HS1, the operator of the high-speed line between London and the Channel Tunnel, is planning to introduce direct high-speed services between London and Bordeaux, France, in collaboration with three other international railway operators.

The introduction of the high-speed services will enable passengers to travel from London to Bordeaux in less than five hours.

Passengers to Bordeaux currently have to change trains in Paris where the journey takes five hours and 30 minutes, plus more than an hour spent on connections in Paris.

“There’s a real demand for international train services to provide a comfortable and better-connected service, especially for leisure journeys.”

The railway operators HS1, Lisea, Eurotunnel and SNCF Réseau are collaborating on train routes and timetables to enable a new international train operator to start the direct service in a ‘couple of years’.

HS1 chief executive Dyan Crowther said: “As we’ve seen with the recent introduction of the Eurostar London-Amsterdam service, there’s a real demand for international train services to provide a comfortable and better-connected service, especially for leisure journeys.

“This is the first time that railway operators have collaborated in this way and saves the train operator having to do a lot of legwork.

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By GlobalData

“The route is almost ready for a train operator to turn up and turn the key as soon as the UK and French Governments agree on border controls.”

The direct service between London and Bordeaux is expected to use the newly completed 302km French high-speed rail line connecting Tours with Bordeaux. The service will be direct, bypassing Paris, so passengers will not need to change trains.

All four railway operators met in Bordeaux to discuss developing the Gare de Bordeaux-Saint-Jean station in order to streamline international train departures. They also identified potential departure slots and train routes.