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Old June 16th, 2013, 08:17 PM   #1701
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Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
Not if the Cologne, Liège and Frankfurt stops are included.
Not everybody will do Frankfurt-London by train, but many might do Cologne-London, Liège-London or of course Brussels-London.

Intermediate stops in long distance trains count very much indeed.
But allowing intra-Schengen travel on a Frankfurt - London service does require that the UK accept that the train remains "in Schengen" till st. Pancras, where border checks then take place.
And the silly security theatre must go too.


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And then there´s also something you missed: the people who are afraid of traveling by plane (there´s more than you could imagine, and I am one of them).
There is a growing group of people are starting to get downright disgusted with what plane travel has become. These people don't mind travelling a few hours longer in order to do it in more comfort and style.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 08:30 PM   #1702
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No it isn't. You have to remember that the majority of travellers on this route are business travellers who happen to be time sensitive.

Let's see:

Train: 5 hours

Air travel:
Frankfurt city center -> Frankfurt airport: 15 minutes
Arrival at the airport before departure of flight: 45 minutes (definitely sufficient when you check in online and have no check-in luggage)
Flight time: 1h 15min
Time from landing at LHR until you can leave the airport: 30 minutes
Heathrow airport -> London city center: 45 minutes

= 3 hours 30 minutes

So not only is flying usually cheaper, but it is also faster.
You have also to consider the total travelling time from your home your final destination, and the time necessary to collect the luggage.

Not evrybody lives five minutes from Paddington station, therefore the travelling time from London to Heathrow to can be greater that thone one you have specified.

Not everybody travels with cabine luggage only. A businessman travelling from London to Frankfurt might have to stay there several days, therefore he/she might have to travel with more luggage, on top of the cabin one.

You also have to consider delays in changing means of trasportation, delays on the road, bus, on missing an airport shuttle, and you have to take into account these factors.

So your travelling time can be feasible in some journeys, if everything goes smoolthly, but not in others. More realistically, I would consider to reckon a total travelling times around 4h 30 ~ 5h 30'.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 08:31 PM   #1703
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Quote:
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But allowing intra-Schengen travel on a Frankfurt - London service does require that the UK accept that the train remains "in Schengen" till st. Pancras, where border checks then take place.
And the silly security theatre must go too.
Be aware that trains could also call at Ashford (Kent) or Ebbsfleet (Kent).
Britain is not just London.

I didn´t necessarily mean that every passenger boarding the train would go to London. Passengers on the route could do Frankfurt-Lille, for instance.
The essential of such services is to keep the train full during all the trip.

As for the UK border control, they´re in their right of doing it, they´re not doing anything illegal, and I don´t think we´d be more democratic if we forced them to cancel the controls (as if they would allow it, anyway... ).

And still, the political situation matters in this case.

If ever the UK held a referendum about staying or leaving in the EU, and the "leave" option would win, what could we continentals do about it? I´m afraid that we could just watch... and the border controls then, if anything, would increase even more...

Not that I want them to leave, in fact I´d be delighted if they entered the Schengen area and the eurozone, but... it´s their choice, we can´t force them.

Quote:
There is a growing group of people are starting to get downright disgusted with what plane travel has become. These people don't mind travelling a few hours longer in order to do it in more comfort and style.
I was speaking strictly of people who are afraid of flying, not of people who are tired of flying.

Someone who just doesn´t like it can bear it if need be.

But someone who is afraid of it, I mean, why would I need taking any pills to travel, if I have other options?
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Old June 16th, 2013, 08:35 PM   #1704
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45 minutes from the moment you step off of the train at Flughafen Frankfurt Fernbahnhof until you're taxiing down the taxiway? Maybe.

If you know your gate, run for it, and only carry a briefcase and you're lucky at the security checkpoint. But one family of six in front of you, just flying back home to some third-world country after visiting relatives in Germany not understanding the security rules, and you're done. Or someone pulls the emergency brake on your train for fun, and it stops at Niederrad for 10 minutes... Again, you're done.

Most business travelers will want to arrive at least one hour before departure at the airport, and will leave Hbf preferably around 90 minutes before departure. Because their boss (who's paying for their ticket) would normally not look kindly upon wasting a ticket due to cutting corners with time.

So, by the time your plane starts taxiing, if you would've taken the train, you would've been halfway between Cologne and Aachen. By the time your plane lands at LHR, the train would've been somewhere near Lille.

30 minutes clearing the airport, again, being hopeful. The British Isles aren't part of Schengen, and I've waited far more than that once in Edinburgh because a flight from the US had just landed and there were plenty of people in the EU line that didn't belong there. If you're unlucky, count 60 minutes until you're on the tube.

By that time, your train is probably already near Maidstone...

Most likely, you arrive roughly at the same time at your destination as you would've done while traveling by train. But instead of spending 50% of your time standing in one line or another, you can actually spend this time productive, getting work done...

And that is FRA-LHR... Don't even try arriving one hour before your flight at AMS, one of the other cities which will be served by this connection. Flying back home from FAR last March (FAR-MSP-AMS-WAW-KRK), I spent two hours going through security (they probably believe the TSA doesn't do their job) unpacking every single bit of electronics out of my carry-on and placing it in separate bins. Unfortunately the 25 people in front of me in that line had to do the same, so it took me about an hour by itself getting through the security between the non-Schengen airside and the Schengen airside...

Or maybe put it differently, do you really think Eurostar would've been so opposed to DB starting this service if it would've been not commercially viable?

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Old June 16th, 2013, 08:40 PM   #1705
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
11 hours of driving? To each his own, but for me that would be horror. Anyway, for me that's not an option as I don't have a car (I prefer to be rich in stead...)
Spending 11 hours in a car, enjoying my favourite music at a volume level of my choosing, or even singing along if I feel like it, while smoking a cigarette from time to time, and stopping for food whenever I feel like it is in my opinion far superior to spending most of my time in queues between hundreds of other stressed out passengers, or running from plane to bus and from bus to train, stressing even more about whether I'll make my connection or not.

But then again, I drive 50,000 kilometres a year, and find driving honestly quite relaxing. The only mode of transportation superior to driving is in my opinion high-speed rail, and if I had to choose between spending 2 hours on a plane, and 4 hours getting to the airport and from the airport, while dealing with all kinds of security rules and queues for checkpoints and whatever, or even 8 hours on a train, or say 10 hours in my car, I'd take the train over the car, and the car over the plane.

But that's my point of view, I travel a lot, and I prefer to do it as comfortably possible unless the travel time really start outweighing the comfort.

Say, Berlin-Paris, 8 hours by train, 6 hours by plane centre to centre. I think the 2 hours extra on the train still outweighs the hassle of flying (especially into CDG)

Warszawa-London, 16 hours by train, or 7,5 hours by plane centre to centre, here the plane is definitely the better option.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 08:58 PM   #1706
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I will use this connection just for fun as a tourist. It isn´t so important for people like me how long the journey takes but it´s very entertaining to travel with a high-speed train through different European countries and see the countryside.
From a plane you don´t see much down below and driving a car isn´t so relaxing like riding a train.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 09:08 PM   #1707
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
No it isn't. You have to remember that the majority of travellers on this route are business travellers who happen to be time sensitive.

Let's see:

Train: 5 hours

Air travel:
Frankfurt city center -> Frankfurt airport: 15 minutes
Arrival at the airport before departure of flight: 45 minutes (definitely sufficient when you check in online and have no check-in luggage)
Flight time: 1h 15min
Time from landing at LHR until you can leave the airport: 30 minutes
Heathrow airport -> London city center: 45 minutes

= 3 hours 30 minutes

So not only is flying usually cheaper, but it is also faster.
What about internet and mobile connectivity? Isn't that important for business travellers?
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Old June 16th, 2013, 09:13 PM   #1708
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@437.001-> ok but i don't understand: 5 hours is non stop or with stop?
because it makes a great difference.
If the travel between cologne/Liège could take a lot of passengers i don't see why people from frankfurt will want to take this train which stop several times.

I if you have 2 stops it could not be a problem but if you add some others i don't see the viability
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Old June 16th, 2013, 09:29 PM   #1709
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@437.001-> ok but i don't understand: 5 hours is non stop or with stop?
because it makes a great difference.
If the travel between cologne/Liège could take a lot of passengers i don't see why people from frankfurt will want to take this train which stop several times.

I if you have 2 stops it could not be a problem but if you add some others i don't see the viability
It'll probably stop in Cologne, Liege, Brussels and Lille along the way. Maybe also in Aachen and Ashford, but these stops aren't that necessary.

Either way, stopping once an hour will in my opinion vastly increase the profitability, because the train will also serve folks doing Cologne-London or Frankfurt-Lille, as well as allowing a fast connection for the likes of Dusseldorf or Essen to London, through Cologne, Maastricht through Liege, and in Brussels it will be combined with another trainset serving Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp.

I personally think that this train will be very viable, economically speaking. It might even become a major cash cow for DB. And honestly, if it wouldn't have been such a viable connection, I'm sure Eurostar wouldn't have been so much against it, because it's always nice to see your competitor screw up...
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Old June 16th, 2013, 09:32 PM   #1710
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There is definitely market for Frankfurt - London.

For example there are three pairs of Berlin - Warszawa express trains(business class included) every day, time about 5h 20min. And of course lot's of other similar connections.

If I am going to conference starting at 11:00
I'll take the train from Frankfurt, leaving at 05:00 and arriving to London at 10:30. I can have three hours non stop sleep(instead of check in and trip to airport) on train and I have also time to have some breakfast and think my day or prepare for conference or whatsoever.

Let's say that the plain takes off at 7:00 and arrives to London at 8:15 not 9:15 as would be ideal. It means I have to go about 5:50 from Frankfurt city center getting some 2hrs morning hassle for full money. It's not just some things, there are lot's of things that matter. I won't say that all people go by train but definitely there will be enough for starting a train service.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 09:40 PM   #1711
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Right now, DB offers a special ticket for Berlin-London (or return) tickets on one specific trip, starting from 59 Euro (one-way).

These are the trips offered each day for which through tickets are sold.

Berlin-London:
Code:
Berlin Hbf	 Th, 12.09.13	 dep	06:49 	 13 D - G	ICE 654	 Intercity-Express
Köln Hbf	 Th, 12.09.13	 arr	 11:09 	 6

 Transfer time 34 min.
Köln Hbf	 Th, 12.09.13	 dep	11:43 	 5	ICE 16	 Intercity-Express
Bruxelles-Midi	 Th, 12.09.13	 arr	 13:35 	 4

transfer  45 min. 
Please observe check-in times

Bruxelles-Midi EST	 Th, 12.09.13	 dep	14:56	  	EST 9141	 EUROSTAR
Subject to compulsory reservation,
Special ticket or supplement required,
Please observe check-in times
London St. Pancras International	 Th, 12.09.13	 arr	 16:10

London-Berlin
Code:
London St. Pancras International	 Th, 12.09.13	 dep	06:50	  	EST 9110	 EUROSTAR
Subject to compulsory reservation,
Special ticket or supplement required,
Please observe check-in times
Bruxelles-Midi Eurostar	 Th, 12.09.13	 arr	 10:07	  

transfer  17 min.
Bruxelles-Midi	 Th, 12.09.13	 dep	10:25 	 5	ICE 15	 Intercity-Express
Köln Hbf	 Th, 12.09.13	 arr	 12:15 	 5

 Transfer time 33 min.
Köln Hbf	 Th, 12.09.13	 dep	12:48 	 2	ICE 559	 Intercity-Express
Berlin Hbf	 Th, 12.09.13	 arr	 17:08 	 11 D - G
It would be interesting to see how many Berlin-London tickets do they sell for what are 10h26 (westbound) or 9h18 (eastbound) trips.

Maybe a hypothetical direct non-stop Berlin-London train would be able to complete this journey in less than 7h, and a train calling only at Hannover, Koln, Bruxelles would compelte it in less than 7h40 yet. Problem is: would UK Home OFfice fit all these stations wiht border agents?
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Last edited by Suburbanist; June 16th, 2013 at 09:46 PM.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 10:55 PM   #1712
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Originally Posted by Proterra View Post

Spending 11 hours in a car, enjoying my favourite music at a volume level of my choosing, or even singing along if I feel like it, while smoking a cigarette from time to time, and stopping for food whenever I feel like it is in my opinion far superior to spending most of my time in queues between hundreds of other stressed out passengers, or running from plane to bus and from bus to train, stressing even more about whether I'll make my connection or not.
If you think that you can maintain the necessary level of concentration needed for operating a car safely for 11 hours then I hope the ambulance will be quick when reality catches up with you.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 10:59 PM   #1713
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To each his/her own. For me more than 5 h a day in a car is horrible. I think I've done more less than 10 times and always with multiple drivers. Of course the same time in a plane is even worse, but there is no other option for intercontinental travel.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 11:02 PM   #1714
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Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post

Be aware that trains could also call at Ashford (Kent) or Ebbsfleet (Kent).
Britain is not just London.
Ebbsfleet and Ashford have border police too, so that is not so big an issue...

The point is that installing UK border police in, for example Geneve, for only a couple of trains a day is never going to make sense. So the border formalities must be done in the UK.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 11:12 PM   #1715
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Ebbsfleet and Ashford have border police too, so that is not so big an issue...

The point is that installing UK border police in, for example Geneve, for only a couple of trains a day is never going to make sense. So the border formalities must be done in the UK.
What Brits are afraid off is that if the border controls are done inside UK those trains will be full of illegal immigrants, asylum seekers etc. and once they are on UK soil it won't be possible to get them out again. And it is true that UK attracts more of those individuals due to English being a nearly universal language now and UK being particularly generous with social benefits. Border control for EU citizens is just a formality. Last time I was in Heathrow the border agent looked at my passport for maybe 5 sec and asked no questions.
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Old June 17th, 2013, 02:09 AM   #1716
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Sorry for the interuption, but is there any web-application to calculate the price for ticket on inernational journeys?

If I plan to travel within Germany, the DB site displays me the price for particullar relation. The same goes for Slovakia and ZSSK, for Czech republic and CD, Hungary and MÁV, etc.

But if I plan to travel across at least two different countries, none of the sites displays me the exact price. What I have to do is to visit the nearest train-station and ask a saleslady. Since the nearest station is not just around a corner, it is pretty much annoying to plan a cross-border railway trip.

(E.g. now I'm looking for Bratislava - Berlin relation by train "EN Metropol". Obviously, no results on the internet).
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Old June 17th, 2013, 11:26 AM   #1717
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Ticketing is one of the most serious disadvantages of international train relations. Except for a few select destinations, there are no easy internet prices. a survey in Germany also found that 55 % of sales staff at stations could not find out the cheapest price for international connections. The best option is to go to travel agencies specialized on international train travel such bahnagentur schöneberg or kopfbahnhof (also reachable by email or phone) in Berlin. Calculating the best ticket price can take up to an hour and you will most likely end up with about ten tickets instead of one, but you will probably save alot.
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Old June 17th, 2013, 01:34 PM   #1718
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Ticketing is one of the most serious disadvantages of international train relations. Except for a few select destinations, there are no easy internet prices. a survey in Germany also found that 55 % of sales staff at stations could not find out the cheapest price for international connections. The best option is to go to travel agencies specialized on international train travel such bahnagentur schöneberg or kopfbahnhof (also reachable by email or phone) in Berlin. Calculating the best ticket price can take up to an hour and you will most likely end up with about ten tickets instead of one, but you will probably save alot.
Actually, there some forums on internet, where you can get a free advise about international routes and ticketing. For example, after a brief talk at such forum, I managed to make-up 45 Euro Kyiv-Prague one way, while default route (1 change) cost something about 100 euro one way
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Old June 17th, 2013, 05:19 PM   #1719
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What Brits are afraid off is that if the border controls are done inside UK those trains will be full of illegal immigrants, asylum seekers etc. and once they are on UK soil it won't be possible to get them out again.
That is actually not true. Any person refused entry at st. Pancras will be transported back to France or Belgium. Not only that, he/she wil also be handed over to the authorities in those countries, meaning that the Eurostar is actually not a convenient route for illegal immigrants. The chance of being able to slip in to the country unnoticed via that route is currently virtually nil.
Currently passengers from trains from Brussels do pass through immigration at st. Pancras. There is no reason why this can't be done for other trains.
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Old June 17th, 2013, 05:25 PM   #1720
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Originally Posted by volodaaaa View Post
Sorry for the interuption, but is there any web-application to calculate the price for ticket on inernational journeys?

If I plan to travel within Germany, the DB site displays me the price for particullar relation. The same goes for Slovakia and ZSSK, for Czech republic and CD, Hungary and MÁV, etc.

But if I plan to travel across at least two different countries, none of the sites displays me the exact price. What I have to do is to visit the nearest train-station and ask a saleslady. Since the nearest station is not just around a corner, it is pretty much annoying to plan a cross-border railway trip.

(E.g. now I'm looking for Bratislava - Berlin relation by train "EN Metropol". Obviously, no results on the internet).
Deutsche Bahn actually does give price for a lot of international trains to/from Germany. You can book the Bratislava - Berlin train on their website. And they will show you the cheapest prices (eg. 49,- euro in a couchette)

Generally speaking for international tickets go to the website of one of the countries involved. That usually works. I book most of my international trips on-line nowadays.
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