Virtual tickets, Wi-Fi part of future Eurostar perks

6th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 November 2007, PARIS (AFP) - Paper tickets will soon be history aboard the high-speed Eurostar, replaced by virtual ones kept on credit cards or cell phones, the company's director general said in an interview published Monday.

6 November 2007

PARIS (AFP) - Paper tickets will soon be history aboard the high-speed Eurostar, replaced by virtual ones kept on credit cards or cell phones, the company's director general said in an interview published Monday. 

"This will be possible within two years when the new generation of microchips, able to dialogue with SNCF stations, arrive in France," Eurostar Director General Guillaume Pepy told France's Le Parisian daily.

By 2009, Eurostar passengers will also be able to access wireless Internet, Pepy said, as he sketched new services to be offered by the train that operates Paris-London-Brussels routes.

Other plans include adding new platforms at its Lille and Brussels-Midi stations to better link connections with trains operated by other companies and expanding its platform at its Paris Gare du Nord station to accommodate more passengers.

Pepy also pointed to new competition facing the operator -- notably from high-speed Hitachi trains linking London and Ashford in southern England and German trains running between Brussels and London.

"In the long term, it is not impossible that we will see Air France or Virgin (Atlantic) operating TGV (high-speed trains)," he added.

As existing high-speed routes become saturated, Eurostar plans to build new rails over the next 15 years, Pepy said. The company is mulling for example a new link between Paris and the northern French town of Amiens.

That would trim Eurostar's Paris-London route by more than 15 minutes, to less than two hours.

AFP

Subject: French news

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