Eurostar to break Paris-London record

4th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Sept 4, 2007 (AFP) - Eurostar was expected to set a new Paris-London rail record Tuesday, with the opening of a new high-speed track on the British side of the Channel Tunnel that shaves 20 minutes off the normal time.

LONDON, Sept 4, 2007 (AFP) - Eurostar was expected to set a new Paris-London rail record Tuesday, with the opening of a new high-speed track on the British side of the Channel Tunnel that shaves 20 minutes off the normal time.

The new line and the new London terminal at St. Pancras cost 5.8 billion pounds (8.6 billion euros/11.7 billion dollars) and the faster service will formally open to the public on November 14.

The project finally brings Britain membership of the European high-speed rail club where its absence has been the subject of some gentle -- and not so gentle -- ridicule from France in the past.

Opening the fast TGV track from Paris to Lille back in 1993 -- the year before the Channel Tunnel opened, the then French president, Francois Mitterrand, chided Britain for its technological backwardness.

"Next year we will set off at high speed across the northern plains, then push into the Channel tunnel, and afterwards we will be able to dream at a very slow speed in Britain to admire the landscapes," he said.

The new 186 miles (300 kilometers) per hour is expected to cut journey times from Paris to London by 20 minutes to two hours and 15 minutes. The new St. Pancras terminal will replacing the current one at Waterloo.

"Today marks Britain's entry into the European high-speed rail club," said Richard Brown, Chief Executive of Eurostar.

"We can now run trains at high speed all the way from the Channel Tunnel to London, making journeys between cities quicker, more convenient -- and far greener than flying," Brown said.

AFP

Subject: French news

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