It’s now becoming clearer there’s a good chance that high-speed trains will be running between London and Bordeaux in two years’ time.
We reported on the move towards a direct train service back in 2018, and the latest news via the International Rail Journal is that SNCF wants the service to start by 2022.
Journey time between London and Bordeaux would be five hours with the high-speed train using the bypass line around Paris (so it would not be calling at the capital).
Currently travellers taking Eurostar from London to Bordeaux must either change at Lille and then proceed on SNCF’s domestic TGV service, or travel to Paris and then change to a domestic TGV.
The latter offers more connection possibilities but it has the downside of having to change between termini in the French capital.
In its 25 year history Eurostar has been slow to expand beyond its core network.
But the success of Amsterdam has prompted the operator to seek another opportunity.
It is true that immigration and security checks will have to be made en route between Bordeaux and London.
If not possible at Bordeaux they could be made at Lille, although passengers would have to disembark (as they have done for other routes).
SNCF is the majority owner of Eurostar and the latter’s Siemens trains are capable of operating to Bordeaux.