Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Eurostar leaves a third of the seats free at peak times

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According to the British news agency PA, the new Eurostar boss Gwendoline Cazenave said at a press conference on Tuesday. “Due to this bottleneck at train stations, we cannot offer enough seats.” After the pandemic, demand recovered quickly, but the system couldn’t keep up.

The first morning trains from London and Paris carry a maximum of 550 passengers through the Eurotunnel in the English Channel, although the trains are designed to carry nearly 900 passengers, the company said the demand is there. One cannot strive for growth if the border cannot be crossed without major hurdles. “We need more police personnel. And we need to automate more,” said Cazenave.

Since Brexit, passengers boarding the train between London and Paris and London and Brussels have crossed an external EU border, so that passport controls are necessary before boarding. Especially in the morning hours, when many trains depart at frequent intervals, this causes passenger traffic jams at the stations. The Eurostar is a subsidiary of the French state railway SNCF. The Corona crisis had brought Eurostar a slump in passengers, after which SNCF merged its subsidiaries Eurostar and Thalys.

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