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Eurostar inaugurates UK high-speed track

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Updated Eurostar will this morning try to set a new Paris-London time record during the inaugural run along the recently-completed British "High Speed 1" track to St Pancras International station, Reuters reports.

Although the St Pancras terminal doesn't officially take over from Waterloo until 14 November, it will host the arrival of what Eurostar hopes will be a two-hour 15-minute jaunt for the 9.44am from Paris Gare du Nord - twenty minutes quicker than normal at speeds of up to 186mph on both sides of the Channel.

The 68 miles of High Speed 1 have been a long time coming - 13 years since the first Eurostar service - but their completion comes at a "time of booming demand" for rail travel as tightened airport security makes flying an increasingly unpleasant experience.

Travellers are also switching to rail due to increasing concerns about the environmental impact of aircraft, according to Eurostar. ®

Update

The jaunt finally ran to a snappy two hours, 3 minutes and 39 seconds. Reports that it then took the attendant UK hacks three hours to battle their way a couple of miles across London to their offices are unconfirmed.

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