Posted 26th September 2011 | 2 Comments

Deutsche Bahn abandons pre-Olympic London launch

THE GERMAN state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn has abandoned its plans to launch services to London in time for the Olympics next summer, but will be offering services to London from the end of 2013.

The news came during a briefing to the travel trade at St Pancras made by DB's UK Sales Director Oliver Schmidt.

When a DB ICE train made a formal visit to St Pancras last October, there were hints that DB had its eyes on the opportunities presented by the Olympics, but a source told Railnews that there was not enough time to complete the technical details, particularly the negotiations with the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority to allow sets with distributed traction, rather than a power car at each end, to travel through the Tunnel.

Instead, DB is now firming up its plans to launch through services between London and Amsterdam and also London and Cologne. Its London trains will travel as far as Brussels, and divide there into portions for the Netherlands and Germany.

Dr Rüdiger Grube, chairman of the Deutsche Bahn management board, added: 'By making full use of the opportunities afforded by the liberalisation of the European rail transport market, we are able to offer our customers genuine alternatives to air travel.'

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Philip Russell, Carlisle, United Kingdom

    Im sure we all commend the rail industry for moving from the early privitasation doom of Ladbrook grove, Southall and Hatfield incidents into one of the safest in the world, However it seems in many cases to have evolved into a system too expensive and bureaucratic to adapt to most changes that privitisation was suppposed to bring within a reasonable timescale,so maybe we should just go back to the B.R. type monopoly and all have far cheaper travel .

  • Michael Turberville, London, UK, EU

    Typical 19th Century (victorian) BRITISH Bureaucracy at it's best!
    David Camer-looney complains about european bureaucracy, but this is an excellent example of the UK side preventing DB from having an Olympic service. I also suspect there will NOT be a Calais and Amiens and various Belgian/Nld services to Ebbsfleet for the Olympics. Why, Eurostar has a monopoly and Conservatives Love Monopolies!
    LONDON is going to host the world greatest event - but to all who are reading, expect it to be on the 'cheap'. The most bargan basement Olympics ever hosted, a national shame to us in the UK! I hope this sets a precident that the UK will never be given any future global events because we have unsupportive governments, unsupportive populations, and unsupportive industries.
    China want to build THREE LGV's from Beijing to London by 2017/8... they should say Beijing to Paris because the UK is closed for Business with the current kindergardener's we have running the country!