Eurostar has announced that it will be operating faster and more frequent services through the Channel Tunnel from Monday 23 February 2009. 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.
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. With the return to full tunnel capacity, the optimum pattern of departure times will be restored, removing gaps in the current timetable which have been caused by the reduced tunnel capacity.
In addition, a new direct Ashford - Brussels services will begin on 23 February, having been delayed since last December by the tunnel incident.
Richard Brown, Chief Executive, Eurostar said, “We’re delighted that Eurostar is returning to its normal high-speed journey times, with the centres of both Paris and Brussels broadly just two hours from London. This is great news for our travellers, speeding up business trips and making leisure breaks to the Continent even more attractive.
“Shorter journey times will also encourage a further switch from plane to train in our fast-growing markets in the Midlands and North of England, where travellers are being attracted by good value through fares and the convenience of city centre to city centre journeys.
“Eurotunnel has done an impressive job to complete the repairs in such a short time, given the scale of the endeavour and the logistics of working within the tunnel space”.