Mixed news from France

MikeR

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Mixed news from France. On the one hand "the Government has committed over 4 billion Euros earlier than planned to the TGV Paris-Toulouse project." The Connexion:

https://www.connexionfrance.com/Pra...s-and-Toulouse-in-three-hours-brought-forward
Work on a high-speed direct rail link between Paris and Toulouse is to start in 2024, five years ahead of schedule.
Currently, travel between the two cities on the high-speed TGV service means passing through Bordeaux, bringing the total journey time to four-and-a-half hours.
The new link will cut journey times by 90 minutes to three hours.

On the other, "the proposed 2022 start of a high speed link between London and Bordeaux is delayed because of a lack of interested parties". The Connexion

[URL"]https://www.connexionfrance.com/Fre...357774454&mc_cid=ade7865c31&mc_eid=94811dc492[/URL]

Rail firms not interested in London to Bordeaux high-speed train link​

The plan was promoted by HS1, the British operator of the high-speed line between the Channel Tunnel and London, and ceremonies were held at Bordeaux and Saint Pancras in 2019.
However, to start in 2022, an operator will have had to commit to the route, so timetables and reservation systems can be put in place.

HS1 said it will not run the trains in 2022, though it remains convinced of the potential of “an exciting new service”.

These two events have come to a bit more prominence in Regional Newspapers following on from the proposed reductions in domestic flights. The Connexion is an English language paper published in France.
 
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brooklynbound

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But a group in Charente are hoping to become the first private high speed operator with regional services..

A new railway company called "Le Train" wants to operate high-speed trains from December 2022 in New Aquitaine, mainly between Arcachon, Bordeaux, Angoulême and Poitiers, its managing director said on Wednesday.

“This is the creation of a new rail operator in France, the first private high-speed operator. It is a project resulting from the territories ”, explained the leader Alain Getraud.


There is still "a lot of room" on the new South Europe Atlantic line (Tours-Bordeaux) opened in 2017, where SNCF mainly operates Paris-Bordeaux trains, he noted. Hence the idea of a new entrant “focused on intraregional or interregional traffic” and who will offer “speed”.
 
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MikeR

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But a group in Charente are hoping to become the first private high speed operator with regional services..

Interesting. I am a Sudouest reader but for Lot et Garonne and hadn't seen that. There are also plans to reintroduce a cross country service from the SW to Lyon.
 

popeter45

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any idea how a proposed Bordeaux service would route round Paris?, the LGV interconnexion Est - Atlantique connection is very windy and slow and i belive actually needs a reversal at one point?
 

MikeR

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any idea how a proposed Bordeaux service would route round Paris?, the LGV interconnexion Est - Atlantique connection is very windy and slow and i belive actually needs a reversal at one point?
I will have a dig and try and post a link tomorrow that I saw.
 

30907

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any idea how a proposed Bordeaux service would route round Paris?, the LGV interconnexion Est - Atlantique connection is very windy and slow and i belive actually needs a reversal at one point?
Same as present Lille-Bordeaux services.
There is a south-to-west connection at Valenton (which you reach from the Interconnexion, as you say) from the LGV to the Grande Ceinture, so no reversal - but slow.

Not surprised about London-Bordeaux - Lille-Bordeaux is IIRC only 2tpd, so 1/4 the level of Lille-Lyon-Med.
 

Bald Rick

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any idea how a proposed Bordeaux service would route round Paris?, the LGV interconnexion Est - Atlantique connection is very windy and slow and i belive actually needs a reversal at one point?

It is slow, but no reversal required. It’s half an hour by TGV from Marne La Vallée to Massy TGV. That would make a London - Bordeaux service (assuming a stop at Marne La Vallée for Disney) about 4h45 if the paths aligned perfectly. There would, naturally and unfortunately, be border control issues on the return.

To put it into context London - Bordeaux is roughly the same size market as London - Inverness. The latter supports two direct trains a day, one a very heavily subsidised sleeper, and the other that carries mostly intermediate traffic; perhaps 5-10% of all people who use that service are travelling end to end.

A London - Bordeaux service could work, but in my opinion only in summer, only on certain days of the week (Thurs - Mon), and only in conjunction with another traffic objective, most likely MLV for Disney and possibly St Pierre de Corps for the Loire Valley, the latter of which would add 15 mins on to the Bordeaux time.
 

popeter45

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It is slow, but no reversal required. It’s half an hour by TGV from Marne La Vallée to Massy TGV. That would make a London - Bordeaux service (assuming a stop at Marne La Vallée for Disney) about 4h45 if the paths aligned perfectly. There would, naturally and unfortunately, be border control issues on the return.

To put it into context London - Bordeaux is roughly the same size market as London - Inverness. The latter supports two direct trains a day, one a very heavily subsidised sleeper, and the other that carries mostly intermediate traffic; perhaps 5-10% of all people who use that service are travelling end to end.

A London - Bordeaux service could work, but in my opinion only in summer, only on certain days of the week (Thurs - Mon), and only in conjunction with another traffic objective, most likely MLV for Disney and possibly St Pierre de Corps for the Loire Valley, the latter of which would add 15 mins on to the Bordeaux time.
yea i dont see why they would want an entirly new opeator for such a service
maybe they could run it as an extension of the disney train or during the summer akin to the Marsille service
 

30907

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yea i dont see why they would want an entirly new opeator for such a service
maybe they could run it as an extension of the disney train or during the summer akin to the Marsille service
I suspect because Eurostar weren't enthusiastic enough?
 

peteb

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It is slow, but no reversal required. It’s half an hour by TGV from Marne La Vallée to Massy TGV. That would make a London - Bordeaux service (assuming a stop at Marne La Vallée for Disney) about 4h45 if the paths aligned perfectly. There would, naturally and unfortunately, be border control issues on the return.

To put it into context London - Bordeaux is roughly the same size market as London - Inverness. The latter supports two direct trains a day, one a very heavily subsidised sleeper, and the other that carries mostly intermediate traffic; perhaps 5-10% of all people who use that service are travelling end to end.

A London - Bordeaux service could work, but in my opinion only in summer, only on certain days of the week (Thurs - Mon), and only in conjunction with another traffic objective, most likely MLV for Disney and possibly St Pierre de Corps for the Loire Valley, the latter of which would add 15 mins on to the Bordeaux time.
5 hrs London to Bordeaux with stops at Marne La Valee and St Pierre des Corps sounds pretty reasonable: add 45 mins for a check-in process at St Pancras and its more or less 6 hours. So an 8am departure from London gives 3pm arrival at Bordeaux, 2 hrs to turn round and given the same path back, arrival in London 10pm (times allow +1 out, -1 return). Doing the same to LHR and flying is a minimum of 3hrs to take off from St Pancras, an hour and a half flight time, baggage collect, customs, taxi, bus etc to city centre, its about 6 hours......and the train carries 4 plane loads potentially. So not a bad idea at all.
 

30907

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5 hrs London to Bordeaux with stops at Marne La Valee and St Pierre des Corps sounds pretty reasonable: add 45 mins for a check-in process at St Pancras and its more or less 6 hours. So an 8am departure from London gives 3pm arrival at Bordeaux, 2 hrs to turn round and given the same path back, arrival in London 10pm (times allow +1 out, -1 return).
SPDC would be reasonable for rail+drive for the Vendee (and even Brittany) too. You might as well add Massy for the southern suburbs of Paris.

London-Avignon is about 6hr actual travel - but I suspect the market is stronger for the Med coast than the Atlantic plus Dordogne.
 

Bald Rick

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5 hrs London to Bordeaux with stops at Marne La Valee and St Pierre des Corps sounds pretty reasonable: add 45 mins for a check-in process at St Pancras and its more or less 6 hours. So an 8am departure from London gives 3pm arrival at Bordeaux, 2 hrs to turn round and given the same path back, arrival in London 10pm (times allow +1 out, -1 return). Doing the same to LHR and flying is a minimum of 3hrs to take off from St Pancras, an hour and a half flight time, baggage collect, customs, taxi, bus etc to city centre, its about 6 hours......and the train carries 4 plane loads potentially. So not a bad idea at all.

Hmm.. of course people making ‘London’ to (say) Bordeaux trips aren’t starting at St Pancras; typically they are starting at home. And they certainly don’t all leave from Heathrow. If I was making the trip I would leave home 2 hours before flight departure from Luton, or 1h30 before train departure from St Pancras. Each traveller’s equivalent will vary of course, but I’d expect it to be quicker by plane for almost everyone to Bordeaux. (As it is to Provence and Marseille). However, the train would be a nicer experience.

St Pierre De Corps would be much more competitive time wise.

London-Avignon is about 6hr actual travel - but I suspect the market is stronger for the Med coast than the Atlantic plus Dordogne.

I suspect it’s about the same - much of the Atlantic Coast traffic from the U.K. is by car, especially with a ferry to St Malo. Less so for the med Coast.
 

30907

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I suspect (the market)’s about the same - much of the Atlantic Coast traffic from the U.K. is by car, especially with a ferry to St Malo. Less so for the med Coast.
Agreed. Not sure rail will ever compete with the car-packed-full 2-week holiday market, but it might well with air.
Unless of course you live some hours further North and would have to factor in an overnight by rail... that said, I can do Shipley- Avignon comfortably by dinner time and am tossing up whether our next trip to France will be car or rail+ drive.
 

peteb

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Agreed. Not sure rail will ever compete with the car-packed-full 2-week holiday market, but it might well with air.
Unless of course you live some hours further North and would have to factor in an overnight by rail... that said, I can do Shipley- Avignon comfortably by dinner time and am tossing up whether our next trip to France will be car or rail+ drive.
The pre-covid Eurostar direct London to Lyon service left too early for us to catch from Kidderminster so we invariably flew BHX TO LYS. With the demise of direct flights we'd really appreciate later eg 9am London departures direct to France, but of course by changing at Lille it is possible in theory to get to most French extremities by TGV in a day.

However, the train would be a nicer experience.
Agreed, far more spacious than a plane even in airline seat configuration and freedom to walk the length of the train is a boon.
 

Bald Rick

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With the demise of direct flights we'd really appreciate later eg 9am London departures direct to France, but of course by changing at Lille it is possible in theory to get to most French extremities by TGV in a day.

Going any later runs into difficulty for the return leg, a (say) 0900 off St P wouldn’t be back until midnight.
 

Chester1

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It is slow, but no reversal required. It’s half an hour by TGV from Marne La Vallée to Massy TGV. That would make a London - Bordeaux service (assuming a stop at Marne La Vallée for Disney) about 4h45 if the paths aligned perfectly. There would, naturally and unfortunately, be border control issues on the return.

To put it into context London - Bordeaux is roughly the same size market as London - Inverness. The latter supports two direct trains a day, one a very heavily subsidised sleeper, and the other that carries mostly intermediate traffic; perhaps 5-10% of all people who use that service are travelling end to end.

A London - Bordeaux service could work, but in my opinion only in summer, only on certain days of the week (Thurs - Mon), and only in conjunction with another traffic objective, most likely MLV for Disney and possibly St Pierre de Corps for the Loire Valley, the latter of which would add 15 mins on to the Bordeaux time.

What your proposing is essentially a duplicate of Eurostar's suspended London-Marseille service. There would be a decent market for that but nothing more.

In the long term I would like to see the ski trains routed via Lyon and the Marseille service season extended so that Lyon gets an all year around Saturday service.
 

miami

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Doing the same to LHR and flying is a minimum of 3hrs to take off from St Pancras, an hour and a half flight time, baggage collect, customs, taxi, bus etc to city centre, its about 6 hours......and the train carries 4 plane loads potentially. So not a bad idea at all.

This chesnut again.

At least pre-covid, 1 hour from St P to Heathrow on the tube and 1 hour at Heathrow before wheels up is more than enough. Baggage collection? If I'm taking so much stuff I'm avoiding hand luggage, then it's not going to be comfortable taking it on the train.

And for most people they don't like at St Pancras and want to go to Beaudaux Station. From an arbitrary place in central london which will likely add 20 minutes to the train and knock 20 minutes from the plane

From an arbitary location like Westminster, Frank who's flying could expect to be in a Beaudaux hotel in 4 hours. On the train, Terry would take an hour from leaving Westmisnter to wheels moving at St Pancras, by the time the train has passed Paris with another 2-2.5 hours to go., Frank would be in the taxi from the airport.
 

Clayton

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This chesnut again.

At least pre-covid, 1 hour from St P to Heathrow on the tube and 1 hour at Heathrow before wheels up is more than enough. Baggage collection? If I'm taking so much stuff I'm avoiding hand luggage, then it's not going to be comfortable taking it on the train.

And for most people they don't like at St Pancras and want to go to Beaudaux Station. From an arbitrary place in central london which will likely add 20 minutes to the train and knock 20 minutes from the plane

From an arbitary location like Westminster, Frank who's flying could expect to be in a Beaudaux hotel in 4 hours. On the train, Terry would take an hour from leaving Westmisnter to wheels moving at St Pancras, by the time the train has passed Paris with another 2-2.5 hours to go., Frank would be in the taxi from the airport.
Well some people might live nearer Heathrow and others live nearer St Pancras, so rail would work better for some than others. And it’s not all about pure speed, rail can be a pleasanter experience.
 

Bald Rick

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What your proposing is essentially a duplicate of Eurostar's suspended London-Marseille service. There would be a decent market for that but nothing more.

In the long term I would like to see the ski trains routed via Lyon and the Marseille service season extended so that Lyon gets an all year around Saturday service.

The ski trains do go via Lyon (St Exupery) I thought? They just don’t stop! And they don’t stop because they are normally well loaded with skiers.

This chesnut again.

At least pre-covid, 1 hour from St P to Heathrow on the tube and 1 hour at Heathrow before wheels up is more than enough. Baggage collection? If I'm taking so much stuff I'm avoiding hand luggage, then it's not going to be comfortable taking it on the train.

And for most people they don't like at St Pancras and want to go to Beaudaux Station. From an arbitrary place in central london which will likely add 20 minutes to the train and knock 20 minutes from the plane

From an arbitary location like Westminster, Frank who's flying could expect to be in a Beaudaux hotel in 4 hours. On the train, Terry would take an hour from leaving Westmisnter to wheels moving at St Pancras, by the time the train has passed Paris with another 2-2.5 hours to go., Frank would be in the taxi from the airport.

Agreed. But... some people do get the train London - Inverness / Aberdeen, which is a similar time for train / flights.
 

miami

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The ski trains do go via Lyon (St Exupery) I thought? They just don’t stop! And they don’t stop because they are normally well loaded with skiers.

Well they've got to somehow go past a line stretching from Le Harve, Paris, Metz to get from Calais to Bordeaux

The train is almost always going to be slower than a plane for the average journey where a train is taking 4 hours+. That doesn't mean the train will



Agreed. But... some people do get the train London - Inverness / Aberdeen, which is a similar time for train / flights.

Nowhere near the same time. Tomorrow you leave your house near Holm primary school in Inverness at 1415. At 1435 you leave the taxi at Inverness airport and proceed to go through security, getting to the gate at 1455, you buy a coffee and board the plane about 1515 for departure at 1530. 30 minutes of buffer built in for a late taxi etc.

You arrive at Heathrow at 1650, and assuming it's still pre-covid, you're at the Heathrow Express platform (or taxi rank) for 1700, Paddington about 1730, and your hotel before 1800.

Total time 3 hours 45 minutes.

Instead you could take the train. To arrive at your hotel at 1800 means a c. 1730 arrival at Kings Cross, so the 08:45 from Inverness, changing at Perth and Inverkeithing. To get that train you need the 0845 from Inverness station, which means you'd have to get there for 0840 with no buffer time, so at 0830 taxi from home to get to Kings Cross for 1700.

Total time 9 hours, 9h30 including a bit of buffer for a late taxi.
 

Bald Rick

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Well they've got to somehow go past a line stretching from Le Harve, Paris, Metz to get from Calais to Bordeaux

The train is almost always going to be slower than a plane for the average journey where a train is taking 4 hours+. That doesn't mean the train will





Nowhere near the same time. Tomorrow you leave your house near Holm primary school in Inverness at 1415. At 1435 you leave the taxi at Inverness airport and proceed to go through security, getting to the gate at 1455, you buy a coffee and board the plane about 1515 for departure at 1530. 30 minutes of buffer built in for a late taxi etc.

You arrive at Heathrow at 1650, and assuming it's still pre-covid, you're at the Heathrow Express platform (or taxi rank) for 1700, Paddington about 1730, and your hotel before 1800.

Total time 3 hours 45 minutes.

Instead you could take the train. To arrive at your hotel at 1800 means a c. 1730 arrival at Kings Cross, so the 08:45 from Inverness, changing at Perth and Inverkeithing. To get that train you need the 0845 from Inverness station, which means you'd have to get there for 0840 with no buffer time, so at 0830 taxi from home to get to Kings Cross for 1700.

Total time 9 hours, 9h30 including a bit of buffer for a late taxi.

Sorry, My fault for not explaining, I meant the same time for flights INV/ABZ to London as Bordeaux - London; clearly the train is much longer. Also the train times are longer for INV / ABD to London than a London - Bordeaux service would be. But still quite a few people prefer the train (and it is usually more expensive).
 

paul1609

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Sorry, My fault for not explaining, I meant the same time for flights INV/ABZ to London as Bordeaux - London; clearly the train is much longer. Also the train times are longer for INV / ABD to London than a London - Bordeaux service would be. But still quite a few people prefer the train (and it is usually more expensive).
Personally my experience is that people travelling from London to beyond Edinburgh on the Aberdeen/ Inverness services are few and far between. Id say that on arrival at Edinburgh more than 50% of passengers alight. There are through passengers from the likes of Yorkshire and Newcastle but numbers from London are pretty low.
 

Bald Rick

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Personally my experience is that people travelling from London to beyond Edinburgh on the Aberdeen/ Inverness services are few and far between. Id say that on arrival at Edinburgh more than 50% of passengers alight. There are through passengers from the likes of Yorkshire and Newcastle but numbers from London are pretty low.

In my experience I agree, with the caveat that it varies by day of the week. Thursdays / Fridays northbound seem to have more.
 

miami

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If it was an extension of an existing service and could take France-France internal traffic then perhaps, although 1 train a day for Inverness seems more like a political token than a useful service. It's not like you have to cross London to connect at places like Haymarket.

However our ridiculous decision to avoid Schengen, coupled with the security theatre of metal detectors, dooms the potential of cross channel rail. All the downsides of slow trains, with far less market (I expect Inverness-London demand is far higher than Beudoux-London), but with the added downsides of checkin, "security", passports etc.

Eurostar was always operated as a plane on the ground rather than a part of the train network, and as such it gets the bad side of planes and trains. Last time I came from Brussels, rather than a half hour taxi to the station, arriving 45 minutes before wheel-move, then 2 hours to St Pancras, then having to get out of London, I instead did the same thing on a flight to Heathrow. By the time my counter-factual self would have got to Calais, I was at Heathrow. By time I'd have been through Ashford, I was in the car on the M40, and by the time I got through St Pancras I was well passed Oxford.

Get rid of that checkin and it becomes more competitive, and obviously on occasions I stay in central London one day and travel to Brussels the next day the train wins on that route, but that's a 2 hour journey.

Make the train easy and flexible and sure, I'll take the train for 4 hours rather than a plane for 90 minutes, but much beyond that and it would be an unusual decision. Eurostar is not easy or flexible though.
 

Bald Rick

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All the downsides of slow trains, with far less market (I expect Inverness-London demand is far higher than Beudoux-London), but with the added downsides of checkin, "security", passports etc.

As it happens there are more air passengers London - Bordeaux than London - Inverness (pre Covid).
 

paul1609

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If it was an extension of an existing service and could take France-France internal traffic then perhaps, although 1 train a day for Inverness seems more like a political token than a useful service. It's not like you have to cross London to connect at places like Haymarket.

However our ridiculous decision to avoid Schengen, coupled with the security theatre of metal detectors, dooms the potential of cross channel rail. All the downsides of slow trains, with far less market (I expect Inverness-London demand is far higher than Beudoux-London), but with the added downsides of checkin, "security", passports etc.

Eurostar was always operated as a plane on the ground rather than a part of the train network, and as such it gets the bad side of planes and trains. Last time I came from Brussels, rather than a half hour taxi to the station, arriving 45 minutes before wheel-move, then 2 hours to St Pancras, then having to get out of London, I instead did the same thing on a flight to Heathrow. By the time my counter-factual self would have got to Calais, I was at Heathrow. By time I'd have been through Ashford, I was in the car on the M40, and by the time I got through St Pancras I was well passed Oxford.

Get rid of that checkin and it becomes more competitive, and obviously on occasions I stay in central London one day and travel to Brussels the next day the train wins on that route, but that's a 2 hour journey.

Make the train easy and flexible and sure, I'll take the train for 4 hours rather than a plane for 90 minutes, but much beyond that and it would be an unusual decision. Eurostar is not easy or flexible though.
Surely if you did away with the check in on Eurostar you could also do it on the competing airline so the Heathrow flight would still have the advantage that its 20 miles closer to Oxford than St Pancras?
 

miami

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No, because with a plane there are reasons to have security (hijacking a plane). There is no need on a train or car, it's an advantage that the train has

Rock up to Brussels for an hourly train to London in the same way you rock up to Kings Cross for a train to Edinburgh means that you don't need as much buffer time in case your taxi is late. It's 5 minutes from taxi drop off to getting on the train, so you're saving 40 minutes on the trip, which makes thinking about taking a train from Euston 20 minutes after arrival at St Pancras realistic. You can be in Stafford 2 hours after arriving at St Pancras, so 4h30 from your Brussels location to Stafford, which would beat the plane+car

Even heading towards Bristol, saving 40 minutes means you're looking at a similar time to getting to the M25 even if you're driving (assuming you are met by a car from St Pancras). The plane might be a little faster, but not 60-90 minutes faster.
 

Austriantrain

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No, because with a plane there are reasons to have security (hijacking a plane). There is no need on a train or car, it's an advantage that the train has

Indeed. As long as car and lorry shuttles run directly in front or behind a E*, security controls are worthless. If you want to bomb the tunnel, put the bomb in a lorry.

For good reasons, rail tunnels that are as long as Eurotunnel do not have Security Checks; nor do road tunnels. These check actually do not improve security.
 

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