Sweden: Trafikverket proposes Malmö - Köln night train, start date 2022/23

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by jamesontheroad, 15 Jan 2020.

  1. jamesontheroad

    jamesontheroad Established Member

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    Link: https://www.trafikverket.se/om-oss/...R8QWbJQ9T4W5BjKD0jhYT8YgRkT-uBJcs8HpFy4G__mIY

    The Swedish Transport Agency, Trafikverket, has today published a preliminary report of its research into new night train connections between Sweden and continental Europe.

    The initial outcome is that Trafikverket proposes the tendering of a new night train from Malmö to Köln, with a possible start date as early as 2022. The long lead time is due to the incompatibility of existing Swedish rolling stock with other countries' systems.

    A final report, which will decide the procurement process, is due by 30 April 2020.

    In October 2019 ÖBB published a 'market investigation' in the EU Journal which invited proposals from rolling stock lessors for two options, one of which was for four sleeping and four couchette cars to be hired between 2020 and 2023 which can operate in Germany, Denmark and Sweden with maintenance to be carried out in the Hamburg area. That suggested ÖBB was exploring the possibility of initiating a Nightjet service themselves.
     
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  3. JonasB

    JonasB Member

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    It's also worth noting that they have looked at the Stockholm-Hamburg route. And they are also suggesting that the route to Cologne will be extended to Brussels in the future.
     
  4. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    That would be properly transformational if realised. London-Brussels-Sweden, one change of train and overnight journey.
     
  5. duesselmartin

    duesselmartin Member

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    Hamburg to Stockholm existed into the early 1990s ad EC Alfred Nobel.
    I was always surprised that it failed that early. There was also a connection to Oslo.
     
  6. MarcVD

    MarcVD Member

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    I did take a train from Brussels to Copenhague in summer 1996 (or may be it was 95, not sure anymore). Made of belgian stock (I5Bc + WL T2) augmented with DB cars as of Koeln . Earlier that train also had cars to Sweden and Norway but when I used it not anymore.

    It's true that stock from Belgium, France, and Germany frequently went to Scandinavia but I never observed any kind of stock from there on Belgian metals. Incompatible loading gauge perhaps ? The stock I had for my train from Copenhague to Olso looked quite generous in this regard.
     
  7. AlbertBeale

    AlbertBeale Member

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    Is there still some kind of "lowest common denominator" passenger rolling stock that fits / is compatible with most European systems, so as to facilitate through running? (Even if - where it's loco hauled - the loco might have to change en route.) I assume this was previously the case over most of the continent, from through journeys years ago which sometimes had a mish-mash of carriages from different countries. Or is modernisation/upgrading now leading to incompatibilities, thus hindering connectivity, in the same way that privatisation/fragmentation of train companies has destroyed the easy through ticketing that used to be the norm?

    In the context of Sweden specifically, I used a through train to Sweden (via the old Helsinborg-Helsingfor train ferry) many years ago - I don't seem to remember any problem with that. And indeed, there are currently through trains to various places in Sweden from Denmark, at least.
     
  8. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Yes, there's stock that could run through, but it's getting elderly or (the sleepers) is spoken for. Swedish/Norwegian stock is built to a bigger loading gauge which is OK for Germany but not much further - again the Berlin Night Express stock is elderly.
    Services to Copenhagen are operated by SJ X2000 EMUs which I doubt are equipped to operate further. And they are also in short supply and no longer new.
     
  9. AlbertBeale

    AlbertBeale Member

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    Ah - thanks. So carriages from elsewhere in Europe could generally work in Denmark/Sweden, but mostly not vice versa because of the loading gauge.

    But what about connections - electrical, pneumatic, etc? They clearly used to be sufficiently standard to mix and match rolling stock from half a dozen different countries on international services - is that still possible (where they're individual carriages not built as one train-length unit)?
     
  10. JonathanP

    JonathanP Member

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    The Railway International Carriage Regulations of the International Union of Railways define all the technical paramaters for interoperability between coaches, and all the major infrastructure operators from Sweden right down to Greece have entered into agreement that any RIC-compliant coach can use their infrastructure without needing any additional certification. All you need is a locomotive certified for operation in that country.

    An extra hurdle for this particular service however is the Oresund straight crossing. This includes a very long undersea tunnel, with a local regulation that the driver must be able to override a passenger pulling the emergency stop handle so the train can be brought to a stand at a place where it is possible to evacuate it. This is sufficent to prevent most 'classic' stock travelling there in passenger service, since the traditional method of simply locally venting the brake pipe clearly cannot be overriden. I am not sure if the RIC addresses this requirement.
     
  11. jamesontheroad

    jamesontheroad Established Member

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    On a related note, remember that DSB currently is currently procuring Vectron locomotives (the preferred choice for freight and passenger operators using the Swedish, Danish and German networks) and a number of rakes of approximately eight carriages to replace IC3 on the Copenhagen-Hamburg route. I'm not sure where the procurement is at, but this article from a while back gives you an idea of the machinations.

    Although it would have the longest lead time, I suspect that new rakes of carriages hauled by Vectrons would be the most suitable (but most expensive) option to develop new international connections between Sweden and Germany.
     
  12. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Thanks, I hadn't realised that complication.
    My guess is that a new build of international stock has this feature because of various new long tunnels, whereas older stock may not. One of the reasons (not the only one) that OeBB are ordering new Nightjet stock is new Italian fire regs which will prohibit their oldest stock.
    Incidentally, I wonder if SJ would bite on a follow-on order of Nightjet sets? Or willcthey be wanting new internal sleeper stock anyway?
     
  13. jamesontheroad

    jamesontheroad Established Member

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    Part of the Trafikverket study has been to research whether the Swedish state should acquire the rolling stock, and then tender the service to an operator. So it would probably not be SJ ordering the rolling stock, but Traffikverket. However, as my post at the top of the thread mentioned, ÖBB has tentatively indicated its interest in bringing Nightjet to Denmark and Sweden: perhaps they themselves will order sufficient stock to operate the service (commercially or according to a Trafikverket tender).

    Exciting times.
     
  14. AlbertBeale

    AlbertBeale Member

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    Thanks - so that answers part of my query. But is it also the case that sets of carriages of this specification are not only able to run on any of the railways, but can also be put together in mixed rakes (ie their connections are all compatible)?
     
  15. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Indeed it did, I used it once.
     
  16. MarcVD

    MarcVD Member

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    Yes. RIC specifies all the interfaces : dimensions and positioning of buffers, couplings, air couplers specification, electric supplies, and whatnot. It is a very complex document. Vehicles that fully adhere to it are marked RIC on their numbering boards. There is a similar convention "RIV" for freight wagons. RIC and RIV are, by the way, abbreviations of italian words, not english. As soon as a rail vehicle bears the RIC or RIV markings, he's allowed on any network that signed the convention.

    By the way, I think the Oresund tunnel was also the first rail line in Europe to require retention toilets. At that time, such toilets were still the exception more than the norm. This was not, and as far as I know still isn't, part of the RIC spec.
     
  17. JonasB

    JonasB Member

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    I have to say that at least in Sweden, retention toilets were the norm at the time as all new trains since the early 80's had been delivered with retention toilets. And older coaches had had their toilets upgraded. And I think that was the case in Denmark as well.
     
  18. JonasB

    JonasB Member

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    The first Vectron (Or EB as DSB will call them) will be delivered next year.
     
  19. jamesontheroad

    jamesontheroad Established Member

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    Thanks! Any word on the carriages? Is there some dispute from an unsuccessful provider?
     
  20. JonasB

    JonasB Member

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    Not sure, but the plan is to have the first of the new carriages delivered in 2022. DSB have narrowed it down to three producers, Bombardier, Siemens and Talgo. And they expect bids from them to be delivered this month. So hopefully we will see a decision soon. But the first Vectrons will be used to replace MEs, which will be wonderful for everyone using Nørreport station. Diesel trains and underground stations are not the best combination…

     
  21. farci

    farci Member

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    This Swedish proposal to reintroduce sleeper services is part of a Europe wide interest in carbon reduction related to travel, as reported on the Back on Track website
     
  22. scarby

    scarby Member

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    Pity they scrapped the Amsterdam-Cologne-Copenhagen overnight service, just a few years ago, which was obviously very similar to the one now being proposed, and used very modern stock, with en-suite first class berths.

    If they hadn't binned the service that was there, at risk of stating the obvious, it would already be in place. Just seems to make no sense to have scrapped something and then start to prepare all over again starting from scratch just a handful of years later.
     
  23. Austriantrain

    Austriantrain Member

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    Such an override is now routine in many parts of Europe, mainly because of tunnel safety, and besides being included in new-builts, has been retrofitted to lots of older stock.
     
  24. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    I agree, but you must remember it was only 1/3 of a train at the Amsterdam end, with portions for Warsaw and Prague as well. Then from Hannover it had a portion from southern Germany (Basle or Munich?) and was notoriously unreliable. Briefly there was a Copenhagen-Prague car, using surplus capacity but complicating matters even more!
    Having Sweden take an interest may well make a difference - a Malmo perspective, both geographically and environmentally, instead of a Frankfurt one.
     
  25. farci

    farci Member

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    Changed times - changed circumstances. Back in the day, low cost airlines made sleeper traffic uncompetitive.

    Now ‘flight shaming’ highlighted by Greta Thunberg means ‘one in five travellers is flying less’
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...ravel-as-greta-effect-takes-off-idUSKBN1WH23G

    A great opportunity for rail travel to reduce CO2 with an efficient alternative
     
  26. Austriantrain

    Austriantrain Member

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    If this service ran to Brussels from the start, it might be a good fit for ÖBB to tender for, since it could interwork with the planned daily Vienna - Brussels (/Amsterdam) service. However, new NightJet coaches would need to be in service first, no spares at the moment.
     
  27. duesselmartin

    duesselmartin Member

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    Are the car transportation facilities still in situ in Schaerbeek?
     
  28. MarcVD

    MarcVD Member

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    No. The tracks have been lifted and the space turned into a parking. A long time ago already : remember that during the last days of the belgian motorrail program, trains had their origin/destination from Denderleeuw and Bressoux, but not anymore from Schaerbeek. Note that I fully believe in the current economic opportunity for night trains, but doubt very much that motorrail will ever come back.
     
  29. JonasB

    JonasB Member

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    There would be nothing stopping ÖBB from extending the service to Brussels if they wanted to.
     
  30. StephenHunter

    StephenHunter Member

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    Indeed, you had two types of Soviet sleepers as a result. Firstly the RIC-types that were cleared for anywhere in Europe and operated to Paris, Ostend, Hook of Holland etc, with just 1st and 2nd class options. Then you had the larger profile three-class Soviet sleepers that ran in the Soviet bloc and to Vienna. Only the former and the Talgo carriages are used by RZD on their sleepers today outside the former USSR, I believe.
     
  31. MarcVD

    MarcVD Member

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    But those two types remain compatible once european bogies and couplers have been exchanged for their russian counterpart. The Paris-Moscow sleeper, for example, runs with a PKP restaurant car west of Brest-Litovsk, because RZD does not have any with UIC profile; further east, a russian restaurant car takes over to Moscow, and is perfectly compatible with the UIC profile cars regarding coupler position, geometry of passageways, etc. It gives the opportunity to compare the two loading gauges, once arrived in Moskva Bieloruskii Vokzal.
     

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