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DT
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I was reading an article this morning on the modernisation of the railway infrastructure in my region which is basically the Picardie region (19,399 km²), North of Paris.


Automoteurs X.72500 triple-unit trains
6 trains on the network. 228 seats. 160 km/h max speed. Cost to the region: 30.6 M€


Autorails X.73500 single-unit trains
12 trains on the network. 81 seats. 140 km/h max speed. Cost to the region: 17.6 M€


"Nouvelle géneration" Z 26500 four and five-unit trains
14 trains on the network. 570 seats. 160 km/h max speed. Cost to the region: 149.6 M€


Autorail Grande Capacité (AGC) X.76500 triple-unit trains
24 trains on the network. 160 seats. 160 km/h max speed. Cost to the region: 102.04 M€

Total cost to the region for this modernisation program: 300 M€

These are not all the trains in the area. This is excluding freight, shunters and high-speed TGV that go through the region. There are also many older trans that still trundle around and there are 4 or 5 heritige railways in the region.

I much prefer to see smaller trains and autorails that travel more frequently rather than half empty trains that travel ony a few times a day. These things make me want to travel by rail. Next time we go up to the seaside, we'll be going by train.
 

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Quite speedy and rather attractive!
Very nice pics too.


I gather rail travel is made more attractive in both France and Germany by subsidised fares, but not sure how true this really is. I know that the standard fares on British trains are extortionate, although it is possible to find great discounts if you can ever negotiate the damnable swamp of confusing information.
 

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QUOTE It's even worse in the United States. You have better luck hitching a ride on an express freight.

I know where you're coming from, the trains here (Melbourne) are a
disgrace. I unfortunately take them a few times a week and the standard is way below even British trains. They're like tin cans on wheels


I used rail travel a lot when I lived in the UK and found it Ok but the problem is the pricing. The cost of rail travel in the UK is too high. When I have come home I always intend to travel by rail as I enjoy it but trying to get the cheap fares on the GNER or Virgin website is too hard. I used to be able to buy tickets over the phone or straight from Kings Cross at a discount as long as I bought two weeks in advance. Now you have to buy over the internet and spend about a week trying to find a ticket.

I have usually given in and rented a car as the only cheap rail option seem to be by going via 21 small stations and taking ten times as long to complete the journey. Privatising the Railways was the dumbest thing done by a government in recent history. When you see these new local trains they have in France and Germany it does make you wonder what the government's thinking about.


Oh those are great pictures Doug. Thanks for showing them.
 

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We were in Alsace last year and took one of the little TER autorails up into the Vosges. Lovely things - spacious, clean (new, of course), well laid out and - best of all - the back of the cab is glazed so you can see either what the driver's doing or where you've been depending which end you're at. I'd seen them before at the Paris exhibition four years ago but hadn't ridden on one previously.

We also travelled from Colmar to Strasbourg on a loco-hauled set from (guess) the early 80s. 60-odd miles, about an hour's travel (three stops), two adults plus two children, 25 Euros return. If they priced in the UK like that there wouldn't be an empty seat in the country. Of course, since there aren't many now they don't need to.

I used the TGV extensively when I lived there in the early 90s and the French used to moan that all the investment had been spent on that. Seems to me now that the money is being redirected lower down the scale of services as the high speed network nears completion.

Has anyone else picked up on the fact that SNCF are going to become an open access operator and may start running Class 92s in this country in competition with EWS, Freightliner et al?
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (jwealleans @ 8 Jun 2006, 17:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...
Has anyone else picked up on the fact that SNCF are going to become an open access operator and may start running Class 92s in this country in competition with EWS, Freightliner et al?

Just like EDF runs quite a bit of the UK's Electricity and France Telecom runs a large chunk of telephone, cell phone and Internet networks.
 

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That selling out basic infrastructure thing raises its ugly head again - it's really frightening.

Britain soon won't have a pot to p^$$ in, not a British pot anyway.
Just waiting for a federal Euro-tax to be levied for the privilege of p^$$ing at all!

Let's get back to pretty photos of lovely trains - fantasy land is more fun.
 
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