We will take the Eurostar to go from Brussels to London on Thursday, April 17th. The idea is to show that Europe also means the possibility to move quickly from one capital city to another. It is an easy way to cross cultures…
 
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Eurostar is a high-speed railway service connecting London with Paris and Brussels. All its trains go through the Channel tunnel between the United Kingdom and France
In Brussels, we will leave from  Midi Station quite early in the morning.
 
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It will take us two hours to go from Brussels to London, but because of the time lag, we will arrive only one hour after the departure…
 
The history of Eurostar can be traced to the 1986 choice of a rail tunnel to provide a cross-channel link between Britain and France.
 
 
Zeremonie zur Ankunft der Tunnelbohrmaschine AMELI im finalen Zielschacht am 4. Juni 2012Ceremony on occasion of the arrival of the tunnel boring machine AMELI in the final reception shaft on 4 June 2012            Siemens-Velaro-under-construction
 
The tunnel was finished in 1993, the official opening taking place in May 1994. The Channel Tunnel is a crucial part of the route as it is the only rail connection between Great Britain and the European mainland. Tunnelling began in 1988, and the 50.5-kilometre tunnel was officially opened by the British sovereign Queen Elizabeth II and the French President François Mitterrand at a ceremony in Calais on May, 6th 1994.
 
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On 14th November 1994 Eurostar services began between Waterloo International station in London, Gare du Nord in Paris and Brussels-South railway station in Brussels.
 In 1995 Eurostar was achieving an average end-to-end speed of 171.5 km/h (106.6 mph) between London and Paris.
 
Eurostar relocated from Waterloo Station to St Pancras International in 2007. This is were we will arrive. The building is beautiful, the original building dates back from the end of the XIXth century.
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The Channel Tunnel used by Eurostar services holds the record for having the longest undersea section anywhere in the world. A Eurostar train set a new British speed record of 334.7 km/h (208.0 mph) on 30 July 2003.
On 20 September 2007, Eurostar broke another record when it completed the journey from Brussels to London in 1 hour, 43 minutes. Our journey will be slightly longer, but, obviously, safer!
 
Eurostar offers up to sixteen weekday London – Paris services, and ten London–Lille and Brussels services.
 

Because the UK is not part of the Schengen Area, and because Belgium and France are not part of the Common Travel Area, all Eurostar passengers must go through border controls.
 
An advantage held by Eurostar is the convenience and speed of the service: with shorter check-in times than at most airports and hence quicker boarding and less queueing and high punctuality, it takes less time to travel between central London and central Paris by high-speed rail than it does by air.
 
In 2006 Eurostar’s Environment Group was set up, with the aim of making changes in the Eurostar services’ daily running to decrease the environmental impact, the organisation setting itself a target of reducing carbon emissions per passenger journey by 25% by 2012. Drivers are trained in techniques to achieve maximum energy efficiency, and lighting has been minimised. In the grand opening ceremony of St Pancras International, one of the Eurostar trains was given the name ‘Tread Lightly’, said to symbolise their smaller impact on the environment compared to planes.
 
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The trains are essentially modified TGV sets,and can operate at up to 300 kilometres per hour on high-speed lines, and 160 kilometres per hour in the Channel Tunnel. It is possible to exceed the 300-kilometre-per-hour speed limit, but only with special permission from the safety authorities in the respective country.