is a reneissance of the railroading happening around super high speed
and high speed trains, so we will continue the high speed trains and
news section that has been in use since early 2008. This will
complement the 4rail.net
popular timeline. We
used Joomla publishing system for several months in 2009, but noticed
that this current html-page is more efficient
reading and publishing! The future developments will be reported
for the year 2010
for the year 2009
High Speed Developments Year 2008
for the year 2010
to unweil KTX-2 to Service
The Korean Railways
Korail proudly unweiled its long awaited KTX-2 trainset for service.
The KTX-2 is manufactured in South Korea, and the technology transfer
from the European manufacturer Alstom was made for the project. While
Korail has a fleet of TGV-K trainsets, mostly license manufactured in
Korea, the KTX-2 will add more capacity.
initial news for the KTX-2 quoted for fish shaped train with a driving
trailer at the other end, much like the ICE2. However, the picture is
showing a traditional and tried concept of TGV like trainset, with
two locomotives and 8 articulated trailers between these. If the
Koreans are planning manufacturing the trains for export markets, the
stylish KTX-2 is entering tougher market situation for years. For the
South Korean internal market the train will be the pride of Korail for
years to come.
To the Top of the Page
to Accompany Veolia on French High Speed
The French Air
France and Veolia have been eyeing the high speed market of France
for years. Recently Trenitalia, which has also long had plans for the
market, replaced the airline in the plans. The Trenitalia-Velolia
cooperation might bring their trains to routes like Paris - London and
Paris - Brussels, in addition to the planned routes south of Paris. One
of the reasons for the competition for the Trenitalia, although a poor
one, is that the SNCF through the NTV (the new Italian operator) is
seen as a competitor to the Italians.
already has start up rolling stock available. This needs to be
certified for the French networks, the challenge being that the ETR-500
trainsets are more or less "hand made", that is there are not two alike
if you look at the details. This again means that the certification
might cost a whole lot more than it typically does. After the initial
starting phase however, new rolling stock from Alstom, Siemens or
Bombardier would fix this problem. Veolia would bring its superb
operating experience to the table. It will be interesting to see what
the next move is!
on Italian Gallery Page...
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Eyeing France and UK for its High Speed Trains
Renfe has been doing a respectable amount of restructuring in the past
couple of decades, building a normal gauge network to supplement its
broad (1668 mm) gauge and creating a huge high speed network with
several types of trains operating.
Serrano, the new CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the Renfe has
announced, that Renfe is looking forward on buying 10 super high speed
trains to connect Spain with France and United Kingdom, among
others. The trains would be of type capable of operating in
several countries and be capable of travelling 350 km/h (217
mph) so at least Bombardier, Alstom and Siemens qualify with
their existing train types. The trains are supposed to be operating
already in 2012, when the last part of the Spanish super high
speed network between Barcelona and Perpignan (at French border) is
opened with its total length. While this timetable may seem
unrealistic, 10 trains are so little, that the three manufacturers
mentioned above could relatively easily accommodate these to their
While the trains have
replaced the airplanes in much of Europe on journeys under 1000 km (600
miles), the "new" speed class of 350 km/h (217 mph) will expand this
distance for the trains advantage to 1200 km (750 miles). Spain has a
lot to offer for the rest of Europe in both business and vacations, so
these trains will arrive for an existing lucrative market.
types see Super High Speed Main Page... or
Super High Speed Trains Page...
To the Top of the Page
High Speed Pendolino Service unveiled in Finland
Finland is one of
the key markets for the tilting high speed Pendolino trainsets of the
French train builder Alstom. Karelian trains, a 50%/50%
cosubsidiary of the RzD (the Russian Railways) and the VR-Yhtyma
(Finnish Railways) has ordered four 7 car train set to connect Helsinki
Finland and St Petersburg Russia. The trains are to be taken into use
from December 2010, an ambitious timetable, but well within reach by
the Karelian trains CEO Ali Huttunen.
there are two daily trains between these two cities, the distance of
331 kilometers taking 6,5 hours! The new trains will drop this time to
3,5 hours and later to 3 hours (or even less) and add 2 more trains to
the timetable. Who ever invented the Allegro name, has been careful in
studying the alphabets, the name is nearly identical in both western
and cyrillic aplhabets!
pictures on the "Winter Visions" page of Stanislav Voronin...
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to Run High Speed Trains in France
France, the largest
market for high speed train travel, has long been attracting to
Trenitalia, the state owned train operator from Italy. Within years the
news has always been the same: Trenitalia will run ETR500 trains in
France. However, until now the French have always been able to
fend off the competition. The usual accusation has been that the ETR500
trainsets are individual trains, not two are like, so the normal
approval to certain type would be difficult.
the issue of different trains have been again the issue, this time the
strategical situation differs from the earlier: the NTV (20% owned by
SNCF (French Railways)) is going to challenge Trenitalia on its home
turf, and in response to this the Trenitalia is looking for the
markets in France, close enough to Italy and a very lucrative high
speed market for any operator. From the beginning of the year 2010 the
EU member countries passenger markets have been opened to competition,
so Trenitalia will probably be one of the several newcomers. France has
the largest high speed passenger market in Europe.
To the Top of the Page
- Chinese to Gain Fastest Running
conquered the "fastest running normal service" -title from the French
in December 2009, when the 968 kilometers long connection between Wuhan
and Guangzhou was opened, dropping the connection time between these
cities from 10,5 hours to mere 3 hours! The timetable average speed for
the whole route (including several stops) is incredible 312,5 kmh (194
mph) and trains normal running speed is 350 km/h (217 mph), in some
cases 380 km/h (236 mph). The work for the line was started in 2005.
The line has 625 bridges of 362 km and 177 tunnels. The cost of
construction was estimated to be 12 billion Euros.
record holder was the SNCF with its TGV service averaging 272 km/h (169
mph) between two stations.
This step again proves that the Chinese are fast gaining
the number one place in the super high speed railroading.
To the Top of the Page
for the year 2009
To the Top of the Page
- Chinese to Accelerate the High
While much of
the world is trying to cope with the recession and maintain their level
of building lines, other infrastructure and trains, the China has just
announced, that it will order a total of 280 new super high speed train
sets! In addition to this, there is also an order of around 400 heavy
locomotives for freight. The orders are divided equally between the
China Northern Railway, which is ordering another 140 pieces of CRH3 (Velaro type)
trains and the China South Railway, which is ordering further 140
pieces of type E2-1000 train sets on the license from the Kawasaki
Heavy Industries. The CRH3 trains are currently capable of speed of up
to 350 km/h (217 mph) and the E2-1000 275 km/h (171 mph). The trainsets
are expected to be in traffic by the end of year 2012.
The orders again solidify China as the soon to be leader
in the use of super high speed trains. These orders combined with the
earlier ones mean, that by 2012 China will be larger in the use of
super high speed travel as France, which started the building of the
high speed infra and trains 4 decades earlier. It will be interesting
to see which additional orders will accompany this years additions from
Siemens, Kawasaki, Bombardier and their licensed local builders.
- Bombardier to
enter officially the
super high speed manufacturers club
most active railroad rolling stock manufactirer Bombardier is to enter
the super high speed club officially. This is a long awaited move that
Bombardier has been preparing for carefully for years.
The initial order of the Zefiro 80 type super high speed
will be for the Chinese ministry of railways (MOR) and the trains
will be built at the Bombardier Sifang plant. The Zefiro 380 trains
will be of new speed class, with their top speed of 380 km/h (236 mph).
The first 20 trains to be delivered from 2012 will have 8 trailers and
the next 60 unit 16 trailers. All units should be in use at the end of
the year 2014.
- Belgian High Speed Network
During the fall 2009
it was videly published that the Belgian high speed network is now
finished. Actually the third extension north of Brussels was opened for
traffic connecting the EU Parlament city with Amsterdam in the north
via Antwerpen, Breda and Rotterdam. As the Benelux countries are
densely populated the route is partly underground and dug into the
hills making in some places an interesting scene of small tunnels and
line going throught the fields in some places. Although putting the
line underground cuts noise caused by the super high speed and high
speed trains, it must be quite stressfull for the driver on a sunny day
to adjust eyes from bright sunlight to tunnel darkness and back every
few seconds. The new route has the standard European train control
system installed and by 2010 it will be finished so that in the ETCS
level 2 can be used and trains travel up to 300 km/h (186 mph) speeds.
This third addition to the Belgian high speed network
supplements the existing two lines:
1) west of Brussels to Lille,
where it connects to French high speed networks. These branch from
Lille towards Paris (south) and Channel tunnel (west).
other high speed branch from Brussels is east towrds Germany via
Louvain, Liege and Aix-la-Chapelle leading to Köln in the very
populated part of Germany.
- SNCF, DB eyeing
super high speed freight
railroad giants SNCF (the French National Railways) and Deutshe Bahn
are both studying the possibility to carry super high speed freight on
rails with the manufacturers. While this has been on the Alstom
marketing material for years, now there is a firm possibility for
creating such a system while the super high speed market in Europe is
otherwise not growing in 2008 - 2009 period, maybe not even in 2010.
system would work so, that high speed trains like TGV or Velaro
modified to carry freight would be used. This would involve some
modifications to the existing designs including airplane like large
cargo doors. Standard airplane cargo containers would also be used.
This would allow automatic moving of the containers on the train floor
and interchangeability with the airlines. These containers could be
transported on rails for shorter distances of say 3000 kilometers (2000
miles) and on the airliners to cross the great waters, areas without
rails and longer distances. This would also mean that the super high
speed freight terminals would be built (as planned) on the major
European airports like Munich or Charles de Gaulle in Paris.
for this new business could be converted from the existing older super
high speed trains, like the aging TGV-PSE units, or their cousins TGV
La Poste trains, which the French Postal services is using less and
less, since the basic mail business all around the world is in general
decline (not the parcel courier business). The train builders are
eyeing also for totally new units, which would enable using the maximum
loading gauge for transportation (when needed).
parcels and critical spare parts etc. these trains could carry anything
found currently on the roads as long as its high value to weight
freight. Like fresh vegetables to the Scandinavian winter from Spain to
Stockholm, or SKF roller bearings from Sweden to Munich Germany. For
the right price the demand for the services would be huge! In Europe
the building of the high speed infrastructure has progressed steadily
for 2 decades now. With railnetworks connected and waters crossed
either with tunnels or huge bridges the super high speed freight could
be made true today!
- - Discuss this article at Trainorders.com - - -
- SNCF to rebuild 35
Société Nationale des Chemins
de fer français will rebuild 35 units of its 107 units wide TGV-PSE
fleet. There will also be an option for another 60 trains to be
rebuilt. This will leave the question of fate of the remaining 12 units
open at this time. The rebuilder will most likely be one of the three
giant high speed international / European manufacturers: Alstom,
Bombardier or Siemens.
The TGV-PSE units were
built in 1978 - 1988 and refurbished around the year 2000. At the
refurbishment phase the interiors were rebuilt and the famous
orange-red-dark blue livery was overpainted with the current silvery
gray and blue. With the rebuilding program starting in the couple of
next years SNCF expects to prolong the life of the units for another 10
- 15 years. This might result in that some of the units are retired
only after 45 years of active career in everyday traffic, a formidable
accomplishment for a first generation super high speed train!
of the magazines read have noted recently that SNCF sees some of the
Lyria units trafficing to Switzerland and Italy badly worn out.
Rebuilding these is especially important now, as the competition with
the EU open access is starting for real in the 2010. Even with the
competition in the region, the SNCF is by far the largest super high
speed trains operator and will be in strong position. However the
rebuilding program will probably allow SNCF to expand its services even
further, capacity allowing. Two main competitors in the region are the
Trenitalia of Italy and the Railjet of Austria (owned by
the ÖBB), which plans to run partly the same routes.
- SNCF to order 35
more new TGV units
the owner of the worlds largest super high speed fleet the SNCF (French
State Railways) has ordered 35 new TGV units for 1,2 billion euros (1,7
billion USD) or 34 million euros (48 million USD) per unit. There is
also a further option for 65 units. All units should be delivered
from 2011 to 2015.
units are technically relatively similar to the existing TGV-POS single
story units (which have been reported of production speeds of up to 340
km/h (211 mph) today on the
The new units will have 4 electrical systems: 25kV 50Hz, 15kV 16,7Hz,
3000V DC and 1500DC for use in France, Switzerland, Benelux
(Belgium-Netherlands-Luxembourg) and Germany as well as in Italy. Plus
the necessary train control systems to operate internationally.
background for the order is the probable strong demand for the
international travels of the SNCF after the open access of EU after the
beginning of the year 2010. SNCF want to be the number one player in
the future as well as today, so it has been both buying into several
companies, remodeling and refurbishing its huge fleet of super fast
trains and ordering new units.
- Dutch High Speed
Service Named "Fyra"
The Dutch - Belgian Regional
high speed service has been named "Fyra". While discussing the name in Trainorders.com forums we
found out that in Dutch language this does NOT mean the same as in
Swedish: number four!
editor understands most of spoken Dutch by understanding both German
and Swedish :) .
the service might not be chosen by the language, it connects the four
cities of Holland and Belgium: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp and
Brussels. This line is currently served by Thalys , TGV and Eurostar
The units for the service to
be used are Ansaldo-Breda manufactured Albattross V250 trainsets. The
units are capable of utilizing 25kV 50Hz, 15kV 16,7Hz, 3000V DC and
1500V DC electricity. Train control / safety systems included are LZB,
TVM, ERTMS/ETCS and BAcc/SCM. Although the trains are late, the first
two units have already arrived to Holland for further testing. The unit
was tested on the Velim test circuit for 13 months. Further 17 units
will follow from the manufacturer in Italy.
- Keolis to
Introduce its High Speed Service in United Kingdom
the traffic giant owned by AXA, Caisse de depot et placement du
Quebec and SNCF of France,
has introduced the British national high speed service using High Speed
1 line. This service will connect London St Pancras station (also used
by the super high speed Eurostar
trains) with 9 destinations along or near the
HS1 line, icluding Ebsfleet and Ashford.
opening of the service shows strong commitment of the British to try to
develop with the rest of the Europes railroad boom, after decades of
deglecting development. Other development news will probably follow by
the years end.
HS1 trainsets are of the new Class395 "Javelin" built by Hitachi in
Japan. The shape of the trains is typical for high speed travel and
British taste, with spacy looking stylish interiors. There are six cars
per trainset with seating capacity for 340 + 12 passengers. 29 sets are
either delivered or on their way to Europe. The units can be
distinguished from the European high speed units easily by their doors,
which make the Class 395 train less streamlined. While Europeans use
smooth plug doors, "Javelins" use doors that slide inside the train
structure, very much like we are accustomed to see at the metro
and commuter trains of the larger cities.
- Turkey High Speed
Turkish rail systems are progressing rapidly and providing connections
up to 3 times faster between bigger cities. The Turkish operator
TCDD has been running high speed services between Ankara, the capital
of Turkey, and Eskisehir, West of the capital on high speed track since
March 2009. The number of daily trips both ways will be raised in
September 2009 from daily 13 to 20 a day.
is modernizing rapidly. It has an ambitious high speed network of
3000 kilometers (1800 miles) either under construction or being
scheduled after the previous parts are finished. The main line of the
network will connect Ankara to Istanbul and Europe, hopefully making
direct fast trains from Ankara to Paris / Munich / London possible.
This might be the case as fast as in 10 years!
the high speed TCDD is using HT65000 high speed EMUs capable of speed
of up to 260 km/h (162 mph). 12 comfortable and spacious trains of 6
cars were built by the Spanish manufacturer CAF. For the future needs
it is obvious that in a such a vast country as Turkey, many more units
will be needed.
- German High
Speed Network Expansion near Stuttgart and Ulm
Germany the high speed rail projects around Stuttgart, Ulm plus rail
lines between these two cities have gotten go ahead for upgrading to
high speed lines of 250 km/h (155 mph). Most of the lines will be
totally new going the shortest way instead of the curvy and slow old
lines. The expansion for the high speed network around these two cities
is logical next step when you look at the map of Germany, since most
other directions have already been added to the super high speed
or high speed networks.
The Stuttgart 21 project will replace the Stuttgart main station with
an underground station with approaches to all existing and new rail
networks. To the southern the city center will be connected with
airport replacing the 27 minutes rail connection with an incredible
eight minute one! From the airport the high speed line continues east
along the A8 Autobahn about 50% in tunnel to go through the hills. Out
of almost 60 kilometers to be built 33 kilometers is planned to be
underground. In Ulm the current Main station will be used, although the
approaches again will be made underground.
Stuttgart and Ulm projects are to be cost around 7 billion euros (~11
billion USD) to be divided with the German Federal government, regional
Baden-Wurttenberg Land, Stuttgart City and region, the Stuttgart
Airport , the City of Ulm and the operator Deutsche Bahn.
of the project will start immediately and the whole network should be
finished for high speed traffic at the end of the year 2019.
interested to buy majority in Eurostar Group
the French State Railways, has been said to be interested in buying a
majority in the Eurostar Group. This potential offer would prepare SNCF
for the coming open access years since Eurostars new trainsets would
directly compete with its huge line of TGVs in the "Grandes Lignes", in
its most used and most profitable lines. While the SNCF has nothing to
fear in the competition environment, this move would solidify its near
monopoly for years to come.
We reported a few months ago that
the Deusthe Bahn was going to buy the British share in the Eurostar.
This was followed by silence and not it seems like the French have
turned the deal to their advantage. We'll look closely to the
developments and will report when the new turn takes place again.
is the company with Eurostar trainsets to connect London and Paris
through Channel tunnel. Unlike other compnies, the Eurostar unit are
safety equipped to cross the channel through the tunnel giving it a
practical monopoly for the lucrative route.
SNCF is the huge
French National Railways operating among others a TGV fleet
of almost 500 trains!
Bahn is the mighty National Railways of Germany, which is looking for
expansion targets abroad, so the Eurostar would well suit this need.
- AGV into
started the manufacturing of the production version of its new flagship
super high speed train AGV (Automotrice
The first customer Italian private operator NTV will receive 25 units
of 11 car AGV type starting year 2010. The production phase was
initiated after successfull test period of over a year first started in
summer 2008 in Velim test circuits and after that around France and on
the LGV-EST superhigh speed line (East of Paris). The unit was tested
on its operations speed of 360 km/h (224 mph) in real life
The prototype has been dismantled and is currently being built with
production parts and equipment needed for operations in Italy.
Included are sreens for European standard train safety system ERTMS
level 2 and the Italys own SCMT system. The unit will return to Velim
for another set of tests, then continue to France for finishing. In
November 2009 the AGV unit is expected to start its six month testing
period in Italy. The production units will be built both in France and
arrives in Amsterdam
The unit has been in tests in Czech republics
since summer 2008 and is now readied for test driving on the networks
of Belbium and the Netherlands. The prototype V250 train was towed to
Watergraafsmeer depot in Amsterdam and another unit will accompany it
soon arriving from Italy.
The V250 Albatross is the Italian Ansaldobreda manufactured train.
Currently the company is late on the delivery to its customer, which
might endanger the market share of the operator of the
Belgian-Netherlands high speed lines, since the European Union Open
Access for passenger traffic is starting in 2010. Should another
operator have suitable trains starting 2010 and Albatross operator
Belgian Railways + High Speed Alliance not, the market might be
lost. (added 06/2009)
- LGV-EST to be extended
French authorities are making a decision on the extension of the
LGV-EST (The fast track from Paris east towards Germany) from
Baudrecourt in France to Vendenheim at near Strasbourg (located near
the border of France and Germany). This extension will be 106
kilometers long and the investment will be worth just over 2,1 billion
euros (2,9 billion USD). If the construction is started in 2010, the
line will be finished and open for traffic already in 2014.
extension will further reduce the trqavel times between
Germany and have a positive affect on the trains' market share against
airliners. When the LGV-EST first phase came into use, certain shorter
plane routes were cancelled immediately due to fear of the
competition. (added 06/2009)
prototype testing period
Shinkansen train type E5 has been finished for testing from the Kawasaki workshops late June 2009.
The type E5 is the latest for Shinkansen tracks and is aimed on
challenging the TGV's and Velaro. E5 features an extra prolonged nose
for reduced resistance of aerodynamics (and to provide extra crash
protection) and all the bogies are covered with windplates to further
reduce the resistance and noise, a major consern on the densely
populated areas of Japan. Curiously, the doors of the train are still
oldfashioned and sliding into the trains sides (unlike competition,
which uses the aerodynamic plug doors). Also we have received reports
from the western passengers of the >poor< noise
some of the Shinkansen train, hope this time the comfort issue will be
taken seriously as well.
period will go on until the traffic on the type starts at
Shinkansen line in Japan. The initial speed will be 300 km/h (186 mph)
but this will be raised to 320 km/h (198 mph) by 2013. For the
competition both the Alstom AGV and Siemens Velaro will have a number
of units in production use moving 360 km/h (224 mph) / 100
meters/second (33ft/s) at that time.
Earlier news on E5
prototype planning & building phase...
- Railjet to run into Italy
the open access in year 2010 between the European Union member
countries, the Austrian Railways ÖBB Railjet is getting ready to run
into Italy. This move is reported to be due to the poor service
Trenitalia is providing for the Deutsche Bahn and ÖBB. The Trenitalia
has according to press even asked its (ex)partners to reduce their fast
trains over Brenner pass and has been refusing on much of the
cooperation. According to plans the Railjet will start
Railjets from Wien Austria to Graz, Villach and even Venezia on 2012.
The traffic will be started in cooperation with Deutsche Bahn,
ÖBB and Italian FNM with conventional trains in 2009.
The Railjet between Budapest, Wien and Munich was officially
started in April 2009 following years of preparations. The Railjet is a
special train consisting of one or more Taurus locomotives of Siemens
plus multiple unit like coaches. This economical and flexible
solution to run high speed passenger services is currently capable of
running 230 km/h (143 mph). The trains are branded by attractive red
and gray livery with large Railjet texts to differentiate them from the
normal similar looking trains. We will closely follow the success of
some 70 railjet units in the European battle for high speed markets.
to buy new
the traditional Channel Tunnel operator, is considering on buying more
400 meter trainsets to cope with the competition from the
the year 2010. In 2010 the European Union member states passenger
traffic on rails will be opened to competition. As the Eurostar traffic
has been in a steady growth for years, the new sets would add capacity,
enable new destinations like Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Köln, or even
Munich, to be added. Thirdly from the strategic viewpoint the new
trains will fill in some slots on rails from the competition. The
Channel Tunnel slots are getting scarce sooner or later when the
capacity will all be in use.
While the tenders
will be out for 8 new trainsets and 15 options, the Eurostar is
refurbishing its current fleet by rebuilding the insides of the
trailers. Even the unit 01/02 that has been in store for years for
future needs will now be taken into use. (added 06/2009)
in Norway to be lengthened
'flight train' Flytoget of Norway has been trafficing between the
center of Oslo, the capital of Norway, and its airfield Gardemoen since
1998 with class BM71 3 car trainsets. The driving time for the 42
kilometers is just 19 minutes (average speed 132 km/h (82 mph) with
units capable of 210 km/h (131 mph) maximum speed). The 16 Adtranz
Strömmen built units capacity was found insufficient in 2006 and
additional middle cars for each unit ordered from Bombardier increasing
their seating capacity from 168 to 224. The installation is currently
on the way and all the lengthened trainsets will be in use by the end
of 2009. Flytoget is a subsidiary of the Norwegian State
NSB (Norges Statsbaner).
The units are
interestingly based on the Swedish X2 design. BM71 has an
cab design, probably intended to reduce the pressure when entering to
tunnel. It is also pressure controlled. Very similar looking class BM73
are tilting trainsets while class BM71 is not. There has been criticism
on the accessibility of the trains, which are not accessible with their
steps for the disabled and elderly, strange feature for such a new
BM71 at the 4rail.net Picture of the month page...
- SNCF to
buy into NTV
(the French National Railways) is to buy a 10% share of the new Italian
operator NTV. NTV is the lead customer for the Alstoms new super high
speed train AGV (automotrice a grande vitesse). The AGVs are currently
readied for use at NTV beginning year 2010. AGV is the first truly
multinational super high speed train capable of using several
electrical systems for its energy supply and its top speed at 360 km/h!
the AGV is a new high speed train, for the NTV the move secures the
largest super high speed train operators support. the SNCF daily
operates already over 500 TGV (or similar type) trains in France,
Switzerland, United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
the SNCF the benefits are a larger market in Italy, new for the SNCF,
better knowledge of the interesting new AGV train and keeping the
competition away from its home turf. While the Deutsche Bahn has
managed to gain a substantial market share in France for its freight
divisions since the EU open markets for rails in 2007, the SNCF seems
to have no intention on letting this happen with the passenger traffic
as well. The EU passenger traffic is open for competition from the
beginning of year 2010.
- China to
Start Super High Speed Train
Building of its Own
Ministry of Railways has ordered 100 CRH 350 km/h units from the
Chinese manufacturer CNR at the cost of approximately 6 billion Euros.
The trains are the fisrt completed with only Chinese technology, no
licensing needed. The earlier train sets were manufactured under
licences from Alstom, Siemens and Kawasaki. Substantial number of units
should be finished when the Beijing - Shanghai super high speed line
opens in 2011.
deal means a shift in manufacturing to Asia, where the markets in the
coming years will be by far the largest in the world. It is expected
that hundreds of other Chinese built super high speed and high speed
trains will be ordered in the coming years. These include the worlds
first high speed sleeper trains capable of running 250 km/h. The speed
will enable connecting Beijing with Shanghai overnight in 10 hours.
to be rebuilt
to our sources SNCF (The French National Railways) has decided on
rebuilding the 1980s TGV-PSE-sets. This rebuilding would involve all
107 units. Most of the units were refurbished by the year 2000, the
more extensive rebuilding program would however involve building new
technology within the old locomotive and trailer structure. 5 large
manufacturers were mentioned as possible refurbishing providers
including Alstom (the original TGV builder), Siemens (second largest
super high speed trains manufacturer) and Bombardier (a company with
aggressive high speed product development). The specifications for the
rebuilding program are expected to be out in the near future.
We will closely watch the
program and report the developments in the near future.
readying the Shinkansen E-5 for use
East Japan Railways is getting ready for the E-5 bullet trains test
drives in July 2009. The new design is based on the Kawasaki built 700
model, but has several new features which include:
* The top speed is increased to 320 km/h (200Mph) like the
norm for today is.
The nose is pointing 15 meters forward to further lessen the air
friction and probably to provide more buffer in case of an accident
(very rare on super high speed rails).
* The front bogies, a major source of noise, are covered.
This will also further minimize the airfriction.
estimated period for test drives is 2 years, after which the train
should be ready for revenue service from 2011. New trains will be used
on Tohoku Shinkansen extension to Shin-Aomori.
- Deutsche Bahn to buy
Bahn (the German national owned operator), one of the largest
railroading organizations in Europe is interested in buying the British
shares of the Eurostar. This would enable DB to operate Eurostar super
high speed trains instead of competing with it starting of 2010 when
the European rails open for the competition. In 2007 Deutsche Bahn
expressed its interest in competing with the Eurostar. We will be
closely watching the developments in the area.
Bahn also owns the EWS, which operates 2/3 of the freight in Great
Britain and some in France, 50% of the London Overground and Chiltern
which runs between London and Birmingham. Acquisition of the 1/3 of the
Eurostar stock would be the logical next step as well as expanding its
services to Germany.
to Deliver 15 New Velaro-Ds for
will deliver 15 super high speed Velaro-D trains for its long time
customer the Deutche Bahn. The order is worth 500 million ? according
to the builder. The first vehicles are scheduled to go into operation
in December 2011 and the first trains will be available for in-depth
testing in summer 2011. All 15 multiple units are to be delivered by
new Velaro multiple units will be equipped to handle international
transports. ?When cross-border rail passenger transport in Europe is
liberalised in 2010 and there is unrestricted competition in that
market, as is already the case on the German rail network, we plan to
be ready to operate transports on new routes outside Germany,?
announced Hartmut Mehdorn the CEO of Deutsche Bahn. ?The new Velaro-D
keeps these options open for us and we believe they will also enable us
to win market shares from air transport.? The Velaro has a fuel
consumption of just 0.33 litres per seat over a distance of 100
kilometres, making it the most environment-friendly high-speed train in
the market. The top speed of the new trains is 320 km/h.
has so far sold 109 Velaros, winning four of the last five
international and national orders placed for multiple-units in the
high-speed transport sector.
to Siemens the Deutsche Bahn currently operates a total fleet of 250
ICE multiple units, comprising 59 ICE 1, 44 ICE 2, 67 ICE 3, 70
electric ICE T with tilting technology, and 10 diesel-powered ICE TD.
(Source: Siemens AG
to Enter the Super High Speed Club
boasted in November 2008 to be the fourth manufacturer to offer a train
capable of up to 300 km/h speeds. While the two leading manufacturers
Siemens with its Velaro super high speed family and Alstom with its AGV
and TGV product line are both starting a delivery on trains capable of
360 km/h, Hyundai-Rotem can be seen to be two decades behind in
development in this case. Still, the development of the new kind of
train is a formidable achievement for a new manufacturer. Building high
tech super high speed trains is so difficult, that not many
manufacturers are able to achieve both reliability with technical
solutions and enough volume on the markets to maintain and develop the
technical superiority. The third super high speed trains manufacturer
is the Kawasaki of Japan.
The original KTX trains were built by
licence from Alstom of France and are actually part of the famous TGV
Reseau/Atlantique family. These were fixed 20 trailer sets (unusual for
a TGV design) to meet with the demand. The newly developed Korean
KTX-II trains are to be "half sets" with 10 cars and the motor car at
the other end and the driving trailer at the other (very similar
concept to the German ICE2s). Like Germans with ICE2s the Koreans seem
to be interested in the idea of combining two half sets together for a
longer train. The KTX-II trains were according to the manufacturer
developed by 6600 person work force and cost 366 billion Korean Wons
(195 million USD/144 million Euros). The Korean Transport institute is
expecting a lucrative import market for the newcomer.
Railways Korail has improved its comfort level with the new KTX-2
trains which are said to be spacious, the seat can be rotated to either
direction, there are family compartment on the trains as well as snack
bars and restrooms that are accessible for anyone. Included is also the
wireless internet in the train. While these have been standard in the
European super high speed trains for decades, this can be seen an
improvement for the Korean trains.
Next the KTX-II
will go through a test running process for 6 months, conducted by
Korail. Its actual revenue service will start with the Honam line. In
the second phase of the project, it will run through the Jeolla line,
Kyeongjeon line and Kyungbu line.
(Sources: Huyndai-Rotem, General Super High Speed info from 4rail.net,
High Speed Developments
for the year 2008
Kawasaki Heavy Industries has decided to start the development of the
efSET super high speed train of 350 kph (217mph) to meet the
competition of the Alstom
(TGV 320 kph and AGV 360 kph) and Siemens
(Velaro 350 kph). While the Kawasaki H.I. is up to 5 years
from the competition, it has a strict delivery target of the prototype
being readied for 2010, at the same time with the first production
AGV's and 10 years after Siemens Velaro/ICE3's.
world wide market for the super high speed trains is growing and the
lucrative domestic markets existing will probabaly provide Kawasaki
with enough cash flow to judge the enornous investment needed. The
manufacturer is likely to be able to sell it's trains to new markets
like China, Russia, India and the U.S.A.
with the competition, special attention will be directed to the energy
consumption, noise levels reduction, improved reliability and better
aerodynamics. The idea is to use many of the traditional solutions from
the existing trains on the Environmentally Friendly Super express train
of Kawasaki. Please note that most of the traditional Japanese bullet
trains are currently quite a bit slower than existing solution in a
number of European countries, Korea and China.
on the Japanese Bullet Trains on our Shinkansen Page...
U.S.A the State of California is finally considering seriously on
getting abord the super high
speed train society. About time since the U.S. is the last
country which has not realised the potential of the high speed travel.
The calculations fo California on the benefits are quite real; after
all the other seuper high speed nations make careful calculations
before any new super high speed line is built.
Read more on our
North America Main Page...
has announced that it has made a new national record on the production
run train on it's way to Peking: 380 km/h (236 mph)! The record was
made with a
Velaro super fast train of siemens. There will be around 60 Velaros
built for/in China at the initial phase with probabaly hundreds more in
the later phases.
more on our Super High Speed Main Page...
traditional French builder Alstom had it's AGV (Automotrice a Grande
Vitesse = EMU for great speeds) tested succesfully in Velim test
circuit in the Tsech Republic in the beginning of the summer. The test
were quite rigorous with round the clock shifts for the crew aboard the
train. Based on the experiences gathered so far Alstom made finishing
touches for the train in Rochelle France at the end of the summer and
further tests will be carried out in France and Italy. italy is the
Initial country for the first AGV trains, which will be painted in
Ferrari red for the operator NTV. Numerous high speed tests still need
to be done before the production units are readied. These must be done
on the LGV's of the France and Italy, since the Velim test circuit does
not offer chance for up to 360 km/h super high speed testing.
more on AGV on our TGV/AGV Page...
seems finally to be entering the super high speed club. It has made
numerous successful trials on the Regina train located in Sweden. These
trial have reached so far speeds of around 310 kph. Bombardier is
better known for it's regional trains and metros + light rail
applications. However, entering the super high speed arena is only
natural to a company also manufacturing planes!
information on Bombardier on our Manufacturers page...
has finally reached testing phase for it's ill fated Netherlands and
Belgium high speed Albatross trains. We hope that newly started
co-operation with Bombardier will lead to finishing product and make
as well finishing the production units possible. The
Albatrosses will operate the same track as the Thalyses and Eurostars,
only slower. The name Albatross comes from a distinctive nose of the
train, something like on the newer Shinkansens of Japan.
is rumored to be considering on replacing some of the the existing
Eurostar units with the AGV's. The main reason is said to be the
reliability, with 94% on Eurostars, as TGV's have almost 100%
reliability. Eurostar is actually a double length TGV adapted to
British standards as well as continental specifications, main reason
for quite different looking bogies on the train. While Alstom
is very confident on it's AGV designs performance, only production
units will show the reality.
more on the Eurostar units...
To the Top of the Page
Created for 4rail.net by John
McKey. Pictures by Pekka Siiskonen, Ilkka
Siissalo, Sanna Siissalo and
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