EUROPE: Channel Tunnel rail link concessionaire HS1 Ltd announced a twinning agreement between its London St Pancras International station and SNCF’s Bordeaux Saint-Jean station on October 18, saying this would help to progress the development of proposals for a through passenger service between the cities.

The stations share similarities in design, history and national architectural significance, HS1 Ltd said. Under the partnership, there would be a regular exchange of expertise on facilities management, electronic monitoring and site security, and the preservation of historical and cultural heritage.

The twinning aims ‘to offer the best possible service to passengers, visitors and all stakeholders’, said Claude Solard, Director General of SNCF Gares & Connexions. ‘This new link between the two stations is the bearer of promising projects.’

Last year infrastructure managers HS1 Ltd, Eurotunnel, SNCF Réseau and LISEA agreed to work together to develop a package of train paths and other measures which would enable a train operator to launched a direct London – Bordeaux service within two years. HS1 Ltd predicts that up to 200 000 passengers/year would use such a service

‘At a time when headlines are dominated by rupture between Britain and Europe, our twinning is a reminder of the enduring capacity of the railway to bring communities together’, said HS1 Ltd CEO Dyan Crowther.