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HS High Speed TGV Hyperloop Maglev



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#1 Allegheny1600

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 19:57

Hi All,

Anyone else interested in high-speed rail?

By which I mean real high speed - above 300Mph.

 

How about this: https://carnewschina...h-record-train/

and: https://www.cnbc.com...technology.html

The Chinese have recently introduced this incredible train with what appears to be a top design speed (cruising speed) of 500Kmh(311Mph).

 

Obviously, the French took the current record of 574Kmh (357Mph) in 2007 but that was with a special train and special circumstances, the above Chinese train is a service train!

 

Meanwhile, in the USA, "Beardy Bloke", presumably along with Elon Musk, are working on a different sort of technology: https://newatlas.com...d-record/52668/ and https://www.wired.co...ne-engineering/

https://hyperloop-one.com/

This is "only" 387Kmh (240Mph) but for early days, I find it quite fascinating. The ambition with this is to go at or above supersonic speeds and eventually when that happens, the jet airliner should be doomed.

As someone who absolutely hates and detests the ''airport'' experience, I can't wait.

Please feel free to add to this in any way you can.

John.


Edited by Allegheny1600, 04 February 2018 - 12:40 .

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#2 AMJ

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 11:34

The French have realised that the existing LGV (line a grand vitesse) have a  minor flaw that to get a greater speed for service trains due to turbulence of passing trains they need to increase the separation between the parallel tracks.

 

Other than the fairly compact seaboard cities in USA I think that the plethora of low cost airlines have got the longer distances sewn up.  Having done NY, Chicago and thence to LA in September on Amtrak I think I'd do some of the long distances by plane in future.

 

Similarly low cost airlines have killed off the likes of the night trains in Europe as many know you can get a train to the airport at each end and a swift flight.

 

I'd rather travel by train but you have to be realistic when there are economically priced flights from say £10 on a certain Irish operator to many places in Europe.  There was once an article in a national paper indicating that a guy in Liverpool was going to see his team in London and he caught 2 planes one to Netherlands and thence to London cheaper than the fare on the train!  How can the train compete?


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#3 Allegheny1600

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:39

I agree that the French LGV's have relatively close parallel lines as you do get quite a 'thump' when passing another train!

 

But, low cost airlines? Really? What future do they have? I cannot see any "low cost" airline existing in their current forms much beyond the next ten years. I travel fairly regularly from the UK to Athens and costs have risen considerably beyond "cheap" over this past ten years and will only get worse.

 

I'm sure it will be much further into the future before Hyperloop technology becomes established beyond 'key' routes but I certainly believe it will happen. The fact that Richard Branson is investing in this mode of transport must mean that he is also keen?

 

I can well believe that Liverpool to Schiphol and then Schiphol to London would be cheaper than the Liverpool to London train, probably by a fair margin but how quick? Flying time would be quicker but the transfer? Schiphol is massive and if you have limited time and different legs of the hub to reach, it can get very stressful - I've done it!

Cheers,

John.



#4 Talltim

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:55

While China seems to leading on high high speed the are also the leaders on quantity of high speed. These pics are great
http://www.dailymail...let-trains.html
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#5 Edwin_m

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 13:09

Hi All,

Anyone else interested in high-speed rail?

By which I mean real high speed - above 300Mph.

 

How about this: https://carnewschina...h-record-train/

and: https://www.cnbc.com...technology.html

The Chinese have recently introduced this incredible train with what appears to be a top design speed (cruising speed) of 500Kmh(311Mph).

 

Obviously, the French took the current record of 574Kmh (357Mph) in 2007 but that was with a special train and special circumstances, the above Chinese train is a service train!

 

Meanwhile, in the USA, "Beardy Bloke", presumably along with Elon Musk, are working on a different sort of technology: https://newatlas.com...d-record/52668/ and https://www.wired.co...ne-engineering/

https://hyperloop-one.com/

This is "only" 387Kmh (240Mph) but for early days, I find it quite fascinating. The ambition with this is to go at or above supersonic speeds and eventually when that happens, the jet airliner should be doomed.

As someone who absolutely hates and detests the ''airport'' experience, I can't wait.

Please feel free to add to this in any way you can.

John.

I think the China one may be something of a one-off too, driven by prestige rather than practicality.  The limit of economic operation of conventional rail looks to be somewhere around 300-400km/h due to things such as aerodynamics, wind resistance, noise and pantograph-wire dynamics.  Experience shows that when the rail journey between two cities is less than 3hr then rail captures most of the passengers from air, and a higher speed would obviously push that further out in distance times, but how many pairs of cities that far apart have enough passengers between them to justify a frequent service of large trains? 

 

I also think Hyperloop also hasn't been thought through as a transport system.  Like a railway it needs fixed infrastructure over the entire length of any journey, and needs to carry large numbers of passengers to justify this cost.  However the carrying capacity seems to be quite low.  Also, being a pressurised capsule running very fast and very close to the walls of an evacuated tube, its vulnerability to bomb attack is likely to be similar to that of an aircraft and therefore similar screening measures will probably be needed prior to boarding.  This means the relationship of journey time to distance is also very similar to flying, with the time to clear security making it uncompetitive for the sort of distances normally travelled by train in Europe.  It may have more of a role in America and places like Arabia where there are widely-separated cities with enough affluence to generate reasonable numbers of passengers travelling between them and perhaps to pay for the infrastructure. 


Edited by Edwin_m, 04 February 2018 - 13:14 .

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#6 Mike Storey

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 13:36

I would suggest that the technology for running trains at much higher speeds has been around for decades,as the French have already proven, whatever Chinese state-sponsored propaganda would try to have us believe.

 

The key issue is the economics of doing so, with energy requirements rising exponentially above around 350kph, as do the track geometry minima. This is why HS2 is being planned for a likely operational speed of about 360 kph although capability is proposed for around 400kph, unlikely ever to be used unless electric traction efficiency improves radically.

 

I guess we will never know the actual economics of the Chinese internal system, which has an ideological and strategic intent far beyond its immediate introduction. It is of note that the Chinese have claimed they have won the contract to design and build a high speed rail system for Indonesia, whereas the Indonesians state they have scrubbed this and are now seeking tenders for a conventional speed system. It will prove interesting as China seeks more export orders, as to when the real economics of operation begin to sink in with customers more used to having to deal with real world costs, and whether WTO rules will be applied to their pricing policy (unfair competition through significant state subsidy specifically prohibited under WTO rules). I guess countries like India (a declared customer) will not complain, but potential European and Japanese competitors, who have seen their technology effectively copied, after initial joint ventures, may well choose to do so, now that future joint ventures prospects are probably zero.


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#7 Allegheny1600

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 13:55

Hi Edwin,

You raise some interesting points, particularly regarding the "bomb" question. However, thinking of attacks on (at least) the French and Spanish networks, conventional railway networks (HS or not) have also proved vulnerable to terrorism, sadly. While conventional railways don't seem to have put in place the sort of screening that is in place at airports, it may be all too necessary in the future.

I suspect it may become necessary to enforce such procedures with any hyperloop system as any disaster at speeds of around 760Mph would be at least as catastrophic as an airliner hitting the ground at full speed. Even so with fully 'domestic' systems, sadly.

Certainly, wealthy, larger countries may be the first adopters but I believe "freer thinking" countries like Holland, Scandinavia and so on, are also interested.

I think the carrying capacity will be increased when such systems become more established with longer 'pods' or even 'trains of pods' or larger tubes for enhanced gauge pods. Remember, the current systems are very much experimental.



#8 Allegheny1600

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 14:04

Hi Mike,

Quite right - the Chinese will have us believe only what they want us to believe and I would bet on the likes of Alsthom and Siemens being pretty pee'd off that their technology has been "improved" by the Chinese state-owned corporations!

Who knows, maybe they have developed a kind of railway 'supercruise'? (supersonic flight without needing to use afterburner). Such a technological advance could make 500Kph travel more economical, although the Car News article suggested more use of plastics and composites, leading to less weight.

Cheers,

John.


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#9 Mike Storey

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 19:39

Hi Edwin,

You raise some interesting points, particularly regarding the "bomb" question. However, thinking of attacks on (at least) the French and Spanish networks, conventional railway networks (HS or not) have also proved vulnerable to terrorism, sadly. While conventional railways don't seem to have put in place the sort of screening that is in place at airports, it may be all too necessary in the future.

I suspect it may become necessary to enforce such procedures with any hyperloop system as any disaster at speeds of around 760Mph would be at least as catastrophic as an airliner hitting the ground at full speed. Even so with fully 'domestic' systems, sadly.

Certainly, wealthy, larger countries may be the first adopters but I believe "freer thinking" countries like Holland, Scandinavia and so on, are also interested.

I think the carrying capacity will be increased when such systems become more established with longer 'pods' or even 'trains of pods' or larger tubes for enhanced gauge pods. Remember, the current systems are very much experimental.

 

Honestly, I doubt that advanced western economies will be the first adopters. I remember much the same hype about Dr Eric Brathwaite's hover train (maglev) technology in the 1970's, which the Daily Mail and similar reckoned the bloody Frogs then pinched and developed much further (because the same Daily Mail government did not believe in subsidising R&D). But even the French gave up because, despite building a very long test track to prove the tech, could not develop a viable business case to adopt it, due to its inherent incompatibility with anything other than discrete point to point journeys. They went with LGV/TGV instead.

 

if the "tube" goes any further, it will be against the prevailing philosophy of inter-operability. I am sure there will be the odd pairs of cities in the USA, and elsewhere with unencumbered access, that might give it a shot, in the next 30 years, but that is about all. 



#10 EddieB

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 20:38

I remember much the same hype about Dr Eric Brathwaite's hover train (maglev) technology in the 1970's, which the Daily Mail and similar reckoned the bloody Frogs then pinched and developed much further (because the same Daily Mail government did not believe in subsidising R&D). 

Eric Laithwaite, I presume?  Somewhere I think I have a copy of "Model Railways" with an article he wrote on "linear motors".


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#11 jjb1970

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 21:02

An impressive train but its not the best looker, though in fairness many high speed trains have been getting uglier IMO. Some of the newer Japanese Shinkansen trains look decidedly odd.

 

When hyperloop was announced I dismissed it as smoke and mirrors and a pipe dream (appropriately enough) but I've revised my opinion as if you want very high speeds then it makes a lot of sense as it resolves the air resistance problem. Regardless of how efficient you make the electric traction package or how light you make a train at high speeds it is never going to be efficient thanks to the power necessitated by overcoming air resistance.

 

On China, there have been some remarkable infrastructure projects there in recent years. A couple of months ago I took a taxi from Shanghai Pudong to Nantong which took me over the Shanghai Yangtze crossings, very impressive.


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#12 jjb1970

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 21:04

I would bet on the likes of Alsthom and Siemens being pretty pee'd off that their technology has been "improved" by the Chinese state-owned corporations!

 

 

They may well be but that is how most economies have industrialised and most corporations adopt technologies designed by somebody else. I think Alstom and Siemens would be on rocky ground to make too much of that one.


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#13 AMJ

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 23:34

Many foreign stations main line and under ground have metal detectors etc but I think they are designed to check for explosive devices.
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#14 Allegheny1600

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 14:35

I just want to place these picture links here, showing the relative HS networks in Europe and Asia.

https://commons.wiki...p_of_Europe.svg

 

https://commons.wiki...sia_HSR2016.svg

 

What is quite remarkable to me, is the density of the Spanish network, even in comparison to the French network, especially when you consider that Spanish HS train loadings are just 15% of their French counterparts.



#15 willjmitchell

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 10:46

Thanks John for kicking off this thread. I too am very interested in high speed rail. I think it still has a lot of unexplored potential despite being a relatively mature technology.

From an operational perspective, I am susprised and saddened that there are still so few direct high speed trains from London to cities on the continent; Eurostar’s expansion seems to have happened at a snail’s pace.

I firmly believe there are thousands if not millions of people who would gladly swap flying for a high speed rail service to cities a far away as Berlin, Vienna, Milan and Madrid, even if it were more expensive than flying. All these destinations could be reached overnight by high speed sleeper trains, making good use of the european high speed rail network at night.

And the beauty of rail is that you can really go to town on passenger comfort and amenities and, of course, the journey is city centre to city centre, avoiding the need for arduous and stressful transfers.

I’d be interested to hear if anyone knows of, or indeed are themselves, modellers of high speed rail. Lots of HO and N guage models exist of course, but I am yet to see a realistic high speed layout of an LGV.
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#16 olivegreen

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 11:13

Thanks John for kicking off this thread. I too am very interested in high speed rail. I think it still has a lot of unexplored potential despite being a relatively mature technology.

From an operational perspective, I am susprised and saddened that there are still so few direct high speed trains from London to cities on the continent; Eurostar’s expansion seems to have happened at a snail’s pace.

I firmly believe there are thousands if not millions of people who would gladly swap flying for a high speed rail service to cities a far away as Berlin, Vienna, Milan and Madrid, even if it were more expensive than flying. All these destinations could be reached overnight by high speed sleeper trains, making good use of the european high speed rail network at night.

And the beauty of rail is that you can really go to town on passenger comfort and amenities and, of course, the journey is city centre to city centre, avoiding the need for arduous and stressful transfers.

I’d be interested to hear if anyone knows of, or indeed are themselves, modellers of high speed rail. Lots of HO and N guage models exist of course, but I am yet to see a realistic high speed layout of an LGV.

 

Whilst I agree with you in principle and would support greater use of the existing European rail networks (before even thinking of expanding them), the sad fact is - as has been mentioned earlier in this thread - that current low-cost air travel killed all ambition of long, perhaps overnight, rail travel on cost grounds. One only has to look at the intended night sleeper services through the Channel Tunnel, which never really got off the ground, as an example of that.

 

Another fact of the travel industry to remember is that in many sectors there is greater movement from UK to elsewhere in Europe than the reverse (apart from Brits coming home, of course!). For example, though not an ideal comparison, I accept, Brittany Ferries' main non-freight income has long been from British tourists, not French or others.

 

I fear that your suggestion of direct travel from London to other cities in Europe (other than those currently served, that is) is, as has been said, a non-starter until the low-cost air travel bubble bursts. And then there is the cost to be considered…remember, sleeper trains have low passenger-per-carriage loadings, which is where the cost argument so often fails.

 

Other than that, I welcome the ability to cross vast expanses of Europe without changing trains…and speaking as a resident of France, especially without having the nightmare of having to change in Paris!

 

Mike

 

Typos edited


Edited by olivegreen, 25 February 2018 - 11:16 .

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#17 Allegheny1600

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 12:06

I’d be interested to hear if anyone knows of, or indeed are themselves, modellers of high speed rail. Lots of HO and N guage models exist of course, but I am yet to see a realistic high speed layout of an LGV.

Hi there!

Thanks for your comments and I'm glad you like this thread.

I have often dreamed of building a proper HSR based layout but to do it justice, it would need to be very large* - if it were to represent the extremely shallow curves found on the prototype.

I think I have seen sections of HSR (LGV, NBS) represented on occasional large European layouts but they have been representations included rather than true models.

Myself and my main two European outline modelling friends have built up a collection of high-speed trains but we just run them on our layouts as normal services rather than full high-speed services.

Cheers,

John.

 

* a 30' diameter circular layout with HS lines swooping down and climbing up, while a 'classic' line passes under/over on a more twisty course? Sadly, I haven't the dedication to build such a concept although it would be great fun!



#18 willjmitchell

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 13:55

Mike - all your points are good ones, but I just can’t help thinking there has been a lack of ambition at Eurostar. It seems to me there is no issue with demand for long distance rail services in Europe. The TGVs are full, the Eurostars are full, the ICEs are full and the German cut-price London Special tickets always sell out quickly. Take-up of the new ES services to Marseille and Lyon appears to have been very good, and I fully expect the forthcoming Amsterdam service to gain a big market share. Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Geneva, Stuttgart and many other cities could all be reached in under six hours, which is still competitive with air travel when you take into account all the inconveniences of flying. I also think we’re going to see a resurgence of the continental City NightLine sleeper services under OBB’s stewardship, not to mention our own sleeper services in the UK which are going from strength to strength, despite the abundance of cheap flights. I for one will always try to avoid air travel within Europe unless it’s absolutely necessary, and I think many others are coming to the same conclusion, especially now that you can book tickets all in one place using Loco2. I also expect the unfair subsidisation of air travel by national governments and the EU to come under greater political scrutiny as concern for the environment grows.

John - I agree about the challenges of building a representative high speed layout. I too have been trying to start a collection of high speed models in HO and OO. So far I have a Rapido APT-E and a Fleischmann ICE BR407. I have ordered an APT-P from DJ Models and am looking for a good quality TGV. I would welcome any suggestions! My preference is for DCC sound models with all the bells and whistles.

Cheers,
Will
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#19 Edwin_m

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 16:19

When looking to run long distances Eurostar is crippled by the immigration and security constraints it has to operate under. 

 

Any other long-distance operation, international or otherwise, survives on a combination of end-to-end journeys and passengers boarding/alighting at intermediate stations.  Thus there may be a journey of five or six hours or even longer, not too many people will be on board for all of it but it can still be quite well used over most of its length.  Cross Country is the classic UK example and there are no doubt many others across Europe. 

 

With Eurostar it is extemely difficult to do this, because of the risk of either people without documentation finding their way into the UK or explosive devices finding their way into the Tunnel.  Either a UK border post and security screening needs to be set up at every boarding station, or everyone has to alight at somewhere like Lille or Brussels with their baggage to undergo screening and re-join the same or a later train.  Either is very inefficient use of officials for what will probably only be a handful of services per day, and is no doubt charged to the operator concerned.  This also means that short-distance passengers can't be carried on the UK-bound leg unless either they are required to submit to the same document and baggage checks, or a portion of the train is dedicated for them and segregated appropriately.  In the latter case the portion must run empty on the final leg into the UK, unless it is searched at the last stop and declared "clean" before re-boarding - which also results in a long stop and in passengers from the intermediate stops to the UK having to alight and re-board. 

 

It's possible that screening will become more widespread for European high speed rail in which case Eurostar could share the facilities with other operators (but would still have to pay for the immigration checks, unless the competing operator served the UK too).  However this would build in a check-in time to a wide range of rail journeys, reducing competitiveness against air in general with, I believe, virtually no benefit to public safety. 

 

With Brexit-related uncertainty, which could lead to the imposition of customs checks on top of all this, it would be a brave operator who committed significant resources to service between the UK and more distant European destinations at present.  The Eurostar Amsterdam service would appear also to be providing extra trains to/from Brussels at peak business times, so the extra cost of running them to/from Amsterdam is relatively low.  I suspect they will disappear quite quickly if Amsterdam patronage falls short or Brexit makes operation more onerous. 


Edited by Edwin_m, 25 February 2018 - 16:21 .

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#20 olivegreen

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 17:33

 The difficulties you mention in your third paragraph, Edwin, are well understood but I find it hard to accept that it is beyond the wit of intelligent man to overcome at least the customs and immigrations elements of them, whether or not the UK is in the Schengen zone. And given that the UK is not in said Schengen zone, none of that need in the least be affected by Brexit, whatever the doom merchants on either side of that particular debate might have you believe.

 

All that said, the fear of an attack in the tunnel would still lead to airport-style baggage and passenger checks… but how and where? … at which point I as a non-expert give up!

 

 

Edited to add that I share your feeling on the future success or otherwise of the extension to Amsterdam - it will be interesting to see …it makes me wonder what the financial (rather than politically convenient) success is of Thalys from Paris to Amsterdam: I wonder if beyond Brussels, or perhaps Antwerp (well worth a visit by the way - far better than Brussels, but I admit to a bias!), Thalys really pays?


Edited by olivegreen, 25 February 2018 - 17:40 .

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#21 Allegheny1600

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 19:53

John - I agree about the challenges of building a representative high speed layout. I too have been trying to start a collection of high speed models in HO and OO. So far I have a Rapido APT-E and a Fleischmann ICE BR407. I have ordered an APT-P from DJ Models and am looking for a good quality TGV. I would welcome any suggestions! My preference is for DCC sound models with all the bells and whistles.

Cheers,
Will

Hi Will,

Sounds like a nice collection you're building.

My good friend, James, would no doubt recommend the Trix TGV if you want all the bells and whistles but be warned, it will be expensive! Personally, I would probably go for the Mehano version and fit/blow my own sound. Not as good, for sure but an awful lot cheaper!

John.



#22 Edwin_m

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 21:47

 The difficulties you mention in your third paragraph, Edwin, are well understood but I find it hard to accept that it is beyond the wit of intelligent man to overcome at least the customs and immigrations elements of them, whether or not the UK is in the Schengen zone. And given that the UK is not in said Schengen zone, none of that need in the least be affected by Brexit, whatever the doom merchants on either side of that particular debate might have you believe.

 

All that said, the fear of an attack in the tunnel would still lead to airport-style baggage and passenger checks… but how and where? … at which point I as a non-expert give up!

 

 

Edited to add that I share your feeling on the future success or otherwise of the extension to Amsterdam - it will be interesting to see …it makes me wonder what the financial (rather than politically convenient) success is of Thalys from Paris to Amsterdam: I wonder if beyond Brussels, or perhaps Antwerp (well worth a visit by the way - far better than Brussels, but I admit to a bias!), Thalys really pays?

The fact that the south of France Eurostars detrain and re-train at Lille shows that this is a real problem which nobody has solved in several years of operation of these trains.  There may be intelligent men involved but there are also politicians and diplomats and security people and all sorts of national interests!  It's economic to pay for the necessary controls for hourly services in Paris and two-hourly (ish) in Brussels, and it is intended in Amsterdam subject to agreement between the respective governments (which I would consider far from a certainty especially in the present climate).  But we aren't going to see Eurostars with 500+ seats going further afield at a frequency of than a few a day, there just isn't the demand unless you can serve multiple stops (and purely Continental journeys) economically with the same train - which the security rules make impossible as I explaned previously.  And for one or two trains a day the costs of providing the security and passport checks before boarding are astronomical - basically the officials would be away from home for two days, just to spend a couple of hours processing an evening's and the next morning's departures (they would be out of hours by the following evening).  They probably can't even return to the UK on the train whose passengers they have just checked! 

 

Schengen is an agreement between many Continental countries to allow their citizens to move between them without passport checks in normal circumstances, and the fact the UK is not a member is the reason everyone's passport is checked on Eurostar.  The customs union is something different, which allows goods to move freely between all member states.  Even in the UK we have "arrivals from the EU" blue channels in airport arrival halls, and anyone who has been following the news will know it is the main reason there all the checkpoints on the Irish border no longer exist.  The whole question of whether we remain in "the" or "a" customs union is a hot topic currently.  But as far as I can see, if we don't, as desired by some Brexiters, then the baggage and passport checks on Eurostar will be joined by a third set which relate to people bringing in prohibited goods or excessive quantities.  The whole paraphanalia of "duty free" might appear on Eurostar, probably meaning the terminals become even more cramped to make space for it. 


Edited by Edwin_m, 25 February 2018 - 21:49 .

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#23 willjmitchell

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 13:42

Thanks Edwin for your detailed responses. I suspect you are correct that this is possibly more of a political problem than a practical one. Had Ryanair or Easyjet encountered similar problems, I doubt they would still be trying to find a solution years/decades on. It just goes to show how transport policy is so absurdly flawed.
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#24 dullsteamer

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 23:22

I too have been trying to start a collection of high speed models in HO and OO. So far I have a Rapido APT-E and a Fleischmann ICE BR407. I have ordered an APT-P from DJ Models and am looking for a good quality TGV. I would welcome any suggestions! My preference is for DCC sound models with all the bells and whistles

Kato has an HO scale E5 Shinkansen in their range. It's conventional 12V DC but can be fairly easily converted to DCC.

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10236910

Zoukei Mura made a Series 0 Shinkansen in HO.

https://www.loco1hob...oukei-mura.html

Cheers,

Mark.

Edited by dullsteamer, 13 March 2018 - 23:32 .

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#25 willjmitchell

willjmitchell

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 10:42

great suggestions - thanks Mark.











Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: HS, High Speed, TGV, Hyperloop, Maglev