Eurostar: A Journey By Track - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
       LINKS
       ARTICLES
Globetrotting Planning Articles

Globetrotting Traveling Articles
52 Hours In the Cairo Airport
A Guided Tour
A Real National Treasure
A San Francisco Treat
A Trip Back In Time
A Trip Back In Time
Adventure to Washington, D.C.
Adventures by Disney
Adventures by Disney
Airline Security
Amish Country
An Insider's Guide
An Insider's Guide
Arlington National Cemetery
Bath, England
Buckingham Palace
Busch Garden Africa's SheiKra
CARES Child Restraint System
Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
Celebration, Florida
Charleston, South Carolina
Costa Rica Adventures by Disney
Discovering "America's Finest City"
Disney's Vero Beach
Disneyland
Dover Castle
Driving Through The Night
Escape Into Alcatraz
Eurostar
Explore Alaska (From The Comfort of Your RV!)
Explore Alaska (From The Comfort of Your RV!)
Flying to Walt Disney World from the West Coast
Flying Upper Class
Flying with Kids
Fort Sumter
Greeter Programs
Harry Potter's
Helsinki, Finland
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Hilton Head Island
Hong Kong Disneyland
How to Handle A "Bumpy" Flight
I Dream Of Hawaii
In a New York Minute
iPhone, I Travel
Kapalua, Maui
Keeping Kids Happy on Long Car Rides
Kent, England
King Tut and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs
Las Vegas
Las Vegas for Families
London, UK
Los Angeles
Macau
Madison County, New York
Molto Italia
More Than Bridges
My First NASCAR Experience
Nashville, Tennessee
National Aquarium
New Orleans
New York City
Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Not Your Average Bus Tour
On the Road to Walt Disney World
Oslo, Norway
Oxford
Paris
Passport Update
Playing the Waiting Game
Port Canaveral, Florida
Prince Edward Island
Redondo Beach, California
Rome
Salem, Massachusetts
Small Is Beautiful
Small Is Beautiful
Southwest and JetBlue
St. Louis
Stockholm, Sweden
Stonehenge
Tahiti
The Amtrak Auto Train
The Auto Train
The Emerald Isle
The Globe Theatre
The Grand Canyon
The Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains
The Other Side of the Falls
The Quest for the West
The World's Loveliest Castle
To Rent or Not To Rent
Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo DisneySea
Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions
Traveling Carry-On to Walt Disney World
Traveling With Extended Family
Universal
Using Orlando's "Other" Airport
Vermont by Bicycle
Viva Italia!
Viva Italia! Part 1
Viva Italia! Part 2
Viva Las Vegas!
Vive la Difference
Washington D.C.
What To Do While Waiting for a Flight
When Does Your Walt Disney Vacation Really Begin?
When to Visit Walt Disney World
Wimbledon
Windsor Castle
Winter Wonderland
Yosemite
Your First Trip to Universal Studios Orlando

Globetrotting Lodging Articles

Globetrotting Touring Articles

Globetrotting Dining Articles

Globetrotting Making Magic Articles

Globetrotting General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
PassPorter's
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
View Photos
Visit Forum
Read Comments on This Article

Eurostar: A Journey By Track

by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 3/20/2008
  

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!


Filed in Articles > International Travel > Traveling  

I don't know about you, but as someone who doesn't often travel by train, I get a great sense of excitement when I board a train that's actually heading for another country.


For aeons, the United Kingdom was completely cut off from all the countries surrounding it, with no way of traveling to continental Europe unless you got on a boat -- and then later, when they were invented, a plane. But that all changed in the 1980s, when plans were unveiled for a tunnel underneath the English Channel, the stretch of water that separates the UK from France. It was completed in 1994 and since then, train services have traveled through the tunnel, operated by Eurostar.

We're lucky enough to live in the southeast corner of the UK, which makes Eurostar a great way to travel to the continent. There are three stations now in this country, as a result of a massive programme of work, which saw new high speed rail lines arrive, along with two new stations and the closing of another one.

For anyone who's been to London before, you may have been aware that Eurostar services ran from London's Waterloo Station over to France and Belgium, but that all changed in November 2007, when that station closed and was replaced with a brand new terminus at St. Pancras in the north of London. It's a switch that makes more sense, as St. Pancras is where trains from the Midlands, north of England, and Scotland all arrive. At around the same time as that station opened, so did another one, called Ebbsfleet International, just southeast of Greater London. There's also another station a bit further southeast of Ebbsfleet, Ashford International, which still has Eurostar trains calling at it, although those services are a lot more limited with the opening of Ebbsfleet.

As for the other side of the Channel, the services run to four main points - three in France: Paris, Lille, and Disneyland Paris (perfect for a quick weekend break there!); and Brussels, the capital of Belgium. Travel times vary, depending which station you're leaving from, but from St. Pancras, the average travel time to Lille is around an hour and a half, two hours to Brussels, two and a half hours to Paris or Disneyland Paris, although be warned, there's only one direct service to the theme park each way in a day.

We're located in a fortunate position, almost halfway between both Ebbsfleet and Ashford stations, so we can easily get to either and we've taken full advantage of that over the years to enjoy a number of journeys into mainland Europe. One of the reasons we enjoy the Eurostar so much is that it's nothing like catching a plane. For starters, you only have to be at the station and through security checks 30 minutes before your train departs. In fact, there's something to be said for not getting there much before that time, as unlike major airports, there isn't a huge amount to do at the stations, with just a couple of shops and restaurants, which you'll enjoy browse in a few minutes.

Of course, you still have to go through security checks and border controls in the same way that you would at any airport, but the lines are never very long and you always seem to move quickly. Just a few minutes before your train arrives, you'll be called from the waiting area to the platform and you'll find that the carriages are neatly marked out when you get there. This is especially important for the stations en route, such as Ebbsfleet, Ashford and Lille, as the train doesn't stop for long and it's a good way of ensuring everyone is in the right place and able to board quickly before it gets there.



As happens on many trains, there are different classes -- Business Premier, aimed very much at the business traveler, Leisure Select, and Standard. We've traveled in both of the latter two classes and they're both very comfortable. Even in Standard, you'll find your seats are probably at least as big as you're used to in economy class on a plane and probably a bit bigger. In this class, there's no food included in your fare and they don't bring any round to your seat. Instead you'll have to make your way to the buffet car -- and of course, as in any environment where it's the only option available, don't expect it to be cheap!

With Leisure Select, you will get a meal included, either breakfast, lunch or dinner, and that includes free alcohol, plus of course the seats are a bit larger and everything is just that touch more luxurious.

Perhaps the highlight of any Eurostar trip is actually heading through the Channel Tunnel itself. It's probably best here to clear up any misconceptions. You won't see anything as you travel through it -- it will just be exceptionally dark outside with the occasional light. When the service first started, apparently the most frequently asked question they got was "Why can't you see the fish?" so let's just deal with that one now - it's because there are no windows put into the tunnel! The time in the tunnel is around 35 - 40 minutes and to be honest, it's all over and done with before you know it.

Taking a trip on Eurostar is certainly a unique experience and it's opened up a whole new world of day trips, weekend breaks and longer stays for people in France, Belgium and the UK. It's something worth doing at least once and the prices are reasonable -- fares can be as low as #60 round-trip (about $115 at the current exchange rate) and there are often good deals to be found on their website www.eurostar.com. So if you happen to be heading for Paris, Lille, London, Brussels or even Disneyland Paris in the near future, it's a mode of transport worth keeping in mind. It will certainly open up new opportunities and new countries to you.




TING!
You've discovered a PassPorter's Club Concierge Tip!
Ting the bell to read your tip and save it in your Concierge Desk!
About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

Related Links:


Traveling Carry-On to Walt Disney World - Avoid Those Baggage Fees last updated 3/2/2011
New York City - Something Old, Something New last updated 01/02/2009
On the Road to Walt Disney World - Doing "The Drive" last updated 01/20/2009
Airline Security - 10 Important Tips and Reminders last updated 1/21/2009
Sick at Sea - (But Not Sea Sick!) last updated 5/14/2009




Reader Comments:


I've ridden Eurostar all over Europe and they are fabulous

     jimmymac on May 1, 2008 @ 12:10 pm
View all 1 comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 3/20/2008 - Article #174 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 

RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Globetrotting: General Travel Planning
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Planning a trip around the globe, or just away for the weekend? Ask questions and share experiences! Forum Sponsored by CruisingCo.com


good food on the road
by Tracy Lilly
22 Jul 2014 at 12:54pm
My wife and I are planning a Disney cruise and we're both foodies. We're looking for some good restaurants and/or burger joints to sample on the way...
(click title above to view replies)

What to pack for 11 days to Catalonia Royal Tulum
by ksimas
14 Jul 2014 at 4:10pm
I hope I can get some suggestions because we are 59 days away from our trip. And I'm giving myself a headache trying to think of what to pack for 11...
(click title above to view replies)

Cox's Bazar
by arifgph
12 Jul 2014 at 3:03am
What do you think about Cox's Bazar?
(click title above to view replies)

Teresa-Pops concert rescheduled
by Huntermom
2 Jul 2014 at 7:09pm
Teresa, I don't know if you were planning to try to go into Boston, but the 4th of July concert and fireworks have been rescheduled from Friday to...
(click title above to view replies)

I survived driving in around Boston common!
by Canada Amy
1 Jul 2014 at 9:32pm
And the best part was getting to eat at earl of sandwich yesterday! Parking after 4pm under the commons was perfect. Also pulled off swan boat ride...
(click title above to view replies)

Driving with 10 people
by twins4me
30 Jun 2014 at 3:55pm
Any ideas on modes of transportation for 10 people? We are trying to plan multi-generational trip to include me and my kids, my sister and her kids...
(click title above to view replies)

Cleaning Schedules?
by Kelly66
28 Jun 2014 at 12:26am
We are experiencing an extended stay at a hotel during our corporate relocation. Ok much more extended than we had anticipated. We actually stayed at...
(click title above to view replies)

New England - Here We Come!
by Teresa
27 Jun 2014 at 11:09pm
Taking a break from packing for our almost 2 week trip to New England (Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and possibly Rhode...
(click title above to view replies)

Quick question: Boston common parking garage!
by Canada Amy
27 Jun 2014 at 6:26am
We have a Thule. With it on top of our Toyota minivan, is there no way we can park under there?? Leaving for our trip tomorrow, Boston Monday....
(click title above to view replies)



Total Visits: 2893


PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.