Grube said there are around 50 flights a day between the London area
and the Frankfurt-Rhineland region. London - Amsterdam is also one of
the busiest air routes in Europe. "This is a huge passenger market that
was previously out of reach of the railways," Grube said. "We have to
seize this chance."

DB will operate the new services using class 407
ICE3s from the fleet of 15 trains already on order from Siemens at a
cost of about €500 million. Delivery will start in 2011 and will be
completed the following year.
ice-stpancras.jpgDB will run three trains a day from
London using two sets in multiple. The trains will divide in Brussels
with one set going to Rotterdam and Amsterdam and the other to Cologne
and Frankfurt. Journey times from London will be three hours to
Rotterdam, four hours to Amsterdam and Cologne, and five hours to
Frankfurt. "From city centre to centre, these times can easily compete
with air travel," says Grube. "Working in close cooperation with the
competent authorities, we shall resolve all the different aspects to
have ICE approved for operation in the Channel Tunnel. We will satisfy
all the safety regulations for the journey through the Channel Tunnel.
The first evacuation test last weekend was highly successful."
called for the support of the infrastructure managers in all four
countries to ensure DB obtains attractive paths and suitable passenger
handling facilities in Belgium and the Netherlands. "We are sure to
need political support here and there if we are to succeed in doing
so," Grube observed.
The event was attended by the British and German transport ministers.
Photo: Keith Fender