Nationaleisenbunn

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Nationaleisenbunn
State-owned company
Industry Rail transport, property
Founded 13 April 1903
Headquarters Esch-sur-Alzette, Van Luxemburg
Revenue Template:Profit 236.04 billion Florin (2009)
Template:Loss -30.2 billion Florin (2009)
Number of employees
1,559,678
Website www.neb-bahn.vl

The Nationaleisenbunn (NEB) is the national railway company of the Grand Duchy of Van Luxemburg. The NEB is a public limited liability corporation, with 100% of the shares belonging to the Van Luxemburger government, more specifically the Ministry of Traffic. The company is the owner of 98% of the Van Luxemburger rail network, and operates 95% of the rail services in the Grand Duchy.

History

The first rail line in Van Luxemburg was constructed in 1837, The Luxembourg-Enzersdorf rail line was built in 1903, Steam traction ended in 1964, HST services started in 1980, and the rest is history, really.

Structure

The NEB owns all main lines in the Grand Duchy, and also most of the local rail lines. The remaining lines (such as narrow gauge railways) are privately owned, or part of local councils. The NEB thus operates most of the train services in Van Luxemburg, and transports nearly all passengers on the national rail network. Van Luxemburger law has however recently made it possible for private ventures to start services on the NEB networks, paying for the use of the network and performing their services on their own risk (thus not receiving any government subsidies). Until now, mostly freight services have made use of this possibility.

Punctuality and quality

File:Cartrain.jpg
A common sight across Van Luxemburg: NEB Cargo trains transporting newly built automobiles to their owners.

The NEB is renowned for its high punctuality, with 96% of all trains leaving on time (with a delay of two minutes being tolerated as ‘on time’). 91% of the trains leave with no delay at all. In case an NEB train does leave with more than two minute of delay, it is possible to ask for a (partial) reimbursement of the cost of a missed connection. If a train is delayed more than one hour or is cancelled, the NEB will provide drinks (and snacks or other food in case of a departure around meal time) and a full reimbursement of the ticket cost.

Every NEB passenger station of at least some importance is manned, for smaller stations usually these buildings also serve as the local police station. For the smallest of stops, a heated or airconditioned waiting room (depending on the local conditions) is usually provided, as well as a ticket machine. The stop is usually maintained by a local inhabitant on a voluntary basis. The larger stations often serve as important hubs with several manned ticket offices, several stores, restaurant and a hotel located at least near to the station.

Onboard the train, one or two conductors are usually present, and sometimes one or two agents of the NEB-Polizei aswell, depending on the size of the train. On intercity services, a catering service is also provided, usually by means of a bar or restaurant coach. On local trains, the catering service is done with a soft drinks and snack machine. The Alzettegold trains that provide the nightly services in Van Luxemburg, often also with some form of motorail transport, are perhaps the most luxurious trains currently in service in Maredoratica. They provide ample service with the help of a large team of employees, as well as food of excellent quality and spacious seats.

The trains of the NEB are usually relatively new, and mostly ordered with national rolling stock manufacturers. The trains are usually stored in covered emplacements, where they are cleaned and washed while not used. The security around these compounds has been increased to prevent graffiti from being sprayed on the trains. Small repairs on the trains are also done on a daily basis in these storages.

Train classes

HST

The High-Speed Train was originally conceived in 1980 as a version of the NEB Interregion trains, which would travel at higher speeds than normal. However, as the NEB found that the HST attracted more and more attention from both the press and travellers, they were introduced as a separate class of trains that serve as the flagship of Van Luxemburger rail transport. Currently, the HST trains can travel at speeds of 350 km/h over their own, dedicated, lines. The serie 110 is currently the fastest HST in service: during tests it has reached speeds of 470 km/h. The Serie 105 is the primary fast train for NEB services, and is used on most 'regular' HST lines. In case of serious technical troubles with the HST trains, locomotives with coaches will replace them, with speeds of 250 km/h, or sometimes even violating their maximum allowed speed at 285 km/h. The serie 110 HST trains have added an extra level of flexibility to the HST trains: With the introduction of new double-decker wagons, sleeper coaches and car-carrying wagons, the trains may become a quicker alternative to the Alzettegold.

Alzettegold

The Alzettegold are widely considered to be extremely luxurious trains, which offer excellent services with their sleeping coaches and top-class catering. The Alzettegold often travels all across Van Luxemburg, usually leaving once a day from every important train station. The trains are painted in a characteristic beige/red livery, and must be reserved beforehand in order to make sure the level of luxury promised can be attained while en-route. These Alzettegold trains often travel at speeds of 200 km/h or more, and are mostly used for luxury overnight travelling. The Alzettegold trains are also made up out of several car carrying wagons, that allows passengers to take their car with them, making the train a popular alternative to driving the automobile to the holiday destination oneself. There are rumours that the NEB will start expanding their Alzettegold services across Maredoratica with the introduction of a uniform Maredoratic railway standard.

Interregio

Interregio or IR trains used to be the primary mode of long-distance transport up until the 1980’s. The trains are usually made up of a locomotive with a set number of coaches, most of them including either a bar or restaurant wagon aswell. For trains that cover longer distances and travel overnight to their destination, the NEB often uses the name ‘Regionightline’, with trains that are also made up out of couchette coaches. A base rule for a train to receive the ‘Interregio title’ is that the train should cross the border of a region at least once, it maintains a speed of at least 140 km/h and that it will not stop on at least some of the (less important) stations underway. If the train would stop on all stations underway, regardless of the speed and the crossing of regional borders, it would be called a Sprinter according to the NEB.

File:Fulltrainlength.png
A Serie 84 locomotive with pwnl cars in standard NEB livery. This particular train is used as an Interregio train on the Esch-sur-Alzette to Arugula (Ruccola) service.

Intercity

The Intercity or IC trains are essentially the same as the interregio trains, but however do not cross any regional borders and stay within one region. As the transfer times are usually not that long (mainly thanks to the higher speeds of the newer lines), most Intercity trains do not have any preparations for couchette or sleeper coaches, and thus are not suitable for an overnight stay. Every IC is however equipped with at least a bar or restaurant wagon.

Sprinter

The Sprinter is a train that stops on every station on a main line, and was mainly given this name because of the fast acceleration that these trains have, in order to keep up a higher average speed. Most of these trains only provide a soft drinks and snack machine, but due to the passenger usually making use of these trains for only a short time, better catering is not necessary.

Railbus

Railbus is a classification that is given to a train that services branch lines, on which it is usually the only train operating. These railbuses are often not very fast, and halt at every station, and have the sole goal of transporting their passengers to larger stations in order to get onto a faster interlocal train. Their specifics are very similar to Sprinter trains.

Cost

The NEB is relatively cheap to travel with. Most Van Luxemburgers have an NEB-card, which allows them to travel with the train, with the cost being deducted from their bank account. There are three options for making use of the NEB-card;

  • Making use of the ticket machines on every station in order to buy a ‘ticket’ by entering the departure location and the destination. The conductor or NEB-polizei onboard the train can check the presence of such a ticket by using their card readers.
  • Checking in at the train by holding the card against a reader near the entrance, and checking out again when leaving the train on another station. If the customer does not check out, he is supposed to have travelled till the train’s final destination and full cost will be deducted from his account.
  • Making a reservation via www.neb-bahn.vl, which is only possible on Intercity trains or higher. The cost will be deducted from your bank account beforehand, and you can choose to either pick up a paper ticket of your reservation at the station, or by loading the reservation on your card at a machine or service desk. The advantage is that you are assured of a seat in the train, a thing which is not always certain on busy routes. Alzettegold trains and most HST’s must always be reserved.

However, it is still possible to buy ‘ordinary’ tickets at the station, either from an employee at the service desk or from a ticket machine. This ticket will still be accepted by the conductor or NEB-Polizei. In case a passenger is not in possession of either an NEB-card that is valid for the route, or a paper ticket, there is still a possibility to buy a ticket at the conductor, at 200% of the regular price. If the passenger refuses to do so, he will be removed from the train at the next station the train enters, or, if the next station is too far away, the train will make an extra stop at the first possibility. In such a case, local police or railway police (NEB-Polizei) are usually present to welcome the unwanted passenger. Several groups that have been pointed out by the Van Luxemburger government as dependent on public transport, are allowed to travel with a special version of the NEB-card. These groups are:

  • Persons under the age of 18 (travelling for free)
  • Students and pupils over the age of 18 (travelling for free)
  • Persons with an income below 12,000 Florin (travelling with 50% off)
  • Pensioners over the age of 65 (travelling with 50% off)

These special groups will also have to pay in full if they travel with HST’s or Alzettegold trains, as well as trains in which a reservation is obligatory. Making a reservation for trains with optional reservation possibilities will cost them 2 Florin. Furthermore, the two first groups will never have to check in or out with their cards, as they travel for free; The last two groups however will have to make use of the standard three options.

Rolling stock of the NEB

See also

Autobahnpolizei