Train Routes A Challenge To Airlines

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  RichHI1 15 May 2012
at 21:22

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  • Anonymous


    Under the heading…
    ” New Eurostar Routes A Challenge To Airlines”
    … “Reuters” posted this report on AIRWISE. (14/5/12)
    The idea is to extend services even as far south as Lyon, Geneva and Marseilles, as well as the previously mentioned Amsterdam, Cologne and Frankfurt.

    Also to note are Eurostar´s longer term plans to set up a hub at Brussels. I presume that is to establish a terminal within the Schengen area so avoiding passport controls, thus queues.

    This sounds like a serious threat to western European flight travel. However, not everyone will like it as one poster said on a different topic today
    “Yes there are trains but trains and luggage are just not a good combination !”
    (HongKongLady 15/5/12 8.02GMT – VS to replace BMI’s LHR flights with its own metal


    I am all for more routes – I wish they had started this years ago. They may need to look at cross border issues from UK but hopefully these things will get easier by 2016/2017. Whilst there is little expansion of Heathrow if they can pick up large amounts of traffic then slots can be used for longer haul services.

    On another point (which may have been discussed before) – I’d like to see St Pancras to CDG services to connect with AF flights on 1 through ticket – and through checked. Why not Paris to Heathrow as well (would need extra platform space) for people coming from Paris via London and onwards for BA. Again this kind of co-operation could free more slots whilst they are so restricted in London. Just a thought and there are pro’s and con’s to it – some may like it – others would rather fly which is one’s choice!

    On a personal note I’d like to see direct services to the South West of France/Spanish border to connect with night train to Portugal. Probably won’t happen but one can dream!


    Integrated ticketing between Air France and TGV is currently being investigated now I understand. The idea being that those flying into France at CDG will with the same ticket take an internal train to wherever on the European Hi-Speed train network. How long before this is commercially available remains to be seen.

    Hello transtaxman – This is nothing new. We have covered the through running of Eurostar trains beyond Paris and Brussels way back in the autumn of 2010 followed by a detailed feature in early 2011.

    We have also written about the proposed through running of DB’s ICE trains ex-St Pancras. These will cover a number of cities including Brussels, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Cologne.

    Hello Charles P – It is already possible to combine AF flights beyond CDG with certain TGV services. Check with the timetables and you will see that a number of domestic TGV trains adopt AF flight codes.

    Alex McWhirter



    Thanks for that. I understood this to be something that was being tested, clearly I am out of date 🙂


    Hi Charles

    This is what the Lyon Part Dieu shows as to New York

    AF 7266 Y 15JUN XYDCDG HS1 1330 1532
    AF 10 Y 15JUN CDGJFK HS1 1635 1845

    Intersesting they think 63 minutes is enough connection time. Shows as Train below in Equipment details.

    XYD 1330 D CDG 1532 TN D 2:02 TRN

    I was thinking more of St Pancras to CDG, or Gare du Nord to LHR. CDG could have an intersting catchment of S.E.England (especially if services stopped at Ebbslfeet or Ashford) – if only need say 30 minutes check in time?


    FlightOracle – nice idea into LHR , just one problem – loading gauge, and the need to shorten Eurostar trains by about 50% to have a platform access.


    Hi GKing92

    I realize that there may be a need to run trains of 9/10 carriages (including driving carriages). With dedicated set’s – maybe a fleet of say 10-16 trains these could also run routes past Paris / Brussels where demand may not be for trains with 700 seats but more like 350 this could be viable. TGV’s in France are normally 9/10 long and can be connected when demand requires for longer services. I don’t believe connected trains would be allowed through tunnel (for none LHR services) for safety reasons unless this has changed. Saying that I thought I read that DB were thinking of services that split in Brussels to AMS and CGN when they start services so maybe connected trains are permitted through tunnel. No doubt there will be some technological and engineering issues but I’d have thought that if they are safe for the tunnel they would be safe for Heathrow tunnels. I’m surprised AF + / partner haven’t gone for it as it would be easier for them than for BA + / partner to do this.

    With lack of airport capacity people need to start thinking ideas that are a bit different. Might not be viable in the end but surely they should be considered.


    Hi FlightOracle

    I also wonder why there was never a Eurostar service linking London with Paris CDG. The track is in position and the Eurostars run through CDG en route for Disneyland.

    Air France was talking about operating its own London-Paris service in 2008 but nothing came of the idea:


    Hi Lcity

    I know it has been mooted in the past. I think the reason it was dropped was due to downturn and also to try and get core Business (flying planes!) sorted and restructured so trying there hand at rail services was dropped. But things change and move on – I can’t see why it can’t be done – more if there is a will to do it. I don’t know the numbers every day that travel from East Kent to London airports – but if that number was quite large and they could use Ashford and interline through CDG then it could work along with other LON passengers going to PAR and connecting onwards. Maybe other airlines could also interline on it as well (SQ/CX and so forth). If APD then is not applicable (especially on longhaul J) the “sell” fares could be the same as from LHR – but airline/train company get to keep that cash to effectively subsidize the service.


    The model is proven friom Europe that investment in Rail infrastructure can diminish short haul aviation. If the hollow rhetoric from the EU and the UK government was to be matched by intent, investment in Rail infrastructure domestically and in links to Europe would reduce ahort haul demand reducing carbon footprint and releasing LHr slots to more appropriate long haul destinations where a lower carbon footprint solution does Not exist.

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