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Anonymous19 Sep 2011
This piece of news appeared on ABTN….
“Deutsche Bahn to start London services in 2013”
The long expected services, to Rotterdam and Amsterdam on one side while Köln and Frankfurt on the other, via Brussels from St. Pancras will be on offer by DB in 2013.19 Sep 2011
DB still needs clearance from the IGC (the government body which determines the type of trains which may use the Tunnel) before it can start services.
Present trains (like Eurostar) are powered front and back and are designed to be uncoupled in the event of an incident.
The ICE trains being proposed by DB are shorter (I am not sure whether or not they can be split) but, unlike Eurostar, they have “distributed power” ie they have engines positioned underneath the coaches.
It is the latter traction system which needs approval by the IGC.19 Sep 2011
Further information just seen that DB will start three services a day from December 2013. Operated as two sets which will operate from London to Brussels where they will split and one set going through to Amsterdam and the other to Frankfurt.23 Sep 2011
I thought they had got permission by test a coupled pair. I wonder if the decision to go Siemens for the new Eurostar trains will make this easier? I for one would try this service if the Germans are runnign it and you can get to NL without waiting for hours at Brussel Zuid due to a missed connection Eurostar to Thalys…23 Sep 2011
Distributed power (EMUs) has been approved.
“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.”23 Sep 2011
Can’t wait. I love their Business compartments.
I wonder if they will charge less than Eurostar and if they will stick with the classic 2 class configuration. If it’s their standard ICE train they use I imagine so.
Will also be great sitting in the front carriage with a view of the driver and straight into the tunnel.23 Sep 2011
When DB’s ICE visited St Pancras last year the train did not run under its own power. It was hauled into St Pancras by a separate diesel loco.
Although it would appear that approval will eventually be granted, I don’t believe the IGC has officially confirmed the use of distributed power within the Tunnel.
In the ABTN piece it states that DB says it is “optimistic that it will be given clearance by the IGC this year.”
Another rail article dated August 2 says that “DB has submitted an application for fundamental approval of its ICE trains for the Channel Tunnel …. “23 Sep 2011
I was referring to the evacuation test in the channel tunnel. Surely this was done under power and not with Diesel traction in the tunnel. Was it towed by a Channel Tunnel Electric loco for this test? I thought the evacuation test was the reason for the double set running so the distance from exits to the central support tunnel was never more than a certain distance?23 Sep 2011
I may be wrong, but I believe DB’s ICE train was hauled by diesel traction right from Calais through the Tunnel and then via the high-speed line to St Pancras. That is why, when the ICE visited London, it never made a demonstration run. It was solely on static display.
Eurotunnel maintains a number of diesel locos because there have been power failures on a number of occasions and so that is the only way in which the trains can be moved.
You may remember that in December 2009, a Eurostar train heading between Disneyland and London broke down in the Tunnel. After a very long delay it was rescued by diesel locos which then hauled the Eurostar all the way back to St Pancras.
Details here:23 Sep 2011
Further to the post on 19th Sept. this has just appeared on BREAKING TRAVEL NEWS.
“Deutsche Bahn to launch channel tunnel rail services” in 2013 as originally stated.
The services will initially only be to Brussels but later will be extended to Rotterdam and Amsterdam on one branch, while to Köln and Frankfurt on the other.
The same was also published in Rail News but with a different headline….
“Deutsche Bahn abandons pre-Olympic London launch”28 Sep 2011