30/12/2013 Pop the corks and sound the fanfare…Eurostar celebrates two record breaking passenger milestones

30 Dec 2013

2013 marks the first year in which Eurostar carries 10 million passengers in a single year
140 million passengers have travelled with Eurostar since services began in 1994
Eurostar’s look back at the events and celebrities which marked 2013

Eurostar added one more reason to celebrate this holiday season as the international high-speed rail operator passed two significant and record breaking passenger milestones. Coinciding with the start of its twentieth year of operation, 2013 has seen Eurostar carry, for the first time, 10 million passengers in a single year. This landmark achievement brings the total number of passengers who have travelled with Eurostar since operations began in 1994 to an impressive 140 million.

The first commercial Eurostar services departed London, Paris and Brussels on the 14th November 1994 and by the end of the year, more than 150,000 passengers had travelled between the Capital cities. Since then, annual passenger numbers have grown steadily as more and more people experience the excitement of a journey on Eurostar through the Channel Tunnel. The record breaking passenger milestones were achieved today (30 December 2013) as 2013 draws to a close.

Recent signs of a recovery in the UK economy along with a busy summer for leisure travel across its routes have helped Eurostar attract 10 million passengers onboard its services in a single year. Travellers from across Europe have joined an increasing number of international passengers from countries as far afield as the USA, Australia, China and Brazil.

Passenger numbers also received a boost in 2013 following the introduction of new routes and new destinations to an expanding Eurostar timetable. As well as a new winter ski service to the Swiss Alps, this summer saw the successful trial of Eurostar’s Route du Soleil service direct to Provence in the south of France and has led to the introduction of the route on a permanent basis from 2015.

Looking back on 2013, a host of events this year in London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam helped contribute to Eurostar’s record breaking year;

Eurostar’s top 10 most memorable moments in 2013
Royal Baby, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, arrives – 22 July
Sizzling UK summer temperatures - 9th warmest since records began in 1910
Chris Froome storms to victory in the Tour de France in Paris – 21 July
Champions League Final at Wembley between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund - 25 May
David Bowie blockbuster exhibition at the V&A - 23 March 2013 to 28 July
Andy Murray becomes the first Brit to win Wimbledon since 1977 – 7 July
Rolling Stones 50th anniversary concerts in Hyde Park – 6 July and 13 July
David Beckham plays his last ever professional game for PSG at Parc des Princes in Paris, 18 May
Artic Monkeys concert in Brussels – 9 November
The famous Rijksmuseum reopened in Amsterdam after 10 years on renovation – 13 April

And demonstrating the continuing popularity of Eurostar’s services with celebrity travellers, the 2013 VIP passenger manifest includes names from all walks of life;

Eurostar’s top 10 celebrity and VIP travellers in 2013;
The Beckhams – David, Victoria, Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz & Harper
One Direction – Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles & Louis Tomlinson
Mick Jagger
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Madonna
Liza Minelli
Rihanna
Paul and Stella McCartney
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian
Katy Perry

Nick Mercer, Commercial Director for Eurostar said: “2013 has been a record breaking year for Eurostar. With a leap in passenger numbers as well as the introduction of new routes and new destinations, we are seeing growing demand from customers across Europe and indeed around the world. As we enter our twentieth year of operation, we have a year of activity planned on the run up to our 20th birthday in November.”

Eurostar is celebrating onboard all week the achievement of its passenger milestones offering passengers surprise upgrades from Standard class to Standard Premier class.

For more information or to book Eurostar tickets visit www.eurostar.com.

-ends-

Notes to Editors

About Eurostar
1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland® Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.

2. Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways). On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR.

3. The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph. Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 140 million passengers between London and the Continent. Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet. The new Eurostar e320 will carry more than 900 passengers at speeds of up to 320kph.

4. 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.

For more information about Eurostar please contact:
Eurostar Press Office
t: 00 44 (0) 20 7843 5500
e: press.office@eurostar.com