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Old November 21st, 2017, 12:18 PM   #101
Eulanthe
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I've also found this

Which shows how it worked in 2007 - you can see that the platform is divided into two, and passengers from Germany wanting to access the Czech train have to cross to the platform, go through passport control and then walk back across the tracks.

From what I've read, controls here were often non-existent after the Czech Republic joined the EU, and it seems that the German guard post on the platform was removed at some point before Schengen - there's a picture here that shows it.

edit: found the pre-EU situation in the car park here.
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Old November 21st, 2017, 01:46 PM   #102
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Pre-Schengen and post-EU-accession period was characterized by ridiculously relaxed border officers.
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Old November 21st, 2017, 02:17 PM   #103
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Therefore... did any train had to release all passengers taken off, passing booths, train advancing a little and taking on again?
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Old November 21st, 2017, 04:26 PM   #104
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A quite easier crossing border via railway one...

As it is known, Spanish and Portuguese classic network have different gauge than standard one (called classic gauge) and high speed lines have standard gauge.

in the late 200X it was u/c a line from Barcelona to the border. It remains no link with high speed in France but at least it is same gauge (in next months it will arrive until Montpellier.....)

There is an international tunnel with Figueres in the south and Perpignan in the north which was ready.

SNCF linked it to its network and it was possible to make a Paris-Figueres journey. It run twice per day.

What about Renfe?. For a while they made a deviation from Girona-Figueres line to Figueres-Vilafant HSL station

It was here

https://www.google.es/maps/@42.22861...!3m1!1e3?hl=es

and reaching the station here while HSL was still u/c in Spain

https://www.google.es/maps/@42.26492...!3m1!1e3?hl=es

(I guess they are to continue this line over north and get out all lines at Figueres through Port Bou and Cerbère)


Therefore, for a while, Figueres-Vilafant station had HSL to the north in standard gauge and only classic gauge to the south. Some years later HSL with standard gauge to the south too but not at the beginning.

What did they do?

SNCF had two daily Paris-Figueres and Renfe set two Figueres-Barcelona trains with a 20 minutes gap to link.

What should you had to do to change train?????

Only crossing platform from one side to the other.




This situation remained for several years. Trains approached Figueres, passengers took off, walked for a couple of mettres and without any check took on another train, never mind if direction Spain or France

Nowadays high speed line is finished, so in summer there are four daily Paris-Barcelona served by SNCF and Madrid-Barcelona-Marseille, Barcelona-Lyon and Barcelona-Toulouse by Renfe.

Trains run all the time on standard gauge and always on high speed line except between Perpignan and Nîmes where there is a gap (in the next months only Perpignan and Montpellier, because it is under construction).
It takes 6h30m Barcelona-Paris (6h10 or less in the next months and could decrease a little more) city centre to city centre.


I asked about controls even when Barcelona attacks (no controls, or maybe officers were quite hidden) and when Paris attacks (barely controls in Perpignan. Officers entered into train and went over it looking people but not like in an airport, Despite all controls in airports and roads, people hadn't to take off the train and it was really fast).

Nowadays it is just a train without any control (Train had an homologation and could do a Malaga-Paris... and with more homologations, for instance, Malaga-Brussels... or more) in the entrance and you only know have change country because it will call in both stations.

But when those years that they had to change the train, there was no control at all. Just go through!!!!


AFAIK, to drive these trains it is compulsory to have at least a B1 level in Spanish and French, not strong level, but they just ask should they have to receive any special message... and for cafeteria-wagon an A2 level in both languages. Enough to ask "May I help you?" or so.
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Old November 21st, 2017, 07:18 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alserrod View Post
Therefore... did any train had to release all passengers taken off, passing booths, train advancing a little and taking on again?
As far as I know, there weren't any through trains, but rather trains ended/started there. So for instance, the German train would pull in, and any passengers wanting to carry on their journey would cross over to the station, go through passport/customs control and then walk back across the tracks to the Czech train.

Here's another picture of the 'border defences' inside the station after the Cold War ended.

here. - and also another picture showing how the platform was guarded here

What's most interesting about German/Czech borders is that they were keen on putting passport control facilities in stations, which wasn't the case on the German/Polish borders. For instance, Zittau had German and Czech passport/customs present, but nothing similar existed in Frankfurt (Oder) after the end of the DDR.

Last edited by Eulanthe; November 21st, 2017 at 07:24 PM.
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Old November 21st, 2017, 07:38 PM   #106
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Thru trains ceased to be operated in 1951 due to the freedom train accident (in other part of Czechoslovakia a train driver made a deal with some passengers and did not stopped at the last stop in Czechoslovakia, just left). Thus the lines were split. The German one ended in this station while the Czechoslovak one a stop earlier (due to "safety reasons"). Therefore Czech site looked that neglected.
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Old November 21st, 2017, 08:56 PM   #107
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Just to show the modern day situation - actually, things haven't changed that much post-Schengen with the exception of border police leaving the posts there.

this link shows how passengers from Germany still have to cross to the station and that there's still no possibility to walk from a German train to a Czech train directly.

https://www.google.pl/maps/@49.12105...0!8i6600?dcr=0

This aerial view also shows perfectly how the two stations are operationally separate.

edit: another picture showing how the situation looked in the 1990's here. As you can clearly see, the Czech border police are active, but this was a tourist border crossing and therefore not always controlled. One of the great absurdities of 1990's borders in Europe was that some places had very strict and thorough controls (such as Mikoluv/Drasenhofen between CZ-A by road) - while other border crossings were pretty much wide open, like this one.

Interestingly, this area was also home to a truly absurd situation: the crossing in this picture was only open for European citizens, while the train station was an international rail border crossing, open to all as long as they had the correct documentation. So - if you were from somewhere like the USA, you had to go to the platform and cross the border there, while your European friend could cross outside the station.

Last edited by Eulanthe; November 22nd, 2017 at 12:21 AM.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 01:57 PM   #108
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I got the solution: Rebuild the platforms and rails of the station, and don't look at the borders. Give platform 1 to the Germans (because they alway drive with railbusses) and give platform 2 to the Czechs with a circulation track (?) for czech locomotives. Other option is a cross-platform where people can change trains, and platform 1 being "extra". Maintennce is not a problem if you make clear rules.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 02:20 PM   #109
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Have found nothing about current E-F border pass by rail (except HSL at Figueres)

but... for instance even at Hendaye and at Irun and Port Bou and Cerbere it is weird but...

There is no international station but each town has its station (between Irun-Hendaye there's a river and between Cerbere-Port Bou there's a tunnel)

National trains ARRIVES with passengers to the other country and turn back empty (in the case of Irun-Hendaye, barely one km).
National trains DEPARTS with passengers from the own country.
This is, there are Irun-anywhere of Spain (or Lisbon) and Hendaye-anywhere of France, not conversely.

(nowadays there are barely services. Due to works, most of trains end at San Sebastian and have to take a commuter for one year more. They are preparing HSL)

The situation is as in the past with the same booths. This is, between Irun and Hendaye there is a bridge and two gauges, international gauge and Spanish (and Portuguese) gauge

Arriving to Hendaye, there will be two platforms for Spanish gauge trains. You take off and, before taking a little tunnel under main platforms to reach main building, there are two booths, one for customs in each side and a yellow line in the middle pointing "border" (despite there was one "border" inside Spain and another one inside France).
This is... even if train had reached France, until you crossed that line you were under Spanish authorities still and conversely when reachin Spain but not crossing yet the French booth.

Both polices could ask for passports and check baggage in both sides. This is a person going Spain-France will arrive to Hendaye and will have to show baggage and passport to Spanish police (who could refuse to quit the country and take him back in the same train), crossing the "yellow line" and some mettres later, same issue with French police.

Going to Spain, same issue but in Irun and first French police and later Spanish police.

After being more than one year crossing that border several times, only once I was requested for baggage checking in the same custom in France (and barely saw I was normal baggage but I guess they saw too many things for a single passenger) and another time in Spain for passports (they were under some kind of people because while I was looking for passport they just asked me where I was going to, I answered that to my home and the city and say... keep on...".

Boots remain. I guess that maintenance is done by each company. This is, French gauge in Spain by French company and conversely.
In less than one year it will be possible to have international trains with standard gauge so, they will be able to go through both main buildings at Irun and Hendaye.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 11:36 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Real Gentleman View Post
I got the solution: Rebuild the platforms and rails of the station, and don't look at the borders. Give platform 1 to the Germans (because they alway drive with railbusses) and give platform 2 to the Czechs with a circulation track (?) for czech locomotives. Other option is a cross-platform where people can change trains, and platform 1 being "extra". Maintennce is not a problem if you make clear rules.
But that implies cross-border cooperation It's not going to change now, but it is weird that you still have to cross the border on the station-side platform rather than just walking along the central platform.
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 12:24 AM   #111
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But it doesn't look like you have to explicitly cross the border. One of the platforms even seems to have a direct passage from the Czech side to the German side: https://goo.gl/maps/MVKJJUmCbTx

And the one just next to the station building also has a direct connection between the Czech and the German part. It is even possible e.g. for a longer train to stop at both parts at once.

Both Czechs and Germans use railbuses here.
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 08:30 AM   #112
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It is weird to have a doubled station without international traffic, no facilities for customs when they existed and only half of building.

It would be easier to have stations in the middle of towns instead of border. People go to town... not to border (and you can set custom near border)
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 10:42 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpc21 View Post
But it doesn't look like you have to explicitly cross the border. One of the platforms even seems to have a direct passage from the Czech side to the German side: https://goo.gl/maps/MVKJJUmCbTx

Look here - you can see how the island platform is closed, and you have to walk over to the other platform.

It's weird, and I'd love to make a site visit to myself to confirm that this is how it works there.

Quote:
And the one just next to the station building also has a direct connection between the Czech and the German part. It is even possible e.g. for a longer train to stop at both parts at once.
Yes, that was the location of the old international border crossing. Passengers would get off on the German side, walk over to that platform, cross the border, then cross back over to the island platform to get the Czech train. The border wasn't physically blocked, except with a rope and a couple of signs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alserrod
It is weird to have a doubled station without international traffic, no facilities for customs when they existed and only half of building.
Facilities did exist - the Germans had a little cabin on the platform, while the Czechs occupied a room next to the border line. It was more than enough for the small amount of traffic there - if there was any doubt, the Czech or German border police could arrange for transfer to the main road crossing for further examination.

As for the tourist crossing outside the station, it was pretty much normal for them not to have any infrastructure associated with them.
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 11:39 PM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
Look here - you can see how the island platform is closed, and you have to walk over to the other platform.

It's weird, and I'd love to make a site visit to myself to confirm that this is how it works there.
Hm... It seems you are right. But it's difficult to explain now, in Schengen times, when all the borders can be, basically, crossed freely. So it seems that those "no entry" signs must be solely due to some railway regulations.

It's stupid that you have to cross some tracks to another platform, walk on it, and return to the platform on which you were crossing the same tracks.

And, normally, crossing tracks by passengers is usually being avoided in railway whenever it is possible... Here it's different.

The station just at the border makes a lot of sense, because you can easily switch there between the trains and railway systems of two countries, without walking through the town e.g. with luggage, as it is, for example, in Cieszyn/Cesky Tesin.
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