UK communters could one day get another direct route into Europe after a Swiss MP called for an inquiry into a direct daily services between Basel and London.
London St Pancras station currently takes passengers to several European destinations.
And while a direct route to Switzerland wouldn’t be too hard to do, it doesn’t yet exist.
However, that could be about to change. A member of the Swiss parliament has got the ball rolling on potential services to Basel from London by calling an inquiry.
Politician Matthias Aebische is calling for the new route, which he argues would reduce air travel.
The social democrat group SP member has made a proposal to the Federal Council to examine whether the direct connection will be possible.
It’s thought a single journey from London to Basel direct would take around five-and-a-half hours.
If you want to travel from the UK to Switzerland by rail at the moment, it’ll take you about six. You’ll first need to take a train from London to Paris, then another to Zurich.
However, there would need to be significant infrastructural changes made first, according to RailTech.
On whether they saw the route from London to Basel as a viable option in the future, Eurostar told the publication: ‘It is encouraging to see interest from the Swiss parliament in expanding their international train route network.’
‘We always monitor the potential for new routes, but our current focus is on our core destinations (London, Paris, Lille, Brussels, Rotterdam, Amsterdam)’
The fact the UK is no longer in the EU would also need to be taken into account, meaning Basel station would need to add customs and passport control facilities.
The initiative was signed by others including Basel-based middle national councilor Elisabeth Schneider-Schneite and the Basel-Stadt LDP representative Patricia von Falkenstein.
It comes just weeks after the Eurostar announced a new sleeper train to Berlin from London back in January.
The new trains are due to begin running to the German capital overnight on May 25, 2023.
Customers will board St Pancras Station on a Friday afternoon, have a short changeover in Brussels around two hours into the trip, and arrive in Berlin the following morning.
A return train then runs on late Sunday evening, meaning passengers will arrive back to London by mid-morning on Monday.
You’ll be offered breakfast in bed while on board and the whole thing takes less than 16 hours.
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