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A Plan for Even Cheaper Train Travel Between Paris and London

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The idea is to follow an existing French model for cheaper intercity travel that cuts costs by using older tracks and suburban terminuses. So far, research into a cheaper service has focused on if and how it might be feasible, rather than exactly when—but has found that such a service is eminently implementable and viable along the lines of companies already in existence.

 

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/07/cheap-train-tickets-london-paris-getlink-channel-tunnel/564530/

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Heh! Since it has to be an OHE equipped route (unless they want to get some consists equipped with DC third rail stuff again), maybe with a little cross linking at or around Stratford International they could run from Liverpool Street to somewhere like Massy Paleseau in south Paris. The problem will of course be additional border inspection faculties.

 

Or as a starter, they could simply run Ashford International to Lille Europa, and let people connect to whatever local service they want to connect to at each end at those stations, which are already equipped for border checks. The UK to France Commuter Service :) A small order of Javelins used for high speed commuter service out of S. Pancras would work out just fine for such.

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Definitely not Massy-Palaiseau, as you would have to use an already busy railway between Choisy le Roi and Massy-Palaiseau (RER C, TGV, freight): Marne-la-Vallée is much closer, and already has the border checks infrastructure (Eurostar serves Marne la Vallée a few times a week).

 

But using the tunnel also requires specifically validated trainsets: unless they can save a few TGV TMST or NOL, the "low-cost service" will have to undergo the whole validation process.

 

And even though they can manage to start their service, they'll have to make it last: Thalys launched IZY a few years ago, it runs via the "normal speed" line between Paris and Arras, and it still has issues finding riders (it even went from 2 to 1 trainsets after its first year of operation).

Edited by slasher-fun

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Definitely not Massy-Palaiseau, as you would have to use an already busy railway between Choisy le Roi and Massy-Palaiseau (RER C, TGV, freight): Marne-la-Vallée is much closer, and already has the border checks infrastructure (Eurostar serves Marne la Vallée a few times a week).

 

But using the tunnel also requires specifically validated trainsets: unless they can save a few TGV TMST or NOL, the "low-cost service" will have to undergo the whole validation process.

 

And even though they can manage to start their service, they'll have to make it last: Thalys launched IZY a few years ago, it runs via the "normal speed" line between Paris and Arras, and it still has issues finding riders (it even went from 2 to 1 trainsets after its first year of operation).

I was kidding about the entire thing that I posted. But, thanks for tearing it apart. :D

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Or as a starter, they could simply run Ashford International to Lille Europa, and let people connect to whatever local service they want to connect to at each end at those stations, which are already equipped for border checks. The UK to France Commuter Service :) A small order of Javelins used for high speed commuter service out of S. Pancras would work out just fine for such.

 

Isn't Eurotunnel already offering the shortest possible version of a passenger service using the tunnel, admittedly in the form of a bus shuttle that takes the Le Shuttle train?

 

I'm not sure how viable it is to continue such a journey using suburban trains at either end though.

Edited by cirdan

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Nope, this doesn't exist (but you can take Le Shuttle with your bicycle!). The shortest you can do as a pedestrian is with Eurostar between Ashford and Calais-Fréthun, but there's only 3-5 trains per week and only in that direction, and it still costs at least 50.5€ ($59).

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The (supposed) success of OuiGo (SNCF's low cost subsidiary) show's there is a market for low cost trains that stop at suburban stations. It really depends how good the suburban service to take you into town is, though.

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