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Eurostar celebrates 100 million passengers

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-29

On Friday, Eurostar welcomed its 100 millionth passenger - an Englishman who was one half of the "perfect Eurostar couple" - on the undersea rail service linking London with Paris and Brussels that began on November 14, 1994.

AFP - Eurostar welcomed Friday its 100 millionth passenger on the 15-year-old high-speed rail service linking London with Paris and Brussels.

Graphic designer David Kemp, 35, an Englishman, was the 100 millionth traveller and took his French wife Stephanie from his native London to Paris, along with their two-year-old daughter Mia.

They were the perfect Eurostar couple, the train operator's chief executive Richard Brown said.

Regular commuter Kemp will now be travelling for free for a year. He was given special treatment on the 9:01 am train to Paris Gare du Nord, including a personal butler service.

All the other 700-plus passengers on the train received one free standard-class return ticket, valid for a year.

"I am absolutely thrilled. We do travel on Eurostar from time to time to see my wife's parents in Paris and now we well be able to do so more often," Kemp said.

Eurostar services began on November 14, 1994, travelling through the tunnel underneath the English Channel, which separates Britain from continental Europe.

The trains from London, which hit speeds of 300 kilometres (186 miles) per hour, can reach Paris in two hours, 15 minutes and Brussels in one hour, 51 minutes.

Date created : 2009-08-28