Four governments have agreed to trial a scheme whereby passengers taking Eurostar or Thalys services will be pre-checked before they reach the station.
France’s MobiliCites reports that France, the UK, Belgium and Holland “have agreed to carry out the automatic and prior-checking of Thalys and Eurostar passengers by the year end.”
The idea is similar to those procedures which air travellers have to undertake at present and especially when flying to the USA.
Quoted by MobiliCites, the Belgian Interior Minister, Jan Jambon, says, “Our intention is that the system is operational by the end of the year.
Said the French ministry of the interior, “[It responds to] the need to strengthen security in transport, in the context of the fight against terrorism and organised crime.”
Eurostar passengers travelling to and from the UK already undergo passport and security. But these measures, assuming the trial is implemented and is ultimately succesful, would take matters a step further.
Thalys (the high-speed service between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne) has some security arrangements already in place but not to such an advanced degree.
When asked about this new development a Eurostar spokesperson said, “Eurostar is working very closely with the relevant authorities on the matter.”
This is a story which, we feel, will run and run. EU expert Jon Worth tells Business Traveller that Germany’s “DB (Deutsche Bahn) has been resisting this move.”
It is logical that three of these governments (those of Holland, Belgium and France) would want DB to participate because it [DB] operates high-speed ICE trains between Germany and their countries.