Capacity study for direct Frankfurt-London highspeed rail connection

Context

High Speed 1 Ltd., Infrabel, DB Netz and Eurotunnel are currently studying the potential for a new direct highspeed rail connection between Frankfurt, Köln, and London via Brussels. The possibility of a modal shift from air to rail is also considered.

This cooperation between the four Infrastructure Managers more concretely aims at identifying the capacity requirements for such a service and preparing the way for possible operators wishing to operate this route. The study takes into account the predicted evolution of domestic (regional and long-distance) railways services as well as the important expected growth of the cargo services in Germany. To support the objective, the Infrastructure Managers procured a specialist in capacity studies.

Transurb’s Mission

Together with VIA Consulting & Development GmbH, Transurb made a detailed study of a high-speed rail service from Aachen-Süd-Grenze to Frankfurt stations via Köln in both directions which would also fit in Belgium, France, in the Channel Tunnel, and in the UK to London Saint Pancras.

This study included the customers’ needs, the expected operators’ requirements, the viability of this route, the capacity of the paths and platforms, the necessary facilities for security and check-in controls, the implication for existing timetables, and the reallocation of existing paths in a complementary way. The requirements for light maintenance were also examined.

A proof of concept was then executed for a timetable of a viable direct rail service between Frankfurt and London via Brussels and Cologne.

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