To Echoworld Homepage

To Echo Germanica Homepage
July 2007 - Nr. 7


The Editor
To the Editor
Hot City's Summer Days
Baden in Kanada
Dan's Satire
Paul Bernhard Berghorn
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Austrian Honours
Oberlander, Spielball der Politik
Simcoe or Berczy
Das Konsulat teil mit
KW & Beyond
INK the Production
Club Loreley & Fiesta Week
Music in Toronto
Dick reports...Muddy York
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Blasorchester von Fulda
World Rhythms
The Pillow Man
Art History July
Kurt Weill Centenary
Spiegel Show So Hot!
Ukrainian Festival
Cosmedic Pesticides Use
To Lean or Not Too Lean
Outdoor Prepared
Ontario Lacrosse Festival
Austria's FIFA Team
After the World Cup


German Railway Launches Friendly Cross-Border Competition with France

TWIG - As the conventional capitalist wisdom goes, competition benefits consumers. A new initiative by the German and French railways is a case in point. Soon, travelers between major German cities and Paris will be able to choose between the German ICE and the French TGV.

German high-speed ICE (InterCityExpress) trains will speed to Paris at 320 kilometers per hour on new billion-euro tracks in France, while its French counterpart TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse) is due to cross the river Rhine for the first time.

The upshot for travelers is lower prices and more connections. As gas prices creep steadily upwards, the German Railway hopes to lure travelers to take its long distance trains with special offers starting from 29 euros according to Deutsche Bahn chief Hartmut Mehdorn.

Regardless of which train passengers choose, the new arrangement will get them to their destinations faster. While a trip from Frankfurt to Paris once took over six hours, the ICE now reaches Paris in 4 hours and 11 minutes.
The French speed demon TGV is taking over a southern route between Stuttgart and Paris, with a traveling time of 3 hours and 39 minutes.

Joining forces for the first time

Until recently, there has been little competition between the two national lines, but presented with the choice of traveling "a la francaise" or "auf Deutsch", may start taking a closer look at the trains.

Karl-Peter Naumann, chair of the passengers' association Pro Bahn, says the ICE is totally up to scratch with is high level of travel comfort, including electrical sockets in first and second class. The French, meanwhile, are updating their TGV to go east with a new interior design - the seats are covered in red and light green, and they will boast additional leg room.

The railways say that the competition will be a friendly one. "Europe's leading railway lines are joining forces for the first time," Mehdorn said during a symbolic opening tour at the end of May.

"Together we will win new customers," his French counterpart Anne- Marie Idrac added.

High expectations

By 2012, the planners expect a 50 percent increase to an annual 1.5 billion travelers on the international routes.

"Competition keeps you on your toes," says Naumann. Railway expert Heidi Tischmann of Travel Club Germany agrees. "It's good that German travelers realize that there are other long-distance trains, she says."

While Deutsche Bahn competitors have a 15-per-cent share of the local and regional market, their share in the long-distance market is less than 1 per cent.

Deutsche Bahn CEO Mehdorn is already looking beyond the new arrangement with an eye on the strictly sealed-off French market. "Why shouldn’t our ICEs run a regional connection in France in cooperation with the SNCF (Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais)?" he wonders.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


Deutsche Bahn German Railways


To Top of Page

Send mail to  with questions or comments about this web site.
For information about Echoworld Communications and its services send mail to .

Copyright ©2007 Echoworld Communications