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Author Topic: Eurostar - snapshot of current services  (Read 100 times)
grahame
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« on: August 22, 2020, 06:35:52 am »

Encouraged by an early morning headline, I followed up what's running on Eurostar - testing prices and times by looking at a trip outbound middle of next week, back a week later.

4 direct services each way to / from Paris
2 direct services each way to / from Brussels
1 direct service to Amsterdam

"Top of site" says nothing from Ebbsfleet or Ashford at present ... booking engine allows you to try but flags up "Sorry, there are no seats left on trains going out that day. Can you travel on another date?"

Outbound fares, Paris ... from £89.50 next week. Return from £39.00 the week after -  2 hr 17 min to 2 hour 26 min journey time.

Outbound fares, Brussels ... from £74.50 next week. Return from £44.50 the week after -  2 hr 1 min to 2 hour 20 min journey time.

Outbound fares, Amsterdam, ... from £75.00 next week. Return from £119.50 the week after -  4 hr 7 journey time outbound.   Return journey time 5 hr 50 mins including 1 hour 44 minutes to change trains in Brussels.

Business premier tickets at £245.00 each way to Paris or Brussels ... £260.00 out, £329.35 return for Amsterdam.

From the Eurostar site - background travel information:

Quote
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Before you book, please note that we’ve adapted our services to help keep you safe at this time.

BUSINESS PREMIER: You have full flexibility to change your travel plans. Your ticket is fully refundable and can be exchanged as many times as you want. Our Business Premier lounges are all now open again. The way we serve food and drink has changed and social distancing measures will be in place. Our fast track ticket gates are also open again.

BUSINESS PREMIER AND STANDARD PREMIER CATERING: We’re currently unable to serve food and drink on board. Our catering services will resume on 7 September 2020.

ALL PASSENGERS: ALL passengers are required to complete COVID-19 mandatory government forms and check latest government info before travelling as quarantine rules may apply at short notice. You must check our Coronavirus Essential Travel information here. Please be aware that official advice may change quickly so it’s important to keep up-to-date.

Our onboard bar buffet is closed until 7 September 2020 and many of the shops and restaurants at our stations are also closed. Please bring refreshments with you, especially when the weather gets warm. You can bring liquids through security.

We’re sorry for the inconvenience caused.

That "here" link takes you to

Quote
Coronavirus and Eurostar services – updated 21 August 2020

Check this page for all the latest and Essential COVID-19 Travel Information

Our main priority is the health and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues. We’re closely following advice from governments and health authorities in our destination countries, regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are listening closely to the feedback of our customers and colleagues and we realise this is an unsettling time and an unprecedented situation that develops fast.

IMPORTANT: We advise all passengers to regularly check latest official government information of their country of origin and destination prior to departure. Special measures or quarantine rules may apply at short notice so it’s important to keep up-to-date.

If you’ve emailed us or submitted an eVoucher request and received an automated reply, please rest assured we will get back to you and your eVoucher will be sent to you soon. Our teams are working tirelessly and doing their best to respond to thousands of calls and emails as quickly as possible. Don't worry if your travel dates have already passed, we'll still be able to issue your eVoucher as normal.

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and for showing our colleagues the respect they deserve at a difficult time for everyone.

In addition, current requirement is [check, please] for passengers travelling from France or Belgium to self-isolate for 14 days, with certain exceptions.  Should that not appear somewhere in the text above?
« Last Edit: August 22, 2020, 06:44:32 am by grahame » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2020, 07:44:02 am »

There are 2 a couple of possible reasons for not stopping at Ebbsfleet and Ashford, UK Boarder Force may have redeployed there staff to other duties also the France may have reduced its staff levels added to the fact that passenger levels at both these stations is not high at the best of times.

There is also, despite Ashford having the platforms remodelled and the French signalling installed there is a technical problem with the electrification (AC/DC interface) which prevents the Class 374 (Siemens trains) from using Ashford, this is being resolved but was not planned for completion until the end of this year.  I suspect the Eurostar have mothballed the remaining Class 373 (original Eurostar) as they are expensive to maintain.

It will be interesting to see if Ebbsfleet and Ashford ever see Eurostar services again, although Kent CC and Ashford Council have invested a lot of money into Ashford to allow the 374 to use Ashford so there may be a lot of political pressure.
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