Deutsche Bahn is looking at linking London and Berlin via the Channel Tunnel as restrictions on the type and formation of trains using the tunnel look like being eased.
DB rail chief, Rüdiger Grube told reporters, ‘This autumn we will send an ICE3 test train through the tunnel beneath the English Channel as part of our preparations for possible train services to London.’ Rudiger was referring to a recommendation allowing indivisible train sets to transit the tunnel.
The Intergovernmental Commission in charge of Channel Tunnel safety says trains shorter than the current 375m minimum which comply with the stringent fire safety rules, in place of the European Technical Specification for Interoperability should be able to use the tunnel.
ETSI is an international code and not simply Channel Tunnel-specific. DB’s new Class 407 Velaro D trainset, built by Siemens at Krefeld have been designed with international and British services in mind.