Getting Brexit ready? German rail operator revives plans for high-speed London to Frankfurt trains

 
Rebecca Smith
Deutsche Bahn was given a licence to run services to Frankfurt back in 2013 but the plans were put on hold
Deutsche Bahn was given a licence to run services to Frankfurt back in 2013 but the plans were put on hold (Source: Getty)

Express trains from London to Frankfurt might be on the agenda sooner than you'd think.

High-speed trains from the capital to Germany's financial centre could be launched as early as 2020 in a move that would help the UK solidify links to mainland Europe in the wake of Brexit.

According to The Times, the German rail operator Deutsche Bahn, is bringing back proposals to run trains through the Channel Tunnel in a 400-mile journey linking St Pancras with Frankfurt. It would take around five hours.

Read more: Eurotunnel profits boom as boss hails "best year in our history"

The rail operator was given the go-ahead to build the direct line back in 2013, but the brakes were put on as it awaited the delivery of a fleet of trains.

Deutsche Bahn first has an eye on bringing in new routes to Belgium and northern France before the UK though. A spokesman told The Times: "We still do not have the rolling stock to operate the line. Having the trains running with the Belgian and French systems is a prerequisite to move on with our plans for the London service."

The chairman of Eurotunnel, Jacques Gounon, told the paper he was waiting to meet Deutsche Bahn chief executive's successor after Rüdiger Grube resigned in January, but was "quite sure" the services will happen and that they could be running from as early as 2020.

Read more: HS2 delays contract award to CH2M as Mace mulls legal action on losing out

Back in November, Eurostar said it will go ahead with its plans to start services from London to Amsterdam this year, despite uncertainty over the UK's future relationship with the EU.

The new Amsterdam service will rival to airlines transporting three million people a year from the capital to Holland. Eurostar is making a "major investment" in its fleet, service and stations to gear up for further expansion.

Related articles