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AGV, the new TGV?


Citaro

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The french have a prototype of a new high speed train: AGV (Automotrice à grande vitesse) by Alstom. The train was presented by Sarkozy, the president of France, in 2008. It was tested in Italy and some private transit companies want to buy some.

Will SNCF buy the train and replace the TGV? I don't know! :P Is it the new california high speed train? I don't know! :P

 

Presentation by Sarkozy:)

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Test run

 

 

Technical data

The train reached 220 mph. The AGV weighs less than its rivals which reduces its power consumption, and it consumes 30% less energy than previous TGV designs. Instead of having separate power cars at either end of the train, as current TGVs do, the AGV will have distributed traction with motors under the floors of the passenger carriages. This is the arrangement used on many regular-speed multiple-unit trains and also high-speed trains such as the Siemens Velaro and Japan's Shinkansen trains. The space saved through not having a power car will enable the AGV to provide more seats.

 

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I wonder what's the difference between a Train and that Automotrice thing? They look the same to me!:P

 

A train is a connected series of vehicles and a Automotrice is a multiple unit.

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Ahh okaie!

One question: Why Bombardier (in Montreal) builds its best trains in Europe and why not in North America??? Also, i've never seen any modern Bombardier train in Canada or the US. Why??? It's a canadian company.

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One question: Why Bombardier (in Montreal) builds its best trains in Europe and why not in North America??? Also, i've never seen any modern Bombardier train in Canada or the US. Why??? It's a canadian company.

 

I don't know!:):P

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One question: Why Bombardier (in Montreal) builds its best trains in Europe and why not in North America??? Also, i've never seen any modern Bombardier train in Canada or the US. Why??? It's a canadian company.

It's called demand. There's already lines that are designed for high speed lines and are engineered for it. I'm not sure if there are any lines in the Amtrak or VIA network that have lines upgraded to have these trains go on it with minimal problems.

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It's called demand. There's already lines that are designed for high speed lines and are engineered for it. I'm not sure if there are any lines in the Amtrak or VIA network that have lines upgraded to have these trains go on it with minimal problems.

 

It's not only about high speed trains, it's also about regional trains or light rail.

Why there isn't demand for these railcars for example?:

 

FLEXITY tram by Bombardier (maybe Toronto wants to buy some, but in 2020?, it's running in Brussels)

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SPACIUM 3.O6 by Bombardier

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Siemens Desiro ML

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Alstom tramway

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CORADIA Regional by Alstom

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BR 422 by Bombardier and Alstom

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BR 425 (this train i use everyday to go to university)

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By the way, i've found pictures from copenhagen metro

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Munich metro (Siemens, Adtranz)

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Even Algeria wants to buy these trains from Siemens

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Dubai metro (Siemens trains)

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For me, America seems to be decades behind the rest of the world.

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@Citaro, quite frankly, back a hundred years ago, your statement wouldn't be correct at all: America WAS ahead of everyone in rail transportation (well, maybe not England).

 

In order to really understand why things are in America, you have to look at American politics, society and economy and prioritisation.

 

Oh yes, we do have antiquidated transportation systems compared to the ones in the "Old World", but in other matters, America is still pretty advanced.

 

The main disadvantage about Washingtonian politics is the fact that we like to drag out legislation in Congress. Floor debates, filibusters etc... and that leaves little room for other things. Of course, the legislation actually gets discussed in the Congressional committees before they are presented to the floor, but since the members of Congress have to run for re-election and what not, periodically, and legislation is often dragged on and off, and there's partisan politics, little can be prioritised in American government. And you need federal money for many civil projects. And everyone wants the money. Pork barrel is what everyone wants. And there's a certain amount of money allotted for legislative spending. And all of that spending is distributed to all 50 states.

 

The state can give away money. But states must control their own budgets and each state is responsible for the welfare of all of its counties. New York State is responsible for all of its territory from Buffalo to Suffolk. Sure it could pay off everything to build a new subway line or upgrade the existing network, but would there be enough money for Syracuse or Rochester to use? How about education? States cannot fall into deficit (according to my AP Government instructor)

 

Even when the money gets to the projects, they go to the agency responsible. And the agency gives it to the contractors. The contractors hire the workers who build the lines or the vehicles. And remember, the money that is given is the estimated budget for the project. Since there is a set amount of money for all 50 states, it's not easy to ask for more money "just in case something goes wrong". And things can happen: material costs can rise and what not... labour costs... accidents... and it adds up to the bill.

 

As for why we don't have spanking new cars... again, it depends on the bill and everything. New York can get the most advanced cars possible, but if they are too expensive, why not get a less technologically advanced car? You have a set number of dollars for the project (from the fed, the state, the city, the agency itself, from contributions from the private sector if any), you cannot allocate the majority of the money to something when you need dollars for other things such as station and property aquisition.

 

Remember, the MTA is basically a bureaucracy. It answers to the state government. It's not the same as other networks around the world (such as the MTR) which are largely private corporations which can OWN real estate (entire housing units, shopping centres etc...) and invest and have a ticker on the stock market. These networks have other sources of revenue, so they can have more money to purchase more advanced equipment.

 

So again, we can get all the best looking - best designed - best performing cars ever, but can WE afford them?

 

And also, even if we can afford the cars, are they technically compatible with the rest of the system? What is the cost to maintain them? Keep in mind, we ought to maintain the existing infrastructure as well. There are so many factors as to why it is unlikely for us to buy these cars from the way I see it.

 

Yes we want them badly, so do I. But I see reality as well.

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Thanks for your answer, but i don't agree with you on all points. Most european transit systems (not UK) are public or state-owned. Just they are state-owned, they can afford these railcars. Look at the british rail system, it's one of the worst in the western world.

The only good thing in the UK is the NHS. The whole french transit system is public and it's the best in the world. Alstom, who builds the modern trains, is state owned and SNCF is a public enterprise. The german railway system is also state-owned. By the way, Airbus which builds the new A380 is also state owned. Private companies don't invest on railways, because there is no profit. That's the problem with capitalism.

 

Interesting videos about the Dubai Metro

 

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Thanks for your answer, but i don't agree with you on all points. Most european transit systems (not UK) are public or state-owned. Just they are state-owned, they can afford these railcars. Look at the british rail system, it's one of the worst in the western world.

The only good thing in the UK is the NHS. The whole french transit system is public and it's the best in the world. Alstom, who builds the modern trains, is state owned and SNCF is a public enterprise. The german railway system is also state-owned. By the way, Airbus which builds the new A380 is also state owned. Private companies don't invest on railways, because there is no profit. That's the problem with capitalism.

 

Interesting videos about the Dubai Metro

 

I'm not saying that ALL are state owned. Because I know that some are partially privatised and some are actually owned by the government, such as the RATP/SNCF network.

 

Also comparing Europe to the US is comparing apples to oranges. Politics and priorities in your locale are so much different than our politics and priorities. Our politics and priorities are so complex, one must have to study or research about it. I only know a little about American politics and how it governs.

 

Most European nation states are actually the size of many US states, don't you agree? So it is easier to control and also to give money. Most European states (such as England and France) have a unitary form of government, meaning the central government is most supreme. Only Germany and a few other European countries operate on a federal system similar to that of the United States. In the countries that operate on a unitary system, money/legislation goes directly to the city or what not. In federal systems, the central government and the local governments co-exist and issue laws on shared jurisdiction. That is the case in America. If a state doesn't like the ruling of the federal government, it could challenge the legislation in Supreme Court.

 

Now what has this got to do with transit: simple, the United States federal government controls 50 states, with each state almost the size of a European country. Note that in the United States, regional jurisdictions are known as "STATES" and not provinces. Thus signifying that each state has sovereignty over its own jurisdiction. Which thus goes back to American federalism.

 

Since it controls 50 states, it is not easy to allocate funds. Appropriation bills come from the House of Representatives because each state has an amount of representatives that pend on the population, meaning these people answer back to their own district, rather than the state as a whole. Appropriation bills, like all other proposed legislation, are discussed on the floor. However, they get created in congressional committees, usually a group of congresspeople (FROM DIFFERENT STATES) on a certain topic: in appropriations, it would be the appropriations committee. There is also the sub-committee, where the committee is broken into smaller fragments based on different issues. So the topics get more scruntinised and more delved down. So, for kicks, there is the transportation sub-committee in the appropriations committee of the US House of Representatives.

 

In each committee or sub-committee, the members come from different parts of the country. Not all members of the transportation sub-committee are from New York. Nor is a majority of them. Thus you will have congress members from New York, Michigan, Oklahoma, California, Oregon, Texas, South Carolina etc... and those congress members answer to their DISTRICT, rather than the STATE. So the person from New York may be representing Utica County, rather than Flushing, NY. And the needs of every single county in every state in this country are different. A county in a rural environment would want better roads to transport goods. An urban congressional district like Flushing would want more money for mass transit. So hence, you have competition from all around. And even if all members in that sub-committee are from urban environments (which is unlikely to happen), they would most likely want to seek money for competing mass transit projects.

 

Hence, the situation in politics is not the same in America. And thus these projects, when money is appropriated for transit projects nation-wide, there is a list of priorities. As in, which deserves the spotlight here. Would the Fed give money to a city to upgrade its rolling stock on an existing system or a city that desperately needs to construct a new light rail line? Even when Fed money is not needed, there is still the question of: is buying the most technologically advanced cars at a very high price worth it? And you also have the question of: would they be compatible with the existing signalling system? the existing infrastructure? Many things are taken into consideration, besides the cost. Bare in mind, our system is more than a century old. And I know pretty well, that your statement to refute mine would be the Parisien one or the Berlin one: but I tell you this, we are much more complex than the Parisien system and Berliner one combined and during two decades of the last century, this entire system fell into neglect and Fed money that was needed, was allocated to building highways instead. Keep this in mind.

 

As for investments: the transit corporations that I was referring to, make investments on a variety of things. They also build and operate different transit lines OUTSIDE of their locale. For example, MTR which is based in Hong Kong operates Melbourne's suburban rail network and shares the stake with Deutsch Bahn in operating the London Overground.

 

Now if you're going to talk about Alstom, which is a builder, and Airbus which is an air company, you are comparing apples to oranges when we are discussing about rail. Also, it's not about which economic model is best: capitalism or socialism, it's about how things are done. Even in a socialist model, wherein the government controls the economic aspects, if things are not done properly, they would mess up. The same with capitalism, if things don't get done the right way, it's still fail.

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Thanks for answering, but i know some things about politics in the US and Europe. Here in Europe, public transit has a long tradition and is part of social agenda to hold the social structure together, it's policy of a mixture of socialism and capitalism so the gov. mostly owns the transit systems. Also we have a higher tax rate, so our gov have more money than you to invest on public transit. I know that republicans don't support the railways, they're against Amtrak (cause it's socialized) and in favor of highways. Also they're against higher taxes especially for rich people. So it's not only about policy, it' also about the ideology.

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Thanks for answering, but i know some things about politics in the US and Europe. Here in Europe, public transit has a long tradition and is part of social agenda to hold the social structure together, it's policy of a mixture of socialism and capitalism so the gov. mostly owns the transit systems. Also we have a higher tax rate, so our gov have more money than you to invest on public transit. I know that republicans don't support the railways, they're against Amtrak (cause it's socialized) and in favor of highways. Also they're against higher taxes especially for rich people. So it's not only about policy, it' also about the ideology.

There you go: it's about priorities. In Europe, you people prioritise public transit. The State (as in country) gets more money through higher imposed taxes. With that, these tax monies go to different areas such as social welfare (such as universal healthcare) and better transportation.

 

The fiscal conservatives (I'm mentioning this because there are people in both parties that follow this platform) here do not want higher taxes because they want the more wealthy indviduals to use their money to invest, hence the trickle-down effect. It's idealistic and will not work in a time like this. The fiscal conservatives would react against any effort the Federal government makes to impose Keynesian principles.

 

Well first, there is this laissez-faire tradition that was practised for much of the 19th century instilled in America. You also have the individualist spirit ingrained in the people living in the West who believed that everyone must earn their own bread, and the government should not feed them. And there's the principle of state's rights - the fear that the federal government would overstep its constitutional powers. Keynesian governments usually implied larger federal government - which generally implied larger bureaucracies. Those who are for states' rights fear this a lot, because that means the federal government may assume more responsibilities FROM the states that were previously granted to the states.

 

The progressive liberals favour public transportation RECENTLY because of the environmental benefits it has over private transportation. Recent as in the last 40 or so years. Those in the right wing prefer private transportation because of cost. Highways can be constructed easily and less infrastructure is involved. Also, you have lobbyists from different groups. Environmentalists lobby on K Street in DC for better public transportation and the creation of rail trails (which I despise so much), while oil giants nag for highways because that would mean more cars which would mean they would have customers. Lobbyists work with Congress members who are in certain congressional committees in forming legislation that can affect appropriations.

 

Ideology is one thing, but there are other things to be taken into account.

 

There is growing support nationwide for mass transit. Even states in the Deep South, which is traditionally conservative (albeit socially conservative, as opposed to fiscally conservative), are developing transit networks: Houston and Charlotte are notable examples. The Hamptons will open a new light rail line soon. Referenda were passed through the years and increasingly, voters agreed with referenda to appropriate more funds towards public transportation.

 

New heavy rail rapid transit lines probably won't be built, but bus rapid transit and light rail transit will be on the rise in America due to its cheap implementation and ability to transport smaller concentrations of people from A to B. It's all due to the process in Washington. There will be a clash between highways and mass transit in the political arena here, if not already.

 

Growing public support for mass transit in an urbanised/suburbanised American mean that political parties may need to alter their platforms to accomodate the people's needs in order to get more active support. Big events such as the recent oil spill may change the ideologies of some Republicans who were formerly critical of the green movement and were previously active for off-shore drilling. Popular support for mass transit may mean Republicans may adopt a platform that gears towards public transit spending, though not a lot.

 

Political attitudes have changed. Politicians in DC cannot be too stubborn about their own ideologies: in order to be re-elected for another term, they have to cater to their district's or state's needs. Districts in NYC/NYS tend to vote politicians that favour increased spending for education and public transportation.

 

As for taxes, one last thing: Americans actually prefer donating to charity rather than paying taxes. And remember, America was founded because of taxes.

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