Deutsche Bahn Moves A Step Closer To St PancrasBack to Forum
Anonymous23 Mar 2011
Further news on the proposed DB services through the Channel Tunnel has been published:
(Berlin/London, 22 March 2011) Deutsche Bahn (DB) has today welcomed the report published by the European Railway Agency (ERA) as an important milestone towards the introduction of ICE-trains in the Channel Tunnel. The report supports plans by the Tunnel Safety Authorities (the Intergovernmental Commission or IGC) to amend their safety rules that permit what equipment operators can use in the Channel Tunnel.
Details of planned amendments were published by the IGC in March 2010 and have now been found to be unobjectionable by ERA. Following the proposed new safety rules, the use of trains with distributed power is no longer prohibited in the Channel Tunnel. Also, no objection was raised to use shorter and coupled trains in contrast to today?s 400m trains with a through corridor. After the ERA?s advice, the formal implementation of the new safety rules by the IGC could occur imminently.
Ulrich Homburg, Member of the DB Management Board for Passenger Transport, said: “This is an important stage in securing the technical clearance we need to deliver new high speed passenger rail services to and from London on Europe?s liberalised rail network. The report confirms that we are heading in the right direction with the IGC as we work towards clearance of our ICE-trains for the Channel Tunnel. Moreover, the report showed that the evidence we agreed to provide the IGC is sufficient to demonstrate the safe operation of our trains. However, we are only half way there to delivering the proposed services from 2013.”
Further work by DB will focus on the characteristics of shorter and coupled trains. Two coupled 200m ICE-trains have successfully been evacuated in October of last year in the Channel Tunnel. In addition to that an independent Swiss Engineering Consultancy is currently compiling a risk assessment which will be handed over to the IGC shortly. This is the same Consultancy which assessed the safety of the longest rail tunnel in the world, the 57km long Gotthard-Tunnel in Switzerland.
“Due to the positive ERA Report and our ongoing collaboration with the IGC we are optimistic to obtain clearance for our ICE-trains by early summer this year and before the August break. Subsequently we will expect to start full implementation later this year of our project to connect London to mainland Europe from 2013” added Ulrich Homburg.
There’s a page on the DB website which will reportedly be updated with further developments as and when they happen:
It will be interesting, amongst other things, to see how St Pancras copes with the increase in passenger numbers that the DB services are projected to bring, especially at peak hours.23 Mar 2011
Forget flight deck access, i would love to catch a ride with the driver on one of this high speed trains. Always fancied driving a train as well. Interesting, that you can buy your way into through flight school to become a commercial pilot, but you cant buy your way through train school to become a train driver.
Back to work…………..23 Mar 2011
In Germany, on the ICE trains, you can sit in the front carriage behind a glass door that lets you see through the cockpit (I don’t know the term for a train so ready to be corrected there) out the drivers window. It is amazing. You can even pretend to drive it if you’re childish enough. I am.23 Mar 2011
Behind a sheet of glass, naaaa, I want to driiiiiivvvvveeee the ICE sitting in the drivers seat!
Thanks Continentalclub for the link. Steam train driving is old hat, I like the idea of pressing buttons and speeding along at a leisurely 180 mph+ toot toot………….oy yes, a boys day out.23 Mar 2011
When we wrote about this last year
Deutsche Bahn trains at St Pancras
I did take the opportunity to sit in the cabin.23 Mar 2011
I suppose you couldnt arrange to borrow one of those cabs and 100 miles oooppss KM of track for a couple of hours??
Now there’s an idea for a competition prize??23 Mar 2011
You must have been travelling in one of the newer ICE3 trains with what’s termed “distributed power.”
You can’t sit behind the driver in the older ICE versions as they have separate power cars at either end of the train.
Check the ICE type in advance to avoid disappointment.23 Mar 2011
For any avoidance of doubt, driving a train is not the same as jumping in a car. Drivers have to undertake a considerable amount of training and important route knowledge. If a train is diverted due to whatever reason, then a new driver will have to be put on to drive the train via the diversion as the other driver would not have the route knowledge. From start to “going on your own” can take up to a year.
Was quite envious of Michael Portillo when he had the cab ride in the HS1 on the TV program.
I’m with you Charles, steam train driving is old hat. Now a good old DMU, yes please, hear that diesel engine throb!!23 Mar 2011
I’m with you guys on this one.(I see no girls have commented) and would love to sit in the cab of one of those trains. This is not a super high speed train but could still be interesting as you are sitting up front and maybe you can handle the controls?. I shall be doing this with my son in the summer.23 Mar 2011
I know we are way off thread with this, so apologies to Continentalclub, but please LuganoPirate, do post some pictures of your summer adventure. I have already gone through the web site and am seeing if I could sneak away to do this trip some time. It looks superb, look forward to hearing more and many thanks.23 Mar 2011
No apology required!
All train-talk is welcome – although once we start getting into the inevitable top-shelf discussion of Napiers and Paxman Valentas……..23 Mar 2011
CMB, if I can find a way to post some pics I will certainly do so. I’m going end June. If you do decide to book yourself, let me know and I’ll point you to some nice hotels / restaurants.
CC, I agree with you, and trains are also used for business travel, so more than appropriate for the BT forum. I personally think we concentrate too much on air travel and while I use planes for Intercontinental and some European journeys I often use trains as well.
I happen to live a 5 minute walk from the main station with direct trains to Milan, Rome, Nice, Paris, Amsterdam etc and taking into account travel to airports, transit time etc there is often little time difference. It’s also great not to have to worry about being overweight on baggage, having too many carry-ons (basically all you can carry on is permitted) security queues, liquid bans etc.
But I suppose if we take all those hassles away there would not be much to write about in these forums?23 Mar 2011