Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Better pink than white

Posted in Europe, High Speed, London by Chairman Pip on 10 September 2010

John Burton is the development director (basically the man running the project) of the Westfield Stratford City development, which will be the largest retail development in Europe once it opens in 2011. Yesterday, he added his voice to the criticism of Eurostar for continuing their refusal to have their trains stop at Stratford International:

International commuters are essential in order to realise the vision of a major metropolitan centre for east London. Direct international services will be a key part of the legacy of the Olympics.
John Burton

Undoubtedly, Eurostar’s intransigence over the issue is irksome, as it means Stratford International remains served only by Southeastern’s “high speed” services. And of course, Mr Burton is right to criticise, as someone in his position could well add influence to the case of making Eurostar change their mind. But, given his influence as the man responsible for the largest retail development in Europe, and a major driver of the local economy in the area, why doesn’t he then throw his support (and with it the tacit support of Westfield as a whole) behind the Deutsche Bahn proposal? After all, Deutsche Bahn have indicated that they would be happy to use Stratford International as a stop on the way into St Pancras, while no doubt there are many others looking to take advantage of the EU’s  liberalisation of international passenger rail travel to run through the Tunnel. They should be receiving encouragement from people like John Burton in their efforts.

“Eurostar ‘will not stop’ at Stratford International”
“Stratford needs Eurostar, warns boss of Olympic mall”

Stratford International needn't be a white elephant if other operators are encouraged to stop their planned services there


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