With all this said and done, it would still be necessary to fit out the Gare St Jean of Bordeaux as an international terminal.
According to this France Blue article, the project is moving forward in any case. Eurotunnel, the company that manages the Channel Tunnel, Lisea, which operates the Tours-Bordeaux line, HS1, the British high-speed line, and the SNCF have all just agreed to launch a feasibility study.
This link would connect the British capital in five hours bypassing Paris, using the Bordeaux-Lille line. For the key stakeholders, with or without Brexit, the potential is there. Seeing as approximately a million passengers flew between Bordeaux and London last year, they estimate that 20% of them would be prepared to travel by train .
They project isn’t only aimed at the tourist market but also all the British nationals who live in France, with over a quarter of them living in Aquitaine.
The aim would be to make one return trip per week, with 900 seats available. However, before all this could be possible Bordeaux’s main train station needs to be kitted out as an international terminal. This would need to be in line with something you find at the Gare du Nord in Paris (Eurostar). This means, along with infrastructure modifications they would also require passport control and customs officers.
The study is previewed to take at least 5 months to complete. If all goes according to plan, a direct TGV line between Bordeaux – London could be put into operation by 2021 – 2022.