Stephen Timms – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Transport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Stephen Timms on 2015-12-17.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he expects Deutsche Bahn to commence operating international services from London St Pancras; and if he will make a statement.

Claire Perry

I recognise the international importance of the HS1 network in allowing high-speed rail services from London to reach Europe, whilst noting that no international services currently serve Stratford International station. Eurostar, in which the government recently sold its 40% stake, accesses the HS1 network on an open access basis and is not subject to the terms of a franchise agreement or a contract let by government. Government has no power to direct or specify that Eurostar stops at Stratford International station. A decision made by Eurostar not to serve Stratford International would be as a result of commercial imperatives and priorities, for example, the potential revenue derived from customers using the station or the increased journey time which a further stop would involve. It would not be appropriate for government to interfere with that decision-making process. I have not received any recent representations on this matter from potential or actual train operators; who in any event, should address their questions to HS1 Ltd, as the infrastructure manager, in the first instance; nor have I held any discussions with Eurostar on the matter of services to Stratford.

Regarding any aspirations of Deutsche Bahn to commence operation of international services from St Pancras International, this is rightly a matter for HS1 Ltd as the infrastructure manager, who I understand have held discussions with a number of potential new entrants, including Deutsche Bahn. It would not be appropriate to comment on any ongoing commercial discussions between those parties.