German railway giant Deutsche Bahn has already been busy buying up a number of UK train operators and has now set its sight on taking on the airlines and arch rival Eurostar to win passenger services between the UK and the Continent.
It aims to slash the train travelling time from Central London to Frankfurt, nicknamed 'Bankfurt' in Germany because it is the nation's major financial centre, from around six hours to less than five hours.
Two high-speed trains - one German, left, one French - in Paris.
The TGV high speed train and ICE Inter City Express was a significant collaboration between rival rail giants, France's SNCF and Deutsche Bahn Deutsche Bahn officials said the journey time from Cologne to London would be under four hours - less than the time it takes to get to Berlin, around four and a half hours: 'Passenger can choose which capital they prefer - yours or ours,' said one DB official.
Announcing the new deal, Eurotunnel said: ‘After three years of detailed study, the Intergovernmental Commission has granted Deutsche Bahn an operating certificate to run passenger services through the Channel Tunnel.’It said: ’We believe that this long awaited decision will considerably enhance exchanges between the United Kingdom and northern Europe (Germany, Holland) and will over time add between 3 and 4 million new passengers per year to the 10 million already using the existing high speed passenger services.’A Eurotunnel spokesman said: ‘This new chapter requires no additional investment as adjustments to the timetable and modifications to the paths through the Tunnel will suffice to accommodate the new traffic.’The German 'Inter City Express' train bearing the initial letters 'ICE' adorned as a red, white and blue Union Flag, aims to replace passenger jets as the main transport to Germany's financial capital and the Rhineland.
The plan is for three services a day in each direction - each carrying 888 passengers in 16 coaches - on a new generation German cross-channel bullet train that will put the people of Cologne closer in travelling time to the British capital than they are to their own capital, Berlin.
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Army unit, Tiger Force, that left a trail of atrocities during the Vietnam War, and concealed from the public for three decades.
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The announcement comes as ministers are embroiled in a ‘jobs for British workers’ row after confirming that Germany’s Siemens had won a controversial £1.6bn contract to build trains for the Thameslink line.
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