More than one million passengers book to travel on High Speed 1 as HM the Queen opens St Pancras International
6 Nov 2007
ONE WEEK TO GO UNTIL LAUNCH OF EUROSTAR SERVICES
Tuesday 13 November – last trains from Waterloo InternationalWednesday 14 November - first trains from St Pancras International
Eurostar, the high-speed train operator linking the UK and the Continent, today (Tuesday 6 November) announced that it has taken more than 1 million bookings for travel on High Speed 1, the UK's first 186mph line.
The milestone was passed with just one week to go before the launch of Eurostar services from St Pancras International, and represents an 11% increase in the number of bookings at the same time last year. It is further evidence that the prospect of making international rail journeys through the superbly restored station is proving highly popular with travellers between the UK and the Continent.
Tonight's royal opening of St Pancras International by HM Queen Elizabeth II signals the final seven days of preparation to move Eurostar's entire London operations overnight from Waterloo, and to begin commercial services from Eurostar's new central London home on the morning of Wednesday 14 November.
London & Continental Railways has completed the £5.8 billion engineering project on time and within budget. While St Pancras International will next week become Eurostar's new London terminal, High Speed 1 will provide Eurostar with a dedicated, 68-mile high-speed line between central London and the Channel Tunnel.
The new line will enable Eurostar trains to operate at 186mph across Kent - 50% faster than any other UK rail service - cutting journey times between London and the Continent by at least 20 minutes.
Notes to Editors
1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking Waterloo International (until 13 November), St Pancras International (from 14 November), Ebbsfleet International (from 19 November), Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps. Non-stop journey times will be London-Paris 2h15, London-Brussels 1h51.
2. Services from Ebbsfleet International, just off junction 2 of the M25 near the Dartford crossing and Bluewater shopping centre in north Kent, will begin on Monday 19 November. Journey times will be 10 minutes shorter than from St Pancras.
3. 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.
4. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org