Eurostar minimum check in times

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Agreed. Why haven't we joined? Is it the British paranoia?
Ask yourself this: exactly how many people have our current border arrangements prevented from entering the country ? (but who would have got in under the Schengen agreement)

And can our internal security track down people who are not legally meant to be here and then repatriate them ?
 

Greenback

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There are plenty of illegal immigrants at the moment. Mostly they come in under visitor visas anyway, so I can't see how things can be any worse under Schengen. Has any research been done?
 

StoneRoad

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Several trips in the recent past, all had lengthy Qs, with problems getting past customs/passport controls. Mainly not enough staff in the booths. (Plus one time with a burka who didn't speak / understand english/ french/ german/ spanish/ esperanto/and several other lingos and therefore was non-identified.)

By far the worst effort was at Brussels midi, long wait in a Q and no seats. on this trip i was with a very tired 91 year old who needed to sit down. when I found one and got over to it, a real brat yank shoved! the 91 yr old off to one side and sat down. I nearly got ejected......but the seat was eventually given to the person who needed it!

Funniest thing on another trip - someone in the group (Not me) had an expired passport (Current on way out, but expired on way back) ....... they got home OK, how they got past, I'll never know....
 

jon0844

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I didn't think an expired passport was a problem in the EU generally (bar certain airlines that would choose not to for their own reasons) and certainly not when coming back to your own country.
 
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I didn't think an expired passport was a problem in the EU generally (bar certain airlines that would choose not to for their own reasons) and certainly not when coming back to your own country.
I've got back into the country without a passport. Lost my passport and eurostar ticket on a train between Brussels and Rotterdam. Reported the loss there and got a police report. Travelled all the way back to Waterloo International with just my police report. Eurostar issued me a duplicate ticket at Brussels. And UK immigration waived me through at Waterloo.

That was back in 2003. Things might be different now. The eurostar section of Brussels Midi station is more like Checkpoint Charlie or Friedrich Strasse station, Berlin circa 1982.
 

jon0844

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There were very thorough passport examinations yesterday by UK Border police at Calais for Eurotunnel (but the French didn't check anything at all, just waved people through).
 

gordonthemoron

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UK Border Police were out in force at St Pancras, harrassing passengers who had already been through passport control in Brussels/Lille. I thought the new government was going to stop this poor behaviour?
 
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There were very thorough passport examinations yesterday by UK Border police at Calais for Eurotunnel (but the French didn't check anything at all, just waved people through).
UK Border Police were out in force at St Pancras, harrassing passengers who had already been through passport control in Brussels/Lille.
Exactly what does all this Eurostar UK border checking actually achieve ? Just how many people are 'caught' this way ?

Is having these fortified crossing points at St Pancras, Brussels, Lille elsewhere together with staff who 'hassle' passengers the most cost effective way of managing unwanted visitors to our country ?

I also hear that passenger lists are maintained, so the UK authorities can count us in and count us out. Did some minister get that idea from the Brian Hanrahan Falklands biog ? And again, what exactly does that achieve ? It makes our country sound like a school with headmistress keeping a register !

Eurostar is a train service to our neighbour countries, not an alien spacecraft carrying wierdos who have to be 'quarantined'.

I despair....
 

Greenback

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Exactly what does all this Eurostar UK border checking actually achieve ? Just how many people are 'caught' this way ?

Is having these fortified crossing points at St Pancras, Brussels, Lille elsewhere together with staff who 'hassle' passengers the most cost effective way of managing unwanted visitors to our country ?

I also hear that passenger lists are maintained, so the UK authorities can count us in and count us out. Did some minister get that idea from the Brian Hanrahan Falklands biog ? And again, what exactly does that achieve ? It makes our country sound like a school with headmistress keeping a register !

Eurostar is a train service to our neighbour countries, not an alien spacecraft carrying wierdos who have to be 'quarantined'.

I despair....
I am sure that the official answer from the powers that be would be that the checks are clearly working as no one (or very few) have been caught!

I believe that UK governments have always a little paranoid about official entry points, due to us being an island. On the continent, it's always been difficult to keep land borders secure, as there are simply so many ways and places to cross!

The fact remains that most of the illegals either come in on tourist visas, student visas, or forged EU documents anyway, so will probably not be picked up by these checks at all.
 
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The fact remains that most of the illegals either come in on tourist visas, student visas, or forged EU documents anyway, so will probably not be picked up by these checks at all.
If people are that keen to come to the UK, be interesting to see how many arrive here illegally on boats arriving at unchecked beaches or coves. We are only 22 miles from France. We're hardly an island in the mid Atlantic.
 

Peter Mugridge

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I also hear that passenger lists are maintained, so the UK authorities can count us in and count us out. Did some minister get that idea from the Brian Hanrahan Falklands biog ? And again, what exactly does that achieve ? It makes our country sound like a school with headmistress keeping a register !
....

It's to do with the e-Borders thing created by the last Govt, and it's not even fully implemented. I doubt it ever will be partly because of the cost of it and partly because of the EU complaining about it. And the travel operators aren't happy either.

If it is ever fully implemented, you would have to fill in ( in advance ) the same list of 59 questions that the USA requires prospective visitors to answer and give a minimum of 24 hours notice to travel, even if it was a straight "there and back" on the ferry to Calais. And that includes detailing your full itinery in advance.

That, of course, would totally destroy the spontaneous day trip market and probably deter a lot of the planned day trip market as well.
 
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I doubt it ever will be partly because of the cost of it and partly because of the EU complaining about it. And the travel operators aren't happy either.
UK border operation variously feels like something between a paranoid big brother, a Kafkaesque bureacracy and running the Titchfield Thunderbolt. Either way and judging by the comments here, in the end, UK border policy and operations invite ridicule.
 

Greenback

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If people are that keen to come to the UK, be interesting to see how many arrive here illegally on boats arriving at unchecked beaches or coves. We are only 22 miles from France. We're hardly an island in the mid Atlantic.
Exactly. There are plenty of opportunities for those without any documentation to arrive by sea. The border checks will not stop those people. Nor will it stop those who claim to be visiting and don't go home, or those who are supposed to be students and who work instead.
 

Greenback

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I don't think they are any worse than the Americans. The best I've encountered was in New Zealand.

They all tend to be quite humourless, such is the nature of their work.
 
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Peter Mugridge

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That reads as saying they are looking to get a move on with it which means the idea hasn't been dropped and presumably we will still ultimately end up having to negotiate that awful red tape every time we visit the Continent.
 

jon0844

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Although expensive, and not always working, I do like the Iris system. When it works, it's very quick (unless people don't look at the camera correctly) and can confirm your identity. Like ANPR checks in police cars, it should then be very quick and easy to consult various databases to see if there's a problem.

It's easy to register and your eyes don't change, so even though you may change passport (or even use multiple passports), there's a way to positively identify you.

To speed things up, I'd be happy to see this rolled out and the retina data to be shared within the EU so I could actually travel without having a physical passport with me at all. I never need to show it when returning to a UK airport with Iris and have never had any problems.

They must cost a fair bit though, as they often have just 1 or 2 at arrivals which can result in long queues - defeating the object somewhat. However, I'd still prefer them over someone who might take exception to you for some reason.
 

sammyg901

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well....due to my inability to read a timetable and then exiting the train at Central instead of Midi, I attempted a 2-min check-in yesterday at Brussels Midi and can tell you that it is not possible :lol:

However my non-changeable ticket was promptly endorsed to the next service 2.5hrs later with a friendly warning not to be late, so no harm done really

I was doing the trip to avoid cancellation happy Easyjet from Amsterdam as I needed to be back last night - with London City closed on Saturday evenings alternatives are limited.

However the journey is just a little too long vs flying - especially since my business is at Schiphol airport itself. If they could just run the trains through directly then it would be a no brainer, maybe one day eh!
 

Mikado sunset

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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.
a very good point here! how many centimeters between widths of E*and TGV's? not more 5 I think !quite ridiculous!I have lot of love and admiration for british people but sometimes he put me out of my bounds
cheers!
 

Goldfish62

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a very good point here! how many centimeters between widths of E*and TGV's? not more 5 I think !quite ridiculous!I have lot of love and admiration for british people but sometimes he put me out of my bounds
cheers!
You have to remember that the platforms are much higher in the UK, so probably wouldn't clear the sides of a normal TGV. Also, TGV power cars are taller than the coaches and thus would be out of gauge in the UK (apart from HS1).
 

macrylinda

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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.
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
 
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Wasn't the train hurtling across the Kent? countryside in Mission Impossible I a TGV?
Yep. Nice man from Eurostar Public relations was told the plot of the film and put a total veto/embargo on any filming with a Eurostar involvement. Fly a helichopper through the tunnel? 'uck off!
 
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