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Old 19th September 2016, 03:12   #31
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

Slightly OT, but I see the analogy in intercity bus travel in 'conventional' Tata/AL buses vs Volvos and the like. Completely different drive train and suspension technology (relatively speaking) improved the passenger experience by leaps and bounds. Two aspects that I see foremost are NVH and Acceleration.

Modern counterparts to traditional vehicles don't necessarily travel at twice the (top) speed in reality, but almost certainly accelerate twice as fast with superior NVH levels enhancing the experience. As it was mentioned many times earlier, the all important average speed is to be increased within the constraints. I fervently hope high performance modern coaches will finally bring about the 'Volvo' train revolution
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Old 28th September 2016, 12:02   #32
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

Just as an aside, LHB coaches run at 160kmph, have been tested till 180kmph and can travel at 200kmph. Interestingly, LHB transfer of technology took place at a time when Indian Railways(IR) had already developed IRY 20 indigenously, capable of travelling up to 160kmph or higher (exact figure eludes me). These IRY 20 prototype coaches manufactured in early 90s, prior to LHB Alstom Transfer of technology (TOT) in 1994, were subjected to intense testing before induction into regular service as the rolling stock work horse. This induction never happened because of the LHB Alstom TOT being pushed for by Sh C K Jaffer Sharief who was the then Minister of Railways. Of course, the events as they unfolded indicate that 'Sharief' is actually a misnomer - this TOT brought home capability which was already developed and present. Coming back to the IRY 20, you can see these coaches in active service on Executive class on Amritsar-Delhi and Lucknow-Delhi Shatabdis. That these prototype coaches, which would have been subjected to intense abuse during the testing phase, are still in active service after 3 decades is a testament to their fine engineering.

Talgo is more like a bus than an actual railcar- It has 4 wheels instead of the customary 8. It is more suited for runs of 300-500 kms. Its top speed of the current variant 350kmph allowing for the journey of 300-500kmph to be completed within 1-2 hrs. Also, the 'pendolino' type system needs tracks to be laid in a particular configuration to achieve the desired anti-rolling effect. This may prove to be difficult with the current infrastructure. So, the haloed effects of pendolino are a non starter.

Rolling stock is not the limiting factor on IR. Nor are the signals- S&T have been upgraded to a point where the facilities outstrip the demand on systems. The achilles heel is the track. Major part of sections are not suitable for high speed trains no matter what the media feeds us. High speed tracks are welded, are on special beds (not just clinker), have large radii bends and require more maintenance. The challenge is to deliver high speeds with the existing infrastructure.

A good example of delivering a project which enhances the customer experience is the DMRC. However, it needs to be remembered that the DMRC is not a high speed network and that it was built from ground up at a time when railways was not a priority area for the politicians.

Lastly, we can improve all facets of IR but who will improve and upgrade the passengers? The mahanama express is a testament to this sad fact - The train was turned into a trashcan on its maiden run.
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Old 28th September 2016, 15:46   #33
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Default Re: Talgo train does Delhi-Mumbai in 11 hours 42 mins!

Talgo just shows what can be achieved with conventional technology when there is a will. Normal tracks, normal staff, etc can work.

What this shows is a long term shift in the philosophy - we need fenced in tracks, no unmanned crossings, and most important, a commitment to excellence. Fencing in tracks also needs dedicated crossing places for beast and man. A total change of mindset.
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