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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 01:32 GMT 02:32 UK
Eurostar 'gains passenger share'
Eurostar train
Eurostar has managed to poach more passengers away from airlines
More people are using trains on Eurostar routes instead of planes, the cross-Channel operator has claimed.

Eurostar claimed 71% of the air and rail market between London and Paris in August and 64% of the London to Brussels sector.

Passenger numbers on the routes between London, Ashford in Kent, Paris and Brussels grew by 4.3% to 5,630,000 in the first nine months of 2005.

The company said sales benefited from improved levels of punctuality.

Bomb attacks

Eurostar, which began operating in 1994, said punctuality had risen to 87% in the period between January and September.

Director of communications Paul Charles said: "Our market share has risen to record levels on the most competitive routes in Europe."

The rise was also helped by an increase in business travellers which made up for the fall in overseas leisure travellers, who were put off visiting London after the 7 July bomb attacks on the capital.

In 2007, Eurostar will be switching its operation from Waterloo International to St Pancras.

Journey times from London to Paris will be cut to two hours and 15 minutes.

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