Friday, November 16, 2007

Fast Track To The Continent

I'm a little late on this, and you may already have read of it, but the new Eurostar terminal opened in London on Wednesday, on the "good" side of the river. Not a big deal, I suppose, other than that the trains will take a slightly different route to the Chunnel, on upgraded tracks that will allow them to spend more time at top speed. The Guardian:
The journey time between central London and Paris was cut to two hours 15 minutes today as Eurostar services from St Pancras began.

The train departed the station - which has been restored at a cost of £800m - on time just after 11am. It arrived in the French capital on time despite a national strike paralysing most public transport in France.

It is the first passenger service to use the new £5.8bn Channel tunnel rail link, known as High Speed 1, which allows trains along the full stretch of the British section to travel as fast as those in France.

There is absolutely no reason to fly to Paris, or Brussels, or any other destination that has a direct Eurostar link. You'll spend more time in airports than the time it takes to get there by train.

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Blogger Edward said...

But, what about cats?

2:01 PM  
Blogger MKOK said...

Well, what about cats? When did cats come into the picure?

4:29 PM  
Anonymous KathyF said...

Except there's the cost. I think EasyJet should take over Eurostar, and call it EasyTrain. And charge £10 a trip.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Middle Kid said...

How much does it cost to go to Paris on the Eurostar?

7:46 PM  
Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

If I want to leave tomorrow morning, £154. If I plan ahead to January, £59.

KathyF raises a good point, particularly since she's got to get on a train to London before she can board the Eurostar. However, for us, it makes perfect sense. Even if the fare is £0, getting to any of the London airports can cost us (yes, I know we can take the Tube to Heathrow, but with luggage at rush hour it's not a pleasant journey). A cab ride from our flat to Heathrow is £70. Times two is £140. To St. Pancras, it's probably £20, times two is £40. So right there, we've made back £100 of our train fare just by choosing the train over the £0 plane flight.

Then there's the waiting around at airports. There is security at the Eurostar terminal. However, I think they advise you to arrive 30 minutes ahead of your departure, as opposed to the two hours at an airport. So there's 90 minutes worth of opportunity cost we've gained back by taking the train rather than flying. I know exactly what an hour of my time is worth: $50, or £25. So suddenly I've made back £37.50 by choosing the train. So suddenly that £0 plane flight costs me £137.50. It's suddenly not so cheap.

Train over plane any day.

5:14 PM  

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