Eurostar publishes UK's first ever high-speed rail timetable

18 Jul 2007

--First trains arrive in Paris and Brussels before 9am local time
--More Eurostar services, and later evening departures
--Journey times cut by at least 20 minutes
--St Pancras International and Ebbsfleet International bring 'carbon neutral' rail travel to millions across Britain
--Tickets for first trains from St Pancras go on sale on 24 July
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train operator that links the UK and the Continent, has today published its debut timetable for services from St Pancras International using High Speed 1 – the UK's first 186 mph line.
For the first time, business passengers from Britain will be able to reach the centres of both Paris and Brussels before 9am local time, enabling people to do a full day's work without travelling the night before.
Eurostar will increase the number of weekday services on the London-Paris route from 15 to 17 by February 2008. There will be 10 weekday services on the London-Brussels route, with the number of trains raised from seven to eight a day at weekends. The final evening departures will leave London around 20 minutes later than today.
Journey times between London and the Continent will be cut by at least 20 minutes, with non-stop times of London-Paris in 2h15m, London-Brussels in 1h51m and London-Lille in 1h20m. Travelling at 186mph, Eurostar trains are 50% faster than the fastest UK domestic rail service.
Tickets for the first trains from St Pancras International will go on sale at 0900 BST / 1000 CET on Tuesday 24 July.
Eurostar's move to St Pancras International from Waterloo International will open up high-speed rail services to millions of people across Britain. International travellers will be able to connect with seven mainline train operators at St Pancras, King's Cross and nearby Euston, and with six London Underground lines.
From 14 November, the date of the move, Eurostar will become the first train operator in the world to provide 'carbon neutral' rail travel, at no extra cost to its passengers. Under its Tread Lightly initiative, Eurostar has set a target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 25% per passenger journey by 2012, and will offset emissions that it cannot eliminate at its own expense.
Nearly half of all Eurostar services will call at Ebbsfleet International, Eurostar's new station just off junction 2 of the M25 near the Dartford crossing and Bluewater shopping centre in north Kent. There will be seven trains a day to Paris and five to Brussels, with the first trains arriving in the French and Belgian capitals before 9am. The new station is expected to attract both current users of Waterloo International and passengers who currently fly from London's congested airports.
With two stations in Kent, the number of trains serving the county will increase by 33% - from 12 to 16 a day. Ashford will continue to have services to Paris, Lille, Disneyland Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
Richard Brown, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said:
"For the first time business travellers can arrive seamlessly in Paris and Brussels before 9am, ready for a full day's work. We'll be running more trains, with half-hourly departures to Paris and hourly departures to Brussels at peak times.
"Journeys will be at least 20 minutes shorter, and the new dedicated high-speed line means that punctuality will be even better than the 92% that Eurostar achieves today.
"All our services will be 'carbon neutral', at no extra cost to our travellers. A Eurostar journey already emits 10 times less carbon dioxide than flying, and we are determined to become greener still."
The new timetable comes into effect on Sunday 9 December and will run until 5 July 2008. Eurostar will operate a transitional timetable for the first few weeks after the launch of services from St Pancras International on 14 November, details of which will be announced later.
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Notes to Editors
1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking London Waterloo (until 13 November), London St Pancras (from 14 November) Ebbsfleet (from 19 November), Ashford, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
2. Eurostar will switch its London terminal from Waterloo International and begin services from St Pancras International on 14 November 2007. Journey times on High Speed 1, the UK's first high-speed line, will be London – Paris 2h 15min; London – Brussels 1h 51min; and London - Lille 1h 20min.
3. A new station at Ebbsfleet International, just off junction 2 of the M25 near Dartford crossing and Bluewater shopping centre in north Kent, will open on 19 November. Journey times will be 10 minutes shorter than from St Pancras.
4. Under its 'Tread Lightly' initiative, Eurostar has set a target of reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 25% per passenger journey by 2012. Independent research has already shown that a Eurostar journey between London and Paris / Brussels generates 10 times less carbon dioxide than flying.
5. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe's leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.
6. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates a vehicle shuttle service and the Channel tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.
7. 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