I have a couple questions that will probably be easy for those here on TP who come from Western Europe. It is about the underground train that was built a few years back connecting Europe and France.
First what two towns are connected specifically? Is it London and Paris? I am just trying to figure out where you would get on and off the train.
Second does England(right hand drive) allow french(left hand drive) cars to come through the tunnel, I know it is on a train, but are French cars leagel in England and vice versa, can you take an English car into France?
Thanks in advance for your help all.
Hi, it is just a normal train, which happens to go through an extended tunnel under the Channel.
They all depart from London Waterloo, and go to Paris, Brussels and I believe somewhere else . . but can't remember where! You are restricted when you can on and off Eurostar mainly because of customs/immigration and all that!
You can drive left hand cars in England, no issues about that and cars are legal either side . . . . . however if you are intending on using a hire car, you may have a few problems, since I am not sure you will be able to take hire cars abroad. If you buy one though it is up to you where you take it, although if you take an english car over to france you may need to alter the lights. Plus you will need a hazard warning kit in the boot. One of our driving associations (eg; www.theaa.com) will be able to advise.
With regard to driving right had in mainland europe, and left hand in england . . there are no real problems although can be tricky when overtaking or when you are in a busy town. The key thing to remember is when you start off that you need to be on the other side of the road, it can be confusing when the car is fitted the other way round!!
Hope this all makes sense
Have fun travelling
Your post cleared up everything I needed except for one thing.
Does a normal train over there have freight cars where you can put a car on it, or would this be out of the ordinary for this train?
Thank you very much for the info you have given me already, it helps a lot.
They stop at Waterloo, Folkstone, Calais, Paris, and Brussels. But often just two of those places, i.e they don't all stop at all of them. I think I'm correct in saying that the Waterloo (central london) and Paris stops are for passengers only, i.e you can;t put the car on at those points. Basically, there's Eurostar- which is for people only, and then the tunnel/Shuttle, in which you drive onto the train and sit in your car for the journey, which stops at Folkstone near Dover in England, and Calais, in France. Calais is basically a big port in Northernmost France.
Either way both are a very efficient and pretty painless way to cross the English Channel.
You can't put a car on any other train here, mainly cos trains in england (litle country that we are), are generally viewed as an alternative mode of transport to driving, so why take the car on a train, when you can drive it kind of thing...
Hope that helped
Samantha I think has given you all the answers you need on "Le Shuttle". Your car basically goes into a carriage and then you stay with car, hot drinks/snacks are available.
Mainland europe has quite a few train services which you can put a car on to speed across country/countries, unfortunately the little old UK has very few (if any!) such services left.
Hope all goes well, wehere are you thinking of driving to and from?
Think in my normally bumbling fashion, i'm now going to contradict bits of what everybody else has said....
1. Eurostar is a passenger only train and serves:
- London Waterloo
- Ashford International (in Kent - pick up towards Europe and set down towards London only i.e. you can't travel London to Ashford or vv)
- Eurostar doesn't stop in Folkestone
- Calais Frethun (not many trains and the station is in the middle of a field about 10km from Calais)
- Lille Europe (good TGV connections to most of France)
- Paris Nord
- In addition, there is a daily service from London/Ashford to Marne La Valley Chessy (for Eurodisney) plus 1 summer Saturdays return to Avignon, and 2 weekly winter returns to the French Alps.
- Brussel/Bruxelles Zuid-Midi
2. Cars abroad - No problem at all. Some rental companies allow cars to be taken from Eng-Fra or vv, but that depends upon the company rules/insurance etc. As Becky says, you will need to carry different things in different countries (i.e bulb sets/hazard warning etc) and cars from both countries are supposed to have stickers placed on the lights to divert them (so that the dipped headlights dip to the side of the road, and not into the face of oncoming drivers). Also, things like legal driving age and blood- alcohol levels are different.
3. Le shuttle - Is for vehicles only (i.e. no foot passenges) and runs shuttles between Cheriton (near Folkestone) and Coquelle (near Calais). There are both car and freight shuttles running frequently 24hours a day.
To slightly contradict Sam, there is a Motorrail service in the UK (London - Penzance, but i think summer only), bt the rest was killed off by the Tories. There is a rumour of restarting a London-Scotland service this summer, but this has been going for a couple of years and i wouldn't hold your breath.
There are a number of services in Western Europe, but unfortunately in the past 2 or 3 years, many of these have been cut / replaced / diverted / scaled back as well.