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13:47 Wed 02nd Jun 2010 |

The Eurostar has changed the way people travel to Europe. It is a high-speed passenger rail service connecting London with Paris and Brussels. All its trains cross under the English Channel via the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France, owned and operated separately by Eurotunnel. Eurostar offers seventeen weekday London–Paris services and eleven London– Brussels services.

Ideas for such a tunnel underneath the English Channel had been proposed as early as 1802. However, the history of Eurostar can be traced to the 1986 choice of a rail tunnel to provide a cross-channel link between Britain and France. Construction of the physical tunnel began in 1988, and was finished five years later, in 1993, the official opening taking place in May 1994.

On 14 November 1994 Eurostar services began between Waterloo International station in London, Gare du Nord in Paris and Brussels-South railway station in Brussels.

The Channel Tunnel used by Eurostar services holds the record for having the longest undersea section anywhere in the world, as well as being the second longest tunnel in the world. A Eurostar train set a new British speed record of 334.7 km/h (208.0 mph) on the first section of High Speed 1 on 30 July 2003. Several trains have also broken speed records travelling between the international stations.

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