Eurostar welcomes greengauge 21’s call for high speed 2

20 Jun 2007

EUROSTAR WELCOMES GREENGAUGE 21'S CALL FOR HIGH SPEED 2
--Proposed new line would massively enhance the UK's links to Europe's high speed rail network
Eurostar, the high speed passenger train service that links the UK, France and Belgium, today (19 June 2007) welcomed the publication of a report calling for the construction of a second UK high speed line – High Speed 2.
High Speed 2 would connect to High Speed 1 – the UK's first high speed line. High Speed 1 opens on 14 November this year when Eurostar services begin running on the new line from St Pancras International. High Speed 1 will transform short-haul travel between the UK and the Continent - for the first time London and the UK will be plugged into Europe's ever expanding high speed rail network.
The report's authors, Greengauge 21, argue that High Speed 2 would dramatically cut rail journey times from cities such as Manchester and Birmingham to London and bring major benefits to travellers between other towns and cities across the UK.
Richard Brown, Chief Executive, Eurostar, said: "Greengauge 21's report is an innovative proposal which recognises how to optimise and build on the benefits that High Speed 1 brings to the nation. It aims to ease the growing congestion on the UK's roads and existing rail networks and reduce demand for environmentally damaging short-haul domestic and international flights.
"High Speed 2 would drive socio-economic growth and ensure that the UK's regions are better connected in both directions with London, the UK's economic hub, and many more business and leisure destinations across the Continent – all made more easily accessible by high speed rail.
"Crucially, High Speed 2 would enable people living across the UK to make a simple choice between the environmentally unfriendly option of flying from a regional airport, or taking a much greener high speed rail service between some key British towns and cities or to and from the Continent."
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Editor's Notes:1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking London, Ebbsfleet (from 19th November 2007), Ashford, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.2. Eurostar will launch services from St Pancras International on 14 November 2007. Journey times on the UK's first high-speed line, High Speed 1, will be London – Paris 2h 15min; London – Brussels 1h 51min; and London - Lille 1h 20min. Journey times from Ebbsfleet International (opening 19 November) will be 10 minutes shorter.3. 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 ten times less carbon dioxide than flying.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 separate companies, under different management and ownership. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates a vehicle shuttle service and the Channel tunnel itself.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