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Old August 5th, 2014, 03:39 PM   #1721
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What if they built a "border station" on an open field just after exit from Lille on LGV-Nord?

It would be a structure meant only for border control on UK-bound trains, optimized for that with a different than usual layout. For instance, passengers could exit the train and be processed on an airport-like counter, going sideways and accessing the same trains after going around, on the same level, past the passport control lines. With proper staffing, this could be done in 20 minutes. And such station could make it much easier for other services to/from London.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 03:45 PM   #1722
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Because one: Lille is a huge agglomeration. There is not enough room. Not close to the city centre anyway. I know, I've lived there.

And two: There is always what is called the Lille Loophole. Passengers not travelling to the UK but using Eurostar between Lille and Paris, Brussels can refuse UK border checks at all times, and local law enforcement are at hand to protect their interests. UK border agents have often been threatened with arrests. After all Lille, Paris and Brussels are in the middle of Schengen, not Britain.

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Old August 5th, 2014, 03:54 PM   #1723
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Couldn't they build it at Calais Frethun. It is the last station before the tunnel. It is in the middle of a field with all the room you want. That way you can expand Services from London to all over the continent.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 03:56 PM   #1724
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verfmeer View Post
Couldn't they build it at Calais Frethun. It is the last station before the tunnel. It is in the middle of a field with all the room you want. That way you can expand Services from London to all over the continent.
What, get all passengers who boarded the train at Lille, Paris and Brussels to get off the train for passport control? I can see easyJet providing a good alternative again...
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Old August 5th, 2014, 03:58 PM   #1725
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road_UK View Post
Because one: Lille is a huge agglomeration. There is not enough room. Not close to the city centre anyway. I know, I've lived there.

And two: There is always what is called the Lille Loophole. Passengers not travelling to the UK but using Eurostar between Lille and Paris, Brussels can refuse UK border checks at all times, and local law enforcement are at hand to protect their interests. UK border agents have often bin threatened with arrests. After all Lille, Paris and Brussels are in the middle of Schengen, not Britain.
A station could be fit right here. It would be mostly a border processing facility. All passengers would disembark and go through control, next stop would be in UK already so these concerns are moot and no loophole would exist. Passengers disembarking in that station would go through a secondary exit out of the border control perimeter and just exit the place altogether.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 07:53 PM   #1726
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I don't see how they could possibly organize that in Brussels, given that
the Eurostar terminal only has two tracks. Other tracks in the station are
not fenced. And the two Eurostar tracks are stub-ended, they can only
be accessed from the south.

Most probably this would be organized at Lille Europe - although this station
has capacity problems too. But at least, it would allow to serve Lille without
all the hassle that exists today.
Nope, as I said this will happen at Brussels. Not in Lille, not in Calais, but in BRUSSELS. The train will arrive at one of the regular platforms, everyone disembarks, train leaves for the Vorst maintenance yard and reverses back into the €* terminal from there.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 09:53 PM   #1727
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Are passengers obliged to unload their baggages when coming from Aix-en-Provence? If so, the direct connection would be in one direction only, so it wouldn't be that worth making trains beyond Paris and Bruxelles (except for a few seasonal services). Good connections would be enough.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 10:12 PM   #1728
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Moving the UK Border Agency back to London would be the best option for everybody. That way we can have trains moving between London and the whole of Europe without all this song and dance at stations within the Schengen area. The UK wishes to stay out of Schengen? Fine, but don't let them lying their agents around IN Schengen, eating up our infrastructure.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 11:25 PM   #1729
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Unfortunately, the UK won't allow trains to enter the country without being checked beforehand. In theory, an immigrant could pull the emergency handle once the train enters England and jump out of the door.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 11:43 PM   #1730
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Quote:
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Unfortunately, the UK won't allow trains to enter the country without being checked beforehand. In theory, an immigrant could pull the emergency handle once the train enters England and jump out of the door.
Do high-speed trains trigger automatic breaking if someone push emergency buttons or pull handles?

I actually don't understand the rationale to give passengers the control over emergency stops on trains that still retain it. It is not like passengers can recognize modern emergencies on trains that the engineer couldn't, so the most useful thing could be something to alert the engineer or a third-person out of the train to take some procedure.

Things like foreign object on tracks, track intrusion etc. are usually not visible to passengers at all, only to the control cockpit. Fire is an emergency, but modern trains have fire alarms on their own. Incidents between passengers are best not dealt by stopping a train. Medical emergencies are best dealt having the train pull over at the next station where EMR can reach faster.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 11:56 PM   #1731
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The engineer doesn't have complete knowledge of what happens behind him, and a lot of stuff can't be controlled by sensors.

A fire can be decetced fast by people, smoke, smell of burning/heating stuff, a window broken from an object... in the worst case, even a derailed axle may be signalled before it leads to a major derailment.
In the Eschede disaster several seconds passed between the first impact and the actual derailment, and the enquiry revealed that the consequences might have been less serious if the staff would have activated the emergency brakes (which they didn't due to wrong training).

Modern emergency brakes trigger an alarm in the cab, so that the driver can manage a stop at a planned spot, if in a tunnel. If the driver doesn't react, the train stops anyway.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 12:00 AM   #1732
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The engineer doesn't have complete knowledge of what happens behind him, and a lot of stuff can't be controlled by sensors.

A fire can be decetced fast by people, smoke, smell of burning/heating stuff, a window broken from an object... in the worst case, even a derailed axle may be signalled before it leads to a major derailment.
In the Eschede disaster several seconds passed between the first impact and the actual derailment, and the enquiry revealed that the consequences might have been less serious if the staff would have activated the emergency brakes (which they didn't due to wrong training).

Modern emergency brakes trigger an alarm in the cab, so that the driver can manage a stop at a planned spot, if in a tunnel. If the driver doesn't react, the train stops anyway.


My idea for immigration check is to perform them on board, between the last continental stop and Folkestone (even if you escape in the tunnel, it's pretty easy to find you before you see the UK...). Luggage can then be checked at St. Pancras.
Or, even simpler, the UK can cut all this crap...
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Old August 6th, 2014, 12:27 AM   #1733
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
My idea for immigration check is to perform them on board, between the last continental stop and Folkestone (even if you escape in the tunnel, it's pretty easy to find you before you see the UK...).
They used to do that in the early days of Eurostar. When I first used Eurostar to Brussels in 1994 I was checked on the train. The problem is that the immigration staff have to be on the train for a long time, especially if there is no stop between Lille and London. Even if the train stops at Calais and Ashford they still have a long time doing nothing. No one is prepared to pay for that.

Quote:
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Or, even simpler, the UK can cut all this crap...
Unfortunately, our politicians listen too much to the right wing press (Daily Mail etc.) and that reflects on our immigration policy.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 12:51 AM   #1734
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I was wondering: the press is mostly quiet on the success of the Hanzelijn. Two other "big" rail project had had hiccups (Betuweroute and HSL-Zuid/Fyra), the Hanzelijn, albeit shorter, is working fine, just waiting for 200km/h trains to be deployed there.

I also wonder if the complaints about "lost of fast connectivity" in Amersfoort were materialized or not.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 08:44 AM   #1735
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The Hanzelijn also has its hiccup: Due to a design error in the Drontermeertunnel trains with sufficient time tabel slack are urged to limit their speed (to something in the 80 to 100 km/h range) through the tunnel to reduce ear popping. The tunnel was originally designed for 200 km/h.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 11:36 AM   #1736
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Yes, and that particular hiccup has featured relatively prominently in the press. Because they are vultures when it comes to infrastructure projects.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 01:15 PM   #1737
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And rightly so, despite the press most of the time having no clue what they're talking about.

Many infrastructure projects have the annoying habit of going way over budget. There are multiple reasons for that. Mainly: To limit the budget you calculate as little as possible foreseen and unforeseen expenses and ask for extra money later. If you have multiple options you have the cheapest one approved and then during building once you've passed the point of no return you change your plans to a more expensive variant.
And of course a big one: Until the last screw is put in we continue to make design changes.
One thing that remains interesting about any big project: a disproportionate amount of the budget is spent on talking not actually building.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 09:42 PM   #1738
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Why the train tunnel was downgraded to only speeds up to 100 km/h

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And rightly so, despite the press most of the time having no clue what they're talking about.
That's a worldwide trend unfortunately.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 10:12 PM   #1739
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It was constructed too narrow, so when trains go through it with high speeds it's uncomfortable for passengers (increased pressure on trains > ear popping).
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Old August 7th, 2014, 05:24 AM   #1740
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Any plans to fix it?
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