Eurostar sees big increases in travellers from Germany and the Netherlands to the UK

18 Jun 2009

-- 38% increase in travellers from Germany to the UK
-- Traveller numbers up 34% between Dutch cities and London
Eurostar, the provider of high-speed, carbon neutral rail journeys between the UK and the Continent, is seeing large increases in travellers from Germany and The Netherlands. The increases are part of the continuing Europe-wide trend from plane to train for short-haul journeys, reflecting the continuing expansion of the European high-speed rail network.
The overall time between London and Cologne is as little as 4h40 comparable with the door-to-door journey time by air and with a new high-speed line between Belgium and Germany this time is set to come down even further, toward the end of 2009. The key advantages of high-speed rail include far greater on-board productivity for business travellers, and a far lower environmental impact than flying.
Traveller numbers from Dutch cities such as Amsterdam have increased by a third (34%) compared with last year. The journey time of as little as 5h05 between London and Amsterdam via Brussels is already comparable with overall journey times via airports in London and the regions, and will come down further to with the launch of high-speed services between Brussels and Amsterdam in 2010.
From the UK, fares start from £96 return to Aachen and Cologne, £131 to Frankfurt and £89 return to any Dutch station, and come without the "extra" charges of air travel.
Tickets can be bought by calling 08705 186 186 or visiting Eurostar stations.
Nick Mercer, Commercial Director, Eurostar, said:
"Travellers are now recognising the advantages of high-speed rail for longer trips across Europe. They're realising that it's possible to avoid the airports for journeys beyond Eurostar's own cities in Belgium and France, by making simple connections that carry them onward to destinations in neighbouring countries across Europe."
"With new high-speed lines in Germany and The Netherlands, Europe's high-speed rail network continues to expand. By 2020, passengers will be able to travel faster point-to-point by high-speed rail than by plane on nearly half of Europe's busiest air routes."*
***ENDS***
*source Boston Consulting Group, March 2009
Notes to Editors
1. Eurostar is the high-speed passenger service linking the UK and mainland Europe, providing carbon neutral journeys between St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
2. Eurostar has two intermediate stations in Kent, serving south east England:
Ebbsfleet International close to junction 2 of the M25 and Bluewater shopping centre, with frequent services to Brussels and Paris, and with car parking, taxi and Avis car hire facilities.
Ashford International, with daily services to Paris, Disneyland Resort Paris, Brussels and Lille, and seasonal trains to the French Alps and Avignon.
Eurostar ticket holders can make connecting rail journeys to either Kent station for free from anywhere on the Southeastern trains network. They will also be able to connect with Southeastern's high-speed domestic services, which are due to begin later this year.
3. Under its Tread Lightly environmental plan, Eurostar has set a target of reducing CO2 emissions by 35% per traveller journey by 2012, compared with 2007. Because emissions cannot yet be eliminated, Eurostar is also the world's first train operator to make all journeys carbon neutral, at no extra cost to travellers. Based on comparisons of actual load factors and specific energy data, a Eurostar journey generates just one-tenth of the carbon dioxide of an equivalent flight.
4. Eurostar and Friends of the Earth are working together in the UK on Eurostar's Tread Lightly plan and Friends of the Earth's climate campaign. To find out more about Friends of the Earth visit www.friendsoftheearth.co.uk.
5. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, an alliance of 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 is an entirely separate company from Eurotunnel. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.
7. Eurostar fares start from just £59 return. Travellers can also buy connecting fares to the Continent from 150 towns and cities across the UK. Return ticket prices range from £65 and include Brighton from only £71 and Edinburgh from only £92. To book tickets or for more information, please visit www.eurostar.com or call 08705 186 186.
For more information:
Eurostar Press Office+44 (0)20 7843 5500press.office@eurostar.co.ukFor images please go to www.eurostarimagery.co.uk and register