German rail links to London delayed til 2015: reports

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German rail firm Deutsche Bahn has postponed by two years its planned daily connections from German cities to London through the Channel Tunnel, two newspapers said on Thursday.

The start of the routes between Cologne and Frankfurt and London had been planned for 2013 but will now only begin in 2015, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported quoting sources close to the company.

A delivery holdup of 16 new high-speed trains by German group Siemens is behind the delay, according to pre-releases of the reports due to be published on Friday.

"Originally the company wanted to go, possibly by the Olympic Games next summer and at the latest at the end of 2013, regularly from Cologne and Frankfurt to England," the Frankfurter Allgemeine said.

A company spokesman declined to comment.

Deutsche Bahn made a test trip of the first German train to travel between France and Britain through the Channel Tunnel in October 2010.

Rail chiefs believe that considering most airports are situated outside cities, many travellers would choose a five-hour journey by train from Frankfurt, Germany's financial capital, for example, to London over the same journey by air.

© 2011 AFP

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