Eurostar cheers record August thanks to US tourist boost

A surge in US tourists has helped Eurostar notch up its busiest ever peak summer season with more than a million customers travelling on the high speed cross-Channel rail service in August.

Eurostar said it saw a 4% rise in passengers to 3.1 million overall in the three months to September 30, while revenues grew 3% to £254 million in the third quarter.

The firm said its performance was boosted by a 16% surge in revenues from customers from North America, “taking advantage of the high-speed rail connections between Europe’s iconic cities”.

The figures come ahead of Eurostar’s 25th anniversary celebrations next month.

Mike Cooper, chief executive of Eurostar, said: “We have seen positive momentum over the summer with strong growth in the number of North American passengers choosing to travel by high speed rail.

A Eurostar train heads towards France (Gareth Fuller/PA)

“With our 25th anniversary later this year and the growing demand for sustainable travel we and our customers have an exciting time ahead.”

Eurostar launched on November 14 1994 offering revolutionary high speed rail links between the UK and the Continent.

It has since slashed the journey time even further, from three hours between London and Paris to two hours and 15 minutes.

Passenger numbers have grown from just under three million in the first full year of service to 11 million in 2018.

Eurostar reported a 68% surge in annual operating profits to £96.6 million for 2018 on sales revenues up 12%.

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