View Full Version : Metro Trains to run between Britain and France

February 7th, 2010, 07:50 AM
Commuter trains from Calais to Kent 'could be running before 2012 Olympics', claims French mayor

By Peter Allen (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/search.html?s=y&authornamef=Peter+Allen)

5th February 2010

Cross-Channel link: Eurostar trains pass through Kent on the way to Europe.
A new 'metro' train would use the same lines but run more frequently

A commuter ‘metro’ train between France and Britain which would confirm the Calais area as a ‘suburb of London’ could be up and running in time for the 2012 Olympics, a French mayor has claimed today.The service, could link the cities of Lille and London, with journey times of just over an hour, claimed Dominique Dupilet, head of the Pas-de-Calais council.He said plans for the new train were well advanced, adding: ‘We are a suburb of London and we have to draw from England every development opportunity that we can get.’

Kent County Council has confirmed that it is looking at plans for a local train service across the Channel. Eurotunnel, the company which earns revenue from trains passing through, said it had been approached by both local governments about the project. But a spokesman said it was still in its 'early stages'.

The multi-million pound project would be met by the respective local councils, who would expect to enjoy a huge increase in revenue from people using Kent and the Pas de Calais as a base. The Metro trains would be far more frequent than Eurostar, which currently only stops at stations like Lille, Calais, and Ashford in Kent infrequently.But while the service will be welcomed by thousands, it will provide a security headache for customs officials and those trying to keep illegal migrants and potential terrorists out of Britain. Mr Dupilet made it clear that issues concerning passport controls and security checks still had to be worked out.

Suburb of London? Calais is hoping a new metro train line will help the French town
rebrand itself as British and benefit from the 2012 Olympics

Kent towns like Ashford would be involved – something which Mr Dupilet said would be extremely important because Eurostars are increasingly bypassing towns outside capital cities.
‘Our region and Kent are in negotiations,’ said Mr Dupilet. ‘It’s a metro which will be very useful given the threats to the Eurostar’s regional service. ‘The line will start from Lille, then stop at Calais, Ashford and London. The English are very keen, especially since Ashford station is threatened. We are very keen too. ‘But in order for the line to be rented, we have been told that the train has to leave from Lille. Frankly, negotiations will be over in time for the Olympic Games, but I would like the metro to last well beyond the Olympics.’

The ambitious scheme follows a move by the French to cash in on the London Olympics by rebranding their region ‘part of Britain’. The ploy has helped them land contracts with a string of foreign teams to train in France ahead of the 2012 Games. Boulogne and Calais now claim that the Britain no longer stops at the white cliffs of Dover. ‘I consider that we are the south of England,’ said Mr Dupilet. ‘And because we're the south of England it's normal that we would associate ourselves with this extraordinary event.’ England ruled Calais for more than 200 years after being besieged and captured by Edward III in 1347.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1248558/Metro-commuter-trains-Calais-Kent-running-2012-Olympics.html#ixzz0er0JMsAM (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1248558/Metro-commuter-trains-Calais-Kent-running-2012-Olympics.html#ixzz0er0JMsAM)

February 7th, 2010, 08:01 AM
Eurotunnel Commuter Trains???


A London Commuter Train


February 7th, 2010, 09:14 AM
This is a great idea.

February 7th, 2010, 09:57 AM
Too bad that those trains arn't in Boston. :(

February 7th, 2010, 09:51 PM
Very interesting. I'm very much looking forward to expansion with the Eurotunnel. I believe that other countries will be able to link to London from this year on? I'd love to be able to get on a train in London and go to Germany or The Netherlands, etc.

February 7th, 2010, 09:54 PM
Especially without having to change in Brussels.

February 7th, 2010, 10:06 PM
It is my opinion, unless you're on business and in a hurry, that overnight trains are the best way to travel. Overnight to Berlin, sounds great.

February 8th, 2010, 10:53 AM
This will run in the same tunnel that has problems with regular service now? Did they fix all the damage from the last problem there?

February 9th, 2010, 08:18 AM
The Channel Tunnel has been operating nearly sixteen years and there have been very few incidents. The new High Speed One line now terminates at the beautifully restored St Pancras Station and the service is generally very good.

It should also be noted that the Channel Tunnel is now being opened up to other rail companies from across Europe and that Eurostar no longer has a monopoly.

Furthermore Eurostar trains are undergoing major refurbishment, whilst other operates from across Europe plan a new generation of high speed trains which will use High Speed One.

As for sleeper trains that is agreat idea, currently you have to change at Paris for many of the sleeper services, however direct European sleeper services from St Pancras are an increasing possibility.

February 9th, 2010, 08:25 AM
http://i.thisislondon.co.uk/i/std/siteimages/eveningstandard/new-es-logo09.gif (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/)

The train at St Pancras will be departing for ... Germany via Channel Tunnel

Ross Lydall (http://wirednewyork.com/standard-home/columnistarchive/Ross Lydall-columnist-2505-archive.do)


High-speed trains direct from London (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/related-94056-london-england.do) to Germany (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/related-2456-germany.do) could be running through the Channel Tunnel (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/related-6799-channel-tunnel.do) before the 2012 Olympics (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/related-101800-2012-summer-olympics.do).

Train operator Deutsche Bahn (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/related-48170-deutsche-bahn-ag.do) wants to run its 186mph ICE (InterCityExpress) service between the capital and Cologne (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/related-11322-cologne.do) if new tunnel safety rules come into force.

A spokesman for High Speed 1, which owns the fast rail link between St Pancras and the tunnel, said a direct service could start by December 2012 — with a “possibility” that this could be brought forward for the Olympics.

He said: “Wouldn't it be wonderful to look up at the departure board at St Pancras International and see — alongside traditional Eurostar (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/related-2642-eurostar-group-ltd.do) destinations of Paris (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/related-94105-paris-france.do), Lille (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/related-3239-lille.do) and Brussels (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/related-6075-brussels.do) — Cologne, Frankfurt (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/related-7705-frankfurt.do) and Amsterdam (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/related-3919-amsterdam.do)?”
Deutsche Bahn already offers a ticket from London to Cologne for €49 (£42.70), but passengers must change trains at Paris or Brussels. The journey takes four hours 11 minutes.

The idea of a direct service to Germany has been discussed since the end of 2007, when High Speed 1 opened. It has moved closer with an announcement due from the Channel Tunnel's regulator on safety rules.
European regulations allowing open access to high-speed railways were introduced on 1 January.

The Inter-Governmental Commission on the Channel Tunnel is expected to scrap the requirement that trains have to be able to split in half and leave in separate directions if there is an incident in the tunnel.
Terry Gates, head of the UK secretariat of the IGC, said no final decision had been made but it was time to ask whether safety rules needed to be rewritten.

He told the Financial Times (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/related-4235-financial-times-ltd.do): “The IGC would not want to stand in the way of trains passing through the tunnel. But safety is paramount.”
Today Eurostar, which currently operates between London and Paris and Brussels, said it would welcome the competition — and may offer a new service between the capital and Amsterdam.

A Eurostar spokeswoman said: “Bring it on. We have been competing since we started with the airlines. We expect more competition in the not too distant future.”

Eurotunnel (http://wirednewyork.com/standard/related-20466-eurotunnel-group.do), which owns the undersea link, said it was “very keen” to see other train operators using the link. Spokesman John Keefe told the Standard: “The simple position is that there is now open access for all high-speed train operators who have got equipment that meets safety requirements.”

He said there was spare capacity on the line between the coast and St Pancras. The track was the same gauge across the Continent and there were no issues with train sizes. A Deutsche Bahn subsidiary already runs freight trains through the tunnel.

February 9th, 2010, 08:28 AM

Eurostar's rivals eye service to London

By Robert Wright, Transport Correspondent
February 3 2010


European high-speed trains, including Germany's ICE, could soon be serving London under safety rule changes being considered by the Channel tunnel's regulator.

The changes would bring the first passenger trains with larger, continental-sized carriages to the UK. The High Speed One link between London and the tunnel has the higher bridges and wider tunnels of continental railways but Channel tunnel safety rules mean only freight trains can reach it from the continent.

Trains are still likely to need some modifications to meet rules setting a minimum length of about 400 metres on cross-Channel services. Most standard high-speed trains are 200 metres long.

Rüdiger Grube, chief executive of Deutsche Bahn, Germany's state-owned train operator which operates ICE trains, told Die Welt, the German daily, in December that market research suggested a Cologne-Brussels-London route was "very attractive". It said 1m passengers from Germany might use such a service annually.

The Inter-Governmental Commission on the Channel tunnel started examining the safety regime last year to prepare the route to meet European requirements to open international traffic to competition from January 1 this year.

Eurostar is the only passenger train operator that satisfies the current safety regime. Its trains are owned by EurostarSNCF, the French state operator, London & Continental Railways of the UK or SNCB of Belgium, Eurostarpartners in the cross-Channel service.

People involved say that the regulator's review appears likely to scrap the requirement that passenger trains using the tunnel be able to split in half and leave in separate directions in the event of an emergency. The facility has not been used in 15 years of tunnel operation.

However, the review looks set to continue to demand a minimum length for trains. The escape doors from the main tunnels to the emergency service tunnel that runs between them are 375 metres apart. A standard-length train could find itself stranded some distance from an escape door in a fire, forcing passengers to travel farther on foot, possibly through smoke, to reach an exit.

Terry Gates, in charge of the UK secretariat of the IGC's safety authority, said no final decisions had yet been made. However, the IGC believed that in light of European rail legislation, it was time to ask whether rules that were written many years ago remained relevant.

"The IGC would not want to stand in the way of trains passing through the tunnel," said Mr Gates. "But safety is paramount."

The trains most easily adapted to the length rules are likely to be those with motors under the floors rather than in power cars at the ends.

Deutsche Bahn's ICE3 and Alstom Transport's new AGV would be suitable. Siemens, the German manufacturer of the ICE3, said it was working on a 400-metre version of the same design for China. Alstom of France said it had also been in talks with the IGC. London & Continental has previously suggested Eurostar might re-place its trains with AGVs.

New train types will still need to be adapted to understand the signalling systems in the tunnel and on high-speed lines to London.

There also remain questions about how new operators would enforce the tunnel's tough security rules and handle UK immigration procedures. But one person involved said that talks were under way on the introduction of checks on the trains rather than at stations.

February 9th, 2010, 08:47 AM
Checks on the train should work fine. It is already done across Europe.

February 9th, 2010, 08:48 AM
High Speed Europe! London to Madrid in five and a half hours - Germans to compete with Eurostar

London could soon be linked to Europe's capitals in record time as high speed rail plans finally come off the drawing boards.



Journeys from the capital to Madrid could be down to eight hours with the Paris to Spain train link expected to be completed in two years.

It could be further cut to five and a half hours if Gare du Nord is bypassed, like summer services to Avignon. There could also be a link to the Netherlands after the completion of the Amsterdam - Brussels route.

Competition for Eurostar?

Eurostar could also find more competition on its services out of St Pancras as German operator; Deutsche Bann is in 'advanced talks' with Eurotunnel to run trains to Cologne and Frankfurt.

Owners of the channel tunnel are planning to change safety rules that specify trains have to be able to split in two and have engines at both ends - only Eurostar currently have these trains.

Earlier this week the firm revealed record sales of £675.5m. After years of billion pound losses, it now controls 75% of London to Paris traffic.

Under EU law all cross-border rail services must be opened up to competition this month, the Department for Transport is legaly obliged to consider bids for a new High Speed One.

Long-term replacement of short-haul

Transport Secretary Lord Adonis expects rail to eventually replace short-haul aviation and airlines are planning to get in on the rail market by snapping up franchises. Rail operators are banking on passenger’s weariness at increased airport security and their environmental credentials to wean customers off the airlines.

A flight from London to Madrid can take two and a half hours but add check in, security clearance and departure and the journeys in and out of city centres, it can be much more.

February 9th, 2010, 08:58 AM
Checks on the train should work fine. It is already done across Europe.

I agree Alonzo-ny, and don't see security being a major obstacle. :)

High Speed 2 now also has it's own website.


High Speed 2 will take the current High Speed 1 rail link as far as the Midlands, with planned further phases eventually linking Northern England and Scotland to the European High Speed Network. :) ;)