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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 January 2006, 14:19 GMT
Eurostar heralds station's decade
Eurostar has about 25 trains a day stopping at Ashford International
Celebrations have been taking place to mark 10 years since Eurostar trains started operating out of Kent.

There was a party atmosphere at Ashford International station, through which more than four million people have passed going to and from the continent.

Live bands played on the platform on Sunday morning, while the deputy mayor of Ashford helped cut a giant cake.

Spokesman Paul Charles said Eurostar "had laid the foundation" for the growth of Ashford.

'Huge success'

"It's given it a bedrock, it's helped develop the area, it's firmly led to a boom in property prices over the last decade, and it's brought Europe closer.

"Fifty-five minutes into northern France is nothing - it's quicker than going into London, and I think for that reason Ashford International has been a huge success over the last 10 years," he said.

Eurostar services began from the station on 8 January 1996, with the terminal being officially opened by the Duke of Kent on 28 February.

About 25 trains a day currently stop at the station, which can hold up to 800 travellers and has a car park with the capacity for up to 2,000 vehicles.

Eurostar links London and Ashford with Paris, Brussels, Lille, Avignon, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris and the French Alps.

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