Eurostar minimum check in times

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For most passengers, minimum check in time is 30 mins. I did ask eurostar staff what absolute minimum they'd accept passengers. Was told 8 minutes.

My personal 'best' was 10 minutes. Back in a July 2007 at a busy Saturday morning Waterloo. Mind you, I did have to ask an official at the ticket gates ever so nicely to let get past others in the queue for other train. She was not impressed. Caught my train, though....phew.

Most of the time, I turn up 20 mins beforehand. But, if everyone had my leave it to the last minute attitude, it'd be chaos. ;)

What experiences have others had at Paris Nord, Bruxelles Midi, London St Pancras ?
 
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j0hn0

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I was late on an ICE (no surprises there) into Brussels and I had 15 minutes.

However, there were huge queues and we ended up missing it because no one knew where to go or where to queue.

Every time I get a Eurostar now there is complete chaos every time.

I blame the belgians
 
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I was late on an ICE (no surprises there) into Brussels and I had 15 minutes.

However, there were huge queues and we ended up missing it because no one knew where to go or where to queue.

Every time I get a Eurostar now there is complete chaos every time.

I blame the belgians
This happened to me, but with a better result.

Thalys from Cologne to Brussels was late. So we had 15 mins to cross Brussels. What made me cross was both passport officials and eurostar staff did not know about our late inbound Thalys. As I threw myself through ticket control and passport, told staff I was probably the first passenger off the delayed Thalys and there would be others behind running me !

Brussels Midi is far from the show piece hub station RailTeam would like you to think. And I gather, they still haven't re-opened the eurostar-Thalys cross platform short cut.
 

gordonthemoron

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whilst I have missed E*s at Brussels before, that's because the ICE from Cologne was so late it arrived after E* had departed.

I have not had any problems checking in at Brussels, Paris or London. It's always been really quick
 

EWS 58038

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I often turn up 15 minutes before the train departs and blame it on the connecting service I came from... And they always buy it. But be honest guys... flying can be cheaper and from Amsterdam definitely faster.
 
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I often turn up 15 minutes before the train departs and blame it on the connecting service I came from... And they always buy it. But be honest guys... flying can be cheaper and from Amsterdam definitely faster.
Might try that 15 min late connecting excuse, myself. Though not sure if they will 'buy it' when the previous leg of my trip was getting a 91 bus down to St Pancras !

Eurostar/Thalys/ICE/FYRA/Railteam or whatever combination is involved have so failed to exploit the potention of rail to Amsterdam. It's consistently several times more expensive than flying. Try to book a ticket on the eurostar web site to Amsterdam. Just looked at fares three months ahead in September....£322 return in second class.

London to Amsterdam is approx 4.5 return by train, which makes a weekend visit quite possible. Yet the fares and the effort required to book are just so offputting.
 

jon0844

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The second time I ever used Eurostar, when I went first class (on a business trip), I remember the 10 minute check-in and thought that this would kill the airlines for short haul trips to Europe - and that was even when the train trundled along at about 20mph to the tunnel!

Check-in at St Pancras has always been quick for me, and once through there are plenty of places to sit. The lounge is also nice, although I've not been able to use it recently because I wouldn't ever pay such a large premium to access it. I always thought it was tiny, but then found that there's an upstairs (never went up there though).
 

A60K

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I've managed a 13 minute check in at Brussels before with no problem and nothing said. The basic reason for the 30 minute check in is because it would be impossible to process a complete trainload of passengers in any less time. Therefore they state 30 minutes minimum, meaning that a lot of passengers will turn up earlier than that, and allow latecomers through OK.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Quick related question; at Waterloo there was an area where overnight waiting was semi-officially allowed, provided you could prove you were waiting for early check in to open, which was down on the lower concourse outside the arrivals area.

Is there any area at St Pancras where one can similarly wait overnight ( eg in order to check in for the 05.25 or whatever it is now ) without getting turfed out onto the streets?
 

jon0844

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The Starbucks in The Circle is open 24/7 so I am pretty certain the station remains open the whole time. King's Cross technically closes for a bit, but I'm not sure how strict they are on chucking people out.
 
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at Waterloo
Now that reminds me ! What exactly is happening at Waterloo International station? The station has been dormant for nearly 3 years. As I understand, the cost maintaining it is being met by the taxpayer via the DfT.

In this age of austerity and making sure that every penny is wisely spent by the government, what are the DfT doing to make sure the taxpayer gets best value out of Waterloo International ? And for that matter North Pole ?

Just Googled this http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/4284
 
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Can DfT just sell Waterloo International to a developer ? There must be some scope for turning into a yet another shopping development or something. And get it off the taxpayers' backs.

Just think how much money could have been saved if we had opted to build HS1 in the first place when Channel Tunnel was being built.

Spared the expense of upgrades to South East lines to accomodate Eurostar
No Waterloo International which now sits disused
Eurostar would have been cheaper to build because no need for DC equipment
Eurostar could have been built to European wider loading gauge. They don't use any traditional UK network anymore.
 

Greenback

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Can DfT just sell Waterloo International to a developer ? There must be some scope for turning into a yet another shopping development or something. And get it off the taxpayers' backs.

Just think how much money could have been saved if we had opted to build HS1 in the first place when Channel Tunnel was being built.

Spared the expense of upgrades to South East lines to accomodate Eurostar
No Waterloo International which now sits disused
Eurostar would have been cheaper to build because no need for DC equipment
Eurostar could have been built to European wider loading gauge. They don't use any traditional UK network anymore.
That's precisely what is wrong with the way things are done in the UK. Everything is sacrificed for short term political expediency, which ends up costing us all a fortune in the long term.
 
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That's precisely what is wrong with the way things are done in the UK. Everything is sacrificed for short term political expediency, which ends up costing us all a fortune in the long term.
Yet again it certainly leaves you with the impression that UK governments prefer to spend £10 tomorrow, rather than £5 today.

Then there's the fiasco of the Treasury or DfT insisting that caternary be space further apart on the ECML electrification. So now trains on that route are delayed whenever there's a breeze along the east coast. That was money well saved. ;)
 

Greenback

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IIRC, the government at the time did not provide sufficient money for the original scheme. BR were told they had to reduce the costs, or the electrification could not go ahead, there was even talk of just electrifying to Newcastle. One of the things BR did to reduce the cost of the whole scheme was to increase the spacing between masts.
 

jon0844

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There should be signs along the ECML to tell people not to cough and CERTAINLY not to sneeze anywhere near the lines!
 

EM2

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The Starbucks in The Circle is open 24/7 so I am pretty certain the station remains open the whole time. King's Cross technically closes for a bit, but I'm not sure how strict they are on chucking people out.
St. P is open 24 hours a day (except Xmas Day) although waiting is restricted to the lower concourse/Arcade. And as Jon says Starbucks is open all night (as is Costa). KX chuck you out and lock up after last train and re-open at 5.
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Eurostar could have been built to European wider loading gauge. They don't use any traditional UK network anymore.
Wasn't it always envisaged that E* would run through from the regions too though, not just London?
 
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Wasn't it always envisaged that E* would run through from the regions too though, not just London?
Yes. Eurostar were to run as a regional service, but it never materialised. It was a government idea. To give the impression the Channel Tunnel was a benefit for the whole of the UK, some Eurostar would begin in Glasgow and Manchester. Someone here can tell us why the regional service never started. Not quite sure myself.

The only additional Eurostar duties beyond the original plan are the Ski Train service and the Saturday service to Aviginon. Neither of which appear to have benefit the UK regions.

Some honesty and vision would have saved millions:
Build the HS1 at the same time Channel Tunnel. Both ready in 1994.
In the early 90s, give (now ex) BR the remit to develop through fares from regions for services into Euston/St Pancras/Kings Cross so passenger could continue by Eurostar
Build a standard fleet of European gauge Eurostars. None of the regional red herrings
Give UK Border Agency the task of finding ways to accommodate passengers on Eurostars running beyond Brussels to Amsterdam/Cologne.
 
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Or perhaps even more sensibly, HS1 could have built at the same time as the Channel Tunnel. And a modified set of TGVs adapted for using the tunnel could have been built as an add-on to exisitng builds for the SNCF network. The UK could have signed up to Schengen or at least have passport and customs checks taken place on board the train. So the trains between London and Europe use the normal platforms of all the other trains and not screened off, East German style.

Then we could have had a half hourly Paris/Brussels to London branded as a TGV or Thalys type service. One group of services running non stop. Another stopping at Lille, Calais, Ashford, Ebbsfleet and Stratford. With passengers freely boarding and alighting at any point in between. Just like you can on the Thalys. Ashford would have benefited from an hourly TGV/Thalys service from Europe into London. Saved the bother of building the 395s.
 

jon0844

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Well they did once to passport checks onboard, but I guess that was too expensive given the number of staff required to cover each train, as against having them at both ends (or one end in the case of the UK who don't care about exit checks until a few days after a major disaster).
 

route101

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Whats wrong with having Passport Checks on the Train ? It happens in Europe ( Well Eastern Europe now ) .
 

jon0844

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As you run more trains, I guess you need more staff. At the station, you can have two or three people doing multiple trains. Also, everyone comes to you instead of you having to walk through - and there's the issue of what to do with people that have a problem passport.
 
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As you run more trains, I guess you need more staff. At the station, you can have two or three people doing multiple trains. Also, everyone comes to you instead of you having to walk through - and there's the issue of what to do with people that have a problem passport.
Or we could just join Schengen. 25 other european countries have.
 
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