DB through the tunnel this year?

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A60K

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Isn't Eurostar(UK) now Eurostar International and running as a completely separate stand-alone company or have I read something in a business magazine wrongly? (It's not unknown!)
That's correct - rather than being a brand and marketing name of the three national railways as it originally was, Eurostar is now an independent railway company with multi-national shareholders, the French being the majority as ajax103 states.
 

A60K

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Looks like a block marker for the in cab signalling - gives the driver something visual to stop at. Could be wrong though!
Block markers on the TVM signalling system are the yellow triangle on a blue square sign - one of the pictures of the ICE entering the tunnel shows one of the these.

IIRC block markers on TVM are of two types: 'F' or 'Nf' (meaning franchissable from memory). An 'F' marker is one on plain track and can conditionally be passed at low speed, whereas an 'Nf' is one protecting a junction and cannot be passed. I believe this corresponds with French standard signalling practice where a single red is the equivalent of an 'F' TVM marker and a double red is the 'Nf' equivalent.
 

barrykas

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What time will it be there from/to? I may well call in on the way home from work (from 5.30-6pm onwards).
Due to arrive at 0255 on Tuesday, propelled into the station by the Eurotunnel rescue loco(s), which will then disappear back to the safety of ET land, departing at 0255 on Wednesday.

Relevant headcodes are 5Z01 and 0Z01 for the inbound journey, and 0Z02 and 5Z02 for the return.

HTH,

Barry
 

Peter Mugridge

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Yes, Nf = non-franchissable; under no circumstances is any SPAD tolerated at such a signal or marker. This rule is just about the strictest there is!
 
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Says a lot about the state of Britain's rail industry. Back in the mid 90s, we were promised eurostars from Manchester to Paris and sleepers from London to Amsterdam. And it came to nothing. Britain's fragmented, mismanaged or misfinanced rail companies have neither the gumption nor the money to even consider proposing a fancy train service to Germany.

Instead, we've had to wait for DB to come to us.
 

jon0844

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Yes, it does seem that DB (or others) have been pushing hard to get this going, even pushing to change the regulations that probably gave UK operators the excuse to do nothing.

Of course, I may be wrong on that - and perhaps the move to loosen the restrictions was down to UK input too?

How ironic that once DB said it wanted to come to London, Eurostar suddenly says they'll order new trains and extend their service reach!
 

philjo

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Text from BBC news:
German train operator Deutsche Bahn says it will run direct services from London to Frankfurt and Amsterdam from 2013.

A train similar to the ones to be used will be displayed at London St Pancras station on Tuesday.

Three services will run daily, and will also serve Brussels, Cologne and Rotterdam.

DB must get approval for its trains from safety authorities before services can run but is confident of doing so.

At the moment the only passenger train services through the Channel Tunnel are run by Eurostar.

Deutsche Bahn argues that its move could be the start of a new phase for the Channel Tunnel, with other operators following its lead and offering more direct services from London to other countries”

But Eurotunnel - which sells tunnel access to train companies - says that overall there is still around 50% spare capacity.

The German company wants to run services direct between London and the continent three times a day.

Trains would leave London, travel to Brussels and then split.

One half of the train would go on to Amsterdam via Rotterdam, with the other half travelling to Frankfurt via Cologne.

The trains would be capable of travelling at 200mph.

It is expected the journey to Amsterdam would be around four hours, with Frankfurt around five hours away.

They would be modified to allow passengers to check travel and connecting services information at their destinations in real time.

Escape tunnels

But in order to be allowed to run services through the tunnel, Deutsche Bahn needs approval from the Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission.

The operator needs to demonstrate to the commission that its trains are safe for use in the tunnel.
A German ICE high-speed train (white) crosses an Eurostar train before entering the Channel tunnel There are some differences between the Eurostar and Deutsche Bahn carriages

One step towards this was taken in the early hours of Sunday morning, when Deutsche Bahn carried out evacuation tests with one of its trains.

The company needs to show it can get passengers safely into the Channel Tunnel's service tunnel in the event of an emergency.

Passages to the service tunnel are placed every 375m, which means a 400m Eurostar train can position itself so passengers can get off either end and immediately access the escape route.

The ICE 3 trains are each 200m long and two of them would be joined together for the journey through the tunnel.

But unlike the Eurostar services, this joining means passengers cannot walk through carriages from one end of the train to the other.

Deutsche Bahn has been testing a variety of different scenarios to try to demonstrate that passengers can still get to the escape tunnels safely.

Power issues

Another problem is that the current rules only allow for the train's traction to come from dedicated power cars at either end.

This is the set-up used by Eurostar.

But the new trains - which Eurostar has also ordered for its own services - have the power units spread out, with smaller motors positioned by the wheels along the train.

This has the advantage of freeing up more space for passengers but technically still needs approval from the authorities.

Deutsche Bahn argues that its move could be the start of a new phase for the Channel Tunnel, with other operators following its lead and offering more direct services from London to other countries.

The plan to split at Brussels to run separate portions to Amsterdam & Frankfurt seem more viable then running one 400m long through train to each destination considering the lower likely demand for through services to each destination & also the ability to offer through services to more destinations using one path from St Pancras-Brussels
 
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Just saw the BBC news item, too. Looks like DB have plans for three daily service from London to Amsterdam/Frankfurt.

Suggests a double ICE unit will travel through the tunnel. Then divide at Brussels. One to Amsterdam and the other to Frankfurt (via Cologne?).

I reckon a London -> Amsterdam journey time of 4 hours. London->Frankfurt around 4 hrs 45 mins. Now for DB to really steal passengers from the airlines, they'll need to offer WiFi and better catering.

I shall be among the first to try the service !!
 

jon0844

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I was one of the first to go on Eurostar back in 1994 (I think), so I'll definitely be on one of the first trains here - although if it is going to divide, I wonder which way I'll decide to go!!
 

williamn

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DB were handing out a leaflet this morning which confirms the split at Brussels.
Time quotes to Frankfurt is 5 hours. Competition to Brussels will be very interesting. Maybe they could introduce a class of service called...Leisure Select...
 
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DB were handing out a leaflet this morning which confirms the split at Brussels.
Time quotes to Frankfurt is 5 hours. Competition to Brussels will be very interesting. Maybe they could introduce a class of service called...Leisure Select...
Given a choice, I'd rather travel in an ICE than a traditional Eurostar train. Bigger, roomier interiors, better catering and you can sit behind the driver for a forward view.
 

jon0844

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Amsterdam will be very popular for students and revellers, while Cologne offers good onward links to the rest of Europe and Scandinavia.

The next thing will be working out a timetable that allows onward connections, and I am assuming DB will be on top of that. I'd love to be able to leave early in the morning, get to Cologne and then take train on to Copenhagen, where I can swap over to the X2000 to Stockholm. I don't know if you could realistically do that in one day, but it would be great if you could - avoiding the need to go overnight to Denmark.

Likewise, it would be nice to be able to get to Berlin in a single day which I presume will be easy.
 

Geezertronic

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Did it get there under it's own power? The video of it pulling into the platform suggests it might have done unless it was being pushed in so the publicity shots wouldn't be ruined
 

sprinterguy

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jamesontheroad

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Competition to Brussels will be very interesting. Maybe they could introduce a class of service called...Leisure Select...
How will this work at Brussels-Midi? The E* platforms (and associated passport controls, holding areas etc) are dead-end, and somewhat separate from the main station. Will passengers be able to leave/join the train at Brussels in both directions? Or could this in fact be a non-station-stop, just a stop for splitting the units?
 

Aictos

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The ICE looks quite smart in St Pancras, seems to have a awful lot of pantographs, I only saw half the train and counted 4, each pan is opposite each other on opposing coaches i- how many pantographs do they have and how many do they use in normal service?
 
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