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Old September 27th, 2013, 02:52 PM   #1881
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I hope EU prohibits transportation via EU-hostile countries like Iran, since it would put European operators at a great disadvantage (Chinese trains could pass Iran, but not the other way around). The sanctions must be enhanced to cripple any possible gains Iran might make on this route.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 07:57 PM   #1882
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Eurostar confirms launch of London – Amsterdam services in December 2016


EUROPE: Eurostar, the Dutch government and Dutch national passenger operator NS have signed an agreement for the launch of direct services between London and Amsterdam Centraal in December 2016.
This forms part of a programme to enhance services on HSL-Zuid which was announced by State Secretary for Infrastructure & the Environment Wilma Mansveld on September 27.
The agreement has been submitted to the Dutch parliament for ratification, a process which a Eurostar expects to be completed within the next few months.
Two services a day would be operated using Eurostar's new Siemens Velaro e320 trains, the first of which is now on test. The journey time will be around 4 h, with stops at Brussels, Antwerpen, Rotterdam and Schiphol airport.
A Eurostar spokesman told Railway Gazette International that details of the immigration and baggage screening procedures for UK-bound journeys were still to be worked out. The agreement sets a date for the launch of services, but it is 'very much the first step' and there is still 'a lot of work to do before 2016'.
Announcing the agreement, Eurostar said that since becoming a standalone corporate entity in September 2010 it has 'had clear ambitions to expand its business beyond its existing destinations and to encourage passengers to choose high speed rail over plane for short haul European travel', and a direct high-speed rail service between London and Amsterdam would offer 'an attractive, convenient alternative to the airlines'.
'We have long been ambitious for expansion to new destinations, so today's announcement marks a major advance in our growth plans', said Eurostar Chief Executive Nicolas Petrovic. 'With over three million passengers travelling by air between London and Amsterdam, this is one of Europe's most popular routes. Our fast, comfortable, point-to-point service will greatly enhance the links between the UK and the near Continent, revolutionising travel between these important financial and tourist hubs.'

Source: Railway Gazette
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Old September 27th, 2013, 08:51 PM   #1883
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Does anyone know why this could not be done in 2015 already?
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Old September 27th, 2013, 11:14 PM   #1884
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Availability of rolling stock certified for 4 countries and the channel tunnel.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 10:49 AM   #1885
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Quote:
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I hope EU prohibits transportation via EU-hostile countries like Iran, since it would put European operators at a great disadvantage (Chinese trains could pass Iran, but not the other way around). The sanctions must be enhanced to cripple any possible gains Iran might make on this route.
I don't know. When you look at maps like these you realise how easy after all international train travel is in Europe. Apart from the relative absence of Asian railroad, traditional and high-speed, East Asia excepted, there are so many political and technical barriers. Particularly whoever can make what is marked as the Southern Corridor run deserves a Nobel peace prize, transport prize, or some such. Basically every country on that route is engaged in hate thy neighbour.

The Central Asian route, also passing through Iran, would be somewhat less challenging, but still at major achievement. If you want to boicott it would be better to do so after the infrastructure is built rather than before. Anyway the European operators would not lose from better (technical, political) infrastructure, and long-term it would give them, and Iran, profitable opportunities.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 04:27 PM   #1886
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Normally the first class is situated in front of the train running from Brussels to Frankfurt; but there are a lot of exceptions to this rule.
This was correct both ways, and I managed to sit in the front seat on the return - however the driver refused to clear the glass
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Old September 28th, 2013, 04:51 PM   #1887
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New ICEs will no longer feature these panorama lounges AFAIK.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 07:08 PM   #1888
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A Eurostar spokesman told Railway Gazette International that details of the immigration and baggage screening procedures for UK-bound journeys were still to be worked out.
Lets hope that this means that a) the baggage screening is ditched and b) immigration is moved to London for those trains.
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Old September 29th, 2013, 03:43 PM   #1889
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The baggage screening is a bit of a joke.

In the last month I've had a couple of trips from Brussels to London. Both stopped at Lille.

The first was early on a weekday. Usual stamp on the ticket at Brussels, then nothing. Not a single immigration officer on duty at London.

The second was late on a Saturday. Stamp on a ticket at Brussels (how easy is this to fake?), then a ticket check on the train after Lille (by Securitas staff) and more immigration staff in London than I have ever seen - 5 checking and then about 15 standing around at the back.

So clearly illegal immigrants don't get up early and only travel on the weekends...


And yes, if we must continue this charade, then hopefully it will move to London / UK only. I hope DB and Eurostar will collaborate to make this happen.
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Old September 29th, 2013, 04:58 PM   #1890
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Lets hope that this means that a) the baggage screening is ditched and b) immigration is moved to London for those trains.
Do they have enough space on St. Pancras to process all passengers on a regular basis?
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Old September 29th, 2013, 05:06 PM   #1891
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Yes the arrivals room is quite large.
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Old September 29th, 2013, 05:22 PM   #1892
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What about passengers traveling in the opposite direction? Would those be checked in London too?
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Old September 29th, 2013, 05:23 PM   #1893
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Yes. Make all the silly UK requirements happen on the UK side. Check inbound tickets on the train - for those in violation there was a cell on the existing trains I believe.

In many ways it's just the same as leaving/arriving in Switzerland.
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Old September 29th, 2013, 05:28 PM   #1894
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In many ways it's just the same as leaving/arriving in Switzerland.
Ten years ago maybe. There are no regular passport checks on trains entering or leaving Switzerland any more. I've crossed the Swiss borders on a train dozens of times and never been approached by the seldom seen border guards or customs agents.
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Old September 29th, 2013, 05:35 PM   #1895
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I've had passport checks in Geneva station, but it's little more than cursory. London could be the same.
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Old September 29th, 2013, 06:05 PM   #1896
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By the way, why is the ICE3M limited to 250 km/h in Belgium whereas the Thalys goes 300?
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Old September 30th, 2013, 04:27 PM   #1897
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It has to do with the ICE3M sucking up ballast between the sleepers.
Thalys has a smoother surface on the underside, so it doesn't have this problem.

In Germany it isn't a problem because the 300 km/h sections are completely ballast free
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Old September 30th, 2013, 04:48 PM   #1898
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It has to do with the ICE3M sucking up ballast between the sleepers.
AFAIK this problem has been solved, and ICE3M can now also travel at 300kph in Belgium.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 01:47 AM   #1899
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The ICE3M I was on in Belgium never went above 250 km/h this last trip - but yes, the ballast problem was solved as it does 320 km/h on the LGV Est.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 10:33 PM   #1900
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Fancy fix

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