Posts Tagged ‘HSR’
This recent map of the high-speed rail network in western Europe, as of 2009, is from the French infrastructure authority Réseau Ferré de France.
This Kiev – Vinnytsia – Odessa high-speed rail line (HSL) is part of a series of proposals. Read the introduction: high-speed rail in the Ukraine.
Alignments are not given in detail. The proposals are intended to form a schematic outline of a high-speed network in the Ukraine, and lines to the rest of Europe.
Unlike the other proposals, this line would fully parallel an existing main line (with a new cut-off section south of Vinnytsia). However, it is not an isolated project: it is interdependent with other possible high-speed routes. The Kiev – Vinnytsia section could form part of a HSL to Bălţi, Iaşi and Bucharest, and another HSL corridor to Chernivtsi, Satu Mare, Debrecen, and Budapest. If a HSL was built south of Vinnytsia, it would be logical for it to parallel the entire Lviv – Odesa line. In turn, that would allow a HSL route Kiev – Vinnytsia – Ternopil – Lviv (shown in blue).
The existing line Kiev – Vinnytsia – Odessa, is double-track and electrified. South of Vinnytsia the line turns west, to a junction station at Zhmerynka (Жмеринка). Large junction stations at relatively small towns, are typical of the Ukrainian rail network – although the detour here is not as great as in other cases.
Zhmerynka station: public domain image…
The new line would start at Kiev’s main station. It is intended to connect to a standard-gauge network (at Iaşi), so it would certainly be in standard gauge itself. It would be operationally separate from the existing line.
The alignment out of Kiev would be shared with the proposed Kiev – Crimea high-speed line via Uman, alongside the E95. At Hlevakha, the Vinnytsia line would diverge toward Fastiv – alongside the existing line, which is almost straight.
Fastiv (Фастів, population 50 000) is large enough for a station, and it is already a rail junction. From there, the HSL would generally follow the existing line to Vinnytsia, crossing the Dnieper Upland.
South of Vinnytsia, the existing line runs west to Zhmerynka, although Odessa lies south-east. To avoid the detour, a new high-speed alignment would diverge at the edge of Vinnytsia, and run south to rejoin the Odessa line near Yurkivka. The new alignment would be about 55-60 km long.
Zhmerynka station would no longer be an essential interchange station, for long-distance traffic. At present, lines from both Lviv and Kiev enter Zhmerynka from the north. A future HSL from Vinnytsia, in the direction of Khmelnytskyi, Ternopil and Lviv, would almost certainly bypass Zhmerynka. A HSL to Chernivtsi might be aligned to pass through the station, but again it would be easier to bypass it. Zhmerynka would still be an important interchange, for regional services on the old main lines.
South of Yurkivka, the new HSL would approximately follow the existing line. (It could diverge from it by 5-10 km in places, to improve the alignment). The old railway itself follows the topography – a line of ridges parallel to the Dniester. On the remaining route to Odessa, the only large town is Kotovsk, population 40 000. Some trains on the HSL would stop, to connect to regional services. (The main HSL could bypass the station, with a standard-gauge section diverging through it, and rejoining the main route).
South of Kotovsk, the terrain is more level, and the existing line consists of many straight sections connected by curves. The HSL would run close to it, but not alongside it. The new route would follow the existing line into the port of Odessa (Odesa / Одеса in Ukrainian, population one million). The line approaches from the north-west, and turns north into the main station, at the edge of the city centre.
A new line on this route could be built for very high speeds: there are no major topographic obstacles. Most of the line is at between 100-300 m elevation. With a line speed of 300 km/h, the line should offer a Kiev – Odessa journey time of three hours.
A fast inter-regional rail line, from Zrenjanin to Timişoara, would extend the proposed Novi Sad – Zrenjanin line. Together they would form a new high-speed line (HSL) from Novi Sad to Timişoara. From Zrenjanin, the new line would follow the existing Vršac line (Serbian line 43), and then the local line Cruceni – Timişoara (Romanian line 926).
Zrenjanin (population 130 000) is the third city of the Vojvodina region, after the capital Novi Sad and Subotica. Timişoara (Temesvár in Hungarian, population 310 000) is the second city of Romania. Both are in the historical region of the Banat, which is now divided between Serbia and Romania (with a small part in Hungary).
Click to enlarge: Map of modern Banat by Andrei nacu, public domain.
The proposed inter-regional line would cross a flat plain, at 80-90 m elevation, with no major rivers. Population densities are relatively low, about 30/km². The only possible stations are at Lazarevo and Jaša Tomić (population 3000 each). However, the two local rail lines should be reconnected anyway, so that may not be necessary. Like many others, the original Zrenjanin – Timişoara line was cut, when the Kingdom of Hungary was dissolved, after the First World War. Only a few kilometers of track are needed to reconnect it, between Jaša Tomić and Cruceni. The rest of the rural line can then be upgraded, for a regional service, serving Lazarevo, Jaša Tomić, and a few smaller villages.
Click to enlarge: Cruceni station, image by Jan Pešula
The proposed line from Novi Sad would use the existing alignment (and station area) in Zrenjanin itself, with an enlarged station. The line to Timişoara would also follow the existing line: first south-east from the station, then eastwards. Within Zrenjanin, there is generally enough space to widen the alignment. The only problem is the sharp curve before the bridge over the river Begej.
From Zrenjanin eastwards, the alignment is almost straight, with a few curves which can be easily improved.
Click to enlarge: The line as built. The base map is an Austro-Hungarian military map of around 1910, with older Hungarian place-names: Becskerek = Zrenjanin.
The new alignment would certainly bypass Sečanj, but it would pass close to Jaša Tomić. At Cruceni, a new alignment north of the village would be shorter. The present station is in the middle of the village – which is good for a local line, but not for a through line.
Again between Cruceni and Giulvăz, a new alignment is certainly needed to shorten the route. Between Giulvăz and Parţa, the new line can run parallel to the old. The existing line then enters the Timişoara metropolitan area, but it makes a detour via Utvin.
Click to enlarge: line highlighted in blue.
Timişoara is the largest city between Budapest and Bucharest. It was once on a through rail route between these cities, via Szeged. With the construction of the proposed HSL via Szeged and Kikinda, this route would be restored. (From Timişoara to Bucharest, it would parallel Romanian main line 900, via Craiova).
Like line 900, the main station ( Gara Timişoara Nord), is aligned east-west. To improve the present zig-zag alignment, a new approach line is needed. It would start near Parţa, and then join line 900, west of the station. This new alignment (shown in red) would be shared with the proposed heavily upgraded line to Beograd: south of Şag, that line would follow line 922 to Deta and Vršac.
Click to enlarge:
The new Zrenjanin – Timişoara line would be 86-90 km long, station to station. Journey time should be under 35 minutes. In combination with the proposed Novi Sad – Zrenjanin line, a Novi Sad – Timişoara journey time of under one hour would certainly be feasible.
This Kiev – Crimea high-speed rail line (HSL) is part of a series of proposals. Read the introduction: high-speed rail in the Ukraine. Alignments are not given in detail.
Map: the line in relation to the existing network, base map from Ukrainian Railways
There have been proposals in the past, for a Kiev – Uman – Odessa HSL, following the M05 / E95 road. The proposal here shares that route to Uman. South of Uman, it would create a completely new route towards the Crimea via Pervomaisk. From Mykolaiv, the HSL would follow the existing (single-track) line into the Crimean peninsula, with a cut-off line to Simferopol. At present, a journey along this route would require long detours, and changes of train at junction stations.
The HSL would start in Kiev (Київ, Kyiv, population almost 3 million). The existing alignment south-west to Fastiv is indirect, so the best option is to join the E95 alignment in the city itself. The line could start just south of the main station, with a 7-km tunnel to the E95, near the ring road. The route out of Kiev would be shared with the proposed HSL to Vinnytsia and Odessa.
South of Kiev, the line would only approximately follow the E95. The terrain rises gradually to about 300 m, as the line crosses the Dnieper Upland: incised valleys are the only topographic obstacle.
Click to enlarge…
South of Bila Tserkva, the HSL would more closely follow the M05 / E95 south to Uman: this section would be about 130 km long. At Uman (Умань, population 88 000), the E95 passes the eastern outskirts of the city. The HSL station could be located at the northern motorway junction, about 4 km from city centre. At present, Uman is the terminus of a local single-track non-electric line: the station is south-west of the centre. Extension to the HSL station would require a detour around the city, or a tunnel: it is not considered further here.
Click to enlarge…
South of Uman, the Crimea HSL would turn away from the E95 (an Odessa HSL would continue southwards alongside it). At Pervomaisk, the HSL would leave the Dnieper Upland, and then follow the Southern Bug river south-eastwards. The Uman – Pervomaisk section would be about 105 km long.
Click to enlarge…
Pervomaisk (Первома́йськ, population 67 000) is at present on an east-west rail line: journeys north or south require long detours. The station itself is also aligned east-west, in a bend of the river. To avoid crossing the river twice, the HSL would cross the river outside the town, to a new station on its southern edge.
The line would then run 65 km south-east to Voznesensk, crossing the river again south of Oleksandrivka. In Voznesensk (Вознесенськ, population 42 000), the HSL can follow the existing alignment, through the wide station zone. A HSL station here, would allow interchange with the Smila – Odesa line.
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After Voznesensk station, the HSL would cross the Southern Bug, and climb an 80-m escarpment. It would then parallel the river, on the western side, for about 85 km. About 10 km west of Mykolaiv, the new line from Kiev would join the proposed high-speed rail line from Odessa. The shared line would cross the Southern Bug estuary in a 4-km tunnel, into Mykolaiv (Миколаїв, population 505 000).
Click to enlarge…
From Mykolaiv, trains would use the proposed Odessa – Rostov HSL as far as Kherson. That HSL would generally follow the existing rail line, over the 65-km section.
At Kherson (Херсон, Cherson, population 312 000), the lines would diverge again. Kherson station is aligned east-west, and the Rostov HSL would run east on a new alignment. The Crimea HSL would use that exit line for 15 km, and then turn south-east across the river Dnieper, near the existing rail bridge.
Click to enlarge…
The HSL would now run alongside the existing single-track line, across the flat Pontian steppe. About 135 km from Kherson, the HSL would cross the Isthmus of Perekop, onto the Crimean peninsula. The existing line continues south-east, to join the main Moscow – Crimea line at Dzhankoy. The new HSL would need a cut-off line, avoiding Dzhankoy, and creating a shorter route to Simferopol. It would run south from Krasnoperekopsk (Красноперекопськ, population 31 000), at the base of the Perekop Isthmus.
Click to enlarge…
The new alignment would be about 95-100 km long. The Perekop Isthmus is just above sea level: the line would climb slowly across the plain (to 230 m at Simferopol). At Hvardiis’ke, the line would join the Kharkiv – Crimea high-speed line.
It is another 20 km, from there to Simferopol (Сімферополь, population 360 000). Located in the foothills of the Crimean Mountains, this is the main transport interchange for the Black Sea resorts. Some trains could continue to Sevastopol, on the proposed Crimea HSL.
The whole line would be 800 km long, Kiev to Simferopol. With 7 intermediate stations on a new and operationally separate high-speed line, an end-to-end journey time of 4 hours is certainly feasible.