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Old August 9th, 2010, 09:55 PM   #741
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Not a chance to the Thread question - love trains but at 4 hours even with the hassles of flying it's much quicker - 40 mins and even with allowing and hour and a half at each end being ridiculous 3hrs 40 mins - so can't see 4 hours being a winner. The straight line distance between the 2 cities isn't much further than it is to Sheffield and on this route we might be bowing to planes straight line superiority over water. Can't see it taking off personally!
4 hours is about the time at which train starts to steal market share from planes. After all if the choice is between:
- 3h40 of which most is spend waiting or queueing, and
- 4h00 of which almost all is spent moving.

... then many people will choose the train. Time is experienced differently when moving then when waiting. Also the food is much better on the eurostar, and seating comfort is superior too.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 11:39 PM   #742
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4 hours is about the time at which train starts to steal market share from planes. After all if the choice is between:
- 3h40 of which most is spend waiting or queueing, and
- 4h00 of which almost all is spent moving.

... then many people will choose the train. Time is experienced differently when moving then when waiting. Also the food is much better on the eurostar, and seating comfort is superior too.
I'd say a huge chunk of Amsterdam-London air route are connecting passengers, so this calculations not necessarily applies. Bot Schiphol and Heathrow are major world-class air hubs with tons of passengers connecting in this era of code-shares and so.

It could be like the Paris-London route: Eurostar captures 71% of Paris passengers heading to London only and vice-versa traffic, but more than half the air traffic on the route was from connections, so the air traffic keeps relatively strong between these two cities.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 12:38 AM   #743
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Old August 10th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #744
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Hi there.

As for the possibility of a HST Amsterdam to London, I don´t reckon it is a problem of time travel, but more of a rail signal & security system and electric tension one. It is not that cheap to build such a train that is adapted to all the different security signalling systems and electrical tensions, is it?

Anyway, in a couple of years or so, when the much-awaited and much-delayed HSL Barcelona-Perpignan will be open, the schedule Sncf has includes a Lille-Barcelona, a Madrid-Lyon-Barcelona-Paris, and a Madrid-Barcelona-Geneva per day.

I think distance is not really a problem.

In Spain we guess that if Sncf plans a Lille-Barcelona they can very easily include a Brussels-Barcelona and even a London-Barcelona (with which Eurostar seemed to toy with some months ago in its web).

So I reckon a London-Amsterdam and even a London-Cologne are just a matter of time, security systems and slots.

Last edited by 437.001; August 10th, 2010 at 12:54 AM.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 01:25 AM   #745
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Hi there.

As for the possibility of a HST Amsterdam to London, I don´t reckon it is a problem of time travel, but more of a rail signal & security system and electric tension one. It is not that cheap to build such a train that is adapted to all the different security signalling systems and electrical tensions, is it?

Anyway, in a couple of years or so, when the much-awaited and much-delayed HSL Barcelona-Perpignan will be open, the schedule Sncf has includes a Lille-Barcelona, a Madrid-Lyon-Barcelona-Paris, and a Madrid-Barcelona-Geneva per day.

I think distance is not really a problem.

In Spain we guess that if Sncf plans a Lille-Barcelona they can very easily include a Brussels-Barcelona and even a London-Barcelona (with which Eurostar seemed to toy with some months ago in its web).

So I reckon a London-Amsterdam and even a London-Cologne are just a matter of time, security systems and slots.
You don't need a Bruxelles/Brussel-Barcelona service, just do an easy connection at Lille then. There are plenty of HST running daily between Bruxelles/Brussel and Lille.

Still, the success of such trains are yet to be seen. IMO, a major (indeed a HUGE, though unforeseen at the time) error in the European HSL network design it to have HS services ending in different rail lines in Paris.

That is what makes, for instance, many otherwise smooth connections from Eurostar a nightmare, requiring either a metro ride or, in the best case scenarios, an unpleasant open street walk to/from Gare d'Est.

Had Paris built a deep underground HS only station and some approach tunnels, it would become instantly the hub of European HSR network. Because it hasn't, we have "anomalies" like Bruxelles/Brussel summer daily services to Avignon, when a connection in Paris would be much easier to manage.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #746
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I'd say a huge chunk of Amsterdam-London air route are connecting passengers, so this calculations not necessarily applies. Bot Schiphol and Heathrow are major world-class air hubs with tons of passengers connecting in this era of code-shares and so.
Ofcourse Schiphol is connected to the HSL network, so I could imagine that travelers from London connecting with a flight at Schiphol wouldn't mind using this train, especially if it avoids having to go to Heathrow...
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Old August 10th, 2010, 08:52 AM   #747
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As for the possibility of a HST Amsterdam to London, I don´t reckon it is a problem of time travel, but more of a rail signal & security system and electric tension one. It is not that cheap to build such a train that is adapted to all the different security signalling systems and electrical tensions, is it?
Building a train that can use the different overhead electrical supply systems is actually rather trivial nowadays, and this problem can be considered a non issue. All new trains offered by the major manufacturers are multisystem.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 08:56 AM   #748
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Had Paris built a deep underground HS only station and some approach tunnels, it would become instantly the hub of European HSR network. Because it hasn't, we have "anomalies" like Bruxelles/Brussel summer daily services to Avignon, when a connection in Paris would be much easier to manage.
We'll make a fan of integrated, co-ordinated trains services out of you yet :-)

Anyway, SNCF wants to partially offset the problem of the different Paris Termini by offering more train bypassing Paris. They can this way make CDG in to a secondary hub. We'll see Basel - CDG - Lille - Brussel services once SNCF gets out of it's current TGV shortage. With RFF pushing for clockface schedules some interesting travel opportunities might surface.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 08:57 AM   #749
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Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
Hi there.

As for the possibility of a HST Amsterdam to London, I don´t reckon it is a problem of time travel, but more of a rail signal & security system and electric tension one. It is not that cheap to build such a train that is adapted to all the different security signalling systems and electrical tensions, is it?
ETCS would actually solve the safety systems problem in near future (I suppose you actually meant safety, or you talking about the ridiculous English security again?)

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Had Paris built a deep underground HS only station and some approach tunnels, it would become instantly the hub of European HSR network. Because it hasn't, we have "anomalies" like Bruxelles/Brussel summer daily services to Avignon, when a connection in Paris would be much easier to manage.
I first also thought a underground station in the middle of Paris (Les Halles) would be the best. But actually I think a better approach would be to build a not so deep underground station between Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est. With passenger tunnels to each station. Actually the whole complex would be one big station.
Then of course two railway tunnels would have to be build to Gare the Lyon and Gare du Montparnasse.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 10:25 AM   #750
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I first also thought a underground station in the middle of Paris (Les Halles) would be the best. But actually I think a better approach would be to build a not so deep underground station between Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est. With passenger tunnels to each station. Actually the whole complex would be one big station.
Then of course two railway tunnels would have to be build to Gare the Lyon and Gare du Montparnasse.
An underground pedestrian connection between Est and Nord is being considered, but better would have been to just run the TGVs from the LGV-Est in to Paris Nord too. With the Transiliens gradually being replaced by RER trains they then could have completely redevelopped the Paris Est site.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 10:41 AM   #751
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As for the possibility of a HST Amsterdam to London, I don´t reckon it is a problem of time travel, but more of a rail signal & security system and electric tension one. It is not that cheap to build such a train that is adapted to all the different security signalling systems and electrical tensions, is it?
A Thalys TGV adapted for tunnel fire requirements would do it. A dutch ICE3 similarly adapted would be fine. Trains with all of the signalling and technical requirements have been built before, I doubt the cost would be prohibitive, or even all that significant.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 11:47 AM   #752
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ETCS would actually solve the safety systems problem in near future (I suppose you actually meant safety, or you talking about the ridiculous English security again?)
The ETCS would solve some compatibility issues, but the Chunnel has its own very safety regulations, which are not dealt with by ETCS.

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Ofcourse Schiphol is connected to the HSL network, so I could imagine that travelers from London connecting with a flight at Schiphol wouldn't mind using this train, especially if it avoids having to go to Heathrow...
Not that simples. If someone takes a flight in Heathrow to Schiphol, they can do it without clearing border, customs and part of security procedures again. It allows for safe connections with waiting times on the 1h20/1h45. Then, if a plane gets delayed in the middle of a multi-flight journey, the airline will fix the problem for you.

With trains that wouldn't happen, regardless of Schiphol having an underground train station. If an Eurostar gets late or cancelled, and you lose your flight at Schiphol, it is your and your only fault on the eyes of the airline, so you have to pay hefty cancellation/rescheduling fees, find accommodation and so. The airline would make no excuse for you as they wouldn't make for someone who was coming from downtown Amsterdam and got stuck in traffic at the A10.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #753
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Then, if a plane gets delayed in the middle of a multi-flight journey, the airline will fix the problem for you.

With trains that wouldn't happen, regardless of Schiphol having an underground train station. If an Eurostar gets late or cancelled, and you lose your flight at Schiphol, it is your and your only fault on the eyes of the airline, so you have to pay hefty cancellation/rescheduling fees, find accommodation and so. The airline would make no excuse for you as they wouldn't make for someone who was coming from downtown Amsterdam and got stuck in traffic at the A10.
That's only correct if you book the flight and the train separate. If your travel agent books it together, they have to make sure you reach your destination. It doesn't matter that 1 part of the trip is a train.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #754
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An underground pedestrian connection between Est and Nord is being considered, but better would have been to just run the TGVs from the LGV-Est in to Paris Nord too. With the Transiliens gradually being replaced by RER trains they then could have completely redevelopped the Paris Est site.
That would be a good first step, but it would only solve the problem for eastern and northern connections.

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The ETCS would solve some compatibility issues, but the Chunnel has its own very safety regulations, which are not dealt with by ETCS.
Those regulation are not incompatible with the safety regulations on the rest of the line. Anyway two regulations have been dropped just recently.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #755
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Those regulation are not incompatible with the safety regulations on the rest of the line. Anyway two regulations have been dropped just recently.
I know. The minimum length and the double-ended trains. It is an error IMO, regarding the last one.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 01:04 PM   #756
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Not that simples. If someone takes a flight in Heathrow to Schiphol, they can do it without clearing border, customs and part of security procedures again. It allows for safe connections with waiting times on the 1h20/1h45. Then, if a plane gets delayed in the middle of a multi-flight journey, the airline will fix the problem for you.

With trains that wouldn't happen, regardless of Schiphol having an underground train station. If an Eurostar gets late or cancelled, and you lose your flight at Schiphol, it is your and your only fault on the eyes of the airline, so you have to pay hefty cancellation/rescheduling fees, find accommodation and so. The airline would make no excuse for you as they wouldn't make for someone who was coming from downtown Amsterdam and got stuck in traffic at the A10.
The solution here is code sharing between airlines and railways. If you book a ticket Basel - New York, leaving there on LX7403 top Zürich you'll find out that this is actually a train, that brings you from Basel to Zürich airport. If that train is late and you miss your connection that it's the airline's problem.
Similar code sharing also exists between Lufthansa and DB, and between SNCF and Air France.
Whoever decides to run trains from London to Schiphol could code share with airlines flying out of Schiphol to attract extra customers. Let's only howe that with a more sane governement now in power in the UK we might be able to get rid of the silly security checks at the Eurostar terminals.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 01:40 PM   #757
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Whoever decides to run trains from London to Schiphol could code share with airlines flying out of Schiphol to attract extra customers. Let's only howe that with a more sane governement now in power in the UK we might be able to get rid of the silly security checks at the Eurostar terminals.
I doubt Cameron will push any adhesion of UK to Schengen Treaty which would all but force Ireland into it. Without it, checks must continue and hopefully will do so. I don't want to see illegal immigrants protesting, let alone rioting, after being detained in-masse if they board harmlessly and without checks the Eurostar in Belgium and France.

Then, you'd still need local border controls in the continental stations on the exists. It makes no big difference to - for instance - have some customs booths in Amsterdam Centraal or Amsterdam Zuid for outbound passengers or for incoming passengers.

I'm the most ferocious possible opponent of "onboard" passport checks on international trains. It would be like boarding a plane to - say - USA and having air marshals checking your passports during flight.

Is is just too dangerous to start an heated argument in a fast-moving trains with a possible immigrant whose last hope in life is to enter UK illegally. Did they do that in the 70's and 80's? Yes, but then attitudes toward immigrants (illegals), let alone the high stakes they take to enter Europe, were different. You didn't have a semi-militarized zone in Calais to prevent desperate people from Asia who came overland to jump into a moving train.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 02:10 PM   #758
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I doubt Cameron will push any adhesion of UK to Schengen Treaty which would all but force Ireland into it. Without it, checks must continue and hopefully will do so. I don't want to see illegal immigrants protesting, let alone rioting, after being detained in-masse if they board harmlessly and without checks the Eurostar in Belgium and France.
The problem is not the border checks. It's the security theatre. That needs to go.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 03:22 PM   #759
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The problem is not the border checks. It's the security theatre. That needs to go.
The x-rays bays on The Eurostar work pretty fast. They are not as rigorous as in the airplanes. The advanced check-in times are in place because of border controls. Border controls for non-Europeans can take time, they can't just rush people. And they need space and a sort-of-unwelcoming appearance to break down resistance on wanna be immigrants (or other ppl trying to enter the country illegally) who have just memorized fake data/reasons for travelling and so.

It has been studied for decades in relate of airport security how a "semi-hostile" border control zone brings uneasy in people who are trying to lie, thus making them more vulnerable to be exposed.

In other words: even if x-rays were to go, you wouldn't want a bunch of officers just checking passports a temporarily fenced platform. You need time, balconies, lanes to process everyone.

And, of course, you need the British to staff stations elsewhere in Europe.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 04:34 PM   #760
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The x-rays bays on The Eurostar work pretty fast. They are not as rigorous as in the airplanes.
That does not matter. They are a nuisance. They are entirely superflous, and they make it harder to expand Eurostar service to other places.

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The advanced check-in times are in place because of border controls. Border controls for non-Europeans can take time, they can't just rush people.
There was a time when ID checks where common at border railway stations. I remember arriving in Bregenz on a German train and having to go through customs and immigration after alighting from the train. It was never deemed necessary to have 30 minute check in times to make this possible. Similar arrangements existed at many Swiss border stations until recently.

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And they need space and a sort-of-unwelcoming appearance to break down resistance on wanna be immigrants (or other ppl trying to enter the country illegally) who have just memorized fake data/reasons for travelling and so.
Whether treating people who just want a better life and who are willing to work hard to achieve that as criminals is the right thing to do is a whole different discussion. However why should the arrangements that work at other Schengen borders not work at the UK border?
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