This article from Global Rail News is entitled India’s Minister for Railways launches glass-roof scenic rail cars.
Scotrail’s plans for shortened HST train sets to go between the major cities will hopefully carried out with style and a great deal of respect for the scenery.
For a start, will the seats be arranged like these in Chiltern’s Mark 3 coaches.
Note that the picture was taken in Standard Class.
There can’t be more stylish, comfortable and practical rides in a train of this Class anywhere in the world.
What is not shown is the cheery staff with the snacks and drinks trolley.
All of this too comes from a subsidiary of Deitsche Bahn and it is far superior to anything I’ve ridden in Germany.
I wonder if windows can be put in the roof of a Mark 3?
Probably! Engineers certainly have ways of making Mark 3 coaches do anything they want
But there’s always the option of connecting cameras to the train’s wi-fi.
To get back from Leipzig, I had two choices.
- I could go to Munich and spend the night in a hotel I know by the station and come home in the morning.
- Or I could go back in one day.
As I had bought a flexible Eurostar ticket for Friday in the early evening, I was thinking about the direct option.
But on Thursday night, I decided to buy my tickets for Brussels with a change at Frankfurt Airport, as I was offered a good value ticket in First Class with reserved seats, for less than it would have cost in Second.
It was probably just as well I bougth the ticket, given what happened in Munich on Friday night.
I ended up with a bundle of tickets on three A4 sheets of paper.
Compare that with my tickets to Liverpool tomorrow.
Just two cards for my wallet with one up and one back.
I should also say, that to buy the German ticket, I had to queue up in a Ticket Office, as the ticket machine wasn’t allowed to sell me the ticket I wanted. Queuing included having to get a compulsory number from a machine, despite the fact there was only a few people waiting.
In the morning, the train left at 06:31, so as I was in First Class, I thought I’d go to the DB Lounge.
But as you can see it wasn’t open. Surely, if trains are running, the lounges should be open.
On the first train, I saw the steward once and didn’t get so much as a complimentary glass of water.
But judging by the emptiness of First Class, it doesn’t appeal to most passengers.
From Frankfurt Airport to Brussels, the second train had more passengers, but I did have to buy myself a Coke.
You get much better service on Chiltern Trains in Standard Class.
And who owns Chiltern?
This article on Global Rail News is entitled DB and Georgian Railways to cooperate on new Silk Road rail corridor.
It described how Deutsche Bahn and Georgian Railways have signed an agreement to develop a new rail freight route between the Far East and Europe.
This map from the article, shows the various rail routes across Eurasia and how the new Silk Road will fit in.
I think the most interesting thing about the new route, is that it doesn’t go through Russia.
Vladimir Putin will not be amused!
If you read the Wikipedia entry for Georgian Railways, it does list a few problems, but it would appear that the route across Georgia is being upgraded to Standard Gauge all the way from the Turkish border to Almaty in Kazakhstan.
With Germany, Turkey and Europe at the Western end and China at the Eastern end both predominately Standard Gauge, I think that this route will be all the same gauge.
When this happens, trains will be able to go straight through, with perhaps just a change of locomotive.
How long will it be before, an enthusiastic entrepreneur starts to run a passenger service between Europe and China. Trans-Siberian Express eat your heart out!
Vladimir Putin will be even less amused!
If DB can build the Standard Gauge railway through to China via Georgia, it will give the following benefits.
- Services will be faster than the Russian routes.
- There will no change of gauge, which means unloading one train and loading another.
- If the line is electrified, this will make the route more efficient.
- Freight will move smoothly across Asia avoiding the pariah that is Russia.
- The route avoids the more volatile parts of the Middle East.
- Countries on the route like Serbia, Turkey, Georgia and Kazahkstan will surely benefit.
- The route will surely be more accessible to Southern European countries, than the current Russian routes.
It is undoubtedly a good plan.
I want to go to Sudbury today, so to find the times of the trains, I tried to look them from Shenfield to Sudbury on the National Rail web site.
But the site was having an off day.
So I used the alternative of the Deutsche Bahn web site.
As you can see it worked. As it does with all European trains!
So if you want to go from Zaragosa to Geneva say, it will give you the route and details.
It even has Llanfairpwll station in the database and looking up the journey to there for Cologne, it even estimates twenty-five minutes for the walk between St. Pancras and Euston.
It is a very comprehensive free service.