Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Meanwhile, in the brave new world of open access, the biggest new operator, Italy's NTV (which transported 6.2 million passengers in its first full year) is still struggling:

NTV launches cost cutting drive | International Railway Journal

Despite strong traffic growth last year, NTV says it does not expect to reach breakeven until 2016. In its original business plan breakeven was forecast for this year.

NTV has reached agreement with its five unions for each employee to take an extra 1.5 rest days per month for the next 12 months, which translates as a monthly pay cut of €25 per employee. However, the time can be used for training in order not to affect the quality of service to passengers, which NTV says is crucial for the success of the business.

In addition, the number of company directors is being reduced from 14 to nine, and top executives will take an average pay cut of 10%.

By 2016, Trenitalia (the passenger branch of state railways FS) will have put new trains in service, so I wouldn't be surprised if breakeven will be pushed further into the future (not to mention a bankruptcy).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Mar 10th, 2014 at 02:42:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting: side-mounted pantograph.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Mon Mar 10th, 2014 at 06:29:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

High-speed champion | International Railway Journal

"The problem with placing the pantograph on the roof is that it vibrates a lot when the train is operating at high-speed," Orellano says. "The carbody's flat plate roof effectively vibrates like a drum. In older high-speed trains power cars were situated at either end so no-one was sitting below the pantograph. But in today's trains passengers are seated throughout so this has become more of a problem and is something we wanted to address."

The solution adopted for the Frecciarossa 1000 is to mount the pantograph directly to the sidewall of the carbody with the stiffness of the carbody and the curvature of the sidewall working to reduce the vibrations and as a result noise. In addition when the pantograph is not being used it is stored flat, again minimising vibrations and any impact on aerodynamics.

The only picture I found, from the pantograph diagnostics supplier, unfortunately doesn't say much (no isolators and mounting points on the carbody shown):

At any rate, when it comes to the acoustic optimisation of pantographs, European manufacturers have a long way to go to catch up with Japanese counterparts:

(Series 500)

(Fastech360 prototype; also see noise test with/without noise screens)

(E5 series)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 12th, 2014 at 02:50:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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