Authorities have announced that Germany has been given permission to use the Channel Tunnel, following three years of debate and negotiation. The decision means the country can now run its 200mph trains directly to London, Frankfurt and Amsterdam using the Channel Tunnel.
Deutsche Bahn has already unveiled plans to run regular services between St Pancras station in London and Frankfurt in Germany. The London to Frankfurt trip would carry passengers through the tunnel in just four and a half hours door-to-door. However, it is unlikely that the new bullet trains will be launched before 2016, despite a successful trial journey of the train back in 2010.
The railway company plans to run three services each day, carrying 888 passengers in 16 coaches. The three services will each head to one of the three destinations on offer, splitting in Brussels to carry 444 passengers to Amsterdam each day.
"After three years of detailed study, the Intergovernmental Commission has granted Deutsche Bahn an operating certificate to run passenger services through the Channel Tunnel,” said Eurotunnel."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.”
"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."
At current, all cross-channel train services are operated by Eurostar, a majority French-state owned company. The launch of the new trains operated by Deutshe Bahn, a german company, will mark a new era for the tunnel.