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Old April 23rd, 2010, 12:18 PM   #601
Maarten Otto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eomer View Post
4 hours seems a bit too long.
That kind of train should stop only in Brussels.

But it's possible to have 2 kind of trains:
- London-Lille-Brussels-Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam
- London-Lille-Brussels-Liege-Aachen-Köln


Siemens's name for it's rolling stock is "Velaro"
ICE is a trade mark of DB.

In Spain, Velaro is called "AVE" like other high speed trains.
Yes but a stop in Brussels is NOT allowd by law and Open Acces regulations.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 12:29 PM   #602
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Yes but a stop in Brussels is NOT allowd by law and Open Acces regulations.
Humm...why not ?
This is an international train between 4 coutries (enven 5 if splitted in Brussels): it can load and unload passengers everywhere. Of course, all people boarding the train between Amsterdam/Köln and Lille will have to pass safety control, even if they unboard before crossing channel tunnel.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 12:34 PM   #603
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eomer View Post
Humm...why not ?
This is an international train between 4 coutries
Read this post http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...7&postcount=15
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 02:30 PM   #604
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Yes but a stop in Brussels is NOT allowd by law and Open Acces regulations.
I think it is. Open Access regulations mean that it is perfectly possible for someone to offer even Paris - London in competition with Eurostar. Think about the trains DB/OeBB now run to Italy in open access.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 02:31 PM   #605
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What if there were three daily direct services between London and Amsterdam taking aprox. 4 hours for the complete journey... (City centre to City centre) would you board the train?
I'm about to travel Bern - Aberdeen by train. So, yes I would :-)
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 04:02 PM   #606
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I think we'll see London - Amsterdam at some point. The border controls issue can be overcome, after all Eurostar run trains to the Alps and Avignon and Disneyland, each of which have one train max per day and yet they find a way (that is obviously economically acceptable) to comply with border controls, and the first 2 of the 3 destinations are well over 4 hours journey time and this also appears not to be a problem, though it may not grab a massive market share.

According to an online railway journal, there are discussions underway at the moment to try to change the safety protocols through the tunnel, which currently state the train must be able to separate in two if one half is disabled, to take all the passengers safely out, and they also state that the train must be nearly 400m long so that passengers can safely walk along the train to alight at an emergency exit which are at regular 350 or so metres.

Following on from the recent difficulties both with snow-related break downs and the earlier fire, these safety protocols have been shown to not necessarily be of any advantage whatsoever, especially the splitting in two. And as these protocols affect the available rolling stock scrutiny is now being had over whether they can be changed so that other rolling stock, and therefore other train operators, can use the tunnel.

If changes are made, then operators would find it much easier to start services to Amsterdam.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 05:22 PM   #607
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Finally, as a practical matter, British immigration would have to set up booths in Amsterdam and Rotterdam AND (more difficult) NS would have to build dedicated, non-shared and physically segregated platforms as UK is not part of the Schengen area and has the policy to accept inbound trains only if passengers are processed before boarding on the continent.
No need for the Brits to join Schengen at all to avoid this crap. Just do it the way it was always done: passport control on the train and if your passport isn't in order you get kicked off at the next station. Voilá: delay problem solved.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 06:26 PM   #608
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eomer View Post
[…]
Siemens's name for it's rolling stock is "Velaro"
ICE is a trade mark of DB.

In Spain, Velaro is called "AVE" like other high speed trains.
It's much more complicated, the ICE 3 is no Velaro. Velaros are only these trains, which are manufactured by Siemens only. ICE 3 aka Baureihe 403/406 are manufactured by Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens.
The first Velaro for Germany will be the ordered Velaro D:


siemens.com
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 09:09 PM   #609
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Why not just have Amsterdam-London non stop? It would stop it being in direct competition with the Eurostar and cut a few minutes off the journey. If the UK finally decides to join the Schengen (which is merely a pipe dream, we seem to be against integrating with Europe in any tangible way) then London could be the end point of an Amsterdam-London service which stops in Brussels and anywhere else it wants to or even go all the way to Scotland. I would happily use this service, even from Bristol where I usually live, which is another 2 hours from London.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 11:51 PM   #610
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I would use this service. I have been to Amsterdam from London by train ocassionally, with an change in Brussels. This direct service would be a lot more convenient.

I did these trips for leisure purposes where service speed is not that critical. I can't see that the 4-hour journey time would be that useful for business travellers since there would not be much time to do some quick on-site work or have a meeting and get back the same day.

What I would really prefer is to have a sleeper train service between London and Amsterdam (and other European cities further away than Paris & Brussels), I could plan my time more efficiently and not have to waste the morning hours being in transit.

added: Waterloo International is not being used at the moment - I think it would make an ideal terminal for international sleeper train services from London.

Last edited by SagaCity; April 24th, 2010 at 12:04 AM.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 12:27 AM   #611
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eomer View Post
1-
4 hours seems a bit too long.
That kind of train should stop only in Brussels.

.
Well, 4hrs are not necessarily too long a time when you consider travelling time to/from the airport + waiting time for check-in.

In my case (I live in kent) 2-3 hrs,I have to consoder the travelling time to London Airports + 3hrs of having to be in the airtport before the departure of the plain + exit from Schipol and travelling time to Amsterdam Town Centre.

Therefore travelling time to /from Airport: 3hrs + 40 mins
Waiting time + check-in procedure at the Airport: 3hrs
Flying time: 1hr
Time waisted after landing (at Schipol) 1hr
Train from Schipol To Amsterdam 20-30'
Total London (from Kent) to Amsterdam 9hrs 10 minutes.



Ashford -Amsterdam by train
3hrs 30' -
Check-in time: 20-30 mins
Travelling time to/from Ashford: 15 mins.
Total: 4hrs 15 mins.
Travelling by plane from London to Amsterdam seems to take at least 5hrs and 55 minutes more than the HST solution...

Last edited by joseph1951; April 24th, 2010 at 12:35 AM.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 02:35 AM   #612
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cut your dutch market in half ?

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Why not just have Amsterdam-London non stop? It would stop it being in direct competition with the Eurostar and cut a few minutes off the journey.
Because leaving out Rotterdam would cut your dutch market in half. About 3.5 million people live in the southern part of the Randstad. Rotterdam might not be a big tourist destination, but ignoring that many potential tourists TO London does not make sense. The connections with the Hague (the political center of the Netherlands) and Utrecht (4th largest city in NL) are better via Rotterdam ( the Hague 59 minutes faster, Utrecht 30 minutes faster) than the detour via Amsterdam.

Remember this is a train, adding a stop might add a few minutes, but it also increases your target audience. The rails are going through Rotterdam central station anyway. You might even want to stop in Schiphol Airport.

I live in the Rotterdam area, and I would this use train for a trip to London. I would be willing to pay a slight premium over the Thalys+Eurostar combination. But I hope you are not using the reactions from an Internet forum about trains as a representative sample .
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Old April 24th, 2010, 03:28 AM   #613
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If the planes are completely grounded due to a farting Icelandic god, there will be no choice to this question.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 03:57 AM   #614
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If the planes are completely grounded due to a farting Icelandic god, there will be no choice to this question.
Just a little off-topic: I've read some very harsh commentaries from the usual environwackos almost wishing that a volcanic ash cloud should ground planes for a month or more... (not saying you're one of them)

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Originally Posted by SagaCity View Post
What I would really prefer is to have a sleeper train service between London and Amsterdam (and other European cities further away than Paris & Brussels), I could plan my time more efficiently and not have to waste the morning hours being in transit.

added: Waterloo International is not being used at the moment - I think it would make an ideal terminal for international sleeper train services from London.
I don't think it is viable. HSL Zuid is closed by night for maintenance works. And a sleeper trains is something of the past - or for fringe markets of aficionados anyway -. You could have very early morning services, like one departing 5:00 from Amsterdam, arriving 8h45 London time, but sleeper services are crap by nature, if not by the rolling stock, by the uncomfortable of sleeping on a moving vehicle (airplanes, at least, are "stationary" for resting purposes most of the time).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koen Acacia View Post
No need for the Brits to join Schengen at all to avoid this crap. Just do it the way it was always done: passport control on the train and if your passport isn't in order you get kicked off at the next station. Voilá: delay problem solved.
Modern immigration challenges wouldn't allow for that. Britain is the most-sought (illegal) immigration destination in Europe. Imagine a group of illegal immigrants detained on a train... not safe actually. Moreover, you can x-ray luggage on board, so you need a priori checks and security inspection, to have a train that is as immigration-proof as a plane.

The alternative would be immigration controls on arrival in St. Pacras, but I'm not sure it is a feasible solution.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 06:47 AM   #615
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Originally Posted by JeroenMostert View Post
Because leaving out Rotterdam would cut your dutch market in half. About 3.5 million people live in the southern part of the Randstad. Rotterdam might not be a big tourist destination, but ignoring that many potential tourists TO London does not make sense. The connections with the Hague (the political center of the Netherlands) and Utrecht (4th largest city in NL) are better via Rotterdam ( the Hague 59 minutes faster, Utrecht 30 minutes faster) than the detour via Amsterdam.

Remember this is a train, adding a stop might add a few minutes, but it also increases your target audience. The rails are going through Rotterdam central station anyway. You might even want to stop in Schiphol Airport.

I live in the Rotterdam area, and I would this use train for a trip to London. I would be willing to pay a slight premium over the Thalys+Eurostar combination. But I hope you are not using the reactions from an Internet forum about trains as a representative sample .
Sorry, forgot that Rotterdam was between Amsterdam and Brussels. A train that stops in Rotterdam also would be good, but remember that for the time being at least, you need to set up British immigration points at each station the train picks up passengers. I think an Amsterdam-Rotterdam-London service would work well, it would have to run Amsterdam-Rotterdam half empty though as not many people would go through UK immigration to do a domestic journey in the Netherlands. But compared to the whole journey that is not much, but It would save a lot of time not stopping at Brussels which already has Eurostar.

Filling up a high speed train in a few medium sized cities before doing a large non-stop section before emptying the train in a large city seems the ideal HSR business model to me as smaller cities can be served by a frequent service.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 08:09 AM   #616
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I don't think it is viable. HSL Zuid is closed by night for maintenance works. And a sleeper trains is something of the past - or for fringe markets of aficionados anyway -. You could have very early morning services, like one departing 5:00 from Amsterdam, arriving 8h45 London time, but sleeper services are crap by nature, if not by the rolling stock, by the uncomfortable of sleeping on a moving vehicle (airplanes, at least, are "stationary" for resting purposes most of the time).
I'm not sure about that. High speed trains are as smooth as a plane, and in China there are now high speed overnight trains. A businessman from Beijing can board an overnight train to Shanghai (for example) which runs on "classic" tracks when the high speed line is down for maintenance, and arrive 10 hours later, saving hotel costs and probably time. It is successful enough to force the five airlines on the Beijing-Shanghai route to merge their services. Similarly, a businessman from the City of London can take an overnight train and arrive early in the morning in Madrid, Rome, or elsewhere. It may not work as well in Europe, but the business plan is worth a look.

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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Modern immigration challenges wouldn't allow for that. Britain is the most-sought (illegal) immigration destination in Europe. Imagine a group of illegal immigrants detained on a train... not safe actually. Moreover, you can x-ray luggage on board, so you need a priori checks and security inspection, to have a train that is as immigration-proof as a plane.

The alternative would be immigration controls on arrival in St. Pacras, but I'm not sure it is a feasible solution.
Perhaps the immigration control problem can be solved with a mandatory stopover in Lille (or the last stop on the French side on the tunnel) to perform immigration checks. The train originates wherever it wants on the continent, but it must stop at Lille so that all passengers stop over and go through immigration checks. The train stops over for 20 minutes, enough for all passengers continuing to London to perform checks, and re-board the train. Illegal immigrants are stopped, and every seat is open for passengers on all legs.

Last edited by urbanfan89; April 24th, 2010 at 08:25 AM.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 07:20 PM   #617
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I don't think it is viable. HSL Zuid is closed by night for maintenance works. And a sleeper trains is something of the past - or for fringe markets of aficionados anyway -. You could have very early morning services, like one departing 5:00 from Amsterdam, arriving 8h45 London time, but sleeper services are crap by nature, if not by the rolling stock, by the uncomfortable of sleeping on a moving vehicle (airplanes, at least, are "stationary" for resting purposes most of the time).
I disagree. Sleeper trains are not necessarily a speed-critical service. In the case of London-Amsterdam, they don't have to be routed by HSL-Zuid and can use the older tracks.

I also disagree on the comfort factor. Since you are making comparisons with planes, sleeping berths on trains allow you to sleep flat and stretch out completely, whereas plane seats only recline slightly and are very cramped and uncomfortable to sleep in. Indeed on long haul flights nowadays, they encourage you not to sleep all the time but to get out and have a stroll in case of Deep Vein Thrombosis. It is possible to get flat sleeping on planes but this is limited to a few very expensive seats. I've never had problems sleeping in sleeper trains, even older ones. Aeroplanes are not "stationary" for most of the time - it all depends on the weather and I've been on several long haul flights where it's frequently hit turbulence. Also when planes fly through a violent storm (this is very rare, I have to admit) it's not a comfortable experience at all and can be very scary for some people. This might sound like I'm anti-air travel but I'm not. Indeed, air is still the best for for long distance travel especially if travelling half way around the world.

Sleeper trains are not something of the past. They are still used extensively in China and India. And in China, sleeper services have been introduced on modern long-distance high speed trains. Though they have cut back on the services in Europe. I think the problem in Europe is simply the lack of awareness of the benefits of sleeper services and a lack of marketing.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 08:18 PM   #618
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And what if the immigration officer(s) would check your ID on the train after leaving Rotterdam. It works well in Switzerland. Next you call at Lille, give the train another headcode and it is by law another train where people have been checked before they boarded this particular service from Lille.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 10:22 PM   #619
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Modern immigration challenges wouldn't allow for that. Britain is the most-sought (illegal) immigration destination in Europe. Imagine a group of illegal immigrants detained on a train... not safe actually. Moreover, you can x-ray luggage on board, so you need a priori checks and security inspection, to have a train that is as immigration-proof as a plane.
The "Challenge" is the same at EU borders. However, for some reason just inspecting the train (and it's passengers) is deemed quite satisfactory at the Slovenian - Croatian border.
Don't forget that illegal immigrants currently try to enter the UK mostly on trucks. Most trucks and cars that cross the channel are not X-rayed. There is really no good reason why the eurostar's passengers need to be subject to such a strict regime.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 10:30 PM   #620
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I don't think it is viable. HSL Zuid is closed by night for maintenance works. And a sleeper trains is something of the past - or for fringe markets of aficionados anyway -. You could have very early morning services, like one departing 5:00 from Amsterdam, arriving 8h45 London time, but sleeper services are crap by nature, if not by the rolling stock, by the uncomfortable of sleeping on a moving vehicle (airplanes, at least, are "stationary" for resting purposes most of the time).
First, London and continental Europe are not in the same time zone, so that would rather be 5:00 Amsterdam, 7:45 London.
Second, have you ever been on a modern sleeper train, and made the comparison with an economy-class flight? In my European experience (in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, set aside France where sleeper trains are effectively crappy), there is no possible comparison. I can sleep in a sleeper train, not in an economy-class plane seat.

Last edited by mozatellac; April 24th, 2010 at 11:54 PM.
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