Eurostar - Tenth Birthday 14 November 2004

1 Nov 2004

1. In November 2004 59 million passengers will have travelled on Eurostar since its launch in 1994 - equivalent to the whole population of the UK!
2. Eurostar carries more passengers each month than all of the airlines combined serving its two core routes of London-Paris and London-Brussels!
3. All these people have made a positive contribution to the environment - if they had chosen to fly rather than take Eurostar the short-haul airlines would have had to lay on an extra 393,000 carbon dioxide producing flights!
4. Over the last decade Eurostar's onboard train crew have served first class passengers over 12 million meals, over nine million quarter bottles of wine and poured over 840,000 bottles of French champagne.
5. In ten years passengers using Eurostar's onboard bar-buffet cars have munched their way through over seven million sandwiches, over four million chocolate bars and drunk over 4 million beers. Enough to for everyone in Brussels to enjoy four beers and four chocolate bars each!
6. Each day the catering team wash over 80,000 items of cutlery, 14,000 cups and saucers and 38,000 glasses.
7. Eurostar's trains weigh in at 800 tonnes each and generate 16,408 bhp - the equivalent of 20 Formula One racing cars!
8. Each 400 metre long train carries 750 passengers - almost equivalent to two 747 Boeing planes.
9. Eurostar trains have made guest appearances in hundreds of TV programmes and feature films. Some recent highlights include, EastEnders, Top Gear, Absolutely Fabulous and the feature films Crush staring Andie MacDowell and My Wife Is An Actress staring Charlotte Gainsbourg. Look out for upcoming Eurostar appearances in BBC1's Spooks and the forthcoming Roger Spottiswoode-directed feature film White On White.
10. Over the years Eurostar has carried many celebrities ranging from royalty and politicians to Hollywood stars and musicians. Some of the most recent famous faces spotted onboard include Hugh Grant, Johnny Depp, Jane Birkin, Paul McCartney, Kate Moss and Thierry Henry.
Ten Years Ago Today...
Eurostar's high-speed passenger services linking the UK with France and Belgium launched on 14 November 1994. What else happened in 1994?
1. Nelson Mandela became President of South Africa.
2. Brazil won a record fourth World Cup beating Italy 3-2 on penalties in the final.
3. Tony Blair was elected leader of the Labour Party.
4. The National Lottery was launched in the UK.
5. Wet Wet Wet spent 15 weeks at Number One in the UK music chart with Love Is All Around - the theme song from the film Four Weddings And A Funeral.
6. Sunday trading was legalised in the UK.
7. Munch's The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery.
8. Tom Hanks won a Best Actor Academy Award for his role in Philadelphia.
9. The Wonderbra launched in the UK with the Hello Boys! advertising campaign.
10. US TV comedy Friends made its debut in the UK on Channel 4.
Background
Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking the UK to France and Belgium. Services launched on 14 November 1994 with two daily trains each way between London and Paris and two between London and Brussels. Today, there are up to 16 daily services each way on the London-Paris route and up to nine in each direction on the London-Brussels route.
Destinations - In addition to Paris and Brussels up to nine trains stop at Lille in northern France and up to four services stop at Calais-Fréthun en route. Also up to 14 trains call daily at Ashford International in Kent. There is a daily direct service from London/Ashford to Disneyland Resort Paris, a twice-weekly winter ski train to the French Alps and a summer Saturday service to Avignon in Provence.
Journey Times - Fastest London-Paris journey time is 2 hours 35 minutes and fastest London-Brussels journey time is 2 hours 15 minutes. London-Lille is just 1 hour 40 minutes.
Punctuality - 89% of Eurostar's trains arrived on time or early in the first six months of 2004, compared with 77% in the same period last year. The short-haul airlines serving Eurostar's routes averaged 72% in July 2004.
Market Share - London-Paris and London-Brussels are both fiercely competitive routes. However, Eurostar carries more passengers than all of the airlines combined on both routes. Eurostar has 68% of the London-Paris market and 63% of the London-Brussels route.
Passenger numbers - 3.4 million passengers travelled on Eurostar during January-July 2004 - an increase of 19% on the same period the previous year.
Management - Eurostar CEO Richard Brown leads a single unified management team covering Eurostar's operations in the UK, France and Belgium.
Product Enhancement - Innovations include ten minute check-in, dedicated business ticket desks and newly refurbished trains being rolled out across the fleet featuring power sockets in all first class coaches. Onboard wi-fi set to be introduced in 2005.
The future - The opening of the second section of the UK high-speed line in 2007 will reduce the fastest London-Paris journey time to 2 hours 15 minutes and London-Brussels to just 1 hour 53 minutes. 2007 will also see the opening of St Pancras International - a new Eurostar London terminal and two new Eurostar stations: Stratford International and Dartford International.
Eurostar's ticket prices vary to meet all budgets with a permanent lead-in fare of £59 return to Paris or Brussels. All Eurostar tickets to Brussels are now valid for travel from any Belgian station at no extra cost.
Tickets are available form www.eurostar.com. The site also offers ticket booking, hotel reservations, car hire, event and exhibition tickets and travel insurance. Alternatively call 08705 186 186 or visit any Eurostar terminal.