Getlink announce changes to train standards
Getlink, the company that owns Eurotunnel, wants to encourage a whole plethora of European destinations to be reached via the tunnel, following a decison to simplify the safety requirements demanded by Eurotunnel to those already in use by French trains.
Train routes from London to Cologne, Frankfurt, Geneva and Zurich were touted by Getlink’s director Yann Leriche at an event in Coquelles marking nearly 30 years since the opening of the Channel Tunnel (on 6th May 1994), at which he announced the changes in standards. He believes these will cut the lead-in time for new cross-channel operators from 10 years to 5 years, and allow them to buy tunnel-ready trains “off catalogue”.
A levelling of Eurotunnel’s regulations are something we have been asking for at BBET. So we believe this announcement is really good news, even if it doesn’t immediately address our objective of persuading carriers to stop at Ashford and Ebbsfleet.
The event at Coquelles was reported with different emphases in the French daily Le Figaro and in The Guardian. An article in the northern French Ouest France makes the additional point that Getlink may even subsidise some routes, such as the one to Amsterdam, to attract investors. More information also in The Railway Gazette.