated to cost up to US$7bn.

Saudi Arabia was and still is the only state on the Arabian Peninsula with a significant rail network, but even that was constrained to a small part of the country (between Riyadh and the Gulf). Now it is in the process of constructing a country-wide network, along with urban rail projects.

The failure of the Saudi Landbridge build-own-operate-transfer scheme is yet another example for my contention that PPP for large rail schemes just doesn't work (for detailed arguments with the case of the Taiwan High Speed Rail BOT failure, see End of the tunnel in Taiwan). As for the current Saudi model: contracting out operation may make sense for Saudi Arabia in the case of passenger trains, not having any local companies with the proper experience; however, I don't see the point of contracting out the Saudi Landbridge instead of building on operator experience on the existing railway.

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Railway Gazette: SBB Cargo electro-diesel shunter unveiled

SWITZERLAND: The first of 30 Eem923 diesel-electric shunting locomotives ordered by SBB Cargo was unveiled at Stadler's Winterthur plant on October 14.

The Eem923 is based on the electric-only Ee922 used by SBB's passenger division, and can run at up to 100 km/h on 15 kV and 25 kV electrified main lines. It also has an 360 kW auxiliary diesel engine for 'last mile' operation on non-electrified sidings.

In hybrid multiple units, the inactive propulsion system is always a deadweight and reducer of useful floor area (examples I mentioned earlier: the "BiBi" version of SNCF's AGC regional multiple unit platform in From byproducts to variable stars: local multiple units, and Spanish railways RENFE's Talgo-made Class 730 high-speed trains).

Locomotives, however, need to be heavy to be able to exert high traction forces, and last-mile diesels are compact enough to replace ballast weight: neither of the drawbacks of multiple units applies. This is a new idea: the SBB loco is the first application I recall (first reported in this Salon comment), the second was already in a mainline electric locomotive, the latest version of Bombardier's TRAXX locomotive platform (see in this Salon comment). A drawing-board version of the last-mile diesel TRAXX is also marketed for the UK (see this Salon comment).

Why not electrify dieselised sidings instead? I raised some points here and discussed diesel shunters here; in addition, the traffic on some sidings is too light.

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Check the Train Blogging index page for a (hopefully) complete list of ET diaries and stories related to railways and trains.

Speaking of hybrisd locomotives, let's not forget the ALP-45DP, which is a mainline electric locomotive and a mainline diesel locomotive in one:

ALP-45DP: Two locomotives in one (June 2011) - RailwayAge Magazine

...Bombardier Transportation's ALP-45DP dual-power, which NJ Transit and AMT (Montreal) are acquiring in a joint procurement... In non-electrified territory, twin EPA Tier 3-compliant, 12-cylinder Caterpillar 3512HD (High Displacement) diesels running at up to 2,100 rpm provide a combined 4,200 hp, a starting tractive effort of 71,000 pounds, and a top speed of 100 mph. In electric mode, drawing power from a.c. catenary, a transformer virtually identical to that in the ALP-46A provides 5,360 hp of traction power and a top speed of 125 mph.

...Designed and engineered by Bombardier in cooperation with STV, Inc. and the two transit agencies, the ALP-45DP is based upon the four-axle ALP-46A electric, which itself is based upon Bombardier's European TRAXX locomotive.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Oct 14th, 2011 at 02:43:03 PM EST
Those dual power ALP bad boys came in at about $12 million each compared to the $8 million all electric ALP46. It's a real beast.
by Jace on Fri Oct 14th, 2011 at 05:33:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent. thanks

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 14th, 2011 at 02:51:44 PM EST
European Tribune - Friday Rail News Blogging
Industry insiders have suggested that investors were unwilling to take on the political and demand risks of such a long-term project, which is estimated to cost up to US$7bn.

Who would "investors" be in this case? Where would the Saudis be looking for dollars?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 14th, 2011 at 03:08:18 PM EST
PPP bidders are typically Byzantine consortia uniting construction, manufacturing and operating companies as well as financial groups, who don't bring most of the money themselves but get it on financial markets. In this specific case, the Tarabot consortium consisted of ACWA (a Saudi power company), al-Muhaidib (a Saudi conglomerate), OHL (a Spain-based construction company), Orascom (an Egypt-based construction company), Pacific National (one of the railfreight ginats in Australia), Asciano (mother company of Pacific National), BNP Paribas, and several more.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Oct 14th, 2011 at 03:46:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by asdf on Mon Oct 17th, 2011 at 11:39:11 AM EST
I don't know the details, but I guess the $7 billion figure probably includes
  • long tunnels,
  • stations,
  • port facilities,
  • dedicated power plants,
  • vehicles,
  • operation and maintenance (in rather demanding environment) over decades,
  • some spending on the existing railway from Riyadh to the Gulf.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Oct 30th, 2011 at 02:38:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Madrid - Barcelona at 310 km/h with ETCS Level 2 18 October 2011
SPAIN: The journey times of four high speed services between Madrid and Barcelona are to be cut to 2 h 30 min from October 24, following the commissioning of ETCS Level 2 signalling between Madrid and Lleida.

... From October 24 the 07.00 departure from Madrid Atocha will arrive at Barcelona Sants at 09.30, 13 min earlier than at present. The 06.30 service from Barcelona will arrive in Madrid at 09.00. Evening depatures comprise a 17.00 service from Madrid arriving in Barcelona at 19.30, and a 17.30 Barcelona - Madrid service arriving at 20.00.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Wed Oct 19th, 2011 at 01:05:15 PM EST
And NOW I want to know what it will cost. I've been only to Barcelona in Spain, and am anxious to see more of it.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Oct 19th, 2011 at 01:16:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Barcelona-Madrid is anywhere from 50 to 250 Euro each way depending on what class you want and when you book. You can check on renfe.com (and they seem to have an English option, unlike the Copenhagen-Malmo train which I recently had to book in Swedish....)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Oct 19th, 2011 at 01:37:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you book Köpenhamn-Malmö from the Swedish operator SJ they have an english version.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Oct 19th, 2011 at 03:27:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ETCS L2 from Madrid to Lleida, commissioned after altogether 9 years of delays... It must be said that ETCS L2 is used at speeds of up to 300 km/h on Italian lines for almost 6 years now, however, Spanish authorities said three years ago that they want to implement it only when operational stability is given, so the real test to confirm reliability comes now.

ETCS is still far from becoming the EU-wide norm on even just the main transit routes, but at least it seems to be working now both in L1 and L2. I hope I can write a bit more about this in a diary when I'm back from a short holiday (Monday or Tuesday).

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

by DoDo on Thu Oct 20th, 2011 at 01:38:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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