Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

I think I get it

Posted in Europe, Great Britain, High Speed by Chairman Pip on 30 July 2010

The Chairman of Deutsche Bahn, Dr Rüdiger Grube, has announced that this coming autumn the company will run a test of its new Class 407 train through the Channel Tunnel, and presumably as far as St Pancras. This will be a major step towards the realisation of DB’s long held plan to run through services from Germany to London. Of course, when I read this, it once again brought on the confusion that has plauged me for some time regarding this, specifically in regards to the design of the trains. While the IGC made it clear that non-splittable trains would be permitted provided they met the fire safety requirements (primarily having fire doors in each car), they also stated that the length of the train would still be an issue, owing to the 375m spacing of the evacualtion doors in the tunnel. However, upon reading back over the many stories that have appeared on Railway Gazette International over the past few months, I believe I finally understand how DB can maintain their ambition while at the same time categorically saying they will not purchase the Class 407 as a 400m train. Apparently, 400m trains will automatically receive safety certificates for the tunnel, as they will fulfil the IGC’s requirement (as the Class 373 does). But, if an operator wishes to run trains shorter than 375m, they will be permitted to provided they can agree on specific evacuation procedures to cover their trains with the other parties involved (which presumably means the IGC, as the safety regulator, and Eurotunnel, as the infrastructure operator). So, if DB, Eurotunnel and the IGC can all agree on evacuation protocols for a Class 407 train that stops in the tunnel, then the IGC will sign off on it and the operator will be allowed to run their trains. So we could end up seeing Class 407’s at St Pancras before too long.

“Deutsche Bahn to run ICE 3 to Britain this year”

“DB Tests to St Pancras herald more trains from Europe”

Coming to a St Pancras near you - SOON!


One Response

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  1. […] Grube, the CEO of Deutsche Bahn, announced that the test was taking place at the end of July. Hell, I posted about it then! But it’s only now that media outlets, such as the BBC, AFP and Der Speigel are considering […]

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