Eurostar carries one millionth passenger
18 Nov 2003
Today (18-11-03), at 09h25 Eurostar checked in its millionth passenger in London to travel by Eurostar on the new Channel Tunnel Rail Link. Ron Chittick and his wife Pauline from Hornchurch in Essex were welcomed by Eurostar's Commercial Director, Nick Mercer and Transport Minister, Tony McNulty. Mr & Mrs Chittick were presented with various goodies, up-graded to first class and have the choice of a week's holiday at any Eurostar destination during 2004.
The new high speed line enables Eurostar trains to travel at 186 mph (300 km/h) in the UK and over 2,000 services have already run. Return journeys have been cut by up to 40 minutes, with the fastest journeys 2h35 London-Paris and 2h20 London-Brussels.
Eurostar has now increased its market share to 65% of the London-Paris route and 49% of the London-Brussels route. Sales have increased substantially across all markets and demonstrate the strength of Eurostar's city centre to city centre product. This is further supported by the appeal of the faster journey times, the attractive fares and the strong advertising campaigns in the UK, France and Belgium.
Transport Minister, Tony McNulty, commented: "Congratulations to Eurostar, one million passengers in less than two months is a remarkable achievement for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. It's further proof that if you invest in infrastructure and provide a high quality of service, passengers find the railway a very attractive way of travelling".
Eurostar's Commercial Director, Nick Mercer, commented: "We are proud and delighted to have carried our millionth passenger. Ron and Pauline Chittick are among hundreds of thousands of passengers who have travelled on the new line since the end of September. Our strategy of value for money fares, combined with frequent and reliable services is attracting many more passengers. Advance bookings are buoyant and we are expecting a busy Christmas and New Year".
In 2007 the second section of the high speed line will be completed to St Pancras. This will cut journey times by a further 30 minutes for a return trip.