Often enough, I see passengers who want to drive to Frankfurt airport with horror in their face when they make the first delay announcements in the train…
One reason is that Frankfurt is one main traffic hub and my high speed train never departs on time. It’s usually five to ten minutes later than scheduled departure time. After the late departure additional delays accumulate (see next points). With the old ICE 1 this was no problem as reported above. ...
Often enough I can even touch the regional train but then it already leaves without me since the doors are already closed. I think regional operations and high speed trains are like two different deparments that do not cooperate well.
Is there a part of the track where the train has to share track with regional and suburban trains?
I don't know the circumstances, but it sounds to me that more tracks are required somewhere.
Yes, this seems to be one of the problems. The high speed train shares the tracks with regional trains between Frankfurt and Fulda and often he has to drive slowly due to a regional train ahead.
For the sake of definition:
Suburban trains are meant to stop every 1-5 km. They have high power/ weight. To reduce time at stations they have a lot of big doors. In Munich per hour 30 such trains pass through the tunnel in each direction.
Regional and long distance trains are not that powerful and use more of their area for seats, so capacity/ track is greatly reduced. However usually different speeds, not capacity is the problem.
Everybody knows how it feels to get stuck behind a truck. Assume now that the truck is slow and you can't overtake for 30 km or so.
Imagine to do away with bus stops. The bus simply stops on the road and all traffic behind has to wait till the bus starts again. It would be nerving to drive behind that bus for more than 10 stations.
How nerving a regional train is for a high speed train depends on the number of stops. If there are few stops at which the high speed traffic can overtake it's ok. But what's the point of overtaking if a few minutes later a goods train is in the way?
Traveling behind a suburban train is as nerving for a high speed as for a regional trains. Therefore suburban trains may run only every 20 minutes. The high speed train can leave four minutes and the regional train two minutes before the next suburban train. How to increase frequency of suburban trains?
What if any one of these trains is three minutes delayed?
Your ICE may start 10 min delayed because a suburban or regional train which uses the same track is in the way. Better to wait in the station and give delayed connections a chance than to drive slow behind a train.
Mixed traffic is not good. Too complicated to plan and delay of one train affects other trains.
Your ICE is a Ferrari driving on a rural road with a lot of trucks and few places to overtake.
I don't think the solution is in increasing top speed. The solution are more tracks.
Another question is if one wants to see the ICE 4 as a replacement of ICE 1 and ICE 2 or as a replacement for max 200 km/ h IC trains.
The track gauge of ICE 1 and ICE 2 are the same as all other trains. However the structure gauge is not. High speed rail was built with more space between the tracks (and side) and ICE 1 and ICE 2 are broader than ICs. Strange that German railways replaces them with a "one size fits all" approach.
They aren't. The IC trains are being replaced by 2 new trains. The faster services by ICE 4, but on slower routes they replaced it with the 160 km/h IC2, which are Bombardier Twindexx carriages pulled by a locomotive. Even the ICE 4 will come in 2 variants.
You are right.
If I may add: Twinndex are double deck.
While top speed decreased, power didn't:
ICE 1: 10,6 kW/ t
ICE 2: 9,5 kW/ t
ICE 4: 13,1 kW/ t
Suburb train class 423: 19,7 kW/ t, top speed 140 km/ h
(all weights taken as during operations)
More power means faster acceleration and the ability to climb steep inclinations, even without losing any speed. The really fast line between Frankfurt and Köln supposedly can't service the ICE 1 and ICE 2, because it is too steep. Of interesting note, ICE 4 also uses less energy than the 1 and 2.
You would also naturally get more power from going with the multiple-unit approach, than with the old locomotive drawn method.
A train has to be able to start by itself after a stop. If the tracks are wet and have a steep climb a power car doesn't have enough weight/ axle to pull the full train.
The wheels slip. However several engines distributed along axles of the coaches can.
ICE 1 and ICE 2 are not Multiple Electrical Units. ICE 1 is long and powered at both ends. ICE 2 is shorter and powered only at one end. ICE 2 has some issues with wind at high speed, ICE 1 doesn't.
ICE 2 will be replaced. Because of the wind issues?
ICE 1 and 2 will be phased out because of age.
In this case ICE 2 would likely be phased out first.
In the German Wikipedia article about replacement it says ICE 1 are replaced by ICE 4, however the ICE 1 are then used on other lines. It also talks about removing three of the twelve coaches. I assume this is done to improve pickup.
If required capacity is low, Multiple Electrical Units (MEUs) are better. They have the engines distributed under the coaches.
However if high capacity is desired, it's more economical to have a power car at one/ both ends.
Contradicting evidence: ICE 4 are MEUs and are ordered 12 coach also. Probably most tracks don't like the high axle load of the ICE 1 power car.
So any train which uses a stretch of weak tracks or has a strong climb somewhere shouldn't be ICE 1.
Intended replacement is 2030, long after the now ordered ICE 4 are delivered. If welds ... allow, I wouldn't be surprised if life will again be extended.
ICE 1 will be shortened, but not replaced. Apparently 10 kW/ t or so is not considered enough to get back to speed after the many stops the German rail network has. So what influence does power/ weight and what influence does maximum speed have on travel time?
I haven't heard of this. There were shorter ones in the past, but when the ICE 2 came they turned them all into 12-carriage sets.
ICE 1s are very, very long, and thus more inflexible. DB seems to prefer smaller trains that can be coupled together for the same capacity or more flexibility depending on time of days.
The idea of the ICE 2 was to have a train with less capacity than ICE 1, six coaches instead of twelve. One power car was enough for the train. The other end got a control car. It looks the same, but no engine. It was also intended to join two trains and split them in two on the way.
The short train however couldn't handle wind alone. Joining two of them solved the problem. However it means driving with two power cars and two control cars as opposed to two power cars only in ICE 1.
Of course one can use the six coach train for slower speeds. I assume other trains can do the same for less maintenance.