Eurostar And Its Very First Journey To Paris

Trains in Europe

Eurostar is very famous among British travelers, who plan holidays to places like France and Belgium.

The high-speed rail service operates routes from the UK to a number of destinations. Such as Paris, Disneyland Paris, Brussels, Lille, and, most recently, Amsterdam.

It was first launched in 1994 and was operating the London-Paris route which caught everyone’s attention.

However, Eurostar made its big debut in May that year. The Queen and Prince Philip did the opening of the Waterloo International Station. Boarding the company’s inaugural train to Calais for the opening of the Channel Tunnel.

Famous Among the Travelers

Eurostar’s first passenger service took place a few months later on the 14th of November 1994. And it was highly appreciated by holidaymakers and train enthusiasts who were there to watch the train’s departure.

The e300 train, named because it reached speeds of up to 300kph or approx 186mph, took off from London Waterloo to Paris.

Once it left London, the train traveled through Kent and went underground at Folkestone, emerging 20 minutes later near Calais. Where it picked up the pace and accelerated to its 186mph speed.

However, the journey was completed in 2 hours and 58 minutes, arriving in Paris three minutes ahead of schedule.

When the train first departed it carried 700 passengers on board. However, the youngest being a six-month-old who made the trip with his mother.

The uniform of the staff was a banana-yellow blazer by Pierre Balmain, along with yellow and blue clip-on bow ties.

Meanwhile, train drivers Robert Priston and Lionel Stevenson were in charge of the first journey, which Robert described at the time as the “ultimate train driver’s job”.

The pair actually undertook over 600 hours of French language training for the role. However, it also included two residential stays before the services commenced.

It was a very memorable arrival in Paris for both of them. As they came out of the train they were welcomed by fans asking them to sign commemorative travel guides given out by Eurostar officials.

Until now the rail service has transported over 200 million passengers. There are some famous faces who have traveled from Eurostar such as Kylie Minogue. Prince Charles and Prince Harry also boarded a service in 1998 to attend a World Cup football match in Paris.

Constant Improvements

However, there are many major changes that the company is making in its operations.

Most notably, in 2007 Eurostar services began departing from London St Pancras International instead of Waterloo, and have continued to do so ever since.

The new departure also means a shorter journey time – the route from London to Paris now takes approximately 2 hours and 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, the company has introduced new e320 trains that can reach speeds of up to 320kph (approx 198mph).

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