French anger as Siemens wins new trains deal

A ROW erupted over the choice of trains for the Channel Tunnel as France hit out a decision by Eurostar to switch to a German manufacturer for its next generation of high-speed trains.

Eurostar said Siemens will supply 10 trains for its fleet. Until now French rival Alstom, manufacturer for France’s high-speed TGV network, has built the Eurostar trains.

Alstom and the French government immediately condemned the decision on safety grounds.

Environment minister Jean-Louis Borloo and Transport minister Dominique Bussereau said in a joint statement they were “amazed” by the move.

Eurostar is owned by rail firms in Britain, France and Belgium.