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Author Topic: EuroTunnel Vehicular Shuttle  (Read 892 times)

abefroman329

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Re: EuroTunnel Vehicular Shuttle
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2019, 01:17:47 PM »

The Harwich-Esjberg ferry may not exist any more, many of them have succumbed to LCCs.
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Duke87

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Re: EuroTunnel Vehicular Shuttle
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2019, 01:23:16 PM »

I've driven a LHD vehicle on the left in the Virgin Islands. It worked fine. Of course, in the Virgin Islands ALL of the vehicles are LHD (being US-spec), and things like the parking fee/rental checkout both exiting the airport are set up to support this.

Honestly, if you're used to one type of vehicle, driving it on the opposite side of the road is probably easier than having to contend with the car itself also being backwards. Especially since those smaller scale tasks like where the gear shifter is, where the key goes, where the headlight and windshield wiper controls are, etc. are more controlled by subconscious motor memory than what side of the road you drive on is. After all - I drive on the left side of roadways in the mainland US quite frequently. Just not on roadways that carry two directions of traffic.



I definitely recall one occasion as a child where I, sitting in the front passenger seat of my parents' car, had to hand money to a toll collector because the booth was on the right side of the car. I don't remember where exactly this was, but I get the sense it was a temporary situation due to construction or something else which had the direction of this particular toll lane flipped.
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Beltway

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Re: EuroTunnel Vehicular Shuttle
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2019, 01:26:26 PM »

The (more enjoyable as there's stuff to do, but slower) ferry service still runs frequently from Dover to Calais too (though far less frequently than it did before the tunnel opened). There's also other ferry routes (mostly freight only), so you are likely to see foreign registered trucks on the British motorway network, despite the drive-on-left problem. Unless it's a Sunday (or Monday morning), due to the German Sunday truck ban, it is very rare that I don't see foreign trucks if I go on the M25, despite being directly opposite Kent.

Very surprised that they still run ferries, given the very high capacity of a 2-track rail tunnel, and given the weather issues on the Channel.  Do these ferries carry motor vehicles?
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Re: EuroTunnel Vehicular Shuttle
« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2019, 02:19:35 PM »

LCC can't move cars or freight though. And the Shuttle that this thread is about is not only competing with LCCs, but with the Eurostar trains.

The Channel Tunnel and improvements on the road route from Calais to Copenhagen and beyond have hit North Sea crossings hard. Oddly, despite the Autoroute des Estuaries, crossings of the English Channel haven't been as negatively affected as the North Sea crossings and most routes that existed 25 years ago are still there.

Harwich-Esbjerg closed in Sept '14, but that was a few years after my brother started going to Sweden annually, hence why it was an option.
Do these ferries carry motor vehicles?
Yes. The newish P&O Ferries (larger than any before on that route) can fit 1059 cars each, or 180 lorries. They tend to hold a mix though. They run 25 sailings a day, and another company (more freight focused) runs 10 to Calais and some more to Dunkirk. An average of 1.5 an hour to Calais is higher than I thought - I expected hourly at best.

Weather issues for boats, asylum seekers who view France as an unsafe country for the shuttle trains - both can experience issues that halt service. I'm not sure I'd count a 2-track rail tunnel with only a train every 6 minutes per direction as 'very high capacity', due to that only. It's a lot of capacity, but 480 cars/hour and 128 HGVs/hour is a bit less than capacity on the Calais ferries, and 2tph of passenger trains is rather average in UK Intercity terms, even when you factor in double length trains. It's high capacity, but not high enough to destroy the competition, or to meet demand.
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1995hoo

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Re: EuroTunnel Vehicular Shuttle
« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2019, 02:28:02 PM »

I've driven a LHD vehicle on the left in the Virgin Islands. It worked fine. Of course, in the Virgin Islands ALL of the vehicles are LHD (being US-spec), and things like the parking fee/rental checkout both exiting the airport are set up to support this.

Honestly, if you're used to one type of vehicle, driving it on the opposite side of the road is probably easier than having to contend with the car itself also being backwards. Especially since those smaller scale tasks like where the gear shifter is, where the key goes, where the headlight and windshield wiper controls are, etc. are more controlled by subconscious motor memory than what side of the road you drive on is. After all - I drive on the left side of roadways in the mainland US quite frequently. Just not on roadways that carry two directions of traffic.

I definitely recall one occasion as a child where I, sitting in the front passenger seat of my parents' car, had to hand money to a toll collector because the booth was on the right side of the car. I don't remember where exactly this was, but I get the sense it was a temporary situation due to construction or something else which had the direction of this particular toll lane flipped.

I didn't really have any trouble adjusting to driving a vehicle with the steering wheel on the right except for maneuvering in tight places like indoor car parks where there are pillars and the like. In places like that, having the bulk of the car on the other side than I was used to was mildly disconcerting—but, on the other hand, it made me be a lot more cautious and I guess that's not a bad thing. Operating the manual shift with my left hand was no problem whatsoever, and the pedals were in the usual arrangement (accelerator on the right, clutch on the left, brake in the middle). I figure with all the other controls you have to adjust anyway going from car to car, so things being a little different is no big deal (the oddest adjustment for me was that the Passat turbodiesel I drove in Scotland had a button on the dash that acted as the handbrake). The only really weird thing is overcoming the muscle memory related to the rearview mirror since it's up and to the left instead of up and to the right.

I did tilt the passenger-side sideview mirror (the left-side mirror) down more than I do in a left-hand drive car for the first few miles simply to get a better feel for where I should be in the lane. That is, I think over time when you drive a particular vehicle regularly you get used to being at a certain spot in the lane based on the size of the car, etc. I remember in 1995 when my 1982 Accord succumbed to undercarriage rust and I got an Acura Legend to replace it, my father noted I was consistently driving too far to the right in the lane at first, and we realized that it was because I was used to a much smaller car and I had to adjust. The same is true to a far greater degree when the steering wheel is on the other side—it's not necessarily easy at first to get a feel for how far to the left the edge of the road or the lane marking might be. But it didn't take long and using the sideview mirror as a crutch helped.

Regarding the tollbooth being on the right, I recall the old (now-demolished) toll plaza at the southern end of the New Jersey Turnpike was set up that way for many years: Some lanes had the ticket dispenser or the toll attendant on the driver's side, some had it on the passenger's side. Strange layout. I seem to recall that in later years the lanes where you had to use the passenger's window were closed more often than not. At some point they adjusted it northbound to cram the ticket machine in on the left between lanes, which resulted in the lanes being narrow, but that didn't help on the southbound side where you had to pay the toll.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 02:32:20 PM by 1995hoo »
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Beltway

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Re: EuroTunnel Vehicular Shuttle
« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2019, 02:56:02 PM »

Do these ferries carry motor vehicles?
Yes. The newish P&O Ferries (larger than any before on that route) can fit 1059 cars each, or 180 lorries. They tend to hold a mix though. They run 25 sailings a day, and another company (more freight focused) runs 10 to Calais and some more to Dunkirk. An average of 1.5 an hour to Calais is higher than I thought - I expected hourly at best.

Ships in general can be huge and carry vastly greater tonnages than a railroad line, so that makes sense.

Weather issues for boats, asylum seekers who view France as an unsafe country for the shuttle trains - both can experience issues that halt service. I'm not sure I'd count a 2-track rail tunnel with only a train every 6 minutes per direction as 'very high capacity', due to that only. It's a lot of capacity, but 480 cars/hour and 128 HGVs/hour is a bit less than capacity on the Calais ferries, and 2tph of passenger trains is rather average in UK Intercity terms, even when you factor in double length trains. It's high capacity, but not high enough to destroy the competition, or to meet demand.

So what about building a second tunnel as was proposed as a future expansion even when the first tunnel was being planned and constructed? 

There was talk of a 4-lane twin-tube highway tunnel, or another 2-track railroad tunnel.

I didn't realize that the current traffic demand was exceeding the capacity of the current tunnel.
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Re: EuroTunnel Vehicular Shuttle
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2019, 04:28:19 PM »

Ships in general can be huge and carry vastly greater tonnages than a railroad line, so that makes sense.
Indeed, they can. Why I mention it is that it's the biggest ships this busy route has seen, and at a reasonably high frequency.
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I didn't realize that the current traffic demand was exceeding the capacity of the current tunnel.
That you have massive ferries running 25 times a day, and other ferries getting the Dover-France frequency to roughly half-hourly levels, doubling the capacity of the tunnel, makes it clear that a lot of people would like to travel across the sea there - at least at peak times.

Certainly traffic has rerouted to focus on this narrow corridor since the tunnel opened (hence why the plan for if processing goes pear-shaped in 7 weeks time is to run more ferries to and from North Sea ports, bypassing Kent and Calais, using capacity that has slowly been needed less and less. And, to a lesser extent, Western Channel ports too), which was perhaps not foreseen, but the rejection of the Euroroute plan for both road and rail crossing (bridge tunnel road, full tunnel railway) does seem a little short sighted. Especially because the rail traffic has underperformed compared to predictions, while the road traffic (shuttling on rail sous-la-Manche) has done well.
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UCFKnights

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Re: EuroTunnel Vehicular Shuttle
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2019, 06:22:06 PM »

Yeah, it's something I had not been aware of until 2004 when I got my current Acura and I noted the beam pattern—the HIDs are much better than the halogen lights in my previous car (a '97 Accord) and the cut-off at the top of the light beam when the low-beams are on is much more pronounced than with the halogens. (Same is true compared to the sealed-beam headlights on my RX-7, but I avoid driving that at night anyway!) The Acura's headlight beam has almost like a "step," for lack of a better word, that's visible when I'm on a dark road—the "step" makes it clear that the passenger-side headlight beam is aimed slightly higher and shines further down the road than the driver-side headlight beam, much as is shown in that Wikipedia image. This is the original factory setting.

I've never noticed whether this is as noticeable in my wife's 2015 Acura, which has LED headlights. Not sure why I've never noticed it, but it might be that I'm used to it from my car and thus it doesn't occur to me, whereas when I first got my car 15 years ago it wasn't something I'd experienced before and thus it stood out to me. I did read somewhere that one reason some people find HID headlights annoying or distracting is the more pronounced cut-off on the low beams. (Unlike halogens or sealed-beams, HIDs generally don't use separate bulbs for low- and high-beams. Instead, a shutter opens and closes when you switch between the two, and it truncates the beam when you're using low-beams such that it cuts off the part that shines brightly into oncoming drivers' eyes. The snap of the shutter opening and closing is audible from within the car if the radio isn't on.)

Maybe some night I can get a picture if I shine my headlights on the garage door when I get home. I'll have to see. Not supposed to be very good weather the next few days, though, so it might be a while.
Even with traditional halogen bulbs, in my 04 Honda Accord, you can tell if you look for it while its shining against my garage wall. Its not crisp at all, but it appears the drivers side light is aimed slightly down, so the brightest point is slightly lower and more straight on the drivers side then the passenger side. You really have to be looking for it though, its far from obvious.
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