Page last updated at 06:17 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 07:17 UK

Eurostar passenger numbers rise

Eurostar train
UK operations are run by a business consortium of four firms

Channel Tunnel rail operator Eurostar has reported a 25.2% rise in sales for the first three months of 2008.

The high-speed passenger train service, linking Britain to mainland Europe, said sales rose to 178.4m ($352.4m), as passenger numbers increased by 21%.

It carried 2.17 million passengers from January to March, after seeing record passenger numbers during 2007.

Eurostar, which recently moved from Waterloo to St Pancras station, began public services in November 1994.

The station transfer came at the same time as the completion of the London to Folkestone high speed link which has produced faster journey times between London and Paris and London and Brussels.

The firm was also helped by the early Easter, the leap year and the Six Nations rugby union contest.

Numbers have also soared since last November with the introduction of low-cost through fares from 68 towns and cities across in Britain.

Demand from the East Midlands and Yorkshire was substantially up on the year before, and the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Scotland all saw significant passenger increases.

Eurostar chief executive Richard Brown said: "We are delighted at the public's ever growing desire to travel by Eurostar."

Its mainland European services are handled by France's SNCF and Belgium's SNCB in their countries.

In the UK, this is done by the ICRR consortium, which comprises National Express, SNCF, SNCB and British Airways.

Eurostar line sell-off confirmed
20 Nov 07 |  Business
Eurostar boosts UK regional reach
23 Oct 07 |  Business

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