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bikkuri bahn

Looks like Fyra is history

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Claude_Dreyfus

Is it being stopped, or just indefinately suspended? They spent a good deal of money on this service, and having used it to travel from Schipol to Rotterdam (albeit using the older loco-hauled stock), it was a good service.

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bikkuri bahn

Looks like it will be given 3 months (?), but can you really be hopeful after all that has transpired?

 

Interestingly, it's now the subject of university student seminar presentations:

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miyakoji
A sensible course of action for Hitachi would be to run away screaming in a ridiculously high pitched voice.  And... I'm talking seriously high pitch here.

Unless they can get it cheap enough and can fix the problems

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Densha

This is the first time I've read local news here before I read it on a Dutch train site, but indeed it looks like the Belgian Railways decided to completely stop with the V250 EMU's.

The same day AnsaldoBreda immediately sued the Belgian railways, this also means that the connection Amsterdam - Brussels with high speed trains will go to nowhere in the near future. (excluding the expensive Thalys service to Paris)

The Dutch Railways have yet to announce (but this will happen in the following weeks) the final conclusion of their investigation, but the head of the NS already suggested months ago that he didn't really see much future with the V250.

 

Some problems I've gathered from Dutch news sites, that were announced by the Belgian railways: parts of the roof and stairs on the outside fell off, the warning system doesn't work correctly, the doors sometimes don't close correctly, there's already corrosion on the axles, overheating batteries, the braking system was designed for 160km/h while the train's maximum speed is 250km/h, etc.

It counts up to a total of 27 defects, and because every train was repaired by AnsaldoBreda's guys in a different way you can't speak of a series production now.

It's getting seriously now, finally. And while I yet have to take a picture of the train, I don't think I even would want to sit in that train after reading this official report now.

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Ochanomizu

I have travelled on the Thalys service from Paris to Amsterdam.  It was extremely enjoyable.  I thought it similar price to shinkansen.

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Densha
I have travelled on the Thalys service from Paris to Amsterdam.  It was extremely enjoyable.  I thought it similar price to shinkansen.

I went to Paris with it once, before the trains underwent a renewal. 2nd class is very cramped.

Many Dutch people don't mind spending a few ten minutes more if it's half of the price, the intercity service from Brussels to Amsterdam was already full-packed.

The thing that upset most people were not only the broken trains but also that you could only get in the train if you reserved your ticket days ago combined with the more expensive tickets, that's just weird for such an important service; even Shinkansen have non-reserved cars so far I know.

 

Btw, you guys are talking about Hitachi, they may have a good replacement? They also built the Javelin in the UK.

 

And just now on the news: the president of the NS will resign in October 2013, apparently he already wanted to resign before but it looks like they used this moment to announce this too.

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Martijn Meerts

The early Thalys was pretty terrible, hardly any leg room, and nowhere near enough space for luggage, so most people had to sit with their luggage on their laps.. I took it to Paris, but ended up getting a lift home by car with some friends who happened to be in Paris as well ;)

 

Anyway, I find it hilarious that a company can deliver a train which loses parts during normal operation and then sue other companies for not being impressed :)

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Densha

@Martijn
I don't know if you know these but maybe even the GTL-8 trams in the Hague have more leg space than the old Thalys, at least not less. I've never seen the renewed Thalys from the inside yet, I don't go in that direction often and I rather use cheaper but slower services without that ticket hassle on the doors.

 

Is it being stopped, or just indefinately suspended? They spent a good deal of money on this service, and having used it to travel from Schipol to Rotterdam (albeit using the older loco-hauled stock), it was a good service.

The V250 stock is the big failure here, the Fyra with Bombardier Traxx locos and ICR coaches are still active between Amsterdam - Breda every hour using the high speed line.

And there's a replacement service via the old line between The Hague - Brussels Midi that uses the same stock but the locos are in the colours of the leasing company that NMBS/SNCB leased them from. And there's usually one or two domestic coaches added because they don't have enough stock in Fyra colours.

Traxx Fyra: http://www.flickr.com/photos/maartenotto/7018640169/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnv2400/7496387024/

Replacement service: http://www.flickr.com/photos/91153966@N04/8633400387/

Edited by Densha

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Martijn Meerts

The old Thalys is pretty much comparable with short distance low budget airline leg space, only difference is that the Thalys has less luggage space :)

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Densha

The only thing I liked about the V250 that it had normal length coaches, I've never understood why the TGV has such weird small coaches and jacobs bogies. The ICE3(Velaro)/Shinkansen work perfectly with normal length coaches and you have much more space to use.

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Densha

I found the official 50-pages long presentation with all problems with the V250 EMU's: http://media.rtl.nl/media/financien/rtlz/2013/NMBS-fyra.pdf

A lot of the text is in English!

 

And just announced an hour ago: THE DUTCH RAILWAYS pulled the plug of the V250 project!!!

So finally the disaster train that is dangerous to be in for both passengers as cabin staff (as you can see in the pdf above) will never appear on the tracks again.

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bikkuri bahn

As a stopgap and not requiring as much development (lower costs), perhaps something akin to OBB's Railjet could be introduced?  Just a thought.

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Densha

This news is also interesting: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/06/ns_has_until_friday_to_come_up.php

NS may loose their HST concession if they don't come up with a plan before Friday. Still, considering that NS is state-owned company, what would you accomplish with that? I mean, the only other rail operators on the Dutch (local) railways are Arriva and Veolia which are both owned by respectively the German state and the French state. You don't want the profits to go there...

 

@bikkuri

As for replacements there are several options (and combinations) mentioned in the NMBS pdf I mentioned (it was in Dutch though):

- intercity The Hague - Brussels will get a higher frequency

- possible extra intercity between Roosendaal - Antwerp

- possible extra intercity between Eindhoven - Antwerp

- Thalys will get a higher frequency

- 2016: some Eurostart services will be extended from London - Brussels to London - Amsterdam (old news though, it will make use of the new Eurostar stock)

 

Then there's of course the option to use the same intercity stock (if there's enough stock left even at a lower frequency) on the high speed line between Amsterdam - Brussels. But it's maximum speed is 160km/h while the maximum speed of the line is 300km/h so it may conflict with the Thalys services.

 

I think that if they would introduce something like the Railjet there's still no stock available for that and they would have to produce it first.

Although, recently the Swedish/Norse company Hector Rail bought 40 old German IC coaches from the Dutch railways (http://www.flickr.com/photos/11057/8912822277/ the single deck stock) and they will upgrade them for 200km/h usage together with Taurus locomotives. But as it is a temporary solution the NS probably doesn't see a reason to spend money on it.

 

I also like these: http://www.mobility.siemens.com/mobility/global/en/interurban-mobility/rail-solutions/high-speed-and-intercity-trains/icx/Pages/icx.aspx

Edited by Densha

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Densha

Just some very short but very important news: the ministry of Transport and Finance have officially agreed with the end of the V250, we won't probably hear much about it until when it's at the court.

 

Also, the Dutch railways have also proposed their (pretty awesome) ambitions for the future.

For these plans there are numerous trains needed; the NS wants to try buying used HST stock from other companies and leasing dozens of locomotives and coaches for extra services.

Also, there will be coming new intercity AND high speed trains in the coming 10 years. (On a side note: they are aiming to replace commuter stock from the '70s by that time as well)

 

This rolling stock is all needed for domestic and international replacement services using both the old line and the HSL in first instance.

The replacement stock will also be used on many new domestic services using both traditional and HSL lines with as less transfers as possible. (I really like that idea, I may actually make use of it if they introduce that!)

Then the new rolling stock will replace all temporary/old(er) rolling stock, first on the international service Amsterdam-Brussels but eventually also for domestic services.

 

I'm getting really enthusiastic about these plans, but it is still in the development stage and it really depends on the politics what actually will be realized and on what term.

The new rolling stock probably won't be coming soon, but the thing I found remarkable was that while the current stock has a maximum speed of 160km/h the new trains will probably not all go faster than 200km/h instead of the initial 250km/h. The HST to Brussels though will be 250km/h though.

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Martijn Meerts

I just hope they don't cut corners and actually consider passengers that need to use the train. The current VIRM intercities (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NS_VIRM) are downright terrible for people with luggage.. Every monday morning is a nightmare going to work in that thing because it's filled with students who can't store their luggage anywhere, so there's suitcases and bags all over, taking up half the seats.. 

 

The remodelled sprinters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NS_SGMm) are also pretty terrible with regards to leg space. I've tried working in one on my small Macbook Air, but it's a real tight fit.. Whenever possible I actually take the PlanV (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NS_Mat_64), 40 years old, but still comfortable and plenty space ;)

Edited by Martijn Meerts

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Densha

That's actually what NS wants, but yeah... politics. :S

The VIRM (especially the early series) are very cramped, I even find the renewed ICM trains even slightly cramped and the seats lead to a bad posture. The ICR coaches have more space and better seats, they should just get them all in service back again. (actually the 1700 series locos used with ICR can easily do 160km/h so I don't understand why they never installed the safety systems for the HSL on them) The DDZ are simply commuter intercity trains, but the seats are pretty good actually.

I don't regularly use the older sprinter trains and Plan V, but I still prefer them because of the motor sound ;), that you can actually open the windows and that they just have a NORMAL size car instead of those weird subway-like cars with annoying low floors.

From a passenger and hobby perspective: old single deck trains (much more [luggage] space!) with good seats and normal length cars are the best! For me the ICR still wins from everything else.

 

I just hope they will hurry up a bit with getting temporary stock. They can for example decide to renovate the old DDM-1 now stalled at Nijmegen and Amsterdam and use them with the redundant 1700 series locos for intercity trains. Then you can shift the ICR trains to the HSL and if they don't want to install stuff in the 1700's they can always lease some locos and use the cab cars on the other side. At least that will shorten some shortage of stock for the time being. (And I can't deny I want to see loco-pulled double deckers again!)

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Martijn Meerts

They need to bring back the 1200 series locos, I miss those =)

 

As for the Plan V's , the ones I take actually have bolts in the window frames, so you can only open the windows about 10cm. Obviously people lack the common sense not to stick their heads out the window of a train running at speed ;)

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Densha

I've never seen them myself in NS service, I was too young to remember. But after the ACTS years of freight services, they're still in use for passenger and shifting duties by EETC nowadays. I've never seen one myself though, they're usually used in the middle of the country. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/eetc/

 

The SGM's windows can be opened fully though, I've been on one last year but it's been literally years since I've last used a Plan V. (when they were being phased out on the corridor Den Haag - Dordrecht)

 

Btw, for those who understand the Dutch language, this link has the complete text of the HST ideas NS has: http://www.treinreiziger.nl/actueel/binnenland/ns_presenteert_plannen_voor_alternatieve_fyra-145313

From page 8 to 13 of the PDF file you can see the maps that feature all routes, frequencies, and maximum speeds. Every map shows a certain time period.

Edited by Densha

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Martijn Meerts

I've always loved the shape of the 1200 series, and it was a pretty heavy monster too. The entire station would vibrate when one of them drove past. I remember seeing a picture of a head on collision between a 1200 intercity and a Plan V.. The 1200 barely had a scratch while the Plan V had completely lost it's nose. Interviewed passengers in the intercity said they only felt a minor shock :)

 

Fairly certain the SGMs that run between Roermond and Maastricht have their windows forced shut. Not 100% certain, since I try to avoid the trains considering their lack of space ;)

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Densha

The SGMm's between Alphen a.d. Rijn - Gouda didn't have them shut last September though...

But I think I'm going a bit off-topic here, I don't expect any Fyra news on short term so until then!

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Densha

Last week it was announced that NS Hispeed will cease existing this October. Actually it means that the operation of NS services will return to the way it was before NS Hispeed was established. Although Hispeed is part of the NS it is run as a separate company nowadays because of complicated contracting. It will be integrated back into the company again. Oh how I hate the money wasting contracting in this country.

I don't know about the new brand name but I hope they will reuse NS Internationaal because that is exactly what it is; the only highspeed train they operate is the Thalys, the other services are either low speed on the Dutch lines or the full length and it makes no sense branding that as high speed. They even branded a local train as Hispeed the last months!

 

Other old news but for the English speakers: http://www.nshispeed.nl/en/fyra-to-brussels

Edited by Densha

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Densha

Well, last week the NS released their latest and probably final plan. Simply said, the V250 will never come back in service and there will be no high speed trains before 2021. Yes, that is indeed a tremendous change over the ambitions they had in the past.

Until that time they will only introduce some intercities that will use the high speed line but without high speed because it's old rolling stock that can't do more than 160km/h. I have no idea where they want to get the stock from though considering the NS has barely enough stock to run all trains services in the country now. They also want to reroute some conventional intercities via the high speed line but I'm not sure if that's really convenient because some stations will not be served in such a case; I hope they will at least keep the old service and add the faster service as an extra fast connection because that would be awesome.

I find it somewhat peculiar though that they decided not to order any high speed trains until 2021. This means the high speed line will not be used effective at all. Just consider that they have a 200km/h RegionalBahn in Germany on a Neubaustrecke, I just can't comprehend what they want to achieve by delaying this stuff here.

 

The good news is though, that Thalys will run much more often in the future (also with new short services Amsterdam-Lille) and that the Eurostar will run from Amsterdam to London in 2016 with this stock:

The E320 is currently being tested in Belgium, it's a pretty cool train with the perfect longest full Shinkansen style 16-car formation. ;) This will be the longest EMU in the Netherlands ever, not to forget that passenger trains longer than 12 cars are very uncommon at all.

http://www.globalrailnews.com/2013/09/27/eurostar-to-run-london-amsterdam-services-from-2016/

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