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- Tried & Tested
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- Tried & Tested
Not sure if you aware of what happened at St Pancras last month, but the first TGV train made its appearance.
It was a cargo TGV so not meant for passenger service but it does demonstrate that French domestic high-speed trains can operate into St Pancras provided they meet the relevant safety, technical standards and so on.
This special TGV had to be hauled by Eurotunnel diesel locos all the way from Calais to St Pancras. Although the TGV can cope with the same line power, its signalling systems are not programmed for those within the Tunnel.
If only simpler trains could use the Tunnel imagine what a better deal passengers would receive in terms of price and choice, compared with today.
Domestic TGVs are unlikely to be used for passenger services as SNCF are not stupid enough to cannibalise their own company’s sales (Eurostar is majority owned by them).
This test was to show that high-speed cargo was possible, which it in fact is. But even these services will not be launched for quite some time.
The growth in European High Speed train services is I think a little bit of a secret in the business traveller community with planes still the first choice. I am fortunate in being close to Antwerp, Brussels and Lille giving me access to both the Thalys and French TGV services both of which are superb. 3 hours to Cologne from Antwerp city centre to city centre, 30 minute check-in, roomy seat, good food, full Wi-Fi the entire journey with power at my seat.
Lille to Canne, leave at 6am, there by lunchtime in comfort.
The network is still being extended with new routes for example between Vienna and Budapest now open.
As mentioned above, this was not to demonstrate anything to do with passenger services, but entirely to show freight compatibility on the HS1 network.