High-speed railway system in europe
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High-speed railway system in europe

CONTENT

ARLANDA EXPRESS HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINK, SWEDEN 3

AVE SPAIN HIGH-SPEED RAIL NETWORK, SPAIN 4

EUROSTAR ITALIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL NETWORK, ITALY 7

GARDERMOEN RAIL LINK HIGH-SPEED LINE, NORWAY 9

GERMANY INTERCITY EXPRESS HIGH-SPEED RAIL NETWORK, GERMANY 11

LISBON-PORTO HIGH SPEED LINE, PORTUGAL 13

NÜRNBERG-MÜNCHEN HIGH-SPEED LINE, GERMANY 14

PERPIGNAN-FIGUERES CROSS-BORDER RAILWAY, FRANCE 16

TGV FRANCE HIGH-SPEED RAIL NETWORK, FRANCE 17

THALYS PBKA HIGH-SPEED TRAINS, EUROPE 19

TILTING TRAINS TECHNOLOGY, UNITED KINGDOM 21

WEST COAST MAIN LINE PENDOLINO TILTING TRAINS, UNITED KINGDOM 22

X2000 TILTING TRAINS, SWEDEN 24

FINLAND PENDOLINO TILTING TRAINS 25

GATWICK EXPRESS AIRPORT RAIL LINK, UNITED KINGDOM 27

HEATHROW EXPRESS HIGH SPEED RAIL LINK, UNITED KINGDOM 28

CHANNEL TUNNEL RAIL LINK EXTENSION PROJECT, UNITED KINGDOM 30

LITERATURE 34

High-speed railway system in Europe

ARLANDA EXPRESS HIGH-SPEED RAIL LINK, SWEDEN

November 24 1999 saw the inauguration of the new, dedicated high-speed rail link between Stockholm Central railway station and the city’s main airport, at Arlanda. The airport is at a competitive disadvantage over other major city air terminals, as it is 42 kilometres (26 miles) from the city centre.

A 1989 study questioned the viability of such a link, so, as a stop-gap, the line from Ulriksdal to Rosersborg was widened from two to four tracks.

THE PROJECT

In 1993, tenders were called for a new public-private venture line from Rosersborg, over Arlanda, and back to the main line at Odensala. A consortium of Swedish construction companies NCC and Siab, power utility Vattenfall, and British companies Mowlem and GEC Alsthom, formed a ‘finance, build and operate’ company A-Train AB.

The original city-airport journey time target was 20 min, with trains running every 15 min between 0600 and 1930 each weekday. The Arlanda Link Consortium started work in 1995, and the summer 1999 completion date was delayed to allow stringent reliability and punctuality targets to be met. A-Train then transferred the entire system to the Swedish state for lease back to the operator.

INFRASTRUCTURE

The Arlanda link comprises 20 kilometres of double-track railway, three stations, all underground, and seven kilometres of tunnels. The airport has two stations used by the dedicated link service, Sodra, serving terminals 2, 3 and 4, Norra, linked to terminal 5 and Sky City, the commercial complex. A third station is used by inter-city and regional trains and Stockholm commuter services.

Automatic ticket machines are installed.

The airport stations are built in 22 metre deep rock caverns, and the line has about 20 bridges, tunnels and portals. John Mowlem installed 39 kilometres of track, including 29 turnouts and crossovers. Airport trains use platform 1 at Stockholm Central.

ROLLING STOCK

Services are operated by seven dedicated four-car electric units built by Alstom, capable of 200 km/h. Their bodyshells were built in Barcelona, Spain, and bogies in France, with final assembly at Washwood Heath, Birmingham, UK.

Trains are maintained a new purpose-built depot.

Each vehicle is 93 metres long, with 190 seats, and substantial luggage space. Power comes from Alstom’s Onix dedicated traction system, and there is regenerative, disc and track braking. The testing cycle involved 130,000 kilometres of running, and 1,150 round trips, designed to ensure the target availability of 98% or better was achieved.

SIGNALLING/COMMUNICATIONS

Each train is fitted with automatic train protection and a driver-operated radio system, supplied by Adtranz under contract to Alstom. Three interlocking computers oversee the main communications system.

Train departure display systems at Stockholm Central and airport stations, supplied by Adtranz, are controlled centrally. German company Alcatel supplied an on-board radio system compatible with other rail operators, and a separate system for use with emergency services. The line also has automatic fare collection and ticketing equipment.

THE FUTURE

On opening, a 20-minute interval service was instituted, running at 160kmh, although there is capacity to shorten journey times from 19 to 15 min.

A-Train will receive all proceeds from fares for the remainder of its license term, until 2040.

AVE SPAIN HIGH-SPEED RAIL NETWORK, SPAIN

The Spanish government has allocated €41 billion for the construction of new rail infrastructure before 2007 and intends that all provincial cities will be less than four hours travelling time from Madrid, and six and a half hours from Barcelona.

This has led to an ambitious target of 7,200km (4,500 miles) of high-speed (350km/h) railway along five main corridors. Only 725km of this total was complete by early 2003, although another 1,146km was under construction, with 1,182km in design, 920km in planning and 3,227km in consultation.

The choice of Seville to host the world Expo in 1992 prompted its choice as the destination for the first high-speed line, a 417km (259-mile) link from the capital, Madrid. Journey times are being cut from six hours to two and a half.

Since opening, the Madrid-Sevilla AVE has been a great success with high loadings on both dedicated TGV-style trains and the locomotive-hauled Talgo services which can operate to destinations away from the standard gauge AVE line by using gauge changers to alter the
width of the wheels to and from the Iberian standard 5ft 6in (1,668mm) gauge.

THE PROJECT

The near-perfect upgrading between Madrid and Seville has paved the way for other major trunk routes across Spain, and amongst the first is a 1,079km ‘gateway to the south’ network to connect the cities of Malaga, Granada, Cadiz, Algeciras, Huelva and Jaen. The route has been divided into 22 civil engineering contracts, the first to be let covering the Cordoba-Malaga section.

Approval has also been given for the construction of a new 25km high-speed line from Madrid to Toledo.

The 651km (400-mile) corridor between Madrid, Barcelona and on to the French border near Perpignan has been a prime target for modification / expansion because 5.6 million passengers are expected to be attracted to its services.

The first 482km stage between Madrid, Zaragoza and Lleida was expected to open in spring 2004 but has been running late because of technical problems.

The final 45.5km (28-mile) link to the French border is another challenge because an 8.1km (5-mile) tunnel is required through the Pyrenees and the cost, up to €900 million will be recouped over 50 years through Spain’s first-ever private franchise operation. INFRASTRUCTURE

The task of co-ordinating and overseeing work on the AVE network has been vested in a specially created arm of state rail operator RENFE. Gestor de Infrasestructuras Ferroviarias (GIF) also awarded various construction contracts, laying down specifications identical to the Madrid-Valencia line. These include electrification at 25kV, 50Hz using alternating current and a minimum curve radius of 4,000m. Track is 60kg/m steel rail mounted on concrete sleepers. Much of the route to Seville runs over the trackbed of the former 1,668mm gauge line between Madrid and Badajoz, remodelled for the higher speeds. The 119km (74 miles) between Braztortas and Cordoba is a completely new line through the Sierra Morena mountains. The final 127km (79 miles) from Cordoba to Santa Justa station, Seville, runs parallel to existing alignments.

ROLLING STOCK

AVE trainsets bear a close family resemblance to the French TGV and German ICE. For the Madrid-Barcelona line, two contracts with a total value of €741 million were equally divided between Talgo/Bombardier and Siemens consortia for a total of 32 train sets capable of 350km/h (220mph) by 2004.

With intense competition from airlines, the trains offer high quality facilities including segregated areas for mobile phone users and at-seat headphones offering music, TV and film channels.

The Talgo 350 trains follow the design of the successful 2001 prototype and are in 12-car formations with 318 first class and Turista (standard) seats and a bar/buffet. The builder has also secured a 14-year maintenance sharing contract.

The Siemens eight-car Velaro E train seats 404 passengers and is a re-worked German ICE-3. The company will supply the electrical components with the rest shared between RENFE, CAF and Alstom. A new traction and braking system is required for the steep gradients seen in Spain.

SIGNALLING / COMMUNICATIONS

German technology is at the heart of the operational control system. A cab signalling system is coupled with a continuous speed control facility. Siemens has supplied an ISDN communications system, which transmits speech, data, text and images. This proved such a success on the Madrid-Seville route that it was adopted as standard for subsequent routes to Barcelona and Narbonne across the French border.

In early 2003, the Madrid-Barcelona line hit problems when the high-tech ERTMS cab-to-track signalling system failed under trial, applying the brakes for no apparent reason. It was soon discovered that the sub-stations were inadequate. A 30km section of track at Zaragoza may also have to be relaid after subsidence.

Because of its use of existing lines, conventional signalling has been retained between Barcelona, Valencia and Alicante.

THE FUTURE

Under serious investigation is a new line to connect Madrid, via Castilla la Mancha, with Valencia, Alicante, Casrtellon and Murcia. €205 million will be required for 22km (14 miles) of new four-track alignment in the Valencia, with broad gauge rails for freight.

The AVE line will also integrate with the Mediterranean corridor from Tarragona to Almeria, which is operated by Alstom-designed Euromed trains and Talgo high-speed trains. This will also connect, at lower speed, with Alicante.

In the medium-term, Madrid will also be connected to the north and north-east of the country by means of 2,330km (1,450 miles) of new line and the EU has already offered its backing. Civil contracts worth €1.42 billion have been let for three sections, Olmedo-Matapozuelos, Matapozuelos-Valdestillas and Rio Adaja-Medina del Campo.

The Basque area government has also prepared a €3.6 billion plan for a long-distance ‘Y’ network to connect the provincial capitals of Bilbao, San Senbastian and Vitoria with the rest of Spain and France (Dax). Before trains can run, 75 tunnels and 35 viaducts will need to be built and work has been sanctioned for the initial €1 billion section, the 50km (30 miles) between La Robia and Pola de Lena. Half of it will be in tunnel under the Pass of Pajares.

In 2002, the Spanish and Portuguese governments agreed to pursue a high-speed link between the capitals of Madrid and Lisbon.

EUROSTAR ITALIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL NETWORK,

ITALY

The Italian government is committed to spending €28.8 billion to construct a network of high-speed lines that could reach 1,000km (625 miles) by 2008. The introduction of the latest generation of high-speed trains, the ETR500, heralded a complete re-branding of the country’s high-speed network in an effort to reflect its integration into the wider European rail system. With the introduction of the 60 new trains, the routes on which they operated were relaunched as ‘Eurostar Italia’.

THE PROJECT

A major feature of the scheme is to upgrade the existing high-speed Rome-Florence line, known as the Direttissima. Major expansion will also be undertaken on the Milan / Naples, Turin-Milan-Venice and Genoa-Po Valley via Terzo Valico routes.

The 252km (157-mile) Rome-Florence line was the first high-speed line in Europe when it opened in 1978 and requires heavy upgrading to raise speeds to 300km/h (185mph). When complete it will link with the Florence-Bologna line by means of a new tunnel under Florence.

Work was completed in 1999 on 25km (16 miles) of new construction to improve the 204km (127-mile) Naples-Rome route, which needs new connections at Forsinono and Cassino. There are some problems on the approach to Naples because of archaeological finds.

Although the alignment for the new 79km (49-mile) Florence-Bologna line was agreed in 1995, it will be 2007 before work is complete and all but 5km (3 miles) will be in tunnel through the Apennine mountains. Journey times will be cut in half.

The 182km (113-mile) Bologna-Milan route is one of the most congested in Europe and €6.1 billion investment will increase route capacity by 88% and reduce end to end journey times to one hour.

Reconstructing the 127km (79-mile) Turin-Milan line to virtually double capacity has hit controversy because of the route chosen. New works begin at Certosa, 9km (6 miles) from the centre of Milan, and run to Settiimo Torinese. Connections with existing lines will be provided at Novara, reaching Malpensa Airport in time for the 2006 Winter Olympics.

The final choice of route from Milan to Venice (212km / 132 miles) is still under discussion. It will start at Melzo, 20km (12 miles) from Milan Central station, and join the FS system at Verona. The route to Venice was approved in March 2000 but has still to be ratified by government.

Finally, by 2010, a new line from Milan to Genoa is planned, requiring a 1.6km (1 mile) tunnel through the mountains to link the Port of Genoa to the existing rail system.

In addition to Government finding support, some 70% of additional money will be needed for the projects to reach fruition. This will be coming from EIB, Merrill Lynch, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and West Deutsche Landesbank.

INFRASTRUCTURE

In a heavily populated country it is recognised that gaining approval to build new lines and integrate them with others requires 15 years of planning and negotiation. Heavy investment is required for civil works (viaducts and tunnels), track modifications, signalling, telecommns and strengthened power supplies.

Extensive effort has gone into minimising the environmental impacts of its work. Before starting work, an evaluation of environmental impact was carried out along all the route corridors and its findings and recommendations have been strictly adhered to during construction.

ROLLING STOCK

An ongoing construction programme is planned to meet the expansion of the network.

The first generation of new rolling stock was the ETR450 Pendolino, built by Fiat Ferroviaria. However, the latest derivative, the ETR500 non-tilting variant, has been designed and built by Gruppo Ferroviario Breda at its factory in Pistoia.

The first ETR450 entered service in May 1988 on routes radiating from Rome. These trains have two power cars with four first- and five second-class trailers, offering 386 seats. As of 2000, there have been 15 sets in service.

The later ETR460/480 trains were the first to offer restaurant facilities in a tilting train. 20 of these nine-car trains are in service, each seating 480 passengers and capable of speeds up to 250km/h (155mph).

The ETR500 is a 13-vehicle unit seating 590 passengers. Introduced in 1996, this is capable of 300km/h (185mph). More than half of the 60-strong fleet entered squadron service during 2000. These trains offer at-seat meals, business and family coaches, full air-conditioning and a fully depressurised cabin.

SIGNALLING/COMMUNICATIONS

The ETR500s are fitted with automatic train control and protection systems. However, the ETR460 and 480 trainsets run on conventional absolute block signalling, with in-cab warning system. It is planned that the Naples-Rome line will use signalling to the highest specification, Level 2 ERTMS.

The traincrew are in constant contact with control centre staff and there is two-way communication between driver, guard and other traincrew.

SIPAX (Systema Informativo Passaggeri), an integrated ticketing and reservation system, which includes associated operators, such as car hire, ferry, hotel and airline companies, has also been introduced.

THE FUTURE

The Italian high-speed network is relatively self-contained, so there is expected to be little expansion beyond the network currently under development.

Nevertheless, both the Italian and French governments are keen to integrate with the Trans-European Network System (TENS) which will take through trains
Trieste, Lubljana, Budapest and Kiev, with a western extension linking Marseille and Barcelona.

GARDERMOEN RAIL LINK HIGH-SPEED LINE, NORWAY

The Gardermoen line is the first Norwegian high speed line, a new 66km link from the centre of Oslo northwards to Eidsvoll, serving en route the Norwegian capital’s new Gardermoen airport – hence the name.

Costing kroners 2 billion ($350 million), the Gardermoen line is designed for trains travelling at a maximum speed of 210km/h. It includes the longest railway tunnel in Norway, the 13.9km Romeriks tunnel.

The line’s development stems from the Government’s decision in 1992 to build a completely new city airport, served by a dedicated high speed rail link that it was hoped would carry 50% of air passengers and 40% of staff working at Gardermoen, a total of 25,000 rail journeys per day.

THE PROJECT

Operator NSB Gardermobanan A/S was formed in 1992 by the state-owned rail operator NSB to drive forward the airport rail link plan.

An initial ten minute interval service is being operated from Oslo Central, with alternate trains extended beyond the airport to serve Asker. The 18km journey (twelve miles) from city centre to airport takes just 19 minutes. Extensive links with local bus and taxi operators have also been forged, and partnerships with local businesses and hotels ensure that travel packages to and from the airport including the rail link are heavily promoted to visitors.

INFRASTRUCTURE

The railway is electrified at 15kV, laid to German ICE 200km/h standards, and is all double track except for 3.5km close to the junction at Eidsvoll with the existing Norwegian State Railways trunk line to Lillehammer and the north.

The section of line from Eidsvoll to Lillestrom via the airport is completely new, and includes the Romeriks tunnel, just east of Starveien. The track-laying contract was awarded to Banverket Industridivisionen, a subsidiary of Sweden’s state-owned rail infrastructure authority.

Construction and subsequent operation of the airport line has been entrusted to NSB Gardermobanen AS, an NSB subsidiary, established in November 1992. Such was the scale of the Romeriks tunnel works, that a separate project organisation was formed to oversee them. This had initial difficulties when it got into a dispute with main contractor Scandinavian Rock Group (SRG), which resulted in the original contract being cancelled in March 1997, and a revised one awarded to the same company, less than three weeks later. The tunnel works hit further problems when the sealant being used was found to contain potentially dangerous substances, causing another temporary delay in digging work.

However, a revised timetable was drawn up for its completion, and technical installation works were completed in July 1998, in time for the start of operations that October.

NSB95 concrete sleepers have been employed, with Pandrol’s latest Fastclip securing the 60kg/m rails from Banverket’s welding plant. Work on another tunnel, at Hallandsasen, was also stopped when it was found that the same substance had leaked into a nearby water supply, and poisoned cattle grazing nearby. Elsewhere, more than 350 homes along the route gained substantial structural amendments to ease the impact of the new line close by, including enclosing balconies with glass, fitting replacement windows and repairing facades.

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