German trains tested on Channel Tunnel

The first non-Eurostar high speed passenger train has entered the Channel tunnel.

The Germany ICE3 train was making a test run into the tunnel near Calais.

The train went part way into the tunnel carrying drivers and technical staff from German rail company Deutsche Bahn.

It is to return to the tunnel for safety drills on Saturday and then travel to London next week towed by another train.

Deutsche Bahn plans to run services to London for the Olympic Games in 2012, meaning that two European railways will compete on a cross border route for the first time.

The company wants to operate the Velaro train, a new generation successor to the ICE3, which can carry up to 900 passengers – 20% more than those currently in use – at 200 miles an hour.

It would connect London and Paris in just over two hours, London and Amsterdam in less than four hours, and London and Geneva in about five hours.

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