19 Jan 2010
Eurostar as it ought to be
In this photograph, a Eurostar train is about to enter the Channel Tunnel. When Eurostar began running in 1996, a new terminal was built at Ashford and many trains called there. This was not particularly useful as connections from Ashford are poor, and when the St Pancras terminal was opened in 2007, the revised timetable cut down the number of trains that stopped at Ashford, so most Eurostar passengers go through London.
But what if Ashford was developed as a hub? If connecting lines were improved, trains could run direct to Brighton, Reading and Peterborough via Cambridge. Many more passengers would then be able to catch a Eurostar service without going in to central London, and an hourly trains to Paris and Brussels would pick up a worthwhile volume of traffic at Ashford.
But that is not all. Train services fanning out from Ashford would provide useful travel opportunities for everyone living in the South-East - not just Eurostar passengers, since they would give good connections between many important centres within the regiion.