Channel Tunnel/Eurostar/Shuttle

Alan Apr 4, 2000

  1. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    How many of you have travelled through the channel tunnel between England and France? What are you thoughts on the experience?

    I have been on the vehicle shuttle several times, and it sure beats bobbing about on the sea!!! But I have not yet had a ride on the Eurostar trains (shame on me!). Must put that to rights, they have some good deals on fares and hotels.

    If you have any comments, I would be pleased to hear them. Thanks.

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    Alan

    www.ac-models.com
    http://Andersley.homestead.com
    http://galleryusarail_tehcaj.homestead.com
    http://eurogallery.homestead.com
     
  2. ChrisDante

    ChrisDante TrainBoard Member

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    In March of 99 went and spent a wonderful week in London and Paris, took the Eurostar.

    Very exciting! Could not believe all the rail traffic in the UK, it looked like as many rail lines as we have Interstates. Too bad about the 70mph speed limit though. But wow, when we came out of the chunnel, the telephone lines became a toothpick fence.
    TIP: even if you smoke, don't reserve a seat in a smoking car.
    That was my first highspeed experience since the old TEE's in the '70's. Very smooth and seamless. In fact we took a TGV to Lyon. It makes rail service in the US look crude.

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    When in doubt, empty your magazine.
     
  3. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks Chris, most Americans cannot believe the quantity of trains in the UK and europe. I have travelled to Belgium and Switzerland quite a lot, and the passenger services in these countries are very impressive, with a train every few minutes. This is in stark contrast to US rail travel, both in terms of speed and frequency.

    In our 1985 trip from Toronto to Flint, MI, we had just alighted from the train in Flint, my sons and I had run to the front of the train to photograph the F40, and the conductor saw my wife standing on the platform with the suitcases, and thought she was getting on the train. He said 'don't miss this one, the next is tomorrow'. In England, he would have said, 'the next is in half an hour' [​IMG]

    Amongst all these passenger trains have to be slotted the huge amount of freight trains, especially on the main arteries from ports like Antwerpen. (Still lots of EMD diesels with 567 engines running in Belgium - but being phased out fast).

    But I am still prepared, indeed keen, to take a 12 hour flight to LA to be able to visit Tehachapi!!

    Pleased you enjoyed your visit. Thanks for the comments.

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    Alan

    www.ac-models.com
    http://Andersley.homestead.com
    http://galleryusarail_tehcaj.homestead.com
    http://eurogallery.homestead.com
     
  4. yellowtrain

    yellowtrain E-Mail Bounces

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    The Eurostar is GREAT!!! I took it from Paris to London. In Europe it is a rocket. In England it is just another train on slow speed tracks. Coming out of the Chunnel in England it felt like we drove into a pot hole. I thought I was back home in Illinois. The TGV from Lille to Brussels is a nice fast ride too. Worth the money.
     
  5. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hello Yellowtrain, welcome to TrainBoard [​IMG]
    Yes, the English side of the tunnel is embarrassing for us [​IMG] The high speed rail link to London ran into all sorts of problems, mainly from people who live on the proposed route the 'NIMBY' syndrome. This escalated the cost severely, causing lots of re-routes and some sections to be in tunnel, to stop the railway 'spoiling the countryside', etc.

    A motorway is far more obtrusive than a rail line, where the noise is only intermittent, instead of continuous.

    It will eventually be built, I think, then we can have a full high-speed run right into London. Although most of the run in England is faster than in the US, it seems much slower compared with the 186 mph in France!

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    Alan

    The perfect combination - BNSF and N Scale!

    www.ac-models.com
    http://Andersley.homestead.com
    http://galleryusarail_tehcaj.homestead.com
     
  6. ChrisDante

    ChrisDante TrainBoard Member

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    OK Allen, here's the question. I' read you say the the UK has 125 mph speed limit. Now comming out of the chunnel we were limited to about 70 mph, whats the story???

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    When in doubt, empty your magazine.
     
  7. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not all parts of the UK are lines passed for 125 mph. I think the maximum speed on the line to Londaon from the 'Chunnel' is 100 in a few places.

    The major main lines, like 'ours' London (King's Cross) to York, Newcastle, Edinburgh (the ECML - or East Coast Main Line) also the WCML (West Coast Main Line)London (Euston) to Crewe, Glasgow, are 125 mph lines. Also parts of the Western line from London (Paddington) to Cardiff, Swindon, Bristol, Plymouth is 125 mph, I think.
    Maybe also parts of the London -Leicester, etc. 'Midland Main Line'.

    Mainly the lines radiating from London are the high speed ones. But the one near me (ECML) is the best! Mostly modern electric trains, which have a locomotive at one end and a driving trailer at the other. Run push-pull. Some trains still have HST's Diesel powered high speed trains, with a power car each end.

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    Alan

    The perfect combination - BNSF and N Scale!

    www.ac-models.com
    http://Andersley.homestead.com
    http://galleryusarail_tehcaj.homestead.com
     
  8. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Chris, we went to a model railway exhibition today, at Derby, in the English East Midlands.

    Every alternate year the theme is USA railroads. (The intervening year is Continental European).

    We drive to Grantham, on the ECML, and go by train from there. Whilst awaiting our train, several expresses passed through, most electric hauled. Where I said the ECML is 125 mph, the trains do not travel at that speed through Grantham station, as it is on a curve. They have to slow right down to 115 mph!!! [​IMG]

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    Alan

    The perfect combination - BNSF and N Scale!

    www.ac-models.com
    http://Andersley.homestead.com
    http://galleryusarail_tehcaj.homestead.com
     

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