Eurostar: 110,000 tickets already sold for HS1

Eurostar has secured bookings for over 110,000 passengers for its new High Speed 1 train in the first two weeks of tickets going on-sale, the carrier announced today. The statistic – for journeys between the opening of St Pancras International and the train’s launch on 14 November and Christmas – marks a 100% increase on advanced bookings in the same period last year. Eurostar claims High Speed 1 will cut journey times by at least 20 minutes, with non-stop times of London-Paris in two hours 15 minutes and London-Brussels in one hour 51 minutes. Travelling at 186mph, Eurostar trains will be 50% faster than the fastest UK domestic rail service. From 14 November, business travellers will for the first time be able to reach the centres of both Paris and Brussels before 9am without journeying the night before. “This is solid evidence that travellers are excited by the prospect of journeys that are at least 20 minutes quicker, the experience of travelling at 186mph in the UK, and the desire to switch from flying in order to do the right thing for the environment,” said Eurostar chief executive Richard Brown. “Growing numbers of business and leisure passengers are also seeking to reduce their impact on the environment.” Under its ‘Tread Lightly’ initiative, Eurostar is aiming to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25% per passenger journey by 2012. From 14 November, the company says where it cannot eliminate emissions it will offset them at its own expense, making it the first train operator in the world to provide ‘carbon neutral’ journeys for all its customers.

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