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|4rail.net - Super High Speed Trains - Eurostars|
Group and other companies
of the Eurostar Saga
On the French side
the infrastructure has been
in a good
shape for almost two
decades. The norm
is usually 300-360 km/h (186-224 mph) for the LGVs, up from 300
km/h, which will save
additional minutes, and giving competitive edge
against the airlines
distance of 1000 km between the bigger cities, for
the first time!
The future of the Eurostar traffic
While the Eurostar Group has been quite succesfull in challenging the airlines for international traffic, more train capacity will have to be added due to strong demand of the Channel Tunnel traffic. The news magazines have expressed Eurostars interest in the new AGV super fast trains. However, the best seller Velaro super high speed trains of Siemens are challenging the traditional super fast trains builder Alstom on its home market as well. The most active international train builder Bombardier has also entered the arena with its Zefiro 380 (380 km/h, 236 mph) train offering.
The results of the competition were finally unveiled in Ocrtober 2010: The winner is Velaro(-Europe) of the German train building giant Siemens AG. 10 type e320 units will be added to the fleet from year 2014.
We'll see in a couple of years what other the future will bring. One is for sure: The Channel Tunnel traffic is so lucrative, that Virgin Trains, NTV, Deutshe Bahn and other possible operators would certainly wish to take a slice of the markets or even challenge the Eurostar in its current territory of operations.
The 4rail.net now also has more information on the Eurotunnel, the Channel Tunnel owner and operator, and in the near future on the mighty German Deutsche Bahn as well.
More on future Eurostars and other Channel Tunnel trains
Created for 4rail.net by John McKey. Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo, Sanna Siissalo and John McKey.
Also on High Speed
Super High Speed News provides you the newest happenings and trends in the super fast railroading.
A TGV and AGV Theme Page provides information on these most succesfull super high speed trains.
See the Velaro & ICE 1,2,3 Page for these Siemens prides!
The Virgin Trains Pendolino class 390 is one of the many pendolinos found on the 4rail.net Pendolino page.
It all started from Japan in 1964 with the first bullet train. See what the latest Shinkansens have to offer for the world!
The Eurostars use the Channel Tunnel connect the U.K. to the mainland Europe.
The Chinese CHR program is the most advanced in the world and China will be the world leader in super high speed trains usage in just a few years.
One of the always popular trains is the Russian super high speed test train Sokol. While Sokol was a product in the wrong time period, the Russia today has an impressive high speed program starting.
Maglev of Germany and China starts the new generation of floating on the rail, the new comfort level of travelling!
|Eurostar Trainsets Technology|
Picture: the Eurostar unit 3207/3208 unboarding at Paris gare du Nord in France after dash from the British side. The travelling between these huge cities only takes 2 hours 15 minutes now on train - beating the airliners from city center to city center! Picture by Sanna Siissalo 2008. More pictures from St Pancras (British) side of the Channel to follow shortly!
"Capitals" is a train set of two powerful AC locomotives and
two "TGV-length" units of trailers (2 x 9 trailers) (TGVs actually have
a norm of 8 trailers, except for the TGV Atlantiques 10 trailers).
|To the top of the page|
The Eurostar (international / capitals) unit 3201/3202 seen here gliding through a station in Calais on the French side of the line. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.
"Regional" is a similar train set to "Capitals" but has only 14
(instead of 18).
No midlide overhaul
|To the top of the page|
|Eurostars and other Channel Tunnel operators trains for the future|
The Eurostar unit 3001 beside the Thalys PBKA unit 4343 show two different designs for the TGV. While the Eurostars are used mainly for the Channel Tunnel traffic, the Thalyses traffic mostly north of Paris France towards Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany. Below a demo train for the upcoming e320 velaro type train sets.
majority of other super high speed rail traffic, the Eurostars have
recently had steadily
growing number of passengers. While the original Eurostar Capitals and
Eurostar Regional units have been enough to provide capacity so far,
the situation will change with fast growing numbers of passengers
between London and the continental large cities. The increase has been
created with the opening of the latest high speed track sections on the
Britains side, as one of the frequent travellers commented: "it's only
20 minutes (to London) once you reach the U.K. edge of the Channel
tunnel". Interestingly some of the units were on lease to SNCF still in
late 2008 due to similar high demand causing problems within France.
|Eurostar Running on Third Rail|
|Two pictures by
Ken Storey of Eurostar units
on the third rail section of the British railnetwork before the
Eurostars moved to St Pancras station in 2007 and
started using the British super high speed lines which have
catenary wires to provide the electricity. Many similar
systems to British 750V DC third rail can be found today on subways but
the choise for today seems to be the 25KV 50Hz overhead wire. (The
rusty rails in the middle of the right most rail in the left picture
are probably for replacement of old rails).
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with any large scale operation, disruptions to
normal traffic patterns happen.
Disruption of the traffic in December 2009 due to cold and snowy conditions
All Eurostar traffic (not Eurotunnel traffic nor Keolis 395 were severely affected) ceased a few days before Christmas on 18th of December 2009. 5 Eurostar trainsets broke down simultaneuously, 4 of those inside the warm and humid Eurotunnel. The cold weather conditions outside were blamed. The traffic was cancelled until tuesday the 22nd of December and Eurostar sincerely apologized its customers.
At the time it was discussed at trainorders.com that the blowing light snow might have caused the problems. The trains use centrifuge to dry the incoming air. This method works will with rain and wet snow but NOT the light snow in the cold conditions. Similar incidents were reported have happened in February 2009, 2003, 2002 and 1995. In the U.S. similar problems have also been experienced withthe high speed Acela units, which run on the front locomotive only on the similar conditions to stop the breakdowns. To stop similar incident from happening in the future, the Eurostar would be wise to invest on trains of different technology like Bombardiers or Siemens' to broaden its operations sustainability in the severe weather conditions.
The serious fire on the northern tunnel bore on September 11th 2008
As we have read from the news, there was a serious fire on northern Channel tunnel on September 11th in 2008 caused by an Eurotunnels (the owner of the tunnel infra) own piggy pack train carrying trucks in the tunnel. The cause was determined to be the trucks overheated brakes, which caught fire when ventilated by the tunnel air on high speed. The train had to be stopped 11,5 kilometers inside the tunnel from the French side. After series of explosions the 29 truck drivers plus 3 crew escaped throught the service tunnel between located between the main tunnels. 14 people were injured from inhaling the toxic gases. The fire lasted for 16 hours with temperatures of over 1000 degrees celcius, and the whole tunnel was closed causing chaos among the travellers.
The southern undamaged tunnel was reopened on September 13th with a limited number of only 19 Eurostars operating from London to Paris / Brussels / Disneyland Paris. With only one tunnel in use the reduced traffic schedules will be limited to minimum. With worse than 1996 fire damages expected it was estimated to take over 6 months before the northern tunnel is again in use and the traffic was finally restored to normal in March 2009.
The tunnel fortunately has several crossovers between the northern and southern bores which helped to achieve near normal levels of traffic in case of some part is being repaired. Due to congestion the freight traffic was limited to night time only. Even in the normal traffic the freight traffic has a 125 km/h (78 mph) MINIMUM speed limit (trains travelling slower than that will have to pay for two slots intead of one, making using Eurotunnel uneconomical for slower traffic).
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|Eurostar Train Units Roster Pictures and Stories|
|Picture above: Eurostar (half) unit 3001 at Paris Gare du Nord in France.||Picture: Another picture of the Eurostar (half) unit 3001 at Paris Gare du Nord in France with a sister Thalys TGV type train.|
|Picture above: Eurostar (half) unit 3011
with 3 of
its sister trains at St Pancras, London, United Kingdom. |
|Picture: Eurostar (half)
unit 3201 at Calais minutes before descending to the Channel tunnel for
its undersea part of journey. ||Picture: Eurostar (half) unit 3201 on the westernmost track of St Pancras main trains shed. Notice the restaurant right next to the track, what a great place for train spotting!|
|Units 3205, 3212 and a third unit under the north end
of the St Pancras train shed. ||Units half 3207 has just arrived to Paris Gare du Nord
in France. |
| Units 3214 and 3215 rest under the arches of St
Pancras train "shed".||Picture: Eurostar unit 3221 with two unknowns sister trains at Paris end of their daily route.|
|Eurostar unit number 3230 in Lille, France in the
summer of 2010. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo. |
|The demo train for the upcoming e320 Eurostar unit. This demo looks like a DB Velaro-D unit with eurostar paint on it making it appear quite different from it's German cousins.|
|More pictures will follow shortly.|
interesting pages in the category on
Super Fast Trains Main Page
Super High Speed Trains News
Super High Speed Trains records Page
TGV & AGV page
Intercity Express - ICE and Velaro Page
Shinkansen picture & fact page
Watching Super Fast Train at Paris Gare du Nord
The SNCF TGV Roster Page
Tilting Trains Page
Pendolino special Page
Cisalpino (ETR470 Pendolino) story by Ilkka Siissalo in the Swiss section!
Sokol from Russia
High Speed in Russia
Super High Speed Efforts in the U.S.
Super High Speed in China
Maglev technology Page - levitation on the rail
Super High Speed Lines and Corridors...
High Speed Services:
Allegro - Helsinki Finland to St Petersburg Russia
AVE - High Speed service of Renfe Spain
Cisalpino - The Former Joint Venture of SBB/CFF and Trenitalia
FYRA - High Speed service of NS and SNCB in Benelux countries
Sapsan - High Speed service of RzD of Russia
Thalys - High Speed service from France to Benelux countries
TGV - High Speed service of SNCF in France