WITH 2 RECENT MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE FAILURES, BOTH HS1 AND EUROSTAR NEED BETTER CONTINGENCY PLANS

At the end of the 2023 Xmas & New Year holiday period, the Eurostar service to and from London St Pancras was cancelled for the best part of a day. These incidents both occurred during the busiest time of year: – one just before the Xmas holiday and the other just before the New Year Holiday. Several thousand people were left stranded and had their holiday travel plans ruined. In both cases, we have to ask – are Eurostar maintaining their trains in a good condition and are HS1 looking after the infrastructure? We also have to ask them both why it took so long to get services back to normal and rescue passengers from a stranded train? One morning,

EURC(UK) – THE CAMPAIGN MOVES INTO IT’S FIFTH YEAR

We celebrated our 4th anniversary at our annual general meeting held in Birmingham on the 8th of December, noting a steadily growing membership. We were pleased to note that Eurostar were now running almost the same as the pre-covid service, even if this was not at pre-covid fares and still not serving Ashford and Ebbsfleet. Recently, there were more rumours in the press that, yet another European train operator wants to run a service to the UK via the channel tunnel – this time it was Swiss Federal Railways from Basel to London. Whether any of these 3 “plans” to compete against Eurostar see the light of day remains to be seen. What can we look forward to as we

CLIMATE CHANGE HITS 3 KEY EUROPEAN RAIL ARTERIES

At a time when we need to use our European Rail Network more than ever, 3 separate extreme weather events blocked 3 important rail routes during August and September. (1) On the 7th of August during “Storm Hans”, extreme rainfall and flooding caused the collapse of a bridge near Lillehammer on the main trunk line serving Northern Norway between Oslo and Trondheim. It will take a minimum of 3 months to restore any kind of service. There is only one alternative slower route with limited capacity. (2) On the 27th of August there was a very large rockfall near Modane which blocked the key Transalpine link between France and Italy. It is estimated that it will take a minimum of

ALL ABOUT TRAINS – A TRAIN TRACKER WHICH NOW COVERS 11 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES !!

While many countries may have their own train trackers on websites or via an app – did you know there is one which now covers 11 countries, which is effectively most of Central and Western Europe, including Eurostar to/from the UK ? You can find out current and historic punctuality records for all long-distance trains by train number or by station. You can also access diagrams to see how well parts of the European Rail Network are currently performing. Another useful feature is the ability to find the reliability and punctuality of particular connections, which can be useful if they are rather “tight”. The Countries covered are:- Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Czechia, Slovenia and Italy. You

MORE TRAINS – LESS PLANES

This is the title of a comprehensive report which was published by Greenpeace last month. They investigated 112 routes across 27 European countries and came to the conclusion that on average travel by train costs twice as much as travel by plane. For each route they checked the fares for 9 different travel days. The worst example was the cost of travel on the same day from Barcelona to London, where the cheapest train fare was a whopping 30 times more expensive than the air fare. London-Barcelona is also one of the busiest air routes in Europe with a rather poor rail alternative at present in terms of cost, speed and frequency. The report outlines some suggested action points for