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European Railroad Discussion > Follow Your Nose: Comparing European High Speed Trains


Date: 01/11/20 13:44
Follow Your Nose: Comparing European High Speed Trains
Author: F7sForever

Sometime early in my last visit to Europe last November, it had the idea that it might be interesting to try and take profile photos from the sides of a number of different train sets, as a way of tracking some of the evolution of aerodynamics as it has been applied to high speed rail. What follows is hardly scientific, and hardly complete. But after sitting down at home and comparing the results, I thought it was interesting enough to share. I hope you feel the same. I have tried to arrange the photos in order from slowest to fastest, but as you’ll see in the descriptions, that was kind of an imprecise science.

What’s missing: I missed getting decent side photos of Swedish Rail’s X2 trains on my last trip, and I haven’t visited Spain or Italy, or sampled their high speed offerings. There’s a lot of variety out there, from Alstom Pendolinos and TrenItalia Frecciarossa 500 and 1000 sets from Hitachi and Bombardier in Italy to radically shaped Talgo sets and additional Siemens Velaro trains on Renfe in Spain. So a second installment of this can be anticipated in a couple of years whenever that happens. Morocco also now runs its own version of Alstom’s EuroDuplex, and several other markets have adopted Siemens’ Velaro platform. The next generation of TGV Duplex from Alstom is expected to enter service in the next few years as well. So while this has been an interesting exercise, it’s far from complete. So I’d qualify it as volume one in the series.

Photo 1: British Rail class 395 Javelin – 225kmph (140mph); Built by Hitachi in 2009, and operating on the Southeastern High Speed lines. These are the precursors to the newer trains now being operated by Great Western and London Northeastern as BR classes 800, 801, and 802. Class 395 was the first export version of Hitachi’s A-train line that has found widespread acceptance in Japan. Photo at London St. Pancras Station, Oct. 2017.

Photo 2: Deutsche Bahn ICE-T – 230 kmph (143mph); Built by Siemens and Alstom, using Alstom’s Pendolino tilting train technology. These are similar in appearance to the much faster ICE-3, but are distinguishable by the much steeper slant to the nose. Photo at Berlin Hbf, Nov. 2019.

Photo 3: Deutsche Bahn ICE-2 – 250 kmph (155mph); Built by Siemens and Adtranz (now Bombardier) in 1995-1997. The power heads are similar on overall appearance to the ICE-1, but the smaller ICE-2 trains achieve similar performance to the ICE-1 by having shorter consists and lighter weight cars. The ICE-2 has a cab car on the end opposite the power head (locomotive), in contrast to the ICE-1, which has a locomotive on each end. Photo of ICE-2 cab car taken at Berlin Hbf, Nov. 2019.

More to come!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/20 13:49 by F7sForever.








Date: 01/11/20 13:56
Re: Follow Your Nose: Comparing European High Speed Trains
Author: F7sForever

Photo 4: Deutsche Bahn ICE-4 – 250 kmph, capable of 280 (174 mph); The eventual replacement to the ICE-1 and ICE-2, production started in 2016 and is ongoing. Initial problems with the body welds on some of the cars caused a stoppage in production and delivery, but DB and Siemens jointly announced during the summer that the issues were resolved and production would immediately resume. Unlike some of the entries on this list, the ICE-4 propulsion system is spread through the train set, so there are no locomotives. Photo at Berlin Hbf, Nov. 2019.

Photo 5: SNCF TGV 001 Turbine Prototype – 250 kmph (155 mph), never operated commercially; the single prototype was built in 1969 by Alstom as a three car test bed with a gas turbine-powered locomotive on either end. It ran nearly half a million kilometers in the early 1970’s to test and validate France’s high speed rail program, and exceeded 300 kmph on several occasions. The set holds the speed record for a gas turbine powered train at 318kmph (198 mph). The cars were scrapped, but both locomotives were preserved in eastern France. Photo at Bischheim, France, Nov. 2019.

Photo 6: Eurostar e300 TGV TMST – 300 kmph (186.5mph), Built by Alstom in 1992-1996. The TGV TMST, or Transmanche Super Train, was based on the Alstom TGV design, but with clearances specifically geared toward operation through the Channel Tunnel. Originally British Rail class 373, they were designated by Eurostar as e300s in reference to their top speed. Several variations of the TMST were built, including the 18 car, two locomotive Eurostar sets, and shorter 14 car, two locomotive sets for regional service. The latter have all been withdrawn and some re-entered service with additional coaches from other retired sets. Other TMST sets have been scrapped outright. Two locomotives producing 12,200 kW of tractive power. Photo at London St. Pancras Station, Sept. 2017.
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/20 13:59 by F7sForever.








Date: 01/11/20 13:57
Re: Follow Your Nose: Comparing European High Speed Trains
Author: F7sForever

Photo 7: SNCB Thalys PBKA – 300 kmph (186.5 mph); Built by Alstom in 1998. The trains are eight single level cars each, similar to the TGV Reseau design, but using newer technology power cars similar to those designed for the TGV Duplex. The two power cars deliver 8,800 kW on AC power, but lower power output on DC power, limiting them to 200 kmph on some lines. Photo at Paris Gare du Nord, Nov. 2019; TGV Neo Duplex in the background.

Photo 8: SNCF TGV Reseau – 320 kmph (199 mph); built by Alstom in 1992-1994. Eight single level cars with two electric locomotives producing 8,800 kW. The power cars are the last evolution in the design that originated with the TGV 001 prototype mentioned above. Two different models of power cars were built – dual voltage models in the 501-numbering series, and triple voltage models for operation out of the country, in the 4501-numbering series. Photo at TGV Technicentre Strasbourg, Nov. 2019.

Photo 9: SNCF TGV Dasye Duplex – 320 kmph (199 mph); built by Alstom in 2007-2010. The Duplex design coupled two level cars made of lighter weight aluminum bodies, and a more bulbous nose design than the Reseau and its predecessors, the Atlantique and Paris-Sud Est TGVs. The result was a very minimal increase in drag for the larger trains. The Dasye model was a generational evolution in the design, adding asynchronous traction motors to achieve the same speed as the single level trains, but with increased efficiency. Photo at Gare du Strasbourg, Nov. 2019.

 








Date: 01/11/20 13:58
Re: Follow Your Nose: Comparing European High Speed Trains
Author: F7sForever

Photo 10: Deutsche Bahn ICE-3 – 320 kmph (199 mph); built by Siemens starting in 1997 as the foundation of its Velaro family. Differs from the earlier ICE-1 and ICE-2 by having the 8,000 kW traction system spread through the train instead of being locomotive-powered. Most operations are limited to 300 kmph, after the model encountered several different problems on SNCF’s LGV Est between Strasbourg and Paris. Photo at Amsterdam Centraal Station, Nov. 2019.

Photo 11: SNCF TGV EuroDuplex – 320 kmph (199 mph); Built by Alstom starting in 2011, production is ongoing. The Euroduplex is a slight evolution of the earlier TGV Duplex designs, with slightly taller cars featuring more headroom inside. Eight two-level cars with two asynchronous-motored power cars. 9,280 kW of power. Tri-current versions for domestic use as well as quad-current powered versions for service out of the country to Spain, Germany, Switzerland, and other locations. A five car EuroDuplex set coupled to similarly configured TGV POS power cars holds the world rail speed record at 574.8 kmph (357.2 mph) but the train was specially prepared for the run using a distributed traction system similar to the Siemens Velaro. Photo of two sets coupled using Scharfenburg coupling system at Gare du Strasbourg, Nov. 2019.

Photo 12: Eurostar e320 Siemens Velaro – 320 kmph (199 mph); British Rail class 374. Built by Siemens in 2011-2018. This is an evolution of the Velaro platform, and an eight car Velaro-D version is also in service for DB as their class 407, or New ICE-3. With a slightly more bulbous nose than the predecessor ICE-3. Distributed traction system on the Velaro system makes the platform scalable to virtually any train size. In the case of the e320, power output is 16,000 kW for a 16 car set. Photo at London St. Pancras Station, Oct. 2017.

Thanks for reading yet another post!

Jody
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/20 12:29 by F7sForever.








Date: 01/11/20 17:36
Re: Follow Your Nose: Comparing European High Speed Trains
Author: railsmith

Thanks for the interesting summary and comparison of nose profiles.

As to the details, my source book gives slightly different maximum design speeds for a few of the DB ICE variants:  ICE-2 (Class 402) 300 km/h; ICE-3 (Class 403) 330 km/h.



Date: 01/11/20 17:54
Re: Follow Your Nose: Comparing European High Speed Trains
Author: gaspeamtrak

Yes, that was quite interesting ! Really enjoyed reading it !!!
Can't wait for you to visit Spain and Italy !!! :):):)
Again, thank you for sharing this with us!!! :):):)



Date: 01/12/20 12:00
Re: Follow Your Nose: Comparing European High Speed Trains
Author: tramfan

To add to your profiles, I shot this while in Bolzano/Bozen in Northern Italy this past October 2019. It is an Alsom ETR 600 marketed by Trenitalia  as Frecciargento and in service since 2008. Alstom refers to it as the New Pendelino. It is a seven car unit with a top speed of 250km/h (160 mph). Similar units with different electrical and suspension equipment are in service with SBB (ETR 610/RABe 503), Poland (ED250), and RENFE (Avant S-114). 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/20 12:01 by tramfan.




Date: 01/12/20 12:21
Re: Follow Your Nose: Comparing European High Speed Trains
Author: F7sForever

railsmith Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for the interesting summary and comparison
> of nose profiles.
>
> As to the details, my source book gives slightly
> different maximum design speeds for a few of the
> DB ICE variants:  ICE-2 (Class 402) 300 km/h;
> ICE-3 (Class 403) 330 km/h.

I am curious about sources on that info. Deutsche Bahn refers to the ICE-3 as its first train capable of 300kmph, which seems not only to limit the top end of that platform from their perspective, but also to confirm that the ICE-2 wasn't a 300kmph runner before. The only place I have seen the 330 number for the ICE-3 is in Siemens sales paperwork for the newest iterations of the Velaro line. I have a tendency to ignore sales pitches, to be honest. I'm sure it could do it - I have been involved in high speed locomotive testing before, and can tell you with certainty that envelopes get pushed in controlled tests. On the opposite side of that coin, since Germany has no high speed rail faster than 300kmph anyhow, they have no incentive to say that a given platform is capable of more. Anyhow, just curious. The nuts and bolts side of this intrigues me quite a bit because it aligns pretty well with my day job

Thanks!

J



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/20 12:30 by F7sForever.



Date: 01/12/20 20:18
Re: Follow Your Nose: Comparing European High Speed Trains
Author: railsmith

F7sForever Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> railsmith Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Thanks for the interesting summary and
> comparison
> > of nose profiles.
> >
> > As to the details, my source book gives
> slightly
> > different maximum design speeds for a few of
> the
> > DB ICE variants:  ICE-2 (Class 402) 300 km/h;
> > ICE-3 (Class 403) 330 km/h.
>
> I am curious about sources on that info. Deutsche
> Bahn refers to the ICE-3 as its first train
> capable of 300kmph, which seems not only to limit
> the top end of that platform from their
> perspective, but also to confirm that the ICE-2
> wasn't a 300kmph runner before. The only place I
> have seen the 330 number for the ICE-3 is in
> Siemens sales paperwork for the newest iterations
> of the Velaro line. I have a tendency to ignore
> sales pitches, to be honest. I'm sure it could do
> it - I have been involved in high speed locomotive
> testing before, and can tell you with certainty
> that envelopes get pushed in controlled tests. On
> the opposite side of that coin, since Germany has
> no high speed rail faster than 300kmph anyhow,
> they have no incentive to say that a given
> platform is capable of more. Anyhow, just curious.
> The nuts and bolts side of this intrigues me quite
> a bit because it aligns pretty well with my day
> job

My source is the Platform 5 "German Railways" volume in the European Handbook series of locomotive and multiple unit roster listings. Not the Bible, for sure, but this is the same company that publishes Today's Railways -- Europe monthly magazine and keeps close tabs on motive power comings and goings, with detailed articles on new equipment when it is introduced. Perhaps Platform 5 draws on the sales data you refer to.

FWIW, here are the maximum speed ratings from that source for the full range of DB ICE equipment except for ICE-4 (Class 412).

Class 401 (ICE-1):   280 km/h
Class 402 (ICE-2):   300 km/h
Class 403 (ICE-3):   330 km/h
Class 406 (ICE-3M) 330 km/h (AC), 220 km/h (DC)
Class 407 (ICE-3M) 320 km/h (AC), 220 km/h (DC)
Class 411 (ICE-T)    230 km/h
Class 415 (ICE-T)    230 km/h
Class 605 (ICE-TD) 200 km/h (diesel operation)

 



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