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Old September 12th, 2008, 04:17 PM   #361
elfabyanos
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I think the LGV nord is more likely to be able to go for higher speeds, possibly 350km/h. However, every train on the route would need to be able to go that speed to avoid capacity problems as it is so busy. Maybe HS1 can go higher too.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 04:58 AM   #362
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Channel Tunnel - A Vital Undersea Tie

Fire in Channel Tunnel a reminder of vital undersea tie that binds Britain and France
12 September 2008

LONDON (AP) - Above ground, the fire would have been minor. Breaking out deep below the English Channel, it has stranded thousands of travelers, imperiled millions of dollars in trade and starkly demonstrated the importance -- and fragility -- of Britain's only land link to Europe.

The Channel Tunnel remained closed Friday after a fire that started on a truck being carried on a train to France. Firefighters battled through the night trying to quell a blaze that caused temperatures to soar above 1,800 degrees in the tube 130 feet beneath the sea bed.

"This is going to cost the industry millions," said Kate Gibbs at the Road Haulage Association, a trade group for British transport companies.

As she spoke, hundreds of trucks loaded with everything from fruit to furniture sat along a stretch of highway that has become a virtual parking lot on the English side of the tunnel.

At London's St. Pancras station, passengers expecting to be whisked to Paris in a little over two hours were being told no trains would run until Saturday at the earliest. Almost 30,000 people had been due to take Eurostar trains between London, Paris and Brussels on Friday.

"It was going to be the journey of a lifetime, a dream holiday," said Richard Corbett, who had planned a 70th birthday trip to the French capital with his wife. "We came to go through the tunnel. It looks like it's going to be scrapped now."

A marvel of engineering, the "Chunnel" is actually three -- two one-way rail tunnels with a smaller service tunnel running between them. The fire was in the England-to-France section, and operator Eurotunnel said it hoped to reopen the undamaged France-to-England tunnel as soon as Friday night.

However, Eurostar, which operates the passenger trains that use the tunnel, said it did not know when its service would resume. It advised people with tickets for Saturday and Sunday to make other travel plans.

The tunnel has had a few fires in the past, including one in 1996 that disrupted freight traffic for months.

A tunnel linking France and England was a dream of Napoleon's -- and a nightmare for many Britons, who for centuries have regarded the 20-mile-wide English Channel as a bulwark against conquest, rabies and other Continental ills.

The project finally gained official British approval in the 1970s but tunneling did not begin until 1988, under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher -- a committed skeptic of closer integration with Europe but also a champion of business and free trade.

British and French teams, tunneling from each end, met in the middle in 1990. The completed tunnel opened in 1994 and was hailed by Queen Elizabeth II as a mix of "French elan and British pragmatism."

It has not always been a business success, though.

Passenger numbers have fallen far short of the predicted 20 million a year, and Eurotunnel was heavily burdened by debt before reaching a restructuring deal last year. Ferries and budget airlines have retained a large chunk of cross-Channel passenger and freight business.

Nonetheless, the 30-mile undersea link has transformed travel between Britain and the Continent. Before the tunnel, a trip from London to Paris required an expensive plane ticket or a lengthy ferry crossing. Since the opening of the final stretch of high-speed rail line along the route last year, the train journey to Paris takes just 2 hours and 15 minutes, the trip to Brussels less than 2 hours.

Almost 8.3 million people used Eurostar trains last year -- tourists on weekend breaks, business executives attending meetings, even cross-border commuters who live in one country and work in another.

Felix Marquardt, a Paris-based public affairs consultant, used to commute by train twice a week to his London office.

"There were times when I felt like I was take the Tube," he said, referring to London's subway system. "There were people in my office in London who were driving 2 1/2 hours each way from the office. I was taking the train from Paris and it was taking me 3 hours to get to work. I felt sorry for people in Britain."

The tunnel has also been a boon to Anglo-French commerce.

Trade between Britain and France has tripled over the past 20 years, rising steeply since the tunnel was completed. France is Britain's third-largest export market, after the United States and Germany, and its third largest source of imports.

Last year 1.4 million trucks traveled through the tunnel on shuttle trains, carrying 20 million tons of freight -- from chemicals, machinery and transport equipment to wine and beer.

Hundreds of trucks that had planned to use the tunnel sat along a stretch of highway near its English entrance Friday. Police said they faced waits of six to eight hours before they could get on ferries at Dover.

"The knock-on effect is going to be tremendous," said Gibbs at the haulage association.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #363
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Wrong forum.

[edit: seems to be moved now]
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Old September 19th, 2008, 02:00 PM   #364
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallsmurf View Post
The reasons behind UK not being in Schengen are purely historical and driven by a litle-Englander mentality

Fears about control
===============
My wife is non-European - it has always been much easier to take her to Uk than to Schengen zone.

Fears about terrorism
================
Main source of terrorism used to be Ireland (no passport:visa required). Now it is Islamoc extremists holding British passports

Fears about being flooded with east European immigrants
==========================================
They are let in without restriction...

The reasosn Britain does not have Schengen is anti-EU paranoia - nothing else
There was good reason at the time for the UK to stay out. However things have changed and there is a growing convergance of opinions on teh issues amongst EU technocrats, if not between actual governments.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Air France to launch 'quicker' train to Paris as Eurostar monopoly ends
11 September 2008
The Independent

FARES AND journey times for passengers travelling to Europe could fall in just two years after an announcement by Air France that it is to compete with Eurostar by running a high-speed rail service to Paris.

The trip from London could take less than two hours under the company's plan to bring a new generation of high-speed trains to St Pancras station. They will be capable of a maximum speed of 224mph, 38mph faster than the current top speed of trains running to France.

Eurostar's monopoly will come to an end at the start of 2010, when new "open access" laws come into force.

The economic downturn has hit airlines hard, while the popularity of high-speed rail travel has been booming. Eurostar saw passenger numbers rise by 18 per cent in the first half of this year.

Eurostar came out fighting last night, saying that it welcomed competition and interest from airlines "had been expected". It added that airlines had "a lot to learn" before they could compete.

"This shows that airlines now realise that high-speed rail is increasingly the natural choice for business and leisure journeys across Europe," a spokesman said.

"It's no surprise that airlines hit by high oil prices and congested airports are trying to turn themselves into train operators. We will continue to compete with them whether they use wings or wheels."

It was also dismissive of Air France's claims that it could reach Paris in under two hours, saying that the current top speed of 186mph had been introduced because of the limitations of the track, rather than its train's capabilities.

But a source involved in the development of St Pancras' track disagreed. "It is no longer the track that is holding back train speeds, but the trains," said the source. "With a few modifications and testing, I see no reason why the new generation of TGV trains cannot run on the track."

Air France-KLM, which is also planning a service between Paris and Amsterdam, said it hoped to launch its London to Paris service by October 2010.

An industry insider said: "Just imagine arriving at the station and being able to pick from destinations from all over Europe such as Prague, Cologne and Frankfurt. Competition will be great news for consumers."

Virgin Atlantic is also thought to be interested in setting up a European high-speed rail service under the liberalisation plan, while the German operator Deutsche Bahn has expressed interest in running a service from London to Cologne. From there, passengers would have easy access to cities including Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Berlin and Hamburg.
I think there has been mention in another article that the throat of St Pancras may have to be re-worked to accommodate additional services/operator(s).

I think BA also holds a 10% stake in Eurostar but I wonder if they would now look at franchising services.

It would be interesting to see if Air France KLM decided to own the operation, or franchise it from a rail operator.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 02:16 PM   #366
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Republica View Post
If only there were through services from London to elsewhere...

This is certainly very promising. Surely the UK side of the line is engineered with a spec that means it could serve much faster trains. I'm not sure about the French side seeing as it is much older seeing as they got their act together quicker!

Anyone know the top speed of HS1?
When Eurostar moved to St Pancras, there was talk of the steps that could be taken, both on the UK side, and in the area near the tunnel on the French side, to further reduce the journey time.

Also, once the existing work on the HSL between France and Amsterdam are completed there are prospects for the introduction of a London to Amsterdam service. I think however that DB ruled out a London to Germany service in the foreseeable future.
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Old September 20th, 2008, 10:11 AM   #367
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magellan View Post
It would be interesting to see if Air France KLM decided to own the operation, or franchise it from a rail operator.
Wasn't it already known that Air France/KLM is doing this together with Veolia?
http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7012245233
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Old September 21st, 2008, 06:18 AM   #368
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ubj aki ma doraroiahn sebu ku mademas di igh tabama

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Old September 21st, 2008, 06:20 AM   #369
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Old September 21st, 2008, 10:44 AM   #370
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 08:09 AM   #371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momo1435 View Post
Wasn't it already known that Air France/KLM is doing this together with Veolia?
http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7012245233
Well there you go, I missed that. Thanks.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 10:08 AM   #372
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magellan View Post
When Eurostar moved to St Pancras, there was talk of the steps that could be taken, both on the UK side, and in the area near the tunnel on the French side, to further reduce the journey time.

Also, once the existing work on the HSL between France and Amsterdam are completed there are prospects for the introduction of a London to Amsterdam service. I think however that DB ruled out a London to Germany service in the foreseeable future.
That's a great idea. Considering it's 2 hrs to Brussels, perhaps Amsterdam can be reached in <3 hours. The LCC choice from London is still quite expensive now.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:43 PM   #373
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Fire-damaged Channel Tunnel to reopen fully in February
14 October 2008
Agence France Presse

The rail tunnel linking Britain and France should reopen completely next February when the work to repair the damage it sustained in a fire last month is completed, operator Eurotunnel said Tuesday.

The companies carrying out the work have committed to finishing it within the next four months, Eurotunnel said in a statement.

Fire broke out on September 11 aboard a shuttle train carrying 27 trucks from Britain to France. Since then, both cross-Channel freight and Eurostar passenger trains from London to Paris and Brussels have been disrupted.

Investigators are still trying to establish what caused the blaze in the world's longest uninterrupted undersea link.

Officials said soon after the incident that they suspected the fire started in a truck's braking system that overheated and spread to a tyre.

Ferry companies operating the route between Calais, northern France and Dover, south-east England, have since reported a surge in passengers.
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Old October 25th, 2008, 08:53 PM   #374
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Deutsche Bahn ICE Train Safety Issues

German high-speed trains withdrawn on safety fears: operator
24 October 2008
Agence France Presse

German train passengers were set for a weekend of chaos after the rail operator withdrew Friday large numbers of high-speed trains for safety checks after two recent derailments.

Deutsche Bahn said that it was withdrawing "almost all" of its 71 ICE-T "Tilt Technology" trains because the consortium of firms that made them had failed to issue safety guarantees as requested.

"Safety has absolute priority," said Deutsche Bahn chief executive Hartmut Mehdorn. "We see ourselves as having been left dangling (by the consortium), which has confronted us with unreliable and unclear information."

The trains were made by German firm Siemens, France's Alstom and Canada's Bombardier. The measures affected lines connecting several large cities including Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

Following the derailment of an ICE-T train outside Cologne in July Germany's high-speed trains have been subject to more frequent checks, leading to increased delays. On Thursday another train derailed in Hamburg.

In June 1998 an ICE train travelling 200 km (125 miles) an hour crashed in northern Germany, killing 100 people in Germany's worst postwar rail accident. A faulty wheel had derailed the train, sending it hurtling into a bridge.
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Old October 25th, 2008, 09:57 PM   #375
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Oops, it wasn't a ICE-T that derailed in July but an ICE 3. But never mind it's good that safety is priority #1, especially after the Eschede disaster.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #376
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sad news
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Old October 30th, 2008, 07:07 PM   #377
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But everything will be back up fresh and new in no time.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 10:09 PM   #378
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Quote:
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Fire-damaged Channel Tunnel to reopen fully in February

Investigators are still trying to establish what caused the blaze in the world's longest uninterrupted undersea link.
Isn't the longest (and deepest) undersea tunnel the Seikan tunnel at 53.85km (~33mi)?
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Old October 31st, 2008, 01:15 AM   #379
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The Seikan tunnel is longer, but "only" 23 km of it are under the sea, the rest are under mountains.

The Eurotunnel is 50 km long of which about 40 km are under the sea.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 03:16 AM   #380
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The Eurotunnel company has this photo of the burned out shuttle car, as well as more information, on its website:
http://www.eurotunnel.com/ukcP3Main/...ukpFocusOn.htm
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