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AF-KLM To Start High Speed Train Service?  
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 8289 times:

Welcome for 'rival Eurostar plan'

There have been various reports that Air France-KLM is considering setting up its own London to Paris high-speed train service 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/6629965.stm

I think it could be quite exciting, you take a High Speed train from Central London, to Paris (presumably CDG), then connect to a flight from CDG to wherever you are going.

Maybe the consortium realises that when the new line opens later this year, airlines are likely to suffer a huge drop in passengers on London - Paris?

What do you make of it?



Lee

[Edited 2007-05-06 19:20:36]


Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27000 posts, RR: 57
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 8264 times:

Hmm sounds interesting . Would be nice and would solve the problem of missed connections due to LHR delays. I wonder if they would thru check bags, offer miles and lounges at stations. Would it be like flying KLM AF for instance. It would be a fusion of plane and train spotters LOL...

User currently offlineKL577 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2006, 776 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 8227 times:

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
There have been various reports that Air France-KLM is considering setting up its own London to Paris high-speed train service

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/6629965.stm

I think it could be quite exciting, you take a High Speed train from Central London, to Paris (presumably CDG), then connect to a flight from CDG to wherever you are going.

Maybe the consortium realises that when the new line opens later this year, airlines are likely to suffer a huge drop in passengers on London - Paris?

What do you make of it?

Later this year will see the opening of the hi-speed railtrack between Amsterdam and Brussels. Hi-speed trains will be operated on this track (and further on to Paris) by a company called High-Speed Alliance. This is a joint venture by the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways) and KLM. I guess a potential extension to London could be an interesting expansion for this company.

I am not sure whether or not any airline has an interest in Thalys who operate trains between Paris, Brussels and beyond.


User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25346 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7861 times:

Quoting KL577 (Reply 2):
Later this year will see the opening of the hi-speed railtrack between Amsterdam and Brussels.

I wonder whether KL will eliminate air service AMS-BRU when the high-speed rail service begins, as AF did between CDG and BRU when high-speed trains went into service there? And Paris-Brussels is further than Amsterdam-Brussels if not mistaken.


User currently offlineJoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3169 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 7672 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
Paris-Brussels is further than Amsterdam-Brussels if not mistaken.

Distance-wise, CDG-BRU is 252 km whereas AMS-BRU is only 158 km. However, total travel time Brussels-South (Zuid/Midi) to CDG will be a 5 minutes shorter than Brussels - Schiphol. The TGV from Brussels to CDG takes 1:16. Brussels-AMS will be something like 1:20. This is mostly because the Brussels-CDG train doesn't stop in between, whereas the train from Brussels to AMS will call at Antwerp, Breda and Rotterdam. A positive thing is that all high-speed trains from Brussels/Paris to Amsterdam will always call at Schiphol rail station.

Having said that, I don't expect the AMS-BRU service to be around in 2010 any longer.


User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4002 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 7576 times:
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Quoting OA260 (Reply 1):
I wonder if they would thru check bags, offer miles and lounges at stations.

Yes. Yes. Yes. And "air" passengers sit in a dedicated first-class car irrespective of the class of service booked.

Quoting KL577 (Reply 2):
I am not sure whether or not any airline has an interest in Thalys who operate trains between Paris, Brussels and beyond.

Doubtful, even more so now that Thalys is no longer operating trains between CDG and Brussels.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineJoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3169 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 7487 times:

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 5):
Yes. Yes. Yes. And "air" passengers sit in a dedicated first-class car irrespective of the class of service booked.

I'm not exactly sure, but AFAIK when traveling ZYR (Antwerp rail station) - AMS on Thalys on a KL-number, you get a second class seat for an economy airline ticket.

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 5):
Doubtful, even more so now that Thalys is no longer operating trains between CDG and Brussels.

Indeed, they have been transfered to SNCF who operates TGVs between the cities. KL does still codeshare though on the Thalys on ZYR-AMS; MP also codeshares on Thalys Brussels Midi-AMS.


User currently offlineKL577 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2006, 776 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 7463 times:

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 5):
Quoting OA260 (Reply 1):
I wonder if they would thru check bags, offer miles and lounges at stations.

Yes. Yes. Yes. And "air" passengers sit in a dedicated first-class car irrespective of the class of service booked.

No thru check-in with Thalys at AMS either, you have to collect your luggage at the luggage claim and proceed to the railway station downstairs yourself.


User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4002 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7205 times:
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Quoting Joost (Reply 6):

You are correct, of course. The OP was talking about London to CDG so I replied with the AF service between Brussels and CDG in mind, even though I know from personal experience that there is no through check-in via AMS. I'll have to try taking the train to AMS again soon, because my last (and only) experience so far this past summer was not impressive. On-time departure, 45 minutes late on arrival and passed by two NS trains along the way (admittedly that was also the very day after some major construction was supposed to be over - probably late). The food was pretty good by mass transit standards, however.

Quoting Joost (Reply 6):
I'm not exactly sure, but AFAIK when traveling ZYR (Antwerp rail station) - AMS on Thalys on a KL-number, you get a second class seat for an economy airline ticket.

My guess is because KL-numbered trains to/from AMS do not include a dedicated KLM car, unlike AF trains.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineEIRules From Ireland, joined Aug 2007, 777 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7162 times:

Sounds like an interesting concept. What is to stop LH and LX doing something similar (and dont say the Alps). Would this lead to long haul routes that are operated long haul by AF ex CDG and by KL ex AMS being axed by one and the connections being say NRT-CDG-AMS-CAI rather than just NRT-AMS-CAI


Next Flights: EI DUB-LHR A320, BA LHR-SFO B744, UA SFO-LAS A320, BA LAS-LHR B744, EI LHR-DUB A320
User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4002 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7104 times:
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Quoting EIRules (Reply 9):

High-speed trains are replacing short-haul flights, not cutting down on the number of long-haul ones. Your scenario would actually put AF and KL at a commercial disadvantage over other carriers such as BA or LH that would be able to offer one-stop service, which anyone other than a mileage (or train) junkie would prefer over a two-stop itinerary.

High-speed trains are also generally not thought of to connect one airport to another, but to connect the downtown area of one city to the airport in another, the idea being that passengers avoid the inconvenience and hassle of having to go to the airport for a short trip and begin (or end) instead at a more relaxing/convenient train station. Trains to CDG from Belgium, for instance, leave from Brussels' largest train station, not from BRU. In the opposite direction, SN code-shares on a couple of trains a day from Paris' main train station to BRU.

What keeps other airlines from duplicating the use of high speed trains out of CDG/AMS is more likely than not the lack of infrastructure. To be high speed, high-speed trains often need dedicated tracks to avoid slower traffic, bypass railroad crossings, smaller cities, and be able to reach their cruising speed, as current tracks often slope too much or turn too tight to let a train take it at full speed, all at a very steep cost.

If the money is there, pretty much any high density route that could be completed in two hours or less by high-speed train is a candidate to substitute trains for planes. Markets such as ZRH - GVA, LHR - MAN or DFW - IAH would be perfect.

This being said, you do not need high speed trains to effectively combine trains and planes, however. LX, for instance, has let passengers check in at most large train stations in Switzerland well before trains were barreling down the track at 250 km/h between CDG and Brussels.

[Edited 2007-05-07 17:35:50]


I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlinePHKLM From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Dec 2005, 1198 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 7024 times:

Quoting Joost (Reply 6):

I'm not exactly sure, but AFAIK when traveling ZYR (Antwerp rail station)

Joost, not to rain on your parade but the correct IATA codes for the AMS-CDG rail connection are from North to South:

ZYA - Amsterdam Central Station (NS)
AMS - Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
QRH - Rotterdam Central Station (NS)
ZYZ - Antwerp Berchem Station (NMBS)
ZYR - Brussels South/Midi Station (NMBS)
XDB - (Lille Europe (SNCF) - Thalys service does not call here, but TGV does)
CDG - Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

TGV-Service continues to AF/KL destinations directly from ZYR and possibly from the Netherlands when the new line is open):
XYD - Lyon Part Dieu (SNCF)
XRF - Marseille St Charles (SNCF)

ZYR-XRF is currently just over 5 hours by TGV, already quite difficult to beat by plane when traveling from city center to city center; when you assume you need to check-in luggage that is.


User currently offlineUltrapig From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 585 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 6571 times:
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I've traveled on conventional train in Europe but never on TGV or other high speed. At that speed can one see the countryside or is it like flying over it?

User currently offlineTGV From France, joined Dec 2004, 874 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6530 times:

Quoting Ultrapig (Reply 12):
I've traveled on conventional train in Europe but never on TGV or other high speed. At that speed can one see the countryside or is it like flying over it?

You can see the countryside very well.
Only the objects near you pass too fast to be seen clearly.

At 300 km/h (it will be 320 km/h for the new East-European line to open next month in France) you are only some 30/40 km/h higher than a jet taking off. So what you see looking through the windows of a jet when you take off gives you a good idea of what you see from a high speed train.



Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4002 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6509 times:
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Quoting Ultrapig (Reply 12):

You don't actually notice much of a difference between a high speed train and an inter-city train unless you zoom by a station or you happen to follow the path of a highway. Only then do you really notice how fast you're going...



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2899 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6502 times:

Quoting KL577 (Reply 2):
I am not sure whether or not any airline has an interest in Thalys who operate trains between Paris, Brussels and beyond.

As far as I know it is a joint venture between SNCF and NMBS/SNCB.

Quoting Joost (Reply 4):
the train from Brussels to AMS will call at Antwerp, Breda and Rotterdam

The Brussels-The Hague train will stop at Breda, Amsterdam-Brussels will not (there'll be a half-hourly service Amsterdam-Breda though)

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 5):
Doubtful, even more so now that Thalys is no longer operating trains between CDG and Brussels.

Are you sure about that? Their site still shows Thalys connections between Brussels and Paris?!

Quoting EIRules (Reply 9):
What is to stop LH and LX doing something similar

LH has the air-rail scheme with check-in at Stuttgart and Cologne stations, a dedicated luggage compartment on trains to FRA.

http://www.bahn.de/p/view/internatio...nglisch/travelagent/airail_e.shtml

There is also a combined train/plane ticket from 80 stations in Germany (but without check-in facilities locally), in a liaison between DB and many carriers. It even serves four carriers at AMS: Martinair, Garuda, Eva Airways and China Airlines:

http://www.bahn.de/p/view/internatio...velagent/railfly_b_to_b_engl.shtml



I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineMauriceB From Netherlands, joined Aug 2004, 2490 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6499 times:

Maybe they could make a train of the fusalage of the overruned 737-400 at BCN  Wink

User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2899 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6474 times:

Quoting MauriceB (Reply 16):
Maybe they could make a train of the fusalage of the overruned 737-400 at BCN

Would look like this:



I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4002 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6455 times:
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Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 15):
Are you sure about that? Their site still shows Thalys connections between Brussels and Paris?!

Between Brussels and Paris, yes, but Paris is not CDG, as of April 1. This journey is now undertaken by the "standard" high speed trains running between Belgium and France.

Current Thalys network:
http://www.b-rail.be/int/E/trains/thalys/destinations/index.php



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineENU From Netherlands, joined Nov 2006, 1166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6447 times:

Quoting Joost (Reply 4):
This is mostly because the Brussels-CDG train doesn't stop in between, whereas the train from Brussels to AMS will call at Antwerp, Breda and Rotterdam.

The Amsterdam-Paris train does not call at Breda: http://www.hslzuid.nl/hsl/vervoer/haltes/index.jsp
However, this will be a huge improvement. Because currently, the Thalys train needs 2:30 for The Hague-Brussels section and only 1:00 for Brussels-Paris Gare du Nord part. Does this compete with flying AMS-CDG? Anyway not in price I think.


User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2899 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6419 times:

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 18):
Between Brussels and Paris, yes, but Paris is not CDG, as of April 1. This journey is now undertaken by the "standard" high speed trains running between Belgium and France.

Ah I see... So it's just the CDG part taken out. Thanks for clearing that up.



I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineGlareskin From Netherlands, joined Jun 2005, 1305 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6413 times:

Quoting ENU (Reply 19):
Because currently, the Thalys train needs 2:30 for The Hague-Brussels section and only 1:00 for Brussels-Paris Gare du Nord part. Does this compete with flying AMS-CDG? Anyway not in price I think.

Since I am living in the south part of the Netherlands I tried the Thalys to Paris on some occasions. My first experience was from Rotterdam and as you mentioned it took hours to only get to Brussels. Then the next occasion I drove to Gare du Midi in Brussels because I like the short one hour drive to Paris. But the price is too high. IIRC the Brussels Paris v.v. was around € 100 plus parking at Gare du Midi (which is hard to reach and expensive while it is in the centre of the city). Another advantage could be frequency but I guess even this is not working. On one of these trips I was late coming back out of Paris and I took one train later than scheduled. This train was almost empty. But when my ticket was checked by an unfriendly railroad employee with a heavy french accent I had to pay a fine which was about the same price as the ticket!!
Next time I'm going to check if I can find flights from EIN or RTM or ANR to Paris. I don't know if these flights already exist but if they don't it would be a good idea to start these flights. LLC'c you are invited!



There's still a long way to go before all the alliances deserve a star...
User currently offlineBongo From Colombia, joined Oct 2003, 1863 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6385 times:

Which track they can use? same one as Eurostar? If not...which one? I don´t think AF-KLM have enough money to build such a tunnel and railroad...am I wrong? How does it work?


MDE: First airport in the Americas visited by the A380!
User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2899 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6346 times:

Quoting Bongo (Reply 22):
Which track they can use? same one as Eurostar? If not...which one? I don´t think AF-KLM have enough money to build such a tunnel and railroad...am I wrong? How does it work?

They can, technically it's no problem, they just need to obtain licenses from the relevant regulators and train paths ("slots") from the respective infrastructure managers. Not a big deal except that capacity in London and Paris might be hard to get.



I scratch my head, therefore I am.
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