The Null Device

Deutsche Bahn to buy into Eurostar?

A while ago, German national railway company Deutsche Bahn expressed an interest in running trains through the Channel Tunnel, competing with Eurostar, come 2010, when EU "open access" rules allow train companies to run services all over the EU. Now they're talking about buying out the UK's share of Eurostar altogether:
Deutsche Bahn (DB), Germany’s state-owned railway, may also use Eurostar trains to operate a rival service through the Channel Tunnel, with competition resulting in cheaper tickets to Paris and Brussels. But the Government, which is preparing to sell the third of Eurostar that it controls, would lose the ability to influence the development of the rail link to the Continent.
Over the past 18 months, it has quietly bought several British train companies that carry a total of 30 million passengers a year. DB owns Chiltern, which runs between London Marylebone and Birmingham, and half of London Overground, which operates on the North London Line and will serve the extended East London Line from next year. It also runs two thirds of Britain’s goods trains through its purchase of EWS, the biggest British rail freight company.
DB hopes to persuade Geoff Hoon, the Transport Secretary, that it will operate a more efficient service through the Channel Tunnel by drawing on its experience in Germany of integrating trains with other modes of transport. German rail passengers can book an entire journey on just one web-site and with one ticket and can even arrange for an electrically assisted bicycle to be waiting for them at the station.
DB have also expressed an interest in buying more train companies in countries they expand to; given their efficiency, that could be a good thing.

There are 1 comments on "Deutsche Bahn to buy into Eurostar?":

Posted by: Alex Sun Sep 6 21:27:50 2009

My hope is that the rail service from London to Germany would improve if DB operated trains direct. At the moment, the poor connections at Brussels mean losing time, which is important on relatively short trips to Cologne and the Rhine-Ruhr region. At the moment its more efficient for me to fly or take the car, but if the time was shortened , and particularly if there was a later train back from Cologne, I'd much prefer the comfort of the train.

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