ICE to St Pancras? Don’t hold your breath

Finally, after many delays, one of the first steps in the introduction of non-stop high-speed trains between Germany and London has been confirmed. The board of the Channel Tunnel has awarded Deutsche Bahn the requisite licence for running its trains through the tunnel.

Great news, but it looks like the UK Border Agency is planning to block this plan. Passport controls are necessary for entry to the UK but will not be provided at any new locations, beyond Lille, Paris and Brussels. I suspect these checks are also available at Calais Fréthun. Passport checks on the train (for example between Lille and Calais Frethun ~25 min) are apparently not possible. I can see how it could be awkward to remove someone from the train in this instance. But: why not just build a checkpoint in Köln…it’s not rocket science.

Jeez, paranoid *and* vindictive. Makes one proud.

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