Eurostar to Marseille from May 2015

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Oscar

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Whereas the majority of passengers travelling on the Eurostar are British citizens, who do not need a visa.
On Paris trains most people seem to be British, but there are significant numbers of French nationals and people from all over Europe and the world. London/Kent - Brussels passengers mainly seem to be British, Belgian, Dutch or German nationals. London/Kent - Lille passengers mainly seem to be British nationals with a few French nationals. Lille - Brussels passengers are presumably mainly French or Belgian nationals.
 
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philjo

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Does anyone know if this service will stop at Avignon? I was there the other week and there seemed to be a large choice of destinations being served. One could Aassume the existing Avignon service would be extended. I did not use the direct Eurostar service to and from Avignon as it had not started, but I did wounder how they handled check in security for the direct service when heading for London.
There was a brief article in the Evening Standard yesterday saying it would stop at Lyon & Avignon.
No mention of how frequently the service will run.
 

jaffa

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Travelled on a Eurostar yesterday, and in the onboard magazine for August there is an article on Lyon. It mentions the new service starting in May 2015, with a quoted time of 4h41 to Lyon and it also says it stops at Avignon before ending at Marseille, no duration for these destinations.
 

laird

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Didn't the Lyon Avignon service continue to Marseille to turn around previously?

The Lyon and South thereof service used the leading half of the train in each direction as passenger accommodation to remove the need for cleared cleaning staff and reducing the strain on Lille's border controls presumably it will be same again just with Marseille formally added at the Southern end of the route.
 

yorkie

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According to the website, the outward journey takes 6h27, while the return takes 7h50.

At first I thought the website was getting confused with time zones, but it appears to take that into account. Is that correct, and if so why does the return take so much longer?

Also the timetable appears to show indirect journey opportunities from Marseille to London with a 37 min connection in Lille as taking around an hour less than the direct service.
 

47513 Severn

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The extra time is probably for the immigration stop at Lille. Passengers making the indirect journey would also have to pass through immigration but they wouldn't be processing an entire trainload at once hence the shorter connection time being realistic.

47513
 

D6700

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In practical terms, it's a one-way service. The only benefit of the return train is that the connection at Lille is guaranteed to make!

From the Eurostar website:

"On the return leg travellers will need to leave the train at Lille Europe for security and immigration checks."

"On the way to the UK, simply board your train in Marseille Saint-Charles or Avignon TGV. You won’t need to check in or arrive 30 minutes before departure because we’ll be doing check-in, security and immigration checks later in the journey at our hub station in Lille. This is because the stations in Marseille, Avignon don’t have the facilities to do all the necessary checks. When you arrive in Lille, our on board and station teams will guide you every step of the way."
 

HowardGWR

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Anyone know where to find decent working timetables of these services? Is the new Lyon service separate from the Marseille service? It says the return Lille check (what an appalling nonsense!) is because Lyon does not have an immigration and security service. What about Marseille - it does have them I presume and how does it work if you have Marseille and Lyon pax on the same train?
 

jon0844

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Coming back from Disneyland, we had French passport checks and then the UK checks were done at St Pancras. Why can't that be the case for other trains?
 

NicholasNCE

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Anyone know where to find decent working timetables of these services? Is the new Lyon service separate from the Marseille service? It says the return Lille check (what an appalling nonsense!) is because Lyon does not have an immigration and security service. What about Marseille - it does have them I presume and how does it work if you have Marseille and Lyon pax on the same train?
One service runs to Marseille via Lyon and Avignon. All immigration & security issues on the northbound service are dealt with during the 90 min stop in Lille-Europe where all passengers must alight... Southbound everything happens in St Pancras as usual.

Southbound:
http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/tr...428&station_type=dep&currentReferrer=tp&rt=1&

Northbound: http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/tr...074&station_type=dep&currentReferrer=tp&rt=1&
 

JoeGJ1984

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Wasn't there an existing service to Avignon for ages now? What's the state of play with this? Does that have a stop for security at Lille northbound? What about the seasonal services to ski resorts?
 

HowardGWR

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Great tip! Thanks :)
Indeed, also my thanks. It looks as though you can at least rejoin the same train, looking at the internal timetable. THis whole business totally mystifies me. Immigration can be done with travelling officials between Lille and Ashford. Tunnel Security (now that really is a laugh when you consider the checks on other tunnel trains) apparently needs 75 minutes whereas it only needs 30 minutes at stations like St Pancras.

I'd love to know what the machinations about this are politically. Is it an airline sponsored attempt to strangle the railway companies?
 

30907

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It looks as though you can at least rejoin the same train, looking at the internal timetable.

Immigration can be done with travelling officials between Lille and Ashford.

Tunnel Security apparently needs 75 minutes whereas it only needs 30 minutes at stations like St Pancras.

I'd love to know what the machinations about this are politically. Is it an airline sponsored attempt to strangle the railway companies?
1. Yes, and that has been widely publicised. See also the report on Seat61.com from the first trip.

2. It could be, if HMG would allow it. But they want the problems kept off UK territory.

3. Lille isn't geared up for the passenger throughput of St. Pancras.

4. Whatever the politics, it's been the case for 20 years. And the airlines have it slightly worse - or their passengers do!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Wasn't there an existing service to Avignon for ages now? What's the state of play with this? Does that have a stop for security at Lille northbound? What about the seasonal services to ski resorts?
The Avignon Centre service had a dedicated temporary check in, as does the Ski train. But these are quiet stations with plenty of space by comparison with Marseille, Avignon TGV, and Lyon.
 

Ianigsy

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One of the constraints of Eurostar's operation is its comparatively small footprint at the various termini. About six weeks ago I was coming back from Brussels and several times the UK immigration people stopped the queue because not only were the Belgian exit passport desks understaffed but the rollers on one of the x-ray machines weren't working either. Unlike an airport, I suppose the immigration and exit facilities at Brussels are geared to a series of departures taking place at regular intervals through the day rather than a constant flow.

St Pancras certainly isn't big enough to undertake checks on everybody arriving- with potentially three arrivals in the space of an hour at the busiest times, you could end up with serious congestion and not being able to detrain passengers from the last arrival. I've often thought that if a competitor ever does materialise then perhaps they should be incentivised to use Stratford, which was presumably designed to have room for immigration facilities and a set of main line and tube links just as good as St Pancras- better if you want the West End or the hotel district around Hyde Park.
 

JoeGJ1984

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I wonder if there is a place for a London to Barcelona service? Note the exisiting Paris-Barcelona service has security checks at Barcelona, so could these could be easily adapted to run a direct Barcelona-London service without the stop at Lille?
 

Bletchleyite

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I wonder if there is a place for a London to Barcelona service? Note the exisiting Paris-Barcelona service has security checks at Barcelona, so could these could be easily adapted to run a direct Barcelona-London service without the stop at Lille?
Probably too far for much of a market when air is much quicker over that kind of distance, to be honest. A connection probably is sufficient for the likely market.

An extension to Amsterdam from Brussels, and possibly to Cologne, makes the most sense to me.
 

jopsuk

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St Pancras certainly isn't big enough to undertake checks on everybody arriving- with potentially three arrivals in the space of an hour at the busiest times, you could end up with serious congestion and not being able to detrain passengers from the last arrival. I've often thought that if a competitor ever does materialise then perhaps they should be incentivised to use Stratford, which was presumably designed to have room for immigration facilities and a set of main line and tube links just as good as St Pancras- better if you want the West End or the hotel district around Hyde Park.
If trains terminated at Stratford they'd still have to run to St Pancras to turn around in a platform there- there's no crossover accessible for a train terminating at the International arrival platform to use to shunt to the departure platform, unless it was to shunt out towards London, reverse up the ramp towards the depot, head back down onto the Down line, then finally shunt into the platform.
 

HowardGWR

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I wonder if there is a place for a London to Barcelona service? Note the exisiting Paris-Barcelona service has security checks at Barcelona, so could these could be easily adapted to run a direct Barcelona-London service without the stop at Lille?
Security checks have nothing to do with immigration checks. Spain and France are party to Schengen, so there aren't any.
 

EWS 58038

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The real killer is the requirement that all luggage passing through the tunnel must have been X-ray screened before boarding. For that you do have to either set up secure platforms and screening facilities at all the stops on the French side of the channel, or turf everyone off at Lille.
There is no such requirement. The Eurotunnel track access statement clearly states that 10 percent of the passengers carried by an operator will have to be checked. Eurostar has decided that it will perform a 100 percent check to avoid possible legal troubles by passengers who deem to be selected for a check because of their skin colour or ethnicity.

Carried by "an operator" indeed allows for full checks on the Paris and Brussels trains while other services will not have to be checked at all.
 
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HowardGWR

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There is no such requirement. The Eurotunnel track access statement clearly states that 10 percent of the passengers carried by an operator will have to be checked. Eurostar has decided that it will perform a 100 percent check to avoid possible legal troubles by passengers who deem to be selected for a check because of their skin colour or ethnicity.

Carried by "an operator" indeed allows for full checks on the Paris and Brussels trains while other services will not have to be checked at all.
Interesting. Can anyone explain why,if I am in a car, I can drive onto the car carrier trains with no checks whatsoever?
 

jon0844

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You drive over a scanner of sorts don't you?

I've been pulled once, by someone of the belief that the car may have had an LPG conversion - so it was everything out of the boot to check and confirm we hadn't.
 

HowardGWR

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You drive over a scanner of sorts don't you?

I've been pulled once, by someone of the belief that the car may have had an LPG conversion - so it was everything out of the boot to check and confirm we hadn't.
Thanks for that. Well, if that facility is so easy, it could be equally used for the train carriages, one would imagine. I would love to know the truth of all this, as it does not seem to prevent even actual illegal immigrants (who could be armed) getting through and leaving lorries in Motorway services or on the A303 in deepest Somerset, does it?

That excuse about not only doing 10% checks, because of feared discrimination legal action, does not wash IMO, because the airline security do that all the time, as one explained to me apologetically, once.

This is a major shortcoming, if trans-EU rail services from UK are to expand and undoes much of rail's advantages. One would think the International TOCs would be hard on the case.

You wonder how the rest of the EU manages to do without all these checks (chuckle). There are tunnels galore, (and what about the Severn Tunnel)?

It's a 'jobs worth' situation it would appear.
 

TheKnightWho

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Thanks for that. Well, if that facility is so easy, it could be equally used for the train carriages, one would imagine. I would love to know the truth of all this, as it does not seem to prevent even actual illegal immigrants (who could be armed) getting through and leaving lorries in Motorway services or on the A303 in deepest Somerset, does it?

That excuse about not only doing 10% checks, because of feared discrimination legal action, does not wash IMO, because the airline security do that all the time, as one explained to me apologetically, once.

This is a major shortcoming, if trans-EU rail services from UK are to expand and undoes much of rail's advantages. One would think the International TOCs would be hard on the case.

You wonder how the rest of the EU manages to do without all these checks (chuckle). There are tunnels galore, (and what about the Severn Tunnel)?

It's a 'jobs worth' situation it would appear.
It's a "we're terrified of foreigners" situation, more like ;)
 

HowardGWR

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It's a "we're terrified of foreigners" situation, more like ;)
Which, as the worst outrages (Tube and bus) were perpetrated by people born here and living here plus, in the past, some by IRA, who were not checked at all, (nor were most ever caught by the way) seems a pointless activity.

Er, rant over (I think).:D

If anyone samples the return service from Lyon, I'd love to know how it went. Do you leave the luggage on board and someone walks through with a scanner? It's not like the airlines (knives, liquids,etc) so what are they after?
 
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