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Old 15th July 2017, 19:11   #16
Chester1
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Manchester - Paris passenger numbers were 567,000 per year last year. Sufficient to fill one Eurostar each way per day.
The journey time would be 3 and a half hours each way if there was passport control at Manchester, closer to 5 hours if people need to get off the train to go through passport control in London or Lille. Its too long by at least half an hour if not 45 minutes to an hour. I come back to my main point that the service could probably attract enough passengers to fill a service or two a day but not enough to be commercially viable or be worth losing paths for domestic services on HS2.

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Irrespective of whats happening in Morocco and Turkey at the moment people are even less likely to do anything other than fly to those destinations.

There are some lovely parts of Devon & Cornwall but if you're used to family holidays by the 'Med you would have to be pretty skint to risk the weather in this country.
Off topic but Morocco is growing as a tourist destination and certainly is much safer and more stable than Turkey. During the Arab Spring it stepped from being a monarch led system with some democracy to something closer to a constitutional monarchy. The governing party is a moderate islamicist party with a good relationship with the king. Its very much a political succes story compared with its neighbours and is growing in popularity as a tourist destination because its Atlantic coast remains warm enough for a beach holiday for longer than the med. Its also in the later stages of constructing its first high speed railway.
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Old 15th July 2017, 21:11   #17
Ayman Ilham
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Perhaps a connection could be built so services like Ashford/Stratford to Birmingham/Manchester could run. This would ease pressure on Euston, avoid passengers having to walk between Euston and At Pancras, and potentially speed up journeys from the south east to the north.
Actually, that works really well! People going from Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds or wherever could ride a high-speed train straight to Ashford International to connect with the Eurostar (which would likely stop on the same platform) and avoid walking half a mile through London! I still want Stratford International to live up to its name though!
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Old 15th July 2017, 22:22   #18
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Manchester - Paris passenger numbers were 567,000 per year last year. Sufficient to fill one Eurostar each way per day.
However 1 train a day can never compete against 8 or 9 flights a day for convenience, and one train a day is not worth putting infrastructure in place for

Last edited by gingerheid; 15th July 2017 at 22:24.
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Old 17th July 2017, 06:20   #19
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People going on holiday will put up with a random times flight from a random located airport because it is cheap. As such there are a few things that trains could do to make services attractive to people going on holiday.

Only charge for children over 5, that would make the train cheaper for lots of families with small children.

Not have such strict rules about child to adult ratios as flying, for instance if you have a young child and then have twins (or just three or more small children) that means no flying (or only flying with extra adults, possibly grandparents) for quite some time.

One final other advantage of going by train is that for parents it is potentially easier to entertain the children than if you are stuck in an airport or on an aircraft and certainly easier to change a nappy in a good train toilet than on an aircraft.

Have through ticketing, as the combination of travel from your home to the airport and from the airport to your destination can add quite a bit too your travel costs. As such it could be possible to advertise the cost of typical costs (say 7 days of airport parking plus a flight Vs the train) to show that for those that do that it would work out cheaper. Even showing food costs, for some, could sway them. Given that you could take a wider range of things to eat and drink on a train than you can on a plane could also mean the need to purchase less drinks.

It could be that the trains start of with a trail of a service leaving once a week at about 09:00, then arriving just before 13:00 meaning that leaving home is at a reasonable time and the not a long wait before you can check into your accommodation. It would also mean with a return at about 14:00 with an arrival time of about 18:00 the return wouldn't be difficult either.
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Old 17th July 2017, 07:09   #20
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People going on holiday will put up with a random times flight from a random located airport because it is cheap. As such there are a few things that trains could do to make services attractive to people going on holiday.

Only charge for children over 5, that would make the train cheaper for lots of families with small children.

Not have such strict rules about child to adult ratios as flying, for instance if you have a young child and then have twins (or just three or more small children) that means no flying (or only flying with extra adults, possibly grandparents) for quite some time.

One final other advantage of going by train is that for parents it is potentially easier to entertain the children than if you are stuck in an airport or on an aircraft and certainly easier to change a nappy in a good train toilet than on an aircraft.

Have through ticketing, as the combination of travel from your home to the airport and from the airport to your destination can add quite a bit too your travel costs. As such it could be possible to advertise the cost of typical costs (say 7 days of airport parking plus a flight Vs the train) to show that for those that do that it would work out cheaper. Even showing food costs, for some, could sway them. Given that you could take a wider range of things to eat and drink on a train than you can on a plane could also mean the need to purchase less drinks.

It could be that the trains start of with a trail of a service leaving once a week at about 09:00, then arriving just before 13:00 meaning that leaving home is at a reasonable time and the not a long wait before you can check into your accommodation. It would also mean with a return at about 14:00 with an arrival time of about 18:00 the return wouldn't be difficult either.
Finally, a person who thinks like me! The thing I love about trains is that it's just city centre to city centre fast and easy, no hassle! Also, you get to see much more than you would by plane and you don't need to worry about hidden costs that the budget airlines might fire at you! High speed trains probably have more comfortable seats than Ryanair or Easyjet as well!
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Old 17th July 2017, 07:28   #21
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Finally, a person who thinks like me! The thing I love about trains is that it's just city centre to city centre fast and easy, no hassle! Also, you get to see much more than you would by plane and you don't need to worry about hidden costs that the budget airlines might fire at you! High speed trains probably have more comfortable seats than Ryanair or Easyjet as well!
Quite, you just need to aim the trains at times that the airlines can't compete with because they are busy at those times, for instance:

A train heading to Euro Disney leaving Manchester at about 17:00 and arriving at about 22:00 (when it would be difficult to get your child from school and get them to the airport on time).

Trains heading from business centres in Europe at 17:00 on a Friday and heading out Sunday evening (when the airlines have full planes).

Trains running summer Saturdays to holiday destinations (when the airlines are full).

However not at 22:00 on a Wednesday in November when the airlines will be selling their tickets at £20 return the day before travel because no one wants to travel at that time.
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Old 17th July 2017, 08:15   #22
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The journey time would be 3 and a half hours each way if there was passport control at Manchester, closer to 5 hours if people need to get off the train to go through passport control in London or Lille. Its too long by at least half an hour if not 45 minutes to an hour. I come back to my main point that the service could probably attract enough passengers to fill a service or two a day but not enough to be commercially viable or be worth losing paths for domestic services on HS2.
Taking into account that a Manchester / Leeds - Paris service would be city centre to city centre, 3.5, even 4 hours really isn't that bad. Considering that flying you would have to take into account the 2 hours you would have to give for checking in & security, a 1 hour or more flight, then probably another 30 minutes on the other side just to reach your transit, and then transit time you could probably set off from home from many places in the North and still arrive at your hotel in Paris at around the same time, be it by plane or train.

Security and passport control is obviously an issue, but given that all HS2 stations save Euston & OCC are brand new builds, if a link were to be offered would it really be that difficult to incorporate a scanning & security system, and some system of isolating platforms due to be served by international offerings? Given the overall cost of the build, it really wouldn't add that much at all.

As for demand, the biggest mistake often made by people is that they look at current demand & assume that it will by in large stay the same. But people's habits are changing, city breaks are getting ever more popular and though there are lots of low-fare seats out there the reality is that many people booking don't get the cheapest ones. And once you start to throw in things like extras for baggage, airport taxes, even car parking or the cost of getting a taxi to the airport, the price can soon rack up. If a future HS2/HS1 operator could find use of some off-peak capacity to extend services to places like Paris from the Midlands and the North, I'm pretty sure a new market would emerge. After all open access operators like CG can offer much longer transit times than VTEC to the capital from some locations, yet people do still use them.

Its probably not what people want to hear, but one of the risks of HS2 is that it's prime purpose simply becomes a new commuter line from London, with its peak flows being to the capital in the morning, and in the opposite direction in the evening peak. This could lead to a lot of "fresh air" being carried up and down the lines given that HS2 offers far more London-bound capacity that the mains it is to replace. So why not keep an open mind to the possibility of using at least some of that capacity for Euro destinations and plan accordingly? The skies around the UK are becoming increasingly congested, and in 15 years or so we might be glad of the opportunity to take some of the pressure off it.
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Old 17th July 2017, 11:34   #23
Ayman Ilham
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Quite, you just need to aim the trains at times that the airlines can't compete with because they are busy at those times, for instance:

A train heading to Euro Disney leaving Manchester at about 17:00 and arriving at about 22:00 (when it would be difficult to get your child from school and get them to the airport on time).

Trains heading from business centres in Europe at 17:00 on a Friday and heading out Sunday evening (when the airlines have full planes).

Trains running summer Saturdays to holiday destinations (when the airlines are full).

However not at 22:00 on a Wednesday in November when the airlines will be selling their tickets at £20 return the day before travel because no one wants to travel at that time.
So maybe Manchester and Leeds to Disneyland Paris with the 373 (they're still too young to go to scrap just yet) also picking people up at Birmingham Interchange and Stratford International at weekday afternoons before a school holiday or weekend (so mostly on Fridays) departing 17:00, which would be useful for taking the kids straight from school!

As for the businessmen, get out the Velaros on Sunday afternoon heading out (with return journeys departing 17:00 on Friday) on the following service diagrams:
Manchester to Zurich via Stratford, Lille, Strasbourg & Basel (TGV/Eurostar)
Birmingham to Frankfurt via Stratford, Lille, Brussels, Liege & Cologne (ICE)
Leeds to Amsterdam via Sheffield, Stratford, Brussels & Rotterdam (Eurostar)

Leeds to Amsterdam service can also run on summer Saturdays, as well as Manchester to Berlin (ICE) via Stratford, Brussels, Cologne, Dusseldorf & Hannover and there could be a new Eurostar/TGV/AVE service from London to Barcelona via Lille & Lyon

This'll really open up more opportunities for Interrail Global passholders and Stratford International will make the perfect interchange for the various international services and finally live up to its name, which are the two reasons I started this topic in the first place

Last edited by Ayman Ilham; 17th July 2017 at 13:38.
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Old 18th July 2017, 10:58   #24
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Adding an extra international platform with associated waiting room, security CCTV, signalling, land-take, track for 1 tpw seems somewhat excessive.

Where are the staff going to come from? Are they going to work 4 days in London and then be sent north for a shift 1-2 days per week?
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Old 18th July 2017, 13:00   #25
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Adding an extra international platform with associated waiting room, security CCTV, signalling, land-take, track for 1 tpw seems somewhat excessive.

Where are the staff going to come from? Are they going to work 4 days in London and then be sent north for a shift 1-2 days per week?
If there was a will to do it, then it could be possible to make it work. If designed well; platforms could be secure by design, tickets could be "validated" for travel by immigration staff limiting access to a platform, and so on.

Staff could work at other international ports and airports nearby, or do Manchester and Birmingham airports not have any immigration controls?

Anyway, what do we care if people are trying to leave the UK illegally? For entry into the UK then we just use the existing methods (improved if needed).
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Old 18th July 2017, 13:46   #26
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Adding an extra international platform with associated waiting room, security CCTV, signalling, land-take, track for 1 tpw seems somewhat excessive.

Where are the staff going to come from? Are they going to work 4 days in London and then be sent north for a shift 1-2 days per week?
If only the UK was part of the Schengen Area, then we wouldn't have any of these problems at all!
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Old 18th July 2017, 14:20   #27
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If only the UK was part of the Schengen Area, then we wouldn't have any of these problems at all!
I know. It's such a shame we never were.
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Old 18th July 2017, 16:58   #28
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I know. It's such a shame we never were.
Just cos the government are too paranoid about immigration!
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Old 18th July 2017, 23:06   #29
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The Schengen Area works well on the continent where people commute over borders on a daily basis without having to go through passport control. Given that very few people (certainly in comparison) commute from the rest of Europe to the UK and vice versa (with the exception of Ireland) not being part of the Schengen Area is hardly an issue. And of course it allows us to keep tabs on who enters our country.
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Old 19th July 2017, 10:54   #30
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Adding an extra international platform with associated waiting room, security CCTV, signalling, land-take, track for 1 tpw seems somewhat excessive.
It doesn't have to be totally separate facility, just a couple of existing platforms with the functionality built in and the ability to isolate a platform when international services are due to run. Given that most stations will not be through platforms, and so would be very easy to isolate if / when needed. And frankly we have no idea what security measures might be needed in 5/10/20 years time, for all we know tighter security into public buildings / stations etc might well have tightened.

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Where are the staff going to come from? Are they going to work 4 days in London and then be sent north for a shift 1-2 days per week?
As mentioned above, there are customs staff at Birmingham, Manchester & Leeds/Bradford airports, not to mention other regional airports like Liverpool, Doncaster, East Midlands etc. I'm sure many of these staff will live within a commutable distance of any of the HS stations that might offer international services so could be rostered as required.
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