1. Train Trouble

    EU: Lower Eurostar Prices, or Else

    CEO of Eurostar International Ltd. Nicolas Petrovic, right, and Britain's Secretary of State for Transport Philip Hammond shake hands as a little girl passes on a pedal scooter in front of a mock up of an Eurostar 320 high speed train in central London, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010. Eurostar International Ltd., which operates high-speed trains between London and the European continent, said Thursday it will buy 10 new trains from German manufacturer Siemens in a 700 million pounds ($1.1 billion) program to upgrade and expand its fleet. Eurostar said the new 900-passenger trains would be capable of operating anywhere on Europe's high-speed rail network as the company looks beyond its current destinations of London, Paris and Brussels. (AP Photo/Lennart Preiss)

    Lennart Preiss/AP

    Want to pay next to nothing for your blazing fast trip under the English Channel? The European Commission is going to bat for you. The Commission on Thursday threatened to fine France and Great Britain, the two main end points of the Eurostar, if they don’t deal with the illegally high track-access fees through the Channel Tunnel that are jacking up prices on the high-speed line. Under European law, track fees are only allowed to cover track wear caused by trains, and prices are currently about twice as high as they should be. The Commission said only 43 percent of the tunnel’s train capacity is used because of the illegal fees, and that its operators could make up the cost with more freight traffic.

    Read it at Reuters