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Eurostar to launch Direct Ashford – Brussels Link; Restore Faster Tunnel Services

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Latest Travel News Send to Friend Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train service that links the UK and mainland Europe, is to launch a direct service between Ashford International and Brussels from Monday 23 February 2009.

The new service will begin the same day that Eurostar restores faster and more frequent services through the Channel Tunnel, with up to 19 trains per day between London and Paris, and up to 10 per day between London and Brussels.

The return to a full Eurostar service follows the announcement by Eurotunnel, the owner and operator of the Channel Tunnel, that repairs to the tunnel section known as “Interval-6” will be completed by 10 February. This allows Eurostar to plan and implement the switchover from its current reduced timetable.

Between 10 and 22 February, Eurostar will continue to operate its existing departure times, with some trains likely to arrive earlier than currently timetabled.

From 23 February, Eurostar will return to a normal timetable with all services operating at full speed, and fastest non-stop journey times of London – Paris 2h15, London – Brussels 1h51 and London – Lille 1h20.

Eurotunnel’s progress in repairing the tunnel means the introduction of the Ashford - Brussels will come earlier than recently expected. The service was originally due to have been launched in December, but was delayed because of the tunnel incident.

With the return to full tunnel capacity, the optimum pattern of Eurostar departure times will be restored, removing any gaps in the current timetable which have been caused by the reduced tunnel capacity.

Richard Brown, Chief Executive, Eurostar said, “We’re delighted that the growth in passengers on the London – Brussels route since the opening of High Speed 1 has enabled us to reintroduce a direct link between Ashford International and Brussels, and we very much hope it will prove attractive to travellers.

“We’re also pleased that business travellers across the south east who value the convenience of Ebbsfleet International, just off the M25, will be able to enjoy high-speed journey times of roundly two hours or less to the centres of Paris and Brussels.”

The launch of Southeastern’s high-speed commuter services on High Speed 1 in December 2009 will further enable Eurostar to offer a big increase in connecting services between Ashford International and Brussels. There will be a total of seven inbound and outbound services connecting via Ebbsfleet International.

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