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Passengers buying through rail tickets with East Midlands Trains and Eurostar are helping to swell the number of people travelling to Europe via rail to an all-time high.
Eurostar has reported a 21.3% increase in passenger numbers as the opening of St Pancras International station and debut of a £5.8bn high-speed link through south England lured more passengers from the region to travel to the continent by rail. Eurostar said 2.17m customers travelled between London, Paris and Brussels in the first three months of the year, an increase of more than 21.3% on the same period in 2007.
Simon Montague, Eurostar's director of communication, said the service was benefiting from shorter journey times thanks to the high-speed link. And more customers from around Britain are travelling due to the location of St Pancras International, which is better connected to our region than the train operator's former base at Waterloo. "We have seen the number of travellers from the East Midlands and Yorkshire more than double in the first three months since we started running 186mph services on High Speed 1,” he said.
David Horne, Commercial Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “Sharing our London terminal with Eurostar certainly makes continental rail travel from South Yorkshire and the East Midlands very attractive. All that you need to do is change platform and with total journey times from some of our key cities at around four hours and through tickets from just £77 return, I am sure we will see growth and demand continuing to rise.”
Through tickets to the continent with East Midlands Trains and Eurostar start from as little as £77 for a return trip from Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, Kettering or Sheffield to Paris, Brussels and Disneyland Resort Paris, via London St. Pancras International.