Eurostar to Offer Night Service, New Routes From Paris to the U.K.

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Reed Travel Features

LONDON -- Clients will be able to shower on a Eurostar train by the start of 1998.

That's because Eurostar will have launched night service from here to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Frankfurt, Germany.

A spokesman said plans are in the works for two trains per night, one to Amsterdam and one to Frankfurt, with stops in Cologne and Dusseldorf, Germany.

The trains will provide a choice of first class sleeping cabins with bathrooms, second class cabins with toilets and wash basins and third class seats that recline for sleeping.

Also in the works is a Eurostar route between Paris and several U.K. regions for this summer.

The new service will be the first on which train travelers will be able to go from Paris to Scotland and parts of England without having to stop in London.

The two routes will be a daily train between Glasgow and Paris that stops in Edinburgh, Scotland; northeast England, and eastern England and a twice-daily train between Manchester, England, and Paris with stops in northwest England and the Midlands.

"Certainly these routes will not be as popular with Americans as the London-Paris service, but for those who want to bypass London, the new service provides a useful way to see parts of the U.K. and Paris without a London stayover.

"York and Edinburgh are the most likely U.K. cities to attract American passengers," the Eurostar spokesman said.

This spring, Eurostar may offer four classes of travel instead of the current two.

"Because we have so much space on the train -- 770 seats -- we think we can provide more choice than the two-class system allows for," the spokes-man said.

"Some people want the comfort of first class without a meal. And some don't want any frills, but they would like their privacy and a free newspaper."

He added that Eurostar bookings have not suffered badly as a result of the November Chunnel fire. He said January bookings were on the same level as they were in the same month last year.

The Chunnel track should be fully repaired by May or June, the spokesman said. At that time, Eurostar should achieve its prefire speed and make the London-Paris journey in three hours, shaving 20 minutes off its present time.

The London-Brussels time should also return to two hours and 40 minutes, down from hours and 15 minutes.

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