by Greg Dickinson, The Telegraph, May 7, 2018
Passengers could soon be able to travel direct from London to Bordeaux in under five hours on a new high-speed train line.
The proposed route will reduce the travelling time down from the current journey of five hours, 25 minutes and eliminates the need to disembark for a connecting train in Paris.
Four rail firms across England and France have collaborated to develop the route, which incorporates a new high-speed line between Tours and Bordeaux and paves the way for Eurostar or another operator to begin services by 2020.
A direct train service would offer a new appealing option for the 1.2 million plane passengers who travel between London and Bordeaux each year. Eurostar has discussed the route in the past, but logistical concerns surrounding border controls have slowed progress.
Dyan Crowther, Chief Executive of HS1 Ltd, one of the companies involved in developing the route, said: “As we’ve seen with the recent introduction of the Eurostar London-Amsterdam service, there’s a real demand for international train services to provide a comfortable and better-connected service, especially for leisure journeys.”
The firm is also looking to develop direct routes from London to Frankfurt and Geneva. The Frankfurt journey would take five hours and 30 minutes, with the Geneva route taking slightly longer at five hours and 40 minutes.
As it stands, it takes approximately six hours and 30 minutes to reach either city, involving a change of trains. The return leg to London is also longer due to border and security controls in Brussels or Paris..
The announcement comes shortly after the launch of Eurostar’s direct service from London to Amsterdam, via Rotterdam.