Eurostar to launch passenger services at St Pancras International on Wednesday 14 November 2007

14 Nov 2006

--Journey times will be cut by an average 23 – 25 minutes--High Speed 1 railway to deliver faster, more reliable, less environmentally damaging alternative to flying--Stunning new station with connections that bring Eurostar services to travellers across the UK
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train operator between the UK, France and Belgium, announced today that it will launch passenger services from St Pancras International in exactly one year's time, on Wednesday 14 November 2007.
Eurostar confirmed that it will move its London terminal overnight in order to minimise disruption to travellers, with a full timetable at Waterloo International continuing until 13 November 2007.
The move to a new station in central London, served by the UK's first high-speed line, now named High Speed 1, will cut journey times between London, Paris and Brussels by an average of between 23 and 25 minutes.
Fastest travel times between the centres of London and Paris will come down to just 2 hours 15 minutes; London - Brussels to 1 hour 51 minutes; and London – Lille will be only 1 hour 20 minutes.
High Speed 1, which runs between St Pancras International and the Channel tunnel, is a dedicated high-speed railway that means services will be even more reliable. Eurostar expects to further improve on its punctuality of more than 90 per cent, already significantly better than the airlines.
Eurostar travellers will have connections to seven mainline rail services at St Pancras, King's Cross and nearby Euston stations, and six London Underground lines, providing links across the UK and making St Pancras International one of the foremost rail hubs in Europe.
Richard Brown, Chief Executive, Eurostar, said: "This move will be the most significant event in Eurostar's history since we started running passenger services 12 years ago today. It will mark the start of a new era in travel between the UK and mainland Europe, making high-speed rail an even faster, more reliable and less environmentally damaging alternative to flying.
"St Pancras International will be a stunning, newly restored station in the heart of London, with connections fanning out across the country that will make Eurostar accessible to millions of new travellers. We will be competing head on with regional airports, with comparable city centre-to-city centre journey times, much greater frequencies, and highly affordable through fares."
Independent research commissioned by Eurostar has shown that flying between London and Paris or Brussels generates ten times more carbon dioxide emissions than taking Eurostar. A return flight produces enough CO2 to fill a double-decker bus, while a return rail trip generates only enough CO2 to fill a Mini.
Eurostar's Chief Executive Richard Brown added: "Taking the train, not the plane, for travel to Europe is one of the key ways we can all reduce our impact on climate change. From St Pancras International, Eurostar will be seamlessly connected into the high-speed rail network that is growing across Europe, which by 2008 will slash journey times between London and cities such as Amsterdam, Cologne and Strasbourg by between 20-30 per cent."
The international terminal at Waterloo will be returned to the Government, which has promised to re-use the platforms to reduce congestion for domestic commuter trains. Travellers who currently access Eurostar services via domestic rail into Waterloo will have a wide choice of quick connections to St Pancras International, and none should face longer door-to-door journey times than at present.
Eurostar will also be launching services from Ebbsfleet International, a new station just off junction 2 of the M25, close to the Bluewater shopping centre near Dartford in Kent. Journey times to Paris and Brussels will be 10 minutes quicker still than from St Pancras International.
Ebbsfleet International serves a catchment of more than 10 million people, and will be attractive to some existing Eurostar travellers from south of London and new customers from north of the capital who may currently fly to continental Europe. Ebbsfleet International along with Eurostar's existing station at Ashford International will complement each other and combined they will provide an extra 45% more services from Kent.
For more information visit the St Pancras International launch pages.
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Editor's Notes:
1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking London, Ashford, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Avignon, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris and the French Alps.
2. Eurostar will operate services to and from Stratford International as soon as good quality road and public transport links are in place to the station, which is currently isolated in the midst of the large scale, planned construction site for Stratford City and London Olympic Park. Eurostar is working with the local authority and developers to get connections in place.
3. Eurostar has won the title of "World's Leading Rail Service" for the last nine years at the World Travel Awards.
4. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are two entirely different companies with two different management teams. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's largest customer.
5. To book tickets for Eurostar, or to find out more information, go to www.eurostar.com, call 08705 186 186 or contact your travel agent.
For more information:
Eurostar Press Office+44 (0)20 7922 4494press.office@eurostar.co.uk