I wanted to do a quick Eurostar news roundup, since it's been a season of major news for the Channel-tunnel train that links London and mainland Europe.
- Track upgrades: Passengers no longer have to endure creeping through the British countryside at a (relative) snail's pace before picking up speed at the Channel Tunnel and in France. Track upgrades between London and the tunnel mean the high-speed train can finally live up to its name, and cuts the travel time between London and Paris to two hours and fifteen minutes.
- Eurostar terminal relocation: In November, Eurostar's London terminal was relocated from Waterloo station on the South Bank to St. Pancras station in North London. The Victorian-era station has been refurbished and now includes a glass roof and Europe's longest champagne bar. St. Pancras has serious accessibility on its side as well, with links to six London Underground lines and seven rail connections.
- Linked ticketing: Eurostar has integrated its ticketing with British National Rail, which means you can now book a through-journey from points other than London in the U.K. Previously, you needed to book intra-U.K. and international journeys separately. To book, go to eurostar.com.
I have a real fondness for Waterloo station because as an exchange student living in London years ago, I could see the station from my apartment window, and so the thought of the old Eurostar terminal standing empty gives me a touch of the nostalgic sadness. But it's fantastic to see the Eurostar finally poised to live up to its potential as a convenient, fast, and cosmopolitan link between the hearts of European capitals. I would toast the new developments at Europe's longest champagne bar, but it would be a long way to go just for a drink.