Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

The French retreat? Well blow me down

Posted in Europe, Great Britain, Politics, Rolling stock by Chairman Pip on 10 March 2011

Not wishing to sound in any way either superior or xenophobic, but is one to be really surprised that the French have retreated from a supposedly entrenched position? All the blather and bluster over Eurostar’s choice of the Siemens Velaro D platform for its new trains, and how, because they used distributed traction, they were unsafe for use in the Tunnel, has now been replaced, a complete volte-face:

France will respect the European Railway Agency’s advice on operations planned by the German state railway using a variant of Siemens’s InterCityExpress train
Unnamed French Government Official

 By stating that they now have no problem with Deutsche Bahn running their planned through services from London to Frankfurt and Amsterdam using the Velaro D, there can therefore be no justification of the French Government playing the safety card over Eurostar’s purchase of the same train. Thus it would be that any continuing objection would be in regards to the process by which Eurostar selected Siemens instead of Alstom, which fundamentally is a commercial argument outside the purview of government. As a consequence, to me it seems that the French Government should now pipe down and allow Eurostar and Siemens to fulfil their deal with each other, and leave Alstom to get on with their court case and claim for compensation on their own. Given that all that remains is for the Inter-Governmental Commission to give final approval for the changes to the safety rules, it seems likely that Alice Bhandhukravi, BBC London’s High Speed Correspondent, will get the opportunity to report on DB’s first regular trains to London. When they start.

“France Shifts Stance to Allow German Trains Into Channel Tunnel”
“Deutsche Bahn could run ICE trains through Channel Tunnel”

BBC London's High Speed Correspondent will get to report on the new international rail services yet

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