Deutsche Bahn’s ICE trains have been approved to operate through the Channel Tunnel, according to reports.
After three years of deliberations, the Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission (CTIC) has finally given the green light.
It means that Deutsche Bahn (DB) is free to operate in competition with Eurostar out of London St Pancras.
As we explained on businesstraveller.com in December, DB’s ICE trainsets differ from those operated by Eurostar and therefore they did not meet existing Channel Tunnel technical standards. Seemingly a solution has now been found.
However, don’t get too excited by this news. Although in the long run it will provide travellers with much needed competition, which should lead to improved onboard service and a keener range of fares, in the short term DB has no trainsets which can operate services through the Tunnel.
Manufacturer Siemens is building DB’s special ICE trains, but their construction is delayed owing to numerous technical issues.
DB has welcomed the decision but does not anticipate being able to operate through trains to Belgium, Germany and so on until 2016.
See Platform in the July/August 2013 issue for details of future Channel Tunnel services. For details on how to subscribe and receive your edition, click here.
For more information, visit bahn.com.
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