Germany 'plans to use Channel Tunnel'
Germany's national rail service has plans to run trains through the Channel Tunnel in competition with Eurostar, according to reports.
Travellers could soon be offered direct rail access to Germany after the country's state-owned railway company applied for permission to run trains through the Channel Tunnel.
The Deutsche Bahn proposals could lead to four-hour train journeys from London to Cologne and a five-hour rail link between the English capital and Frankfurt, the Times reports.
If the plans come to fruition the German firm would be in competition with Eurostar, which currently offers rail services from south-east England to Paris, Lille and Brussels among other destinations.
Increased competition and traffic would be welcomed by Eurotunnel, the company that owns the Channel Tunnel, which has been laden with debt since the opening of the connection.
However a potential stumbling block to Deutsche Bahn's proposals could be safety, as some of the company's high-speed trains do not conform to the strict rules governing use of the Channel Tunnel.
On November 14th Eurostar will strengthen its product offering in the UK when it shifts base from Waterloo to St Pancras International, a move that is set to reduce average journey times by 22 to 25 minutes.
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