London to Bordeaux High Speed Rail


It was announced recently that the owners of the UK’s only high-speed rail line, and link to the Channel Tunnel and beyond are proposing to introduce a service between London and Bordeaux.  Great idea, this is what appeared in the railway press earlier:

“HS1 Ltd, the owner and infrastructure manager of the high-speed link between London St Pancras and the Channel Tunnel, says it is in discussions with Eurotunnel, SNCF Network and Lisea about introducing direct London – Bordeaux high-speed services.”

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According to HS1 Ltd:

“The direct service will cut journey times through a direct route and security controls located in Bordeaux. This will allow a future train operator to take on low cost airlines which currently fly 1.2m passengers per year[1] between the two. High-speed international trains will reach speeds of up to 200mph between the two cities.”

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From here:

HS1 image of St Pancras BNarlow Shed iig_1

The interior of Barlow’s shed at London St Pancras looks quite spectacular in this view.                (c) HS1 Ltd

To here:



Bordeaux Gare St Jean Station

Well, after London to Amsterdam began at the beginning of April 2018, I guess there ought to be another service.

But the older TMST trains are now being withdrawn and disposed of, and the UK still has no effective international services beyond London.  This was what was on offer 30 years ago, and yet now all we have is two extra routes from London to a couple more places – in the Netherlands and south-west France.

Whilst the new service is to be welcomed, it’s a really poor offering for connections within the UK.

Maybe in 10 years time we’ll have a service from Manchester or Birmingham to France and/or the Netherlands.





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