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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:46 pm 
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Ameecher wrote:
I'm almost disappointed that no one bit, especially Jamie on my dismissive statement about Digital railway.


Lol - well aware. It's part of my job! :P

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:32 pm 
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JamieLei wrote:
Ameecher wrote:
I'm almost disappointed that no one bit, especially Jamie on my dismissive statement about Digital railway.


Lol - well aware. It's part of my job! :P

I know!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:40 pm 
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Redirect Left wrote:
The list of products contained on the train is rather vague, but what is listed is nothing the Chinese couldn't make themselves, most of it they already do make in China after checking with chinese wholesalers for list of exportable items back to the UK.

Almost feels like they're feeling sorry for us because we Brexit'd ourselves out of trade deals later on and they're just accepting any old tosh we have lying spare in warehouses.


There are plenty of cheaper shaving soaps made in the US, but the stuff I buy is made in and shipped from Britain - I am sure there are enough buyers among 1B+ people to fill a rake of containers of certain niche brands and products. The article mentions soft drinks, though beer and whisky would also be a good fit - various British brands have a lot of strength and recognition in China, and are a pain to ship by air, but don't necessarily make sense to make under license there (and whiskies would be tough to sell if not made in the real distillery).

I think it makes sense to try, and few extra hours here and there on the way to France probably doesn't hurt, However I feel like the frequency of service would have to be a lot more regular to attract enough business to justify the logistical work involved.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:13 pm 
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supermop wrote:
whisky

That is actually one of the products on the train as well! :D

supermop wrote:
I think it makes sense to try, and few extra hours here and there on the way to France probably doesn't hurt, However I feel like the frequency of service would have to be a lot more regular to attract enough business to justify the logistical work involved.

A train once a month would be better than once every 3, and should still be able to be filled, but of course, these are just the first trains, I imagine to see whether the service is viable. And yes, the 7 hours it takes to get from Essex to Dollands Moor is very little when compared to the 17 day travel time of the train itself!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:19 pm 
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I hope the driver changes frequently. Like every country or something :p

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:35 pm 
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In my non-expert opinion, I'd start the route somewhere in France or Germany and establish some feeder service there. I suppose going through all of Europe with a single train kinda makes for better marketing than just half-way, but I think this could probably be done in a more sensible manner. ^^


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:31 pm 
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Pyoro wrote:
In my non-expert opinion, I'd start the route somewhere in France or Germany and establish some feeder service there. I suppose going through all of Europe with a single train kinda makes for better marketing than just half-way, but I think this could probably be done in a more sensible manner. ^^


That could certainly work - a long weekly or bi-weekly train from Germany could be made up of small feeders, perhaps cargosprinter type loads or even single containers by truck from many different cities/countries. That would certainly give you a lot better frequency (as slow as ships are, there are probably more than one departure per week from each major UK port, to each major Chinese port).

I do think the value of the 'unit train' style is more in branding/marketing - both to businesses and PR. The 'One Belt, One Road' policy is diplomatic as much as it is economic, and quarterly train that is a headache to run still probably makes a lot a sense as a token of engagement with various countries. The train might convey a message of 'lets trade more' 'sell us your whiskey', even if the bulk of the actual trade is by boat.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:16 pm 
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supermop wrote:
Pyoro wrote:
In my non-expert opinion, I'd start the route somewhere in France or Germany and establish some feeder service there. I suppose going through all of Europe with a single train kinda makes for better marketing than just half-way, but I think this could probably be done in a more sensible manner. ^^


That could certainly work - a long weekly or bi-weekly train from Germany could be made up of small feeders, perhaps cargosprinter type loads or even single containers by truck from many different cities/countries. That would certainly give you a lot better frequency (as slow as ships are, there are probably more than one departure per week from each major UK port, to each major Chinese port).


Well done all for coming up with the concept of a Marshalling Yard ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:15 am 
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Redirect Left wrote:
I hope the driver changes frequently. Like every country or something :p

Potentially changes more often than that, would depend on the drivers route knowledge, what each countries required rest period is for drivers, etc. After all, it probably takes a few days to cross places like Russia, Kazakhstan and China, so there is a strong chance they will need quite a few drivers for the train (if the idea is to keep it moving as much as possible and not just stop it in a yard).

supermop wrote:
perhaps cargosprinter type loads or even single containers by truck from many different cities/countries.

*shudders* You're not suggesting that you'd want these things (the one on the right) running from England to Germany are you to join up with this train? The Horror! :mrgreen:

Also, sneaky picture of an MPV I plan!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:34 pm 
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Pilot wrote:
...what each countries required rest period is for drivers, etc. After all, it probably takes a few days to cross places like Russia, Kazakhstan and China, so there is a strong chance they will need quite a few drivers for the train (if the idea is to keep it moving as much as possible and not just stop it in a yard).

Safety regulations in countries like that? Ha, good one ...


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:53 pm 
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Got to see this today......


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:27 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:53 pm 
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Pilot wrote:
So, the first train from the UK to China is set to depart...

How far would the UK sets go ? Will it go as far as possible (ie. to the next gauge break, something like Poland or so) ?

Also, it's not as slow as you think - current ship operations would take about the same time. Although trains vs ship is just not fair - you can load lots of trains on one ship :mrgreen:

Regarding it's path : I think it has to pass Russia (so break of gauge is unavoidable), I don't think you could make it from, say, Greece to Turkey (political reasons perhaps) or Turkey to Iran (I haven't found any rail there !) for it matters. Passing into Russia from UK can either take through Poland - Belarus - Russia or Finland - Russia. You can go through Ukraine, but Ukraine - Russia relation is pretty unstable...

Also, passing to China is problematic (at least on maps) - if you haven't noticed, Google's map of China is shifted eastward somewhat, creating virtually no connection from anywhere :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:56 am 
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YNM wrote:
Pilot wrote:
So, the first train from the UK to China is set to depart...

How far would the UK sets go ? Will it go as far as possible (ie. to the next gauge break, something like Poland or so) ?

Also, it's not as slow as you think - current ship operations would take about the same time. Although trains vs ship is just not fair - you can load lots of trains on one ship :mrgreen:

Regarding it's path : I think it has to pass Russia (so break of gauge is unavoidable), I don't think you could make it from, say, Greece to Turkey (political reasons perhaps) or Turkey to Iran (I haven't found any rail there !) for it matters. Passing into Russia from UK can either take through Poland - Belarus - Russia or Finland - Russia. You can go through Ukraine, but Ukraine - Russia relation is pretty unstable...

Also, passing to China is problematic (at least on maps) - if you haven't noticed, Google's map of China is shifted eastward somewhat, creating virtually no connection from anywhere :lol:


You'll find that, at some point in the future, China would be very happy to make a more direct connection that involved easier transitions somehow. Well... they've usually beaten a path quite easily before?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:22 am 
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Four drivers on the Croydon tram line where the fatal derailment occured back in November occured have admitted to falling asleep whilst driving, also claiming that the delightfully named dead mans handle does not always stop the tram when the driver falls asleep. Six drivers have come forward and said the device was not fit for purpose.
Since the incident, a BBC investigation has found at least 3 trams recorded as speeding on same line since the derailment.

A driver also came forward and claimed that a faulty DMH on a tram which he reported to operations, only for FirstGroup, who run the tram service in Croydon, to not pull the tram from service, until he explicitly pointed out the very real possibility of the tram colliding with buffers at speed and causing many deaths onboard and around the tram, should he be incapacitated for any reason.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:12 pm 
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YNM wrote:
How far would the UK sets go ? Will it go as far as possible (ie. to the next gauge break, something like Poland or so) ?

Also, it's not as slow as you think - current ship operations would take about the same time. Although trains vs ship is just not fair - you can load lots of trains on one ship :mrgreen:

Regarding it's path : I think it has to pass Russia (so break of gauge is unavoidable), I don't think you could make it from, say, Greece to Turkey (political reasons perhaps) or Turkey to Iran (I haven't found any rail there !) for it matters. Passing into Russia from UK can either take through Poland - Belarus - Russia or Finland - Russia. You can go through Ukraine, but Ukraine - Russia relation is pretty unstable...

Also, passing to China is problematic (at least on maps) - if you haven't noticed, Google's map of China is shifted eastward somewhat, creating virtually no connection from anywhere :lol:


Going from Greece to Turkey is very much possible, and before our railways stopped providing international connections Thessaloniki to Istanbul was a regular passenger service.

Where you'd go from Turkey isn't a problem either; Apparently, Iran and Turkey do have a rail connection. But then you have to run through Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan), which requires a break of gauge again.

I'm sure it's faster through Russia though.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:31 pm 
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Doorslammer wrote:
You'll find that, at some point in the future, China would be very happy to make a more direct connection that involved easier transitions somehow. Well... they've usually beaten a path quite easily before?

China regularly hold talks with Pakistan and relations are good - even apparently China starts to invest in Pakistani ports (and their connections to there). Given :
Gafigglethorp wrote:
Where you'd go from Turkey isn't a problem either; Apparently, Iran and Turkey do have a rail connection.
If China have a good relation with Iran and looking forward to improving connections to the west is among the political talks and Turkey can return to be a "bridge" state (let's admit it's not looking good so far) then theoretically the trains could run to the ends of EU at Greece (or, Turkey), then Turkey, cross through Iran, then Pakistan, and up Kashmir/Tibet towards Chinese east coast.

But even, geopolitics aside, geographically the fact that Earth is round makes the trans-siberian shorter in any case. Yes it involves transshipment but containers are easy to transship anyway (that's what they're for), so going through Russia seems to be the shorter route anyway, and I presume is the case already to a good extent !]

EDIT : Yes Iran and Turkey have one intact rail connection. Not sure if anything ever pass there though.

EDIT 2 : Yes they did run something there, starts from 2009. More surprisingly it came from Pakistan to Turkey ! Weirdly the turkish end needs a train ferry (why not make something around the lake it has to go through ?), and goly I forgot Pakistan uses indian gauge as well...

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:19 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 8:55 pm 
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Pilot wrote:
So, the first train from the UK to China is set to depart

This train has now arrived in China, 17 days later! En route, it passed through England (obviously), France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan & China, in that order.

The train that arrived in China was headed by a much different loco, not sure how far the original loco it left the UK with managed to travel before being swapped out.

Evening Standard.

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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 9:26 pm 
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Redirect Left wrote:
not sure how far the original loco it left the UK with managed to travel before being swapped out

The first loco on the trip hauled it from Thames Gateway to Dollands Moor (being a Class 66 (not the 92 as pictured), it wouldn't be allowed in the chunnel), from there, it's possible it just had a loco to haul it through the tunnel, then a Continental one would have picked it up from there. Also, that Chinese Locomotive reminds me of the French Class 20s.

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