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af773atmsp
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High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:58 pm

A few general questions about high speed rail operations in Europe and Asia.

Do high speed trains have dedicated track separate from other trains (slower regional trains, freight trains)?

How fast can high speed trains operate when there is an at-grade road crossing in the area? I know that at-grade road crossings with high speed corridors is extremely rare, but what safety precautions are taken when there is one?

What signaling system do high speed rail corridors use? Is it equivalent to the Positive Train Control (PTC) system in the U.S.?
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tommy1808
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:16 pm

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
Do high speed trains have dedicated track separate from other trains (slower regional trains, freight trains)?

depends. Some cuntries (Spain/France) run their HSR mostly on separate track, others (Gemany) run them mostly on shared track.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
How fast can high speed trains operate when there is an at-grade road crossing in the area?

In Germany 160km/h iirc.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
What signaling system do high speed rail corridors use?

ETCS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Train_Control_System

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
Is it equivalent to the Positive Train Control (PTC) system in the U.S.?

seems that way

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Aesma
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:03 pm

The French TGVs run at max speed on LGVs, dedicated tracks which by definition don't have any crossings. However the TGVs are also fully compatible with standard tracks, and use them at the normal speed of those.
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af773atmsp
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:48 am

Also do high speed rail corridors have security fencing along the entire route, or just some of it? How else can trespassers or an animal be detected on the tracks?

Four years ago I traveled from Edinburgh to London and we were delayed a couple hours because of a drunken man on the tracks. Once my sister's train from London to Edinburgh was delayed due to a cow being on the tracks. Are these situations common?
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tommy1808
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:08 am

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 3):

Also do high speed rail corridors have security fencing along the entire route, or just some of it?

little in the way of fences here.

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 3):
How else can trespassers or an animal be detected on the tracks?

by the noise they make on impact. When you go at 90 yards a second, you won't slow down in any meaningful way before you hit. It takes two miles to stop when you really slam on the brakes.

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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:29 am

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 1):
depends. Some cuntries (Spain/France) run their HSR mostly on separate track, others (Gemany) run them mostly on shared track.

Yes, and the not-too-common change from dedicated to shared track was one of the causes leading to the Santiago accident two years ago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santiago_de_Compostela_rail_disaster

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 3):

Also do high speed rail corridors have security fencing along the entire route, or just some of it?

Fully fenced in Spain (and no road crossings, period). Bird and rabbit impacts are still relatively common, though.
 
IH8BY
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:56 pm

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 3):
Four years ago I traveled from Edinburgh to London and we were delayed a couple hours because of a drunken man on the tracks. Once my sister's train from London to Edinburgh was delayed due to a cow being on the tracks. Are these situations common?

Other than the line from St Pancras to the Channel Tunnel, we don't really have High Speed Rail in the UK. The line from London to Edinburgh is largely the route from the year 1850 updated every so often since then and isn't dedicated to the express trains that run the route. There are grade crossings but these are being phased out wherever possible, and it will mostly be fenced but often only with fences designed to keep sheep or cattle out.
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BestWestern
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:34 am

The Chinese high speed network is a dedicated system - and mostly runs on elevated sections - some elevated sections run for well over 100kms.

You see, elevated bridges create employment, and require investment, and investment allows for lots of cash to flow, some in not legal ways.
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Aaron747
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:34 am

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
What signaling system do high speed rail corridors use? Is it equivalent to the Positive Train Control (PTC) system in the U.S.?

Regarding shinkansen in Japan, they use a combination of digital ATC and lineside traditional signaling.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
Do high speed trains have dedicated track separate from other trains (slower regional trains, freight trains)?

How fast can high speed trains operate when there is an at-grade road crossing in the area? I know that at-grade road crossings with high speed corridors is extremely rare, but what safety precautions are taken when there is one?

There are no at-grade crossings for shinkansen as the entirety of the lines run on dedicated elevated track and tunnels not shared with other lines.
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Dreadnought
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:50 am

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
Do high speed trains have dedicated track separate from other trains (slower regional trains, freight trains)?

Combination. For example, if you take the TGV from Paris to Geneva, you are on dedicated high-speed tracks for about 90 minutes to Macon, full steam without any crossings and very gradual curves, and then from Macon to Geneva you are on traditional lines at half speed or less. Total time is around 3 hours.

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Viscount724
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:08 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 9):
Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
Do high speed trains have dedicated track separate from other trains (slower regional trains, freight trains)?

Combination. For example, if you take the TGV from Paris to Geneva, you are on dedicated high-speed tracks for about 90 minutes to Macon, full steam without any crossings and very gradual curves, and then from Macon to Geneva you are on traditional lines at half speed or less. Total time is around 3 hours.

Your map is quite out of date. The TGV network is more extensive now. For example, your map doesn't show what I believe is the fastest of all TGV routes from Paris to Strasbourg in eastern France. I don't think the entire route is complete yet but when TGV service started a few years ago, AF dropped all their Paris-Strasbourg flights.
 
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:47 am

Quoting IH8BY (Reply 6):

Well the U.S. does have lower standards when it comes to high speed rail, since our fastest train service only goes 150 miles per hour for a short segment on the Northeast Corridor. Though I think official designation in the U.S. for high speed rail is 200 or 220+ miles per hour, and "higher" speed rail is 110-200 miles per hour.

A number of at-grade crossings still remain on the Northeast Corridor, and tracks that have been upgraded for 110 mile per hour service by Amtrak in Michigan and Illinois also have at-grade crossings. From videos I've watched on YouTube it seems trains sound their horns a far distance away and aren't the standard "long-long-short-long" horn blast, but rather almost one continuous horn blast.
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:35 am

Quoting IH8BY (Reply 6):
Other than the line from St Pancras to the Channel Tunnel, we don't really have High Speed Rail in the UK.

Would the Pendolino service from Euston to Manchester (200km/h or 125mph, operated by Virgin Trains) not be considered high speed? What speed would be considered "high"?
 
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:53 am

Quoting seat64k (Reply 12):
What speed would be considered "high"?

in Europe speeds above 200km/h are considered HSR.

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Zkpilot
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:40 am

Quoting seat64k (Reply 12):

Quoting IH8BY (Reply 6):
Other than the line from St Pancras to the Channel Tunnel, we don't really have High Speed Rail in the UK.

Would the Pendolino service from Euston to Manchester (200km/h or 125mph, operated by Virgin Trains) not be considered high speed? What speed would be considered "high"?

That's a good service that route. Saves a lot of time compared to driving.
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IH8BY
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:48 pm

Quoting seat64k (Reply 12):
Would the Pendolino service from Euston to Manchester (200km/h or 125mph, operated by Virgin Trains) not be considered high speed? What speed would be considered "high"?

On the borderline, I suppose - personally I'd considered it the fastest extent of conventional rail travel, seeing High Speed Rail as a concept that was wider than just fast trains. It's not a criticism; I frequently use the train between Coventry and Euston and it's an excellent service (can be less than an hour even with one stop), and likewise used to use the East Coast service between King's Cross and York a lot.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 14):
That's a good service that route. Saves a lot of time compared to driving.

The joy of passing traffic on the M1 at close to double their average speed... unless I absolutely need to you won't find me driving to central London!

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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:08 am

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 8):
There are no at-grade crossings for shinkansen as the entirety of the lines run on dedicated elevated track and tunnels not shared with other lines.

Not strictly true. The "mini shinkansen" routes to Shinjo and Akita run on standard ground level tracks (except on standard gauge rather than normal JR narrow gauge) after they divert from the Tohoku shinkansen line (at Fukushima and Morioka respectively). IIRC there are level crossings. It should be noted that the trains are no longer high speed along those stretches travelling at 130 km/h maximum.

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 13):
in Europe speeds above 200km/h are considered HSR.

I believe that is the accepted definition for high speed. Pity nothing in Australia ever runs faster operationally than 160 km/h.
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:45 am

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
Do high speed trains have dedicated track separate from other trains (slower regional trains, freight trains)?

Japan designed theirs from the outset to be completely separate from other trains, and at a different gauge (standard vs cape)

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
How fast can high speed trains operate when there is an at-grade road crossing in the area? I know that at-grade road crossings with high speed corridors is extremely rare, but what safety precautions are taken when there is one?

There are converted standard-gauge regional lines that use Shinkansen through-services called "mini shinkansen" and these have a max speed of 130kmh/80mph. thats the typical max speed of normal non-shinkansen lines but there are exceptions.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
What signaling system do high speed rail corridors use? Is it equivalent to the Positive Train Control (PTC) system in the U.S.?

In Japan the shinkansen signals are internalized in the cabs. The cab signals use track-based radiometric and infrared scanners that send signaling information to the cab. The cab speedometer has a gauge above it with a light lit that shows the speed that the operator should bring the train to. if the speed goes above that, the train automatically slows down.
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Aaron747
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:59 am

Quoting allrite (Reply 16):
Not strictly true. The "mini shinkansen" routes to Shinjo and Akita run on standard ground level tracks (except on standard gauge rather than normal JR narrow gauge) after they divert from the Tohoku shinkansen line (at Fukushima and Morioka respectively). IIRC there are level crossings.

Regardless of what JR claims, as a lot of Japanese rail nerds will tell you, those are not 'true' shinkansen lines.
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Stealthz
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Mon Aug 03, 2015 3:05 pm

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 18):
Regardless of what JR claims, as a lot of Japanese rail nerds will tell you, those are not 'true' shinkansen lines.

But that is the beauty of the TGV/ICE/Shinkansen concept compared to the theoretical advantages of Maglev/Monorail etc.
The TGV etc can run at 300kph + on their dedicated high speed lines but also function effectively on the existing infrastructure.
In theory a TGV Atlantique could travel from Brest in France to Istanbul.. Maybe some stretches where it may require local assistance.

The more advanced concepts like Maglev require a complete duplication of infrastructure thus making staged introduction difficult.
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af773atmsp
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:59 am

Quoting stealthz (Reply 19):

The same concept could also be used in the U.S., however lighter rail vehicles cannot operate with freight traffic, making it very difficult to operate a regional passenger rail system with diesel multiple units or electric multiple units. The Federal Railroad Administration has given exemptions on some lines, but only with temporal separation where passenger trains operate and at the same time freight rail doesn't operate and vice versa. Obviously this can't be done on busy freight lines, and so we have to use heavy commuter rail locomotives and coaches.
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:48 am

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 20):

I was not so much saying the HS trains should be sharing lines with freight (in Australia the mainline heavy freight travels faster than the pass trains) but more in utilising existing terminal infrastructure.
eg, build a true high speed line in the NE corridor, DC to NYC & Bos, the HS trains can use the existing station infrastructure just as the TGV/ICE trains do.
This is not possible with exotic technologies such as maglev. Conversely if there is some major disruption the High speed rail can be used for other purposes.

I returned from a recent trip to Europe (where I travelled about 8000km by train) thinking about the recurring stories here in Australia about a VFT along the Eastern seaboard linking Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, as often as the subject is raised it is brushed aside due to the $billions it would cost.
Australia does not need a VFT.. cannot afford one.. a FT of 200-220KM/H (something like the OBB RailJet) would do Sydney-Canberra in 90min and Sydney-Melbourne in 4+hours turning huge areas of the Sydney/Canberra/Melbourne hinterland into viable commuter suburbs.
It is possible this could be done by spending hundreds of millions on the existing lines rather than the billions required by a 300+KM/H VFT line.
I had given thought to writing a more detailed paper on this but figured no one would read it!

[Edited 2015-08-04 01:50:42]
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allrite
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:48 pm

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 18):
Regardless of what JR claims, as a lot of Japanese rail nerds will tell you, those are not 'true' shinkansen lines.

Yes, far too scenic.   I love the shinkansen for getting to places fast and comfortably, but I'd much rather enjoy the scenery on a slow little KiHa 120.  
Quoting stealthz (Reply 21):
Australia does not need a VFT.. cannot afford one.. a FT of 200-220KM/H (something like the OBB RailJet) would do Sydney-Canberra in 90min and Sydney-Melbourne in 4+hours turning huge areas of the Sydney/Canberra/Melbourne hinterland into viable commuter suburbs.
It is possible this could be done by spending hundreds of millions on the existing lines rather than the billions required by a 300+KM/H VFT line.
I had given thought to writing a more detailed paper on this but figured no one would read it!

Sydney to Canberra would need new tracks as the stretch along the Molonglo River is not suitable for fast train operation. Probably some other stretches too. They tried with a tilt train and it made little difference.

The current line between Melbourne and Sydney is a tad under 1000 km so you are looking at 5 hours at least going around 200 km/h. You have to consider speed limits and other restrictions once you get into the city areas as well as stops along the way. And you still have to improve a lot of the existing infrastructure, so it will still cost a lot of money. Maybe not as much as a true VFT, but still substantial.

As you say, a fast train network (with cheap enough tickets) could enable the development of viable commuter suburbs. Sydney's surrounding topography is a big barrier to this, but more could be done in Victoria. Pity that the regional networks haven't been upgraded as much as they should be.
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coolian2
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:15 pm

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 1):

ETCS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Train_Control_System

Trying to roll this out properly in Auckland has been a headache
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:20 am

Here in Taiwan, the HSR uses a completely dedicated system on standard guage tracks. The railways use a narrower guage tracks. In Taipei they tore up part of the traditional rail system to lay the HSR tracks so that the station could be shared. At the other end of the HSR they built a new station that is shared. Along the way, a couple of the HSR stations were built alongside existing railway stations. The part of the HSR that is north of the Taipei station is supposed to be shared with the Taipei Metro, but it's not been done yet.

Most of the route is elevated and the parts that aren't are completely fenced. The route almost entirely avoids going through cities, which allows for higher speeds, but makes the HSR less time-efficient in some instances. For example: It takes about the same time for me to drive from my home to downtown Taichung -- a distance of just over 200 km -- as it does for me to take the bus - metro - HSR - bus to the same location in Taichung. This is especially true now that we have e-tolls in place and I no longer need to stop at toll booths. Note though that it is only after Taichung that the HSR here is able to get up to its top speed of 299 km/h, so any further south than Taichung and it is generally faster to take the HSR.
 
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:46 am

Quoting coolian2 (Reply 23):

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 1):

ETCS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Train_Control_System

Trying to roll this out properly in Auckland has been a headache


That's because the system is designed for long distance trains that have larger separation between them. Auckland decided to use it on a metro system which it wasn't really designed for.
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coolian2
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:44 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 25):
That's because the system is designed for long distance trains that have larger separation between them. Auckland decided to use it on a metro system which it wasn't really designed for.

That's us!

I think some of the kinks are sorted, the trains go like stunned rats at the moment. Far moreso than when it was a mixed fleet.
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:00 pm

It's quicker to go from Lille at the northern tip of the country to Paris, than from by suburb to the same place in Paris. And where I live is less interesting and more expensive than Lille ! A bit annoying.

On the other hand the TGV Atlantique is fast only half of the way, so to go to my parent's vacation home in northern Brittany is not quicker than by car, since we first have to backtrack to Paris, then the TGV takes 4 hours, then we need a bus ride (formerly a railcar but frequencies are too few now), compared to driving the 550Km which can take from 5 to 6 hours, door to door. Economically it only makes sense if travelling alone or two at the most, otherwise the tickets cost more than the gas and tolls.
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:41 pm

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
What signaling system do high speed rail corridors use? Is it equivalent to the Positive Train Control (PTC) system in the U.S.?

Sorta.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
Do high speed trains have dedicated track separate from other trains (slower regional trains, freight trains)?

Depends on where. Into stations, they definitely share track.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):

How fast can high speed trains operate when there is an at-grade road crossing in the area?

Depends on where.

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 3):
Also do high speed rail corridors have security fencing along the entire route, or just some of it? How else can trespassers or an animal be detected on the tracks?

They use cameras in some places, but it is largely open.

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 11):
Though I think official designation in the U.S. for high speed rail is 200 or 220+ miles per hour, and "higher" speed rail is 110-200 miles per hour.

Higher speed rail is anything between 79 mph and 124 mph, in the US. High Speed rail is over 125.
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tommy1808
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RE: High Speed Rail In Europe And Asia

Wed Aug 12, 2015 7:01 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 28):
Depends on where. Into stations, they definitely share track.

only where track and clearance gauge are the same between HSR and regular trains.

best regards
Thomas
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