Weekends In Paris, Now With 30 Minutes Extra

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 124 months ago
Weekends In Paris, Now With 30 Minutes Extra
Eurostar at St Pancras

Hot-foot it to St Pancras, buy a ticket, board the Eurostar, and you could be swanning down the Champs-Élysées or loafing through the Jardin du Luxembourg in a little over 2 hours.

Not quick enough for you? What if the journey time was reduced to under two hours. Impossible? Not according to Air France who, despite their aviation-inspired name, are planning to run trains through the Channel Tunnel when Eurostar's monopoly ends in 2010. According to the French flag carrier, they will unleash a new fleet of high-speed trains linking London to Paris in just shy of 120 minutes, at a speed of 224mph, 38mph nippier than the current trains.

Across Europe train travel has the upper hand right now: while airlines flounder and struggle to fill seats, Eurostar can barely keep up with demand, and this year they have seen a considerable increase in passenger numbers. While professing to "welcome" competition from the airline industry, Eurostar chiefs also claimed that current speed limits are due to track limitations, a notion poo-poohed by an engineer who surmised that the new TGV stock could indeed run at the mooted speeds.

While competition for cross-Channel rail is good news for passengers, it's worth noting that Virgin Atlantic are also contemplating a high-speed rail bid: a thought to chill the bones of anyone who's had the misfortune to be stuck crawling through the countryside on one of Branson's infernal railway contraptions.

Image courtesy of Taxi nerd's Flickrstream via the Londonist pool

Last Updated 11 September 2008