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Old May 1st, 2010, 02:21 PM   #681
sotavento
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
This would certainly be a "nice to have", but it would not cut two hours. Currently the Eurostart requires a check in half an hour before departure, and walking from Paris Est to Paris Nord only takes 10 minutes. So you usually plan an hour for the total transfer in the direction Zürich - London, and 20 minutes the other way.
As long as the UK insist on pre boarding checks a Eurostar departure from Zürich is however out of the question.
What would be possible is having Eurostars leave from Basel. Reserving a track a Basel SNCF for an Eurostar is possible. However at the moment the most useful additional TGV service out of Zürich would be a Zürich - Basel - Strasbourg - CDG - Lille-Europe service, timed so that a good connection with Eurostar exists in Lille.
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Originally Posted by Belxos View Post
So basically, just let Eurostar trains London - Brussels continue towards Amsterdam/Köln, make the TGV Brussel - France Amsterdam - France and increase the number of Eurostar services London - French Alps (and maybe reroute some of them to Marseille/Nice/Perpignan.
Now surely there must be a reason why they haven't done this yet.
Low demand and no profitability anyone?

Increasing capacity in 600km long sections with ongoing travellers changing at the HUB is much simpler than just creating redundant direct trains ...


on the other hand ... there are 410km between Koln and Calais ... plenty of time for a check-in-and-identify procedure ???


I just remembered my last visit to Newcastle ... everyone boarded in a single line of passengers and everyone entered by the last door of a 5 car long train.

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The biggest obstacle is however the pre boarding check-in. That is what we need to get rid of first. As long as that exists a direct Amsterdam - London train will never happen.
Strangely enough ... the solution coulcome from ... spain.


Most (if not all) High speed /long distance passengers in spain have to go tru a check-in wich usually involves bagage scanning and identification checking.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 06:21 PM   #682
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Originally Posted by sotavento View Post
KOln is the "linking point" inside germany.

Koln-Berlin = 550km (speeds at 160/200/250 nowadays???)
Koln-Bruxelles-Paris = 500km
Koln-bruxelles-London = 550km

So that would make the distances:
Berlin-Paris = 1050km
Berlin-London = 1100km

But nonetheless you already conect with the ICE network in its main spot ... Koln ... it's the door to both the Ruhr cities , southern cities (like munich , frankfurt and stutgard) and to the northern (berlin , hamburg , hannover) ... and why stop there ... both Vienna and Warsov are just a little further away ????
Actually, Frankfurt is the most important hub in Germany' ICE network.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 10:46 PM   #683
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Oh I'd board. If the fares are reasonable, definitely. I've considered it even before the HSL-Zuid opened but was put off by last-minute fares for Eurostar (which, combined with Thalys to Brussels, are ludicrous).

Four hours is not that long! I don't know what everyone is complaining about. And it spares you from the horrible London airports.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 09:53 PM   #684
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Most (if not all) High speed /long distance passengers in spain have to go tru a check-in wich usually involves bagage scanning and identification checking.
And I would really like to know what the management at Renfe has been smoking. It is completely pointless to force railway passengers to go through airline style security. That some railways engage in this pointless security theatre should not be an reason to find it "acceptable".

In Zürich every platform has five entrances, and four more are being added. In modern railway operations you empty a train in 2 minutes, fill it again and send it back where it came from. And that four times per hour for every terminal platform. There is absolutely no place for security theatre here. It servers no purpose, and only increases frictions between the modes.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 09:16 PM   #685
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You've heard of the Madrid bombings in 2004, haven't you?

Honestly, safety check in Spain it's not nearly as annoying than in any airport. And if you spend some hours in the train anyhow (due to the large distance), that 15min don't bother me as I would sit around on the platform otherwise.
It's far from comfortable (and I don't get why they think they need that), but it's not as bad as it sounds.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 12:44 AM   #686
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If it's not nearly as thorough as airport security checks, then it's not going to be very effective anyway. What do they subject you to, the bag-open-glance-inside check like Disney's?

I say get rid of it. We can't install permanent security checks everywhere some madman decides to kamikaze himself.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 11:19 AM   #687
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You've heard of the Madrid bombings in 2004, haven't you?
Yes - the explosions happened on short-distance commuter trains (which still aren't being controlled, that would be a logistical nightmare), with one large bomb found on the track of a high-speed train before it could be detonated, so access control on that train wouldn't have made any difference at all either. Ditto with the attack on that Moscow-Petersburg train: they simply blew up the track as the train passed.
That's one big difference between a plane and a train: it's rather easy, and much safer, to blow up a train from the outside than it is to smuggle a bomb on board. With a plane that's traveling at 10km height the story is a bit different.

While access control on planes might make some sense, on trains it means that you're being protected against the threats that don't matter much anyway, while the threats that do matter are being ignored.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 03:33 PM   #688
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Originally Posted by thun View Post
You've heard of the Madrid bombings in 2004, haven't you?

Honestly, safety check in Spain it's not nearly as annoying than in any airport. And if you spend some hours in the train anyhow (due to the large distance), that 15min don't bother me as I would sit around on the platform otherwise.
It's far from comfortable (and I don't get why they think they need that), but it's not as bad as it sounds.
I don't agree. First - as been said - the attacks where on commuter trains. Secondly if the security check is xx minutes, those minutes are extra minutes. I have to plan them into my travel schedule. I wouldn't sit around on the platform otherwise, why should I?
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Old May 4th, 2010, 05:23 PM   #689
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You've heard of the Madrid bombings in 2004, haven't you?
I have. They prove how pointless safety checks at railway stations are.

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Honestly, safety check in Spain it's not nearly as annoying than in any airport. And if you spend some hours in the train anyhow (due to the large distance), that 15min don't bother me as I would sit around on the platform otherwise.
It's far from comfortable (and I don't get why they think they need that), but it's not as bad as it sounds.
15 minutes do bother me. It also bothers railway companies. In Zürich every terminal platform must handle 4 trains per hour. That means that you need to get people of incoming trains fast. And once the train is empty and reversed you need to fill it again, fast. You can't fit a security checkpoint in to a station where every platform has 9 exits, and where people expect to be able to transfer between trains in three minutes.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 05:32 PM   #690
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While access control on planes might make some sense, on trains it means that you're being protected against the threats that don't matter much anyway, while the threats that do matter are being ignored.

Actually what makes sense is to stop worrying about terrorism. That so few terrorist attacks happen is not because terrorism is hard. It's easy. And it's not because our anti terrorism measures are effective. They aren't.
The main reason why so few terrorism attacks happen is simple because terrorists are rare. The kind of diseased mind that flies planes loaded with innocent people in to buildings is extremely rare. That is why planes, trains and buses don't get blown up regularly.
The only thing all the security theatre now inflicted on the public does is annoy people and take away their liberties. It's one reason why I'm not flying anymore.
Please save us from security theatre on the railways too.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 09:09 PM   #691
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It also bothers railway companies. In Zürich every terminal platform must handle 4 trains per hour. That means that you need to get people of incoming trains fast. And once the train is empty and reversed you need to fill it again, fast. You can't fit a security checkpoint in to a station where every platform has 9 exits, and where people expect to be able to transfer between trains in three minutes.
Yes, in Zürich these checks will never be possible, and at the new through station the frequencies will be even higher.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 02:20 AM   #692
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I guess we need to re-establish some point here: the main reason for the security check procedures are related to immigration control. I know some people here see the fact of UK being not a part of Schengen area as a detail, but they have their reasons.

I also don't think there is any feasible and optimal solution to immigration procedures in UK-continent routes:

- control on departure (as now) => only authorized passengers board the train, but it requires costly foreign presence on each other's stations and dedicated platforms.

- control at the tunnel entrance, like ferries (train stops, everyone get off at the entrance of Chunnel for procedures) => would facilitate routes beyond France, would require only British/France staff. However, it would be highly disruptive for short services and add 40-50 minutes to present journey times.

- control at arrival, like airplanes => foreign officers stationed away from country of origin wouldn't be needed, but sealed platforms would be required anyway. Forced deportation/repatriation through trains would be problematic.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 06:06 AM   #693
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I guess we need to re-establish some point here: the main reason for the security check procedures are related to immigration control. I know some people here see the fact of UK being not a part of Schengen area as a detail, but they have their reasons.

I also don't think there is any feasible and optimal solution to immigration procedures in UK-continent routes:

- control on departure (as now) => only authorized passengers board the train, but it requires costly foreign presence on each other's stations and dedicated platforms.

- control at the tunnel entrance, like ferries (train stops, everyone get off at the entrance of Chunnel for procedures) => would facilitate routes beyond France, would require only British/France staff. However, it would be highly disruptive for short services and add 40-50 minutes to present journey times.

- control at arrival, like airplanes => foreign officers stationed away from country of origin wouldn't be needed, but sealed platforms would be required anyway. Forced deportation/repatriation through trains would be problematic.
What about a control on the train, once it has departed? Since it is only about checking passports, there is no reason to do it on the ground.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 09:56 AM   #694
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What about a control on the train, once it has departed? Since it is only about checking passports, there is no reason to do it on the ground.
Not effective. UK Border Force is far more stringent in its admission criteria than countries at the Eastern Schengen border (the slums of wannabe-immigrants in Calais are an example of this policy).

You would need UK Border Force agents on the trains, connected with Frontex and other UK online databases to decide whether each passenger is admissible or not. Then, you would have to secure a place in the trains where people deemed not admissible would be detained until the arrival in London (or Ashford for that matter), where they would be supervised until being boarded, against their will, in the next France-bound train - and vice-versa.

Onboard passport control is a things of the past. It had its heyday when it was a mere formality of having a proper stamp on your passport. Now countries have terror databases, illegal immigrants databases, FRONTEX etc. It is not feasible anymore.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 12:32 PM   #695
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I guess we need to re-establish some point here: the main reason for the security check procedures are related to immigration control. I know some people here see the fact of UK being not a part of Schengen area as a detail, but they have their reasons.
Just a reminder, Switzerland just joined Schengen recently and didn't had any of those regulations before. Schengen is not really the reason here

Quote:
I also don't think there is any feasible and optimal solution to immigration procedures in UK-continent routes:

- control on departure (as now) => only authorized passengers board the train, but it requires costly foreign presence on each other's stations and dedicated platforms.
This is really infeasible for many train stations, it's limiting the numbers of destinations for trains from the UK.
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- control at the tunnel entrance, like ferries (train stops, everyone get off at the entrance of Chunnel for procedures) => would facilitate routes beyond France, would require only British/France staff. However, it would be highly disruptive for short services and add 40-50 minutes to present journey times.
Infeasible to the extreme. Even suggesting a solution like this, is ridiculous.
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- control at arrival, like airplanes => foreign officers stationed away from country of origin wouldn't be needed, but sealed platforms would be required anyway. Forced deportation/repatriation through trains would be problematic.
This is possible, it works for air-planes. And also the UK would have to handle the mess they are creating themselves. I don't see how deportation/repatriation would be any different to air-traffic.
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You would need UK Border Force agents on the trains, connected with Frontex and other UK online databases to decide whether each passenger is admissible or not. Then, you would have to secure a place in the trains where people deemed not admissible would be detained until the arrival in London (or Ashford for that matter), where they would be supervised until being boarded, against their will, in the next France-bound train - and vice-versa.

Onboard passport control is a things of the past. It had its heyday when it was a mere formality of having a proper stamp on your passport. Now countries have terror databases, illegal immigrants databases, FRONTEX etc. It is not feasible anymore.
Nonsense, onboard passport controls are daily business even with Schengen (They are just not systematic). We don't live in the stone age, communication from a running train with any data-base is no problem at all.

Also it is also daily business to hand over a person in a train to the authorities at the stations. This also happens when a person has no ticket and doesn't comply with the personal on the train (I witnessed that already once when I arrived in Hamburg).
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Old May 5th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #696
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I guess we need to re-establish some point here: the main reason for the security check procedures are related to immigration control. I know some people here see the fact of UK being not a part of Schengen area as a detail, but they have their reasons.
Well - as has been said before: just check those passports on the train then, and kick anyone without a valid passport off the train in Lille or Calais or so.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 03:06 PM   #697
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Onboard passport control is a things of the past. It had its heyday when it was a mere formality of having a proper stamp on your passport. Now countries have terror databases, illegal immigrants databases, FRONTEX etc. It is not feasible anymore.
There was even a time one could travel all over Europe without a passport. Those were days. It is said that freedom requires eternal vigilance. It is obvious we've been sound asleep for the last decades.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #698
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There was even a time one could travel all over Europe without a passport. Those were days. It is said that freedom requires eternal vigilance. It is obvious we've been sound asleep for the last decades.
In "those days" you didn't have either massive wannabe immigrants from underdeveloped countries or terrorists waiting to blowup our cities.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 07:18 PM   #699
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You would need UK Border Force agents on the trains, connected with Frontex and other UK online databases to decide whether each passenger is admissible or not. Then, you would have to secure a place in the trains where people deemed not admissible would be detained until the arrival in London (or Ashford for that matter), where they would be supervised until being boarded, against their will, in the next France-bound train - and vice-versa.
Currently anything heading towards the UK (well the CTA to be precise) has to submit a passenger list before departure, so if any name pops up as questionable they can be met on arrival. This is why they check your passport when checking in to a flight, the airline gets fined if they send through someone who isn't allowed in. If whoever runs trains through the tunnel uses a few more conductors and just checks passports against a passenger list (pre booking would still be needed unfortunately) while people board. This could easily be done by only opening doors when a conductor is there and filling the train from one end to the other. It might not be the easiest solution but would allow the train to pick up passengers from any station.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 03:27 AM   #700
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Do they really need a revolutionary new passport control system for the Netherlands, though?

I mean, Eurostar calls at Marne-la-Vallée - Chessy, the rather small connecting station located inside Disneyland Paris. It has two platforms. If they can manage the passport control there, surely Amsterdam and Rotterdam can manage it as well?
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