Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:33 am

Mr. Dunville, as I've often noted at these pages, Eurofreight is some kind of joke. Yeah rah rah, that two locomotives can accelerate a freight at passenger train velocity - and singing "Do, Re, Me" while they're at it.

The system is the reverse of the US; it is there for the passenger train while freight is an ancilliary by-product. Twenty-five "40 & 8's" are likely about passenger train weight.

I guess as I write this you are somewhere over the Atlantic on Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V; trust you had a great trip.
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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby CarterB » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:03 am

AgentSkelly wrote:

No doubt..some of friends from Eudrope previously mentioned have rode Amtrak and have said its not a fair comparison to European services because North America runs a whole different kind of railroad than Europe does; they were very impressed with sleeper service on the Empire Builder and felt it was a way better value for their money than even when European sleeper trains were in style...


I heartily disagree. The European night trains deluxe bedrooms are far superior to Superliner or Viewliner. Much more comfortable and a LOT less expensive. Even the standard bedrooms in Europe are far superior to the Amtrak roomette. I have traveled extensively in Europe by train each year for over 25 years, and find the rail travel there superior in every way to anything in USA, night trains, EC and IC..and even the RB, S and U bahns beat almost everything by class in the USA. Only the food on board EU is perhaps comparable or slightly worse than Amtrak.
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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby gokeefe » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:36 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:The system is the reverse of the US; it is there for the passenger train while freight is an ancilliary by-product. Twenty-five "40 & 8's" are likely about passenger train weight.


This seems to be something that the Europeans are trying to change and at tremendous expense (Gotthard Base Tunnel). In this specific instance they are way behind Amtrak, especially when considering the NEC. I also think our railroad diesel emission standards are way beyond anything that is being done in Europe.
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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby CarterB » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:25 am

gokeefe wrote:
This seems to be something that the Europeans are trying to change and at tremendous expense (Gotthard Base Tunnel). In this specific instance they are way behind Amtrak, especially when considering the NEC. I also think our railroad diesel emission standards are way beyond anything that is being done in Europe.


Gotthard Base tunnel was an improvement to an already good system thru the Alps. mainly for getting freight off the roads and onto rail. Certainly not 'way behind Amtrak'. The rail system infrastructure there far exceeds any, including the NEC. Try drinking a FULL cup of coffee anywhere on Amtrak without spilling it all over the place. Not so in most of Europe, specially France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and Italy
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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby bdawe » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:45 am

Per wiki, Swiss freight modal share is slightly higher than US freight modal share
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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby ExCon90 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:09 pm

Tadman went at the wrong time of year; in the summer he could have seen them wearing open-toed sandals--and stepping on railheads year round. As to short trains and jackrabbit starts, the trains have to be short to fit in the sidings to be overtaken by passenger trains, and they have to be able to keep up the pace to avoid eating up too many slots on main tracks. For the same reason they are scheduled to the minute, like passenger trains. And I assume that being as short as they are, their train-handling characteristics must be close to those of passenger trains.
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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby ExCon90 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:14 pm

bdawe wrote:Per wiki, Swiss freight modal share is slightly higher than US freight modal share

A lot of that may be the result of regulations that pretty much force truck traffic onto the rails, whereas here the allocation of traffic is strictly based on the charge to the shipper.
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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby DutchRailnut » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:16 pm

In Europe freight trains run at very frequent intervals, at speeds of 120 to 140 Km/h and in length of about 40 cars max. and with just single crew member.
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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby ExCon90 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:30 pm

Which reminds me--some years ago there was a landslide blocking the main (mostly passenger) line on the west bank of the Rhine, forcing trains to be rerouted over the (mostly freight) line on the east bank. There were center sidings at frequent intervals, and each one was occupied by a freight train which had of necessity to yield to the rerouted passenger trains. (At Koblenz they announced that the train would arrive in Mainz 25 minutes late. It did--exactly--without ever having been stopped at a signal.) On another trip I had lunch at Ruedesheim, on the east bank, at a restaurant overlooking the railroad, and there was a non-stop procession of freight trains in both directions the whole time.
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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby David Benton » Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:06 pm

bdawe wrote:Per wiki, Swiss freight modal share is slightly higher than US freight modal share

If you broke that down by distance, the short haul share would be 10* higher than the USA.
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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby BandA » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:48 am

If the freight trains are much lighter than in the USA, then the passenger trains don't need as high of a buff strength, theoretically.
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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby bretton88 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:26 pm

I was just in Switzerland and Germany a couple weeks ago, a few thoughts I notices where 1. Amtrak offers a better first class/business class product. On both systems 1st class got you a guaranteed seat in the 1st class car, lounge access, and that was it. Amtrak at least gives you a free drink and free wifi to go with the better seat and lounge. For 30-40 Euros more, not really worth it. 2: The ride was much better on the european rails, no doubt the lighter freights play a role in that, though I saw a ton of freight being moved through. 3: I got my ticket checked multiple times on the same train for the ICE's and regionals, I like how Amtrak puts up a seat check and leaves you alone. 4: And lastly, the rolling stock in Germany and Switzerland was in much better shape than Amtraks. So all in all, a mixed bag. I didn't include speed because that is mostly out of Amtrak's control.
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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby DutchRailnut » Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:03 pm

ehh the passenger trains are even lighter, like half weight of US trains
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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby Tadman » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:52 pm

Here's a video of conventional equipment I took while I was on the trip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?edit=vd&v=XsEcABXYeVc

We can probably move this thread over to General Passenger at this point.
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Re: Comparing Amtrak to German and Dutch Rail

Postby John_Perkowski » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:08 pm

ADMIN NOTE:

Per Tadman's request, move to general discussion, passenger...
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