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Chunnel charges hit Frankfurt-London link

The Local · 30 Mar 2012, 07:39

Published: 30 Mar 2012 07:39 GMT+02:00

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Ulrich Homburg, head of personal transport at Deutsche Bahn, said on Thursday the amount charged for trains to use the tunnel was, “20 times the amount on comparable German stretches.”

And even once the trains have got into the UK, the high-speed sections of track there will still cost around ten times what it costs in Germany.

Yet despite the cost, Homburg insisted, “The connection is not in doubt.”

The idea had been to have the service up and running for the London Olympics this summer, but that target has long been abandoned.

Negotiations with French authorities over licenses for the German trains took a long time, and Siemens, which was building them, then also made delays. These are currently putting the latest target date of 2015 in doubt.

But Homburg said he was confident. “We are waiting for a final ‘Go’,” he said. Siemens is aiming to deliver 10 of the eventual 16 new ICE-3 trains this year.

Even if no deal can be made to reduce the tunnel rail fees, Deutsche Bahn is in good shape to pay the extra cash – it announced increased revenues and profits from last year.

Story continues below…

A statement released on Thursday showed a 26 percent profit increase in 2011 compared with the previous year, reaching a high of €1.133 billion. Passenger numbers rose by 1.6 percent to a record 1.98 billion, it said.

DAPD/AFP/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:08 March 30, 2012 by murka
The fragmentation of European rail system is ridiculous. Where are the trains Aberdeen-Budapest, Lulea-Naples, or Lissabon-St. Petersburg?

In fact, Russians have quietly managed what Europeans are unable to negotiate on their own soil - they introduced continuous links like Moscow-Nice or Moscow-Paris. Too bad Europeans are banned from using these carriages inside Europe, so they have to change 5-7 times going from Warsaw to Nice, for example.
12:37 March 30, 2012 by pepsionice
Basically, you'd be better off in flying to England, if you consider the costs. I don't know how the Bahn management guys figure profit.....but something smells funny on this deal.
15:35 March 30, 2012 by catjones
Bahn has decided that the chunnel prices should be applied across germany. That way there'll be no differential. Problem solved.
10:39 March 31, 2012 by blackboot11
"...Ulrich Homburg, head of personal transport at Deutsche Bahn, said on Thursday the amount charged for trains to use the tunnel was, '20 times the amount on comparable German stretches'..."

My question is, what is the cost of 'a stretch of track' across Germany of equal lenghth as compared to a 'stretch of track' under the English Channel?

I am sure that these costs are not the same.

And are there really any 'comparable' situations here in Germany of this length of track underwater?

So why does Herr Homberg think that there should be any parallell here with the costs of using the Chunnel?

Just take a plane to London it is faster and less expensive. That is what he is really trying to say here... LOL !
05:22 April 1, 2012 by Illogicbuster
Hate to break this to the author of this story but, there isn't a H.S.R. line in the entire EU that is profitable. ALL are in the red.
11:40 April 1, 2012 by BritExPat
DB is experiencing what British rail passengers suffer every day: extortionate pricing. The reason is simple. German rail passengers enjoy a well run public service. British passengers pay for a poor commercial service which naturally has to see a return to its shareholders.

The fact is that running a railway is very expensive. And you pay for it some how. It is not a case of being profitable or not. In Britain you pay for it when you buy your ticket and to a lesser extent nowadays, through your tax. In Germany the infrastructure is highly subsidised from taxes which still means it comes out of your pocket in the end. It is just that there aren't shareholders grabbing a slice of that cash.

It is time Britain saw that offering a truly public service with punctual, hi tech trains and relatively low prices gets people off the roads, drastically cuts pollution and noise, and oils the wheels of commerce. Such a public service would always be in the red if you tried to balance ticket sales with running and infrastructure costs. That is nothing to be ashamed of.

My suspicion is that DB will end up charging a higher than normal fee for its Channel Tunnel tickets to cover its British track charges. Which would be a great pity as I for one would definitely prefer to travel by DB to places in the UK than fly - even if it did take 5 hours! Yes, I really would.
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