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Old February 26th, 2014, 07:23 AM   #2301
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Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
Rather not taking that seriously than having the TGVs like a pigsty. Yesterday I did a return Tarragona-Montpellier trip, and the TGV Duplex that took me back to Barcelona had the wc out of order, they were so, so dirty you could not even enter, such was the stench. Every AVE (and TGV, even if they´re not ours?) leaving Madrid or Barcelona northbound leaves the station crystal clean.
RENFE is doing a good job when it comes to running clean, punctual trains. However you will have noticed that your luggage was not scanned in Montpellier which kind of proves my point: it's just theatre, doesn't serve anything.

Operators running through the channel tunnel however currently don't have the option to just skip the luggage scan when it's impractical... That's why we won't see services like Frankfurt - London or Zürich - London anytime soon. Unless the rules change.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 07:28 AM   #2302
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Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
Eurotunnel requires luggage to be screened as part of the security protocol. Trucks and cars also go through scanners when they onboard Le Shuttle services.
Actually most cars and trucks aren't screened at all...
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Luggage screening could be done on platforms or perhaps on board of a train (using dogs).
He would it be done on the platforms?



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The biggest problem is UK Border Control: the UK doesn't want trains that haven't been checked yet to enter their soil as High Speed 1 does not count as 'international territory' like airports. It's very hard to make sure no castaways are on board a train as they can hide nearly anywhere.
Well, they do seem to treat seem Eurostar services as "foreign" and have all passengers go through immigration on arrival. I see no reason why a train from eg. Amsterdam couldn't be handled that way as well.
But I don't see NS (or whoever owns Amsterdam Centraal nowadays) agree to dedicating a platform solely to a handful of Eurostar services...
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Old February 26th, 2014, 08:47 AM   #2303
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Originally Posted by Reivajar View Post
Anyway, the luggage screening required for Eurostar in the Gare du Nord in Paris doesn't seem to be a problem either. Even if it is not that common in French stations.
Eurostar gets away with it because they operate a point-to-point service between dedicated terminals. And I'm sure they would get rid of it in a heartbeat if they were allowed to. It is seriously hampering expansion.

For longer train services to be viable they also need to serve intermediate points well. Barcelona - Paris is viable because it serves a whole corridor, not just the end points.

But there is more. Train companies (at least competent ones) try to maximize network effects.
For example, the Zürich - Paris TGVs have a cross platform connection with Interlaken - Bern - Basel trains in Basel. The result is that this TGV not only serves the Paris - Zürich market well, but also the Paris - Bern market, (and this so well that the single direct Bern - Paris TGV is struggling to attract enough passengers...)

The only way that a Zürich - London Eurostar would be able to be profitable would be for it to call also at Basel, Dijon, CDG and Lille at a minimum, and also transport passengers on subsegments, eg Zürich to Lille. The requirements that passengers have to submit to a strict luggage check makes this impossible.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 10:52 AM   #2304
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Actually most cars and trucks aren't screened at all...
There sure is screening, it's part of the Cyclamen programme.

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He would it be done on the platforms?
The same way do it for seasonal Eurostar services: before departure, sweep the platform clean and close entries that do not go through security and customs.

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Well, they do seem to treat seem Eurostar services as "foreign" and have all passengers go through immigration on arrival. I see no reason why a train from eg. Amsterdam couldn't be handled that way as well.
The St. Pancras checks have only started to appear lately and this is due to the "Lille loophole", whereby it was possible to bypass UK Border Control in Brussels if you hold a ticket for Brussels - Lille. By remaining seated after Lille, one could reach the UK without having gone through customs.

There's more to Eurostar on British soil than St. Pancras: some of the trains make extra stops in Ashford (?) or Ebbsfleet. Then there's also a risk that a stowaway would pull the emergency brake while on High Speed 1, would open a door using the emergency release handles, and flee.

Yet, despite the measures, sometimes people still manage to reach the UK.

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But I don't see NS (or whoever owns Amsterdam Centraal nowadays) agree to dedicating a platform solely to a handful of Eurostar services...
A completely dedicated platform, which will be unused for 95% of the time, will not happen. A platform which is swept clean before departure of a Eurostar is a possibility.

However, I don't see any of this happening. Plans as they currently are that a Eurostar to London will travel from Amsterdam to Brussels, where all passengers will disembark. Passengers go through the security and immigrations in Brussels and will subsequently re-embark aboard the train. This procedure is expected to take about 45 minutes, adding to the journey time.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 01:13 PM   #2305
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I agree that separate platforms will be an obstacle in stations like Amsterdam CS or Köln Hbf, as they are already rather busy and not as huge as Paris N. Certainly DB will not be obliging to rent off a whole platform to a competitor and will claim that it is necessary for local trains.
But: who actually demands the baggage check? It has nothing to do with customs, as internal customs controls in the EU are abandoned and they are carried out by security staff, not officials. Is it part of Eurostar procedure? Does the tunnel company demand it? Or UK law? According to this, other solutions could be found. Making everybody get off the train in Brussels lugging their baggage is ludicrous, in such a case separate trains and integrated ticketing would be the better solution.
Mobile passport controls with large groups of officers on the train would be the easiest solution. If a sans papiers would be found, France or Belgium would be obliged to take him or her back anyways. This is how it was practiced on the Czech - German border before the abandonment of controls. The best solution would of course for the UK to abandon its paranoia and join Schengen but that is not in the cards at the moment.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 01:27 PM   #2306
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A completely dedicated platform, which will be unused for 95% of the time, will not happen. A platform which is swept clean before departure of a Eurostar is a possibility.
But not on a major station in the Netherlands, Germany or Switzerland. Don't forget that you would also need to take precautions against people crossing over from adjacent platforms. So you'd need a fence between the tracks...
And getting for example exclusive use of a whole platform for, say 45 minutes, in eg. Geneve: Forget it.
And you need to clear the train itself too. That's why some of the seasonal Eurostar services have such long stops in Lille.

Quote:
However, I don't see any of this happening. Plans as they currently are that a Eurostar to London will travel from Amsterdam to Brussels, where all passengers will disembark. Passengers go through the security and immigrations in Brussels and will subsequently re-embark aboard the train. This procedure is expected to take about 45 minutes, adding to the journey time.
Eurostar might indeed try this, in the hope that the sillyness of the situation will lead to some backlash, and a relaxing of the rules. If not, they might conclude that just keeping present through ticketing arrangements in place is a better solution.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 01:27 PM   #2307
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Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
There sure is screening, it's part of the Cyclamen programme.
But not every truck or car is screened...
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Old February 26th, 2014, 04:18 PM   #2308
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From Railway Gazette:

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http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/p...proposals.html

European Parliament waters down unbundling proposals
26 Feb 2014

EUROPE: Debating the six legislative proposals in the Fourth Railway Package during a plenary session in Strasbourg on February 26, the European Parliament voted by a large majority to overturn some of the key proposals on vertical separation, transparency and competitive tendering presented by the European Commission in January 2013.

The MEPs endorsed the so-called 'technical pillar' of the package, which recasts the safety and interoperability directives and introduces a new regulation giving the European Railway Agency responsibility for issuing safety certificates and vehicle authorisations valid throughout the European Union.

The MEPs also endorsed the compromise proposal for revision of the Public Service Obligation Regulation 1370/2007 adopted by the European Parliament's Transport & Tourism Committee in December. This would introduce a right to operate open access domestic passenger services in all member states from 2019, but postpones compulsory competitive tendering of public service contracts until 2023.

However, when it came to the 'market pillar', covering the proposed revision of Directive 2012/34/EC on rail sector governance and market opening, Parliament adopted by a large majority amendments that scale back the proposals on the independence of infrastructure management and financial transparency within vertically-integrated holding group structures.

The Commission immediately expressed its disappointment about the votes, which it said would limit effective competition in the rail sector, and could put at risk the development of a Single European Rail Area. Vice-President for Transport Siim Kallas said 'this is not the strong signal that European rail needs to increase its attractiveness. Today's plenary vote is yet another demonstration of the tenacity of the vested national interests that proved more appealing to MEPs than the balanced and well-reasoned compromises reached by the Transport & Tourism Committee.'

The Council of Ministers has yet to adopt its own position on the package, having as yet only examined the proposals in the technical pillar. The Council is expected to finalise its position on these measures in March, and start examining the market pillar measures in the next few months.

The outcome of the vote was welcomed by the Community of European Railway & Infrastructure Companies, which said that the amendments to the market pillar would 'guarantee more flexibility for member states when it comes to choosing the model of governance for their respective infrastructure managers'. CER Chairman Christian Kern said it was 'beyond all question that we have to ensure non-discriminatory access to the network and we have to strengthen regulatory rights'.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 08:08 PM   #2309
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How was it dealt with 20-30 years ago when passport controls within Europe where much more common? There might have been even more long distance trains back then albeit not HS or in competition with airlines.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 08:24 PM   #2310
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Last year, Eurostar trialed a weekly service to Aix-en-Provence in France. During this trial, passengers had to disembark at Lille Europe for the security and immigration procedures. All in all this took about 80 minutes, as Eurostar was not able to arrange this in Aix-en-Provence due to it being a trial service.

As far as I know, the security checks are demanded by Eurotunnel. I'm not sure if it's really required to check *all* passengers but Eurostar does so anyway.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 10:27 AM   #2311
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How was it dealt with 20-30 years ago when passport controls within Europe where much more common? There might have been even more long distance trains back then albeit not HS or in competition with airlines.
There were several ways this was dealt with.

- Often trains would terminate just across the border, in a separate platform with a border post between that platform and the rest of the station. You can still see that in Basel and Geneve. I remember arriving in Bregenz one day in '88 from Germany with a small group of students, on which had forgotten her passport. She was refused entry and had to return...
- On long distance trains, eg. Amsterdam - Paris, border guards would just board the train at the last stop before the border, and check passports on board, and then get off again at the other side. Often a compartment was reserved for them. The Eurostar train sets were even originally build with this in mind, complete with a place one could lock up someone caught without the right documentation.
- On night trains you gave your passport to the car steward, who took care of things. Nevertheless I have once been woken up in the middle of the night by border guards when crossing in to what was then still Czechoslovakia.
- At some borders trains were just stopped and held while border police did their things. This is still how it's done on the Slovenian - Croatian border. A border that didn't even exist 20 years ago...
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Old February 27th, 2014, 10:44 AM   #2312
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
There were several ways this was dealt with.
...
And in some remote places, you had to get off the train, even in the middle of the night, to buy your visa and present your passport (in two different offices!)
at the border station... This is still happening now when entering or leaving Turkey, both at the Bulgarian and Iranian borders. I suppose that when Turkey still
had through trains to Syria and Irak (not so long ago), it happened that way as well.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 10:47 AM   #2313
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I thought all rail traffic to/from Iraq had ceased after the Gulf War.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 10:52 AM   #2314
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I thought all rail traffic to/from Iraq had ceased after the Gulf War.
After the war, when conditions stabilized a bit in the north of the country, a train re-appeared from Turkey to Mossul, but it did not last very long. Now of course, trains to Syria have disappeared too.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 08:04 PM   #2315
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
RENFE is doing a good job when it comes to running clean, punctual trains. However you will have noticed that your luggage was not scanned in Montpellier which kind of proves my point: it's just theatre, doesn't serve anything.
It´s an effective way to dissuade people who´d otherwise run for it down the stairs to the platform without their ticket and board the train in the first place, AND in case something happened, it could really be activated like in the Eurostar.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Operators running through the channel tunnel however currently don't have the option to just skip the luggage scan when it's impractical... That's why we won't see services like Frankfurt - London or Zürich - London anytime soon. Unless the rules change.
I wonder which would be the case of a London-Barcelona.
I guess the controls at Barcelona-Sants would be harsher, but the infrastructure´s already there to do it.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 08:13 PM   #2316
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It´s an effective way to dissuade people who´d otherwise run for it down the platform without their ticket and board the train in the first place, AND in case something happened, it could really be activated like in the Eurostar. I wonder which would be the case of a London-Barcelona. I guess the controls at Barcelona-Sants would be harsher, but the infrastructure´s already there to do it.
There are other solutions to the problem of people getting on a train without tickets. Most railways appear to operate just fine without ticket checks on the platform...
And anyway, it remains the case that in Montpellier luggage is not scanned. Somewhat defeats the point of the scans in the first place.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 08:26 PM   #2317
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There are other solutions to the problem of people getting on a train without tickets. Most railways appear to operate just fine without ticket checks on the platform...
Yeah, in France that´s never a problem...
No controller´s ever been harmed. Ever. Come on.

I don´t particularly like them, the scans, but in Spain no one seems to have a real problem with them existing.
And they really are an effective way of keeping ticketless passengers from entering the train... in the stations with scans, that is.
You just pass your stuff through the scanner, show the ticket, and that´s it, usually it´s rather quick.

Just as quick as IDTGV or Ouigo, if not quicker.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
And anyway, it remains the case that in Montpellier luggage is not scanned. Somewhat defeats the point of the scans in the first place.
Something tells me that you´ll end up scanning too. I hope not, but time will tell...
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Old February 27th, 2014, 08:36 PM   #2318
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Oh, btw, a forumer has told us in the Spanish forum that this morning an AVE Lyon-Barcelona was done by a TGV.
Something must have happened to the AVE... and if I remember correctly, the AVE I took on Monday (which was doing Barcelona-Toulouse) had a problem with one door. Maybe it was the same one that later went to Lyon and broke down?

He´s made a video of it:

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Old February 27th, 2014, 09:06 PM   #2319
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If all you care about is no ticketless passengers on train then why not just have ticket gates like for most subway systems? One could use all kinds of tickets with a barcode on them. Amount of time lost would be negligible and added cost would be compensated with less on board personnel.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 09:10 PM   #2320
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If all you care about is no ticketless passengers on train then why not just have ticket gates like for most subway systems? One could use all kinds of tickets with a barcode on them. Amount of time lost would be negligible and added cost would be compensated with less on board personnel.
That´s also an option, but security was no game in Spain till recent dates... and I suspect it still isn´t.

So better leave that option open and visible, more as a reminder than anything else, just in case. At least, for now.

And like I said, it doesn´t take more time than IDTGV or Ouigo.
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