EUROPE: Deutsche Bahn has effectively deferred its high-profile plan to run direct high speed trains between Germany and London. Reports in the French press last week had quoted Birgit Bohle, Managing Director of DB Fernverkehr, suggesting that the German operator had no desire to compete directly with its French counterpart SNCF on international routes.
On June 13, Paul Geyssens, Manager for International Sales & Marketing at Belgian national operator SNCB, told Railway Gazette that it was ‘also his understanding’ that no DB trains would run from Brussels to London or Paris Nord for ‘at least five years’ and probably longer. SNCB sells tickets for both DB and SNCF via its B Europe website and other channels.
SNCF owns a majority stake in cross-Channel high speed operator Eurostar, while the two companies co-operate to run Franco-German trains to and from Paris Est. DB has not responded to a request for clarification.