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German train giant to spark price war with airlines as it speeds 200mph express from Frankfurt to London



By Ray Massey, Transport Editor

Last updated at 4:17 PM on 20th September 2010



  • Bullet train set to arrive at St Pancras next month in trial run
  • One way fares could be as little as £49

The nation renowned for making the trains run on time is to launch a 'dry run' trial for a 200mph high-speed cross-channel link between London and Frankfurt.

German railway giant Deutsche Bahn - which has already bought up a number of UK train operators - has now set its sights on competing with the airlines and arch rival Eurostar between the UK and the Continent.

The company is to bring one its latest German 'bullet trains' through the Channel tunnel and into the capital's St Pancras International terminal on October 19 to showcase its plans for a high speed link between the two financial centres from December 2013 - sparking a new price war.


article-1313646-0B45505F000005DC-25_468x345.jpg Bullet across the Channel: The 200mph 'Bullet Train' planned for a new express service between Britain and Germany


The aim is to cut the train travelling time from Central London to Frankfurt, nicknamed 'Bankfurt' in Germany because it is the nation's major financial centre, from around six hours to between four and five hours.

A direct non-stop route is achievable in 3 hours 55 minutes. This will compete with approximately 4 and a half hours needed to fly there, once travel to the airport, check-in time and the 1 hour 30 minute flight time are put together.

The extra competition could also mean lower fares. Experts say a one way trip could be between £39 and £49. The Germans are considering stops in Cologne and Brussels and Lille.

The centre-to-centre travel will also mean business travellers and tourists can relax for longer in their seats or work via wi-fi rather than enduring the hassle of airline check-in, security and trips to and from the airport.


Enlarge article-1313646-0B454EE5000005DC-173_468x358.jpg The planned Frankfurt=London route: Using the 200mph 'bullet trains' should improve air travel times between the two financial centres by about half an hour


However the high speed German -built Inter City Express (ICE) trains will first have to pass stringent safety tests to pass through the Channel Tunnel - including evacuations.

Deutsche Bahn chief executive Ruediger Grube is understood to be arriving in London on the dry run trip, marking the significance of the event.

It highlights how far international relations have moved. Seventy years ago, at the height of the Battle of Britain, the narrow strip of water was all that separated Britain from German invasion. Today the nation which was defeated is now running much of Britain's railways.

The news comes as UK Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond this week visits areas in the Chilterns and the Midlands affected by a controversial high speed rail link plan linking London to the North - which would feed into the Continental high speed rail network. The Tories back a high speed link to the North, but are critical of the route set out by Labour.

Last month French and German transport ministries released a joint statement saying they had agreed to work together on changes to European rules covering rail and air transport..

Eurostar launched in 1994 and now carries 9 million passengers a year between London, Paris and Brussels.

Rail analyst Chris Meek said the German bullet-train would increase traffic between London and the Continent:'And the main source of the traffic will be diversion from air.'



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1313646/Making-trains-run-time-German-train-giant-promises-200mph-express-Frankfurt-London.html#ixzz105vlW5hM

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But I bet the train won't charge you £40 if you forget to book-in online or £1 to use the toilet. Or have silly weight limits or bag size limits


If you abide by their rules, you'll never have a problem, as I never have.;)

You can't beat 20-30 Euros return!:smug:

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Apart from their border-line legally advertising of fees-free flights, but oh by the way you HAVE to pay £5 per person each way to check-in online. Not to mention the various gauntlet you need to run to try and avoid their card payment fees


Well then please feel free to travel with another airline with whom you might end up paying double.:P

I don't care how the fees are all calculated when I end up paying only 30 Euros return, even if they said it was "leprechaun tax".:lol:

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For once, an interesting article!


I think it's so funny that a half hour difference is so huge in transport between two countries; flying from NJ to HI takes about 12 hours! :lol: Although it's a beautiful flight; especially when flying above the islands and seeing the volcanoes. . . :wacky:


Anyway. These bullet trains are so cool, I'd love to take a trip on one. :awesome:

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