Eurostar and ATOC (Association of Train Operating Companies) today (24 October) announced new through-ticketing arrangements with East Midlands Trains, First Capital Connect, GNER and Virgin trains.
”The collaboration between Eurostar and Britain”s train operators is an important step in integrating UK and Continental rail travel and builds on the enormous investment in the new high-speed line and St Pancras International,” said commercial director of ATOC, David Mapp.
”The new through fares will make it easier for people to buy tickets for travel to the Continent. Initially, customers will be able to buy ticket with just one phone call to the Eurostar call centre for journeys from 68 British stations to the many direct and connecting continental destinations served by Eurostar.”
Return fares to Paris, Brussels, Lille, Disneyland Resort Paris and 75 connecting destinations will be available from 14 November. Fares from France and any station in Belgium will also be available.
Eurostar has also announced a similar deal with Chiltern Railways and London Midland, an operator of the new West Midlands rail franchise.
Eurostar said traveller numbers have risen during its third quarter this year. There was an increase of 3.6% against the same period last year. Ticket revenues totalled ”148. 5 m ($304m) an increase of 13.8%, driven by increasing business travellers and by higher demand during the Rugby World Cup in France.
Passengers travelling from major cities such as Birmingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Nottingham will pay between ”67 ($137) and ”92 ($189 ) for standard class returns.
There will be up to 17 connecting rail services a day to Paris and up to 10 a day to Brussels.
”We are offering competitive prices and journey times, with fast and reliable Eurostar services with trains travelling at 186mph on high speed 1, the UK”s first high-speed line.” said chief executive of Eurostar, Richard Brown.