New £ 7.5 million railway viaduct at Brussels Midi station further enhances Eurostar reliability on the London-Brussels route

1 Dec 2006

- Opens 10 December 2006- Quicker and even more reliable journeys to and from Brussels Midi station
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train operator between the UK and France and Belgium will become even more reliable on the London - Brussels route with the completion of a new £7.5 million, 435 metre metre viaduct outside Brussels Midi station, which will open on 10 December 2006.
The viaduct is the last and final section in the Belgian high speed line which runs from the French border, near Lille, through to Brussels.
The viaduct carries two dedicated tracks over 22 other railway lines at the entrance to Brussels Midi and separates Eurostar and other high-speed TGV and Thalys services from the busy domestic train services. It will mean that Eurostar services will have much faster and easier journeys into and out of the station. The fastest journey on the London-Brussels route is currently 2h15 and this will be reduced to 2h11.
In the latest quarter (July to September 2006) Eurostar's punctuality was 91.4%, already significantly higher than the airlines. The launch of Eurostar services from St Pancras International on High Speed 1, Britain's first high-speed line, on 14 November 2007 will mean that London-Brussels and London-Paris services run on dedicated high-speed lines from capital to capital. Eurostar services will be even more punctual and reliable, with the fastest journey times between London and Brussels just 1h 51.
Richard Brown, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said: "This was a hugely challenging and complex project. The new viaduct is absolutely key in the further improvement of services between the UK and Belgium, and in the development of Brussels Midi as a European railway hub for onward connections to the Netherlands, Germany and beyond. We congratulate infrastructure provider, Infrabel and the SNCB Group (Belgian Railways) on the investment and the successful delivery of this project."
"With the launch of services from St Pancras International next year it will mean that London is seamlessly connected to the high-speed rail network which is expanding across Europe. By 2008 journey times between London and cities such as Amsterdam and Cologne will be reduced by 20-30%. These developments make high-speed trains an even faster, more reliable and less environmentally damaging alternative to flying," he added.
Eurostar, Thalys and Belgian Railways are members of Railteam, a new alliance that also includes five other high-speed operators (SNCF – France; Deutsche Bahn – Germany; NS and HSA – Netherlands; OBB – Austria; and SBB – Switzerland) and which is committed to providing travellers with high-speed, high quality travel across European borders.
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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 launch services from its new London terminal, St Pancras International, on 14 November 2007. It will also open a new parkway station Ebbsfleet International near Dartford in north Kent, just off Junction 2 of the M25 and close to Bluewater shopping centre. Eurostar will continue to operate a full timetable to and from Waterloo International until 13 November 2007.
3. Eurostar will launch services to and from Stratford International as soon as good quality road and public transport links are in place. The station 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.
4. Eurostar has won the title of "World's Leading Rail Service" for the last nine years at the World Travel Awards.
5. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are two entirely different companies with two different management teams. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's largest customer.
6. 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