SNCF-Réseau, Eurotunnel, Lisea and HS1 Ltd signed an agreement to fund a feasibility study on direct high-speed services between London and Bordeaux. The study will scope the requirements for the facilities for a new border control and security to allow passengers to travel directly from Bordeaux St Jean station to London St Pancras without the need to change trains.
“This cooperation between infrastructure managers marks our common will to set the foundations for the development of a cross-Channel rail service between London and Bordeaux,” Arnaud Sohier, SNCF Réseau Commercial Director, commenting said.
The agreement is a key milestone in the innovative cooperation between the four infrastructure managers in their bid to create a new open access route for an ambitious train operator looking to access a unique and growing passenger market.
The new service would take under five hours and is made possible by the recent opening of the high-speed line –South Europe Atlantic (LGV –Sud-Europe Atlantique) route between Tours and Bordeaux.
Over one million people travelled by air between London and Bordeaux region last year. Modelling shows that up to 20% would switch to rail for a service of this distance.
“International travellers cherish the convenience of direct high-speed rail services. Following the success of London-Amsterdam, the introduction of such an offer between Bordeaux and London is set to become the market reference,” Jean-Pierre Ramirez, Eurotunnel’s Railway Network Director said.