Eurostar services to Amsterdam and others

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cle

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We have a DB thread but E* are also ordering new trains and hoping to ru services to, I believe: Amsterdam, Lyon and Geneva.

I'm guessing that as with DB, these might split (I guess at Lille).

Do we know any more about their plans?

Or are they using the new trains on Paris runs?

And will they be able to run at 320km/h anywhere?

They could steal a march on DB by running to Cologne and Frankfurt seeing as DB have delayed their start. And build up the Amsterdam market too.
 
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kylemore

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Surely Koeln/Frankfurt would be a better bet financially - think of all those full fare first class bankers! Whereas Amsterdam will be mostly leisure traffic on lower fares.
 

brianthegiant

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I think I recall that a few of the sets might be used to Paris, I suppose with the distributed traction they have better acceleration, so they could run a few services with shorter journey time?

I'm looking forward to the direct Geneva trains, will be handy for getting to the swiss alps, etc. I wonder what the route will be? I think generally there are higher linespeeds on the French LGVs than on German network, maybe London, Lille, Charles de Gaulle, Strasbourg, Geneva?
 

stut

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I think you'd be surprised at the amount of London - Amsterdam business traffic. Used to do that trip every week, and the lounges were always packed! It may not be banking, but there's plenty going on around the Randstad.
 

radamfi

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I'm still not totally convinced that the immigration situation will be sorted to the mutual satisfaction of the Home Office, DB and Eurostar to allow through services to the proposed future destinations as well as internal Schengen traffic. If these new services only allow travel between the UK and Amsterdam, Cologne, Geneva etc. and do not permit travel between, say, Amsterdam and Brussels these trains may not be commercially available. Is it really viable to have an segregated Eurostar area in Amsterdam, Cologne or Geneva?

Just see the fuss regarding the infamous 'Lille Loophole'.
 

jon0844

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I've been on lots of work trips/events to Amsterdam. It's far from just a leisure destination.

I wonder how feasible it would be to take a train to Amsterdam then on to the airport for cheaper onward flights?

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stut

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I think Roissy is more realistic as a rail/air interchange than Schiphol (particularly given that AFKL is now one airline).
 

WestCoast

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With the ever rising UK ADP tax (which is charged on your WHOLE flight, no matter where you connect) and limited capacity at airports in SE England, it's quite sensible to think about a continental air/rail interchange

In terms of distance and convenience, I think Brussels National Airport would make more sense as an air/rail interchange than Schipol or CDG. The Diabolo project is linking the airport station to the Brussels - Antwerp line, which Eurostar/ICEs would have to pass on their way to Schipol and Amsterdam.

The downside of course is that Brussels as an airport isn't quite a global hub like Amsterdam or Paris CDG, however it's much more of a Star Alliance hub compared to the AF-KL SkyTeam strangleholds at CDG or Schipol. However, on the plus side, Brussels has modern, efficient facilities (unlike CDG) and also seems to have a lot of US, African and Indian destinations available.
 

kylemore

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With the ever rising UK ADP tax (which is charged on your WHOLE flight, no matter where you connect) and limited capacity at airports in SE England, it's quite sensible to think about a continental air/rail interchange

In terms of distance and convenience, I think Brussels National Airport would make more sense as an air/rail interchange than Schipol or CDG. The Diabolo project is linking the airport station to the Brussels - Antwerp line, which Eurostar/ICEs would have to pass on their way to Schipol and Amsterdam.

The downside of course is that Brussels as an airport isn't quite a global hub like Amsterdam or Paris CDG, however it's much more of a Star Alliance hub compared to the AF-KL SkyTeam strangleholds at CDG or Schipol. However, on the plus side, Brussels has modern, efficient facilities (unlike CDG) and also seems to have a lot of US, African and Indian destinations available.
What about Frankfurt airport - rail linked and huge choice of destinations.
 

Eagle

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With the ever rising UK ADP tax (which is charged on your WHOLE flight, no matter where you connect) and limited capacity at airports in SE England, it's quite sensible to think about a continental air/rail interchange.
What about Birmingham Airport (come HS2 it'll be right on the European high-speed network)?
 

VTPreston_Tez

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I thought it was, Manchester Outskirts then a central station. Outskirts would serve the airport...
How about Southend, Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, or Luton?
 

WestCoast

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What about Birmingham Airport (come HS2 it'll be right on the European high-speed network)?
It's more about the airport infrastructure as well. While Birmingham could be developed into a global air hub it would take a lot of investment and it also would require British Airways to establish a major base there.

As this is the international transport section of the forum, I looked at a continental air/rail hub deliberately, because there is a growing trend, which has been well documented in the travel press, for non-European tourists to go back home by taking the train/ferry to a mainland European airport.

Why? Because the airfares can be considerably cheaper and it tends to be cheaper because of the taxes. UK APD is going to be £130 - £184 per passenger for long-haul flights to other continents from this April. For a family of four that's over £700 in tax on a flight to Australia before the rest of the fare is considered!

Among the airports that the South East of England could feasibly be linked to - Germany would charge 42 euros per passenger on long-haul flights, 4 euros in France for all economy class tickets (40 euros for business/first class) and no tax would be levied in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The Republic of Ireland also levies no tax.
 
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Ze Random One

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I'm still not totally convinced that the immigration situation will be sorted to the mutual satisfaction of the Home Office, DB and Eurostar to allow through services to the proposed future destinations as well as internal Schengen traffic. If these new services only allow travel between the UK and Amsterdam, Cologne, Geneva etc. and do not permit travel between, say, Amsterdam and Brussels these trains may not be commercially available. Is it really viable to have an segregated Eurostar area in Amsterdam, Cologne or Geneva?

Just see the fuss regarding the infamous 'Lille Loophole'.
I stand to be corrected, but I thought the 373s were built with a brig arrangement to permit onboard immigration checks, and the detention of anyone deemed necessary?
Could this arrangement not be used, with all non-Paris services calling at Lille Europe (to pick up immigration/customs) and setting down said-same immigration team at Ashford, with any miscreants in tow?

Obviously Schengen is the real answer, but we do like to keep the illusion that we can operate as a country in grand isolation (it's all for show, really, since almost all people who can get Schengen visas are eligible for ours, and all EU citizens have a right of entry)
 

Oscar

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All non-Paris trains (except perhaps the Avignon or ski trains) do call at Lille. Every Brussels train and the Disneyland train calls there. Not one of the Paris trains do any more. This problem could therefore be solved quite easily with customs officers travelling between Lille and Ebbsfleet/London even though Eurostar are so reluctant to stop their trains at Ashford. On the other hand, this longer journey may be too time consuming for the border police who may well prefer to conduct checks at St. Pancras (which penalises the passengers who have already been through such checks).
 

cle

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Amsterdam has huge business travel demand. There is a lot of banking, but also manufacturing, legal and creative/media/fashion industries.

Don't tell me the 40+ flights a day (including loads from LCY) are all stag dos/stoners.

The immigration process needs to happen on the train I think, when heading London-bound. At St Pancras people can enter Schengen/EU, once the other countries agree. No different really to connecting to a train in Brussels today.

On the way back, eventually certain hubs might be viable to have a restricted area, especially if both DB and E* use them - such as Amsterdam/Rotterdam/Antwerp.

Another option is a specific platform for 1/2 trains a day they can quickly cordon off and segregate to do customs and security, and then reopen to general Schengen traffic once the train goes. I think this is the plan at Koln - currently 3 trains a day envisaged.

I think solutions like this will mean that Liege, Aachen, maybe even Schipol and Antwerp, get canned. I would have thought Antwerp would make sense though.
 

kylemore

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It's more about the airport infrastructure as well. While Birmingham could be developed into a global air hub it would take a lot of investment and it also would require British Airways to establish a major base there.

As this is the international transport section of the forum, I looked at a continental air/rail hub deliberately, because there is a growing trend, which has been well documented in the travel press, for non-European tourists to go back home by taking the train/ferry to a mainland European airport.

Why? Because the airfares can be considerably cheaper and it tends to be cheaper because of the taxes. UK APD is going to be £130 - £184 per passenger for long-haul flights to other continents from this April. For a family of four that's over £700 in tax on a flight to Australia before the rest of the fare is considered!

Among the airports that the South East of England could feasibly be linked to - Germany would charge 42 euros per passenger on long-haul flights, 4 euros in France for all economy class tickets (40 euros for business/first class) and no tax would be levied in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The Republic of Ireland also levies no tax.
That just shows you what a desperate state the UK economy is in when the Govt has to stoop to such a blatant money grab! Of course it's dressed up as being an enviromental measure to reduce carbon yada yada...
Fine, I don't make many long distance flights but from now on I'll fly from Brussels or Paris even if it costs slightly more to travel there than is saved in air tax - I'd rather Eurostar had the money than the UK Govt!
 

WestCoast

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That just shows you what a desperate state the UK economy is in when the Govt has to stoop to such a blatant money grab! Of course it's dressed up as being an enviromental measure to reduce carbon yada yada...
The Treasury doesn't even bother to dress it up as an "environmental tax", the message they've given is that it's quite simply a revenue generator.
 

cle

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Brussels is a good one for Star Alliance miles users. FRA even more so, but would be 4 hours.

Skyteam not so consequential in UK, but many Asian/US Star and One World carriers fly from CDG and AMS and it'd make a huge difference getting the train there and avoiding APD. People do it now already with Ryanair cheapies and then routing DUB-LHR-XYZ and returning to LHR which is allowed.
 

kylemore

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Brussels is a good one for Star Alliance miles users. FRA even more so, but would be 4 hours.

Skyteam not so consequential in UK, but many Asian/US Star and One World carriers fly from CDG and AMS and it'd make a huge difference getting the train there and avoiding APD. People do it now already with Ryanair cheapies and then routing DUB-LHR-XYZ and returning to LHR which is allowed.
Lets hope it adversely affects BA and the UK airports and they start screaming at govt!
And to think some people still think we have lower taxes than the European norm - we have by far the highest tax burden, yes they've kept the income tax down but the indirect tax burden more than outweighs this - less easy to identify and therefore widely used by the collection of low grade spivs (Con/Lib/Lab - whatever) that govern us!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The Treasury doesn't even bother to dress it up as an "environmental tax", the message they've given is that it's quite simply a revenue generator.
What refreshing honesty! As we don't have any choice anymore since surely only the very naive can think there's any difference between Cons/Libs/Labs, maybe they think that they don't even have to bother conning us!
 

radamfi

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I see nothing wrong with indirect tax if it means it keeps income tax lower. The advantage of indirect tax is that payment is more discretionary. The only way to reduce income tax is to earn less. Whereas I can choose to smoke, drink, fly, spend, speed less. That is an advantage to net savers like myself. I can see why spendthrifts don't like it. If a few people indulge in more undesirable activities less often as a result of targeted indirect taxation then that is a bonus. I now think twice about holidays in North America due to flights becoming a lot more expensive and I now spend more time in mainland Europe.
 

Greenback

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I see nothing wrong with indirect tax if it means it keeps income tax lower. The advantage of indirect tax is that payment is more discretionary. The only way to reduce income tax is to earn less. Whereas I can choose to smoke, drink, fly, spend, speed less. That is an advantage to net savers like myself. I can see why spendthrifts don't like it. If a few people indulge in more undesirable activities less often as a result of targeted indirect taxation then that is a bonus. I now think twice about holidays in North America due to flights becoming a lot more expensive and I now spend more time in mainland Europe.
I agree with that to a degree. But there are disadvantages too. At least income tax is based on ability to pay, whereas everyone pays the same rate of VAT on fuel or clothing, for example, regardless of how much money they have coming in.

It seems that the greatest difficulty is achieving a good balance between direct and indirect taxation. And another problem is the differences in taxation policies between individual European nations.
 

brianthegiant

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I agree with that to a degree. But there are disadvantages too. At least income tax is based on ability to pay, whereas everyone pays the same rate of VAT on fuel or clothing, for example, regardless of how much money they have coming in.

It seems that the greatest difficulty is achieving a good balance between direct and indirect taxation. And another problem is the differences in taxation policies between individual European nations.
Hmm. The problem with income tax is that those on the highest incomes don't pay it, because they can afford tax avoidance schemes, and there is the growing black market. Whether you like it or not, we are seeing a gradual shift away from taxation on income towards taxation linked to your environmental impact. This is a relatively low-intervention way for the government to achieve our environmental treaty commitments.
Lets not forget that this tax on aviation, does help to level the playing field with rail, which presumably does pay tax on its fuel consumption?
 

jon0844

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I agree that air travel needs to pay its own way, but surely it needs to be a level playing field and not simply move all air travel abroad - with people finding ways to avoid the tax by getting separate flights to mainland Europe airports, taking the train or whatever.

Our economy will be hit in the long run, and that doesn't help us - nor does it actually cut air travel which I presume was the aim.

I doubt people on the highest incomes avoid all tax, but I'd be happier for them to pay less tax (as a percentage, which means they'd still pay a lot overall - but not lose 50% which only means companies will have to up their salaries, at the expense of other things no doubt) and keep the money in the UK, then spend that money that goes back into the UK economy.

If someone earns millions each year and then splashes the cash, let's encourage them to do it here - supporting our businesses. The problem is that I am sure many people who are/become rich (say, winning £45m on the Euromillions) may well think it's time to leave the UK.
 

Mike395

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Bear in mind lottery wins are tax-free, for the exact reason you state - they want to keep the money from those wins in the UK :)
 

radamfi

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Although for some reason, a lot of super-rich Russians live in London, pushing up property prices in some areas to astronomical levels.
 

jon0844

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Bear in mind lottery wins are tax-free, for the exact reason you state - they want to keep the money from those wins in the UK :)
Well, yes, but only because the tax was taken out of the stake.

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