DB considers new Channel Tunnel service between Germany and London

DB considers new Channel Tunnel service between Germany and London

Deutsche Bahn has announced that it is considering new services which use the Channel Tunnel to run direct trains from Germany to the UK.

German trains could run through Channel Tunnel, says DB

A spokesperson from Deutsche Bahn has told the DPA that the national rail service is interested in running a new direct train service between Germany and the UK via the Channel Tunnel.

Sitting 75 metres below the sea bed of the English Channel, 2024 will mark 30 years since the route was first opened. Until now, Eurostar trains have been the only passenger trains permitted to use the tunnel.

The comment from Deutsche Bahn comes after an announcement from the Paris-based company responsible for managing and maintaining the tunnel. Getlink has said that plans are being laid to open the route to competing train companies.

“Train traffic between London and mainland Europe through the Channel Tunnel remains of fundamental interest to Deutsche Bahn,” a spokesperson told the DPA on January 13. At the moment, anyone travelling between Germany and the UK must first take a Deutsche Bahn service to Paris, Brussels, Rotterdam or Amsterdam before changing to a Eurostar train.

Germany-UK ICE services should begin in the next five years

However, before DB trains can make it to the Dover coastline they must be fitted with the uniform European ETCS train security system, the spokesperson added, “The approval of our ICE trains for Belgium, northern France and England depends on this equipment”. 

Only once these security systems have been fitted, can the German company name a prospective launch date for services between the federal republic and the UK.

According to the Getlink timeline, however, this will likely be within the next five years. The international company recently announced that it was accelerating its efforts to diversify train traffic in the tunnel, with the hope that connections from Cologne, Frankfurt, Geneva and Zurich could be operating through the tunnel by 2029.

Thumb image credit: Alena Veasey /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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