The Anonymous Widower

‘New Era’ As German Coalition Prioritises Rail Spending Over Road

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

This is the first paragraph.

The so-called ‘traffic light coalition’ formed by the Social Democratic, Green and Free Democratic parties as the next federal government has committed to launching a ‘Rapid Capacity Expansion’ to enhance railway infrastructure as part of its wider transport strategy.

Other policies would include.

  • A national regular interval timetable as a matter of priority.
  • Increasing rail’s share of the freight transport market from the current 19% to 25% by 2030.
  • Doubling passenger traffic by the end of the decade.
  • Electrify 75 % of the network by 2030.
  • Road tolls for trucks would be increased to reflect CO2 emissions.
  • New commercial and industrial developments would be mandated to examine the potential for incorporating a rail connection.
  • A pressure group, whose name translates as Alliance Pro Rail is in favour.

But will the average German voter in their Audi, BMW, Mercedes or Volkswagen cruising down the autobahn be in favour?

It certainly looks like it will be all change on German railways and roads.

The article is also linked to three in depth articles on the future of German railways published by Railway Gazette in the last few months.

It certainly is all change.

 

December 26, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

Platform Construction Underway At Winslow On New East West Railway

The title of this post, is the same as that as this article on Rail Advent.

This picture from Network Rail shows the Winslow station construction site.

This paragraph from the Rail Advent article describes the operation.

A 250 tonne crawler crane is being used to lift over 500 pre-cast concrete platform units into position within new railway cutting. As there is limited space available on site, a smartphone app has been developed to allow the platform units to be called for delivery in the exact construction sequence. The crane’ ‘lattice boom’ is 62-metres long , which is taller than Nelson’s Column.

That all sounds like good project management to me.

December 26, 2021 Posted by | Computing, Transport/Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

More ICE Sprinters Offer Alternative To Flying

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

The first two paragraphs, give an overview of the changes being made.

Deutsche Bahn introduced more limited-stop Sprinter ICE services on long-distance inter-city routes with the timetable change on December 12.

Sprinter-branded ICE services now operate on eight domestic routes, while a daily Frankfurt am Main – Paris service calling at Mannheim and Karlsruhe also carries the branding. Intended to appeal to business travellers, many of the Sprinter services are timed to depart early in the morning with return trips in the evening. This ensures a full day at the destination and offers a viable alternative to domestic flights.

It would appears that these services now have trains that are under the acceptable four hours.

  • Cologne and Berlin
  • Cologne and Munich
  • Hamburg and Frankfurt Airport

If Deutsche Bahn are serious about competing with the airlines, they must surely increase the frequency.

In 2018, I travelled between Berlin and Munich in under four hours and wrote about it in From Berlin To Munich In Four Hours By Train.

This is how I started that post.

The length of the East Coast Main Line between London Kings Cross and Edinburgh is 632 kilometres.

Deutsche Bahn have recently completed an upgraded High Speed Line between Berlin and Munich, which has a length of 623 kilometres.

Both lines are not the very fastest of High Speed Lines, but lines where a consistent two hundred kilometres per hour is possible.

The East Coast Main Line was built in Victorian times and services typically take around twenty minutes over four hours, with nine -car InterCity 225 trains running twice an hour.

The Berlin-Munich route was originally built over two centuries ago, but the Germans have spent twenty-five years and many billions of euros punching a new route between Berlin and Nuremberg, through the difficult countryside of Thuringen Forest.

The route may allow the Germans to travel from Berlin to Munich in three hours fifty-five minutes, but at present you can only do it three times a day in a six-car train.

I took the lunchtime train and sat in First Class for a hundred and fourteen euros.

Deutsche Bahn have increased the trains on this route to five trains per day, but compared to London and Edinburgh on LNER, it is too infrequent, expensive with questionable customer service and not enough seats to give the airlines a run for their money.

A quick look on Rail Europe indicates that these routes have fast services at an hourly frequency or better.

  • Madrid and Barcelona
  • Milan and Rome
  • Paris and Bordeaux
  • Paris and Cologne
  • Paris and Marseilles
  • Venice and Naples

German rail services might be getting better, but not fast enough to take on the airlines.

 

December 26, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 9 Comments