A guide to European Trains

The Eurostar operating between London and Paris/Brussels is now a firm favorite with European Rail travelers taking passengers at speeds of up to 300km/186mph. The travel time between London and the continent has been continually reduced over recent years and now takes just 2 hours to Brussels and 2 hours 15 minutes to Paris since the launch of Britain's high speed network and the move to London St Pancras in November 2007. A wide range of fares and schedules are available at discounted rates to European rail pass holders, so that you can tailor your ticket to your specific needs.

  • The Eurostar service runs 17 daily services to Paris and 10 to Brussels

  • Tickets can be booked up to 120 days in advance of travel

  • You are normally required to check in at least 20 minutes prior to the Eurostar train’s departure.

  • Less well known is that the Eurostar trains also serve Kent via the established Ashford International station and now the new Ebbsfleet International station, Calais-Frethun, Lille-Europe and Disneyland Paris, with additional services to the Alpine towns of Moutiers and Bourg St. Maurice in the ski season.

  • The Eurostar offers passengers three different service standards: Premium First (London-Paris only, with a special carriage and superior service); first class (this includes complimentary food and drinks during your journey); and standard class.

The fares you are quoted will also include the price of the mandatory reservation you will need. A full buffet service and licensed bar operates on each train and all stations served by the route offer comprehensive catering and other facilities.

It was the ever-increasing traffic through London’s airports and associated problems of air and noise pollution which plagued the city, which was a driving force behind the introduction of the Eurostar service. Though troubled by initial teething problems, the Eurostar service is clearly coming into its own offering a highly efficient alternative to the environmentally damaging route by air, to the very heart of Europe. The service currently commands over 70% of the London to Paris route and 65% of the London to Brussels route. At the end of 2007 Eurostar's had welcomed on board nearly 85 million passengers.