From December First Capital Connect will run trains direct from Brighton to St Pancras International which will mean a seamless connection with high speed Eurostar trains to the continent offering a sustainable alternative to short-haul flights.
Eurostar is to launch passenger services from the iconic St Pancras International station on Wednesday 14 November -providing faster journeys to the continent.
Eurostar's move to its new home in the heart of London will cut journey times between London, Paris and Brussels by an average of at least 20 minutes, creating an attractive alternative to short-haul flights for millions more people across Britain.
The launch of services on High Speed 1 means that for the first time, the UK will be fully plugged into Europe's fast-growing high-speed rail network, as Eurostar trains travel to their destinations at speeds of up to 186mph (300km/h). It will bring many more towns and cities in the UK closer to destinations in Europe and give continental visitors easier access to more of Britain.
The newly-restored St Pancras International station has connections to seven mainline rail services including King's Cross and nearby Euston and six London Underground lines, making it one of the foremost rail hubs in Europe.
Additionally, Eurostar will also be launching services from a new and strategically-located station, Ebbsfleet International a few days later. Situated just off junction 2 of the M25, with an average car journey time of 1hr15 from Brighton, and close to the Bluewater Shopping Centre near Dartford in Kent, journey times to Paris and Brussels will be 10 minutes quicker still than from St Pancras International.
Ebbsfleet International, opening 19 November, serves a catchment of more than 10 million people, and will be attractive to many existing Eurostar travellers from Sussex.
Nick Mercer, Commercial Director of Eurostar, said: "Our new stations and High Speed 1 will unlock the power of Eurostar for more people living across Sussex. Eurostar will be seamlessly connected into the high speed rail network that is growing across Europe, which by 2008 will slash journey times between the capital and cities such as Amsterdam, Cologne and Strasbourg by 20-30 per cent.
"High Speed 1 will provide faster journey times to the hearts of Paris and Brussels, offering a genuine alternative to short-haul flights. The time is right for travellers to switch to rail as a more convenient, more frequent and greener alternative to flying."
He added, "We will also be promoting the attractions of Brighton and Sussex in France and Belgium and we expect to see visitor numbers grow substantially as the region has now become more accessible."
From November, typical journey time to Paris from Brighton via St Pancras will be 4 hours 10 minutes and to Brussels will be three hours 50 minutes. From Brighton to Paris via Ebbsfleet will take 4 hours and Brussels three hours 40 minutes.
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