BY A CORRESPONDENT
February 25, 2007
Here is good news for those who love to travel by
rail in Europe: European rail companies are cutting the
time it takes to get from one city to the next.
For example, thanks to a series of new international
fast rail projects, taking a train from Edinburgh to
Moscow may no longer be unthinkable and perhaps even
preferable to flying.
The first rail service to cut travel time is the TGV Est,
set to begin service in June 2007.
TGV Est will not only reduce travel time from Paris to
Strasbourg nearly in half (to 2 hours and 20 minutes)
but also open up fast routes between Paris and cities in
eastern France and Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland.
Later, in November 2007, Eurostar is scheduled to open
the St Pancras International Station in central London.
The completion of Britain’s first high-speed rail line,
which will serve the station, will cut the London-Paris
journey to 2 hours and 15 minutes and will make travel
from northern England and Scotland to the Continent
In the next two years, passengers will also benefit from
the completion of a high-speed rail line that will run
from Brussels to the German border, an
Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam line as well as high-speed
lines in Spain, Italy and Germany.
Anticipating a boom in train travel, Eurostar, a part of
the Railteam alliance that includes international rail
companies in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria,
Switzerland, Belgium and France, is working hard to
integrate its networks so that travellers booking
cross-border journeys will have little waiting time
“The goal is to make it easier for the traveller to get
to Western Europe and beyond,” an official of Eurostar
Even simpler is the London-based European Rail, which
offers such trips as a 6-day gastronomic tour of France
and a 10-day trip to Andalusia, Spain.
The trip to Spain starts at £675 a person, or $1,343,
including train tickets and lodging.