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  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of Canada and the United States.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of Canada and the United States.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by george matthews
 
These days the route Amsterdam-Brussel is served by frequent multi-voltage trains. The TEE brand has been eliminated on most routes, being replaced by more modern trains, equally capable of adjusting to various voltages.

When the brand was introduced there were still passport checks when crossing European frontiers. The TEE was a way of avoiding stopping at frontiers. But now there are no checks, most of the time for all frontiers crossings, so there is no need for special trains.

For example, in France the brand TEE has been replaced by services of the TGV (Train a Grand Vitesse) high speed trains some of which cross frontiers and can accept various voltages.

The films you are linked to were early propaganda films for a fairly new service, and are by now very out of date.
  by philipmartin
 
Thank you for the information, George. If I see something that looks interesting, I put it in without really knowing much about it.
  by ExCon90
 
Yes, eliminating lengthy customs inspections at borders was the direct inspiration for the TEE concept. At the time, increased use of airlines by business travelers was encouraged partly by the fact that border formalities were carried out at airports and the time so consumed was disguised by the short airport-to-airport transit times, and the managing director of the Netherlands Railways (whose name was den Hollander, as it happens) managed to convince all the necessary authorities that on-board formalities were both necessary and practicable. At first the concept applied only to international trains, but the cachet of luxury was such that the TEE designation was extended to domestic trains, particularly in France. The elimination of formalities at borders was extended to the Rheingold originating at Hoek van Holland; passengers for the Rheingold off the Harwich ferry had a separate queue which got them through more quickly, bypassing those waiting to board the other five or six trains leaving about the same time.
  by george matthews
 
ExCon90 wrote:Yes, eliminating lengthy customs inspections at borders was the direct inspiration for the TEE concept. At the time, increased use of airlines by business travelers was encouraged partly by the fact that border formalities were carried out at airports and the time so consumed was disguised by the short airport-to-airport transit times, and the managing director of the Netherlands Railways (whose name was den Hollander, as it happens) managed to convince all the necessary authorities that on-board formalities were both necessary and practicable. At first the concept applied only to international trains, but the cachet of luxury was such that the TEE designation was extended to domestic trains, particularly in France. The elimination of formalities at borders was extended to the Rheingold originating at Hoek van Holland; passengers for the Rheingold off the Harwich ferry had a separate queue which got them through more quickly, bypassing those waiting to board the other five or six trains leaving about the same time.
I can remember the checks at European frontiers in the 1950s when hitchhiking and also travelling by bus and train. It is a great improvement that one can now often hardly notice the international frontier. There is a bus that crosses from Belgium into the Netherlands and the only way to notice the crossing is to watch carefully the names of the streets, especially now that the currency is the same in both countries. The aim of the EU has been to make frontier crossing for people within the Schengen zone no different from crossing State borders in the US. Britain is not in the Schengen zone, and will presumably have even stricter border crossing if it actually leaves the EU. But Eurostar checks will be in either Paris, Brussels or Lille - or at Ashford for stops there and in London.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Love the propaganda piece.

I rode Le Mistral during 1971 Paris/Nord-Nice. The Budd licensed equipment shown was assigned.

"And that's the way it was" back then (including the dress code); the veal dish they served for Lunch was magnificent.

Now "fast forward" to 1996 for the railfan trip piece, and it certainly looked as if the equipment had seen better days; so for that matter had the "cuisine" noting such was served in Styrofoam containers. Now what astounded was that a light engine was pacing the fan train.

Of course, fast forward to 2017, and that equipment had been sold to Cuba. Somehow, I doubt if the electric blinds work today.

https://youtu.be/oBFN882C_vE" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by george matthews
 
Of course, fast forward to 2017, and that equipment had been sold to Cuba. Somehow, I doubt if the electric blinds work today.
Those trains have been replaced by improved, modern vehicles. European trains tend to be much younger than those in the US. Only in the US can one routinely meet rather old trains still in use.
  by johnthefireman
 
george matthews wrote:Only in the US can one routinely meet rather old trains still in use.
Also in Africa can one routinely meet rather old trains still in use.
  by CarterB
 
johnthefireman wrote:
george matthews wrote:Only in the US can one routinely meet rather old trains still in use.
Also in Africa can one routinely meet rather old trains still in use.
I suspect Cuba may 'take the cake' for decrepit equipment in use these days.
  by NS3737
 
The last TEE train Watteau (after the French painter Jean Antoine Watteau) ran between Paris and Brussel in 1995.

At the start of the TEE service diesel train sets where used, since the electrification in Europe was not as advanced as now a days and multiple current locomotives were non-existent. With the advance of electrification and the arrival of (multiple voltage) electrical locomotive, locomotive hauled trains became the standard.

Long before the last TEE train ran, many TEE trains got replaced by trains labelled Eurocity, which also offered second class seating, note that the TEE’s were first class only. Most of the Eurocity trains were hauled by (multiple voltage) electrical locomotives. Notable exceptions, that I experienced first-hand, were the Eurocity trains between Hamburg Hbf and København H. by way of the Vogelfluglinie which included a ferry between Puttgarden (Germany) and Rødby (Denmark). For these trains class IC3 diesel trainsets for the DSB have been used.

Meanwhile many Eurocity trains have been replaced by international high speed train sets and trains labelled Thalys and ICE.
  by george matthews
 
johnthefireman wrote:
george matthews wrote:Only in the US can one routinely meet rather old trains still in use.
Also in Africa can one routinely meet rather old trains still in use.
But the US is supposed to be a modern, advanced country. So, why does it have such a run-down creaking rail system?
  by johnthefireman
 
george matthews wrote:But the US is supposed to be a modern, advanced country. So, why does it have such a run-down creaking rail system?
Because US society has made a conscious and/or unconscious choice over many decades to prioritise travel by road and air over travel by rail.
  by george matthews
 
johnthefireman wrote:
george matthews wrote:But the US is supposed to be a modern, advanced country. So, why does it have such a run-down creaking rail system?
Because US society has made a conscious and/or unconscious choice over many decades to prioritise travel by road and air over travel by rail.
Yes, on my first visit to the US (1962) I crossed the continent and back by Greyhound and never touched a train.
  by David Benton
 
Lots of good info , thanks guys.
I got into a wee bit of strife with borders in Europe. At the time New Zealand and French relations were officially frosty, after the Rainbow warrior bombing. I was on a train that I thought was going from Belgium to Luxembourg, it happened to detour through France. I had a visa for France , but only either single entry or expired from memory. Next minute , French immigration were on the train, asking for Passports. I think they asked me if I was getting off in France or riding straight through , because I was on a rail pass, I did not have a ticket. I said straight through. A big discussion ensured between the 2 officials, the end result been a shrug of the shoulders, and handing back my passport with a smile. He said something in French that I didnt understand, but I think the gist was , "we haven't seen you, ok?".
  by george matthews
 
David Benton wrote:Lots of good info , thanks guys.
I got into a wee bit of strife with borders in Europe. At the time New Zealand and French relations were officially frosty, after the Rainbow warrior bombing. I was on a train that I thought was going from Belgium to Luxembourg, it happened to detour through France. I had a visa for France , but only either single entry or expired from memory. Next minute , French immigration were on the train, asking for Passports. I think they asked me if I was getting off in France or riding straight through , because I was on a rail pass, I did not have a ticket. I said straight through. A big discussion ensured between the 2 officials, the end result been a shrug of the shoulders, and handing back my passport with a smile. He said something in French that I didnt understand, but I think the gist was , "we haven't seen you, ok?".
In normal times there are no checks now.

Unless they are looking for IS terrorists.

The disappearance of the TEE brand of train is not a retreat from rail travel, as has occurred in the US. The TEE trains have been replaced by other trains that can provide a similar service - indeed by having Second Class as well as the former elite class the modern trains can serve more people. The TGV trains from France, and the similar brands in Germany and Sweden can actually provide an improved service, more useful than the TEE - which was a great improvement for its time.