It is said the best way to travel between London and Paris is by taking the high-speed railway service of Eurostar. It connects the two cities via Avignon, Brussels, Lille, Lyon and Marseille.
Eurostar has several trains and all of those traverse the Channel Tunnel owned and operated separately by Eurotunnel.
In 1986 a cross-channel link became the choice to connect Britain with France via a rail link and this is said to be the start of Eurostar concept. The Eurotunnel was thereafter created that can own the tunnel that finished construction in 1993.
Eurostar services started operating between the two nations on 14 November 1994. It achieved average end-to-end speed of 171.5 km/h by 1995. On 23 September 2003 high speed train was introduced in the route.
In March 2016 Wi-Fi service was introduced and 300 hours of onboard entertainment like watching television and movies on mobile devices. A tracker app also helps passengers to know where they are in the journey.
Initially the fares were higher but in past more than a decade the Eurostar management worked to bring down the cost of traveling like offering 50 pound ticket offered for day returns from London to Paris or Brussels. In 2009 the cheapest fare was 31 pound for one-way. The reason for making the tickets price cheaper was competition between Eurostar and airline services.
However, the higher-value tickets come with benefits like passengers of first class are guaranteed faster checking-in as well as meals are served at seats for them. The first-class carriages are equipped with improved furnishings.
Eurostar passengers undergo through border check process while cross Belgium and France as United Kingdom is not a part of the Schengen Area. Also, Belgium and France are not members of Common Travel Area treaty.
At the check-in point in UK the security checks are similar to smaller airports and include scanning bags and pockets too. It is quickest than time taken at London Heathrow. For common class it is 30 minutes and for the business class it takes just 10 minutes.
Eurostar is said to have set new standards in rail travel and globally is recognized as high standards. In 2005 it grabbed Train Operator of the Year in HSBC Rail Awards and in 2008 Eurostar was declared as Best Train Company in the Guardian/Observer Travel Awards.
How to get cheapest Eurostar fares
The Eurostar pricing system works like airlines and so near to the departure date the prices tend to be high. So it is suggested to book early (about 180 days in advance to the earliest) as cheaper seats sell out fast. The tickets on Friday and Saturday afternoons do not come cheap as both the days are busy for it and there are fewer cheap seats.
It is to note all the Standard & Standard Premier fares are non-refundable. Those can only be changed to another date as well as another train. There’s a cost doing it. A 30 pound fee will be charged along with the difference in fare.
In traveling is urgent and need to board within short notice to Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and so on, it is suggested to take cheaper Dutch Flyer airlines from London as it is affordable even if booked just 24 hours before departure.