Eurostar welcomes restoration of full capacity through the Channel Tunnel

9 Feb 2009

-- Faster services between London, Paris and Brussels to be restored from Monday 23 February
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger service that links the UK and mainland Europe, today (9 February) welcomed the restoration of full capacity through the Channel Tunnel. Eurostar will revert to a full timetable with more frequent services and faster non-stop journey times of just 1h 51 to Brussels and 2h 15 to Paris from Monday 23 February.
There will be more trains, with up to 19 services per day on the London – Paris route and up to 10 on the London – Brussels route. In addition, a new direct Ashford – Brussels service will begin on the same date. It was originally planned for December but has been delayed by the restrictions on tunnel capacity since 11 September last year.
From tomorrow (10 February) until 22 February, Eurostar will continue to operate its existing departure times. This short change-over period will enable Eurostar to implement the switch to its full timetable with the minimum of disruption to travellers.
Richard Brown, Chief Executive, Eurostar said, "The return to journey times of roundly just two hours between London, Paris and Brussels is good news for business travellers who want to make day trips without the cost of overnight stays.
"For leisure travellers, it means shorter journeys that make Eurostar the fastest and best value way of getting away from it all, for a spring break on the continent."
"We're pleased that Eurotunnel and its contractors have finished the repairs so quickly. The last few months have at times been frustrating for our travellers and we're looking forward to once again offering them the best service that we possibly can."
***ENDS***
Notes to Editors:
1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
2. A return fare from London to Paris/Brussels costs from just £59. Travellers can also buy through fares to the Continent from 150 towns and cities across the UK, from only £71 return from Brighton to just £92 return from Edinburgh.
3. 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 (from 23 February) and Lille, and seasonal trains to the French Alps and Avignon.
Eurostar ticket holders can make connecting 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.
4. Under its Tread Lightly environmental plan, Eurostar has set a target of reducing its CO2 emissions by 25% per traveller journey by 2012. 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. Research commissioned by Eurostar has shown that a Eurostar journey between London and Paris/Brussels generates one-tenth of the carbon dioxide of an equivalent flight.
5. Eurostar and Friends of the Earth are working together in the UK on Eurostar's Tread Lightly initiative and The Big Ask, Friends of the Earth's climate campaign. To find out more about Friends of the Earth visit www.friendsoftheearth.co.uk.
6. 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.
7. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.
8. To book tickets or for more travel 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.uk
For images please go to www.eurostarimagery.co.uk and register