• Germany's news in English
 

Eurostar plans speedy London to Frankfurt link

Published: 14 May 2012 16:21 GMT+02:00

The Germany-London high-speed rail link will be a direct challenge to European airlines, the Financial Times said.

"By 2016 and 2017 we would like people when they are thinking about travelling to these cities to consider taking Eurostar rather than flying,” Eurostar Chief Executive Nicolas Petrovic told the paper.

Since launching the high-speed link between London, Paris and Brussels in 2007, Eurostar has almost killed off air travel between those cities, said the paper.

The line now carries 9.7 million passengers a year, offering much faster journey times between the city centres than air travel.

But now Eurostar is upping its game as it faces future competition from Deutsche Bahn. Germany's train operator won a long battle with French state operator SNCF two years ago to gain access to the tunnel linking Britain and France.

Eurostar – 55 percent of which is owned by SNCF - has until now enjoyed a monopoly on travel through the Channel Tunnel.

But Deutsche Bahn is set on launching a competing ICE service by the end of 2015, said the paper, speeding passengers between Frankfurt and London via Cologne in an estimated five hours.

Still, Deutsche Bahn will have to pay above the odds for the privilege of using the line.

Petrovic thought at least one other competitor would get into the tunnel along with Deutsche Bahn, he told the paper, but said the opening up of the high-speed rail market was a good way to tackle the dominance of the airlines.

“The key growth area for us is to take market share off airlines and if more [train] operators come in it will grow the whole market for high-speed rail,” he said.

Now in an ambitious move, Petrovic said Eurostar would expand its service from its international hub in London not only to German cities, but also to Amsterdam, Lyon, Marseille and Geneva over the next five years.

The expansion will coincide with Eurostar taking delivery of ten German-made Siemens trains big enough to seat 900 passengers, scheduled from the end of 2014.

The deal sparked a row between Germany and France in 2010 when French engineering giant Alstom tried to stop Eurostar buying the trains from its German rival.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:26 May 14, 2012 by catjones
ah, excuse me. Hello, it's me, Berlin, over here. Hi there. Hey, listen, I'm like the capital. I know I can't do airports, but how about a train for me? You wouldn't have to compete against air travel, cause there isn't any here.
18:01 May 14, 2012 by Englishted
So you can catch the train from more German cities than English ones.

Most of Britain is North of London but the railways don't know it.
18:45 May 14, 2012 by blackboot11
@catjones

Maybe its because the Hauptbanhof Berlin which was opened in a rush job (similar to the current BBI debacle) in 2006 is already falling apart.

...can't do airports and can't do train stations.

Although the thought of the train connection to London from Berlin via Eurostar would be great .
20:14 May 14, 2012 by frankiep
Why would they make a connection from London to Berlin? Doesn't make any sense. The financial/business capital of Germany is Frankfurt, not Berlin, and building a train connection between the two biggest financial centers in Europe makes a lot more sense than building one to Berlin.
20:41 May 14, 2012 by michael86
That's pretty cool, I like trains more than airplanes. :D

But connecting the European Cities with the Transrapid would be faster and cheaper in the long term. I don't understand why they ignore this wonderful technology.
22:32 May 14, 2012 by MeinSchwanz
I would like to see this, as Air travel takes too long and costs too much compared to Rail travel, and I know tax payers never have to pick up the bill for any new trains, rail and/or stations.
10:32 May 15, 2012 by JSD
Having taken the EuroStar often, I can only think the DB will be far superior in service and prices. The eurostar is usually 3Xs more expensive than any other train. The trains are also cramped. Maybe the new Siemens trains will be better. I just don't think the Eurostar is big enough or together enough to compete with DB, Thayls and TGV. I also wondering how they are going to manage international checkin at the stops along the way, such as Cologne, which is already very small for such a busy train station.
15:41 May 18, 2012 by Voice
I'd certainly use DB to travel to London but not Eurostar. When Eurostar first opened it had really cheap deals on 1st class weekend returns including meals etc. Then the fares started rocketing and I tried second class which is quite a bit different. As JSD says, the seating is cramped and not at all good for such long distances. I've never used it again since I moved to the continent 11 years ago.

DB on the other hand - as we all know - are much better with their ICE trains and indeed pricing. Providing prices are right I'd say DB will win hands down.
Today's headlines
'Blackfacing' is Anglicism of the Year
They may be collecting for charity, but this is not really OK. Photo: DPA

'Blackfacing' is Anglicism of the Year

"Blackfacing", used by Germans to describe white people painting their skin dark to mimic black people, has been named Anglicism of the Year by a jury of linguists. READ  

Cocaine-cop trial shakes Bavarian Alps
File photo: DPA

Cocaine-cop trial shakes Bavarian Alps

For 20 years no-one noticed that the head of the drug squad in Kempten, Bavaria, was on a personal rampage of narcotics- and domestic abuse - until his wife shopped him for the €250,000 brick of cocaine he had stashed. But the local population isn't buying the story. READ  

Merkel wishes Tsipras 'strength and success'
Photo: DPA

Merkel wishes Tsipras 'strength and success'

Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Greece's new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday and wished him "much strength and success" after his anti-austerity party's election victory. READ  

Refugees suffer over 200 attacks in 2014
Swastika graffiti at a refugee home in Bavaria with text reading "No asylum seekers". Photo: DPA

Refugees suffer over 200 attacks in 2014

Refugee NGOs' first annual report on violence against asylum seekers found that there were over 200 attacks on people and accommodation in 2014. READ  

'No German identity without Auschwitz'
President Gauck addressing the Bundestag on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

'No German identity without Auschwitz'

President Joachim Gauck on Tuesday warned Germans against drawing a line under the Holocaust as the Bundestag (parliament) opened a day of commemorations on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. READ  

Handball! Neuer blows whistle on wax double
Manuel Neuer at the inauguration of his double in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Handball! Neuer blows whistle on wax double

Madame Tussauds' hottest new effigy was unveiled to the public in Berlin on Tuesday, costing a euro for each of the 150,000 hairs on keeper Manuel Neuer's head. Pity about the handball goal frame though… READ  

Railway union threatens strike over €2
EVG members outside a station during a 2013 strike. Photo: DPA

Railway union threatens strike over €2

As railway operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) continues negotiations with train drivers' union GDL, its other major union EVG has threatened a strike over pay differences between employees. READ  

Dresden tolerance concert draws 22,000
Photo: DPA

Dresden tolerance concert draws 22,000

As Pegida supporters and opponents clashed in Hanover, musicians threw a free concert in central Dresden on Monday evening to show another side to the city famous for spawning the anti-Islam movement. READ  

Germany remembers horror of Auschwitz
"Work will set you free," the gate at Auschwitz-Birkenau tells inmates. Photo: DPA

Germany remembers horror of Auschwitz

Chancellor Angela Merkel joined survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Berlin on Monday to open a series of events dedicated to the end of the Holocaust camp regime 70 years ago. READ  

JobTalk Germany: Entrepreneur series
'Work I love and a rewarding family life'
Working mum photo: Shutterstock

'Work I love and a rewarding family life'

Melanie Fieseler is a British business/career consultant and coach, and founder of Berlin-based WorkSmart. She is on a mission to help ambitious mums like herself successfully combine motherhood with building a fulfilling and rewarding career or business. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,806
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd