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Eurostar is the name of the train which travels between London and Paris or Brussels. In London, the terminus was originally at Waterloo, which must have been selected with ironic intent. The irony being that in 1815 England and Belgium united against France's Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. In November 2007, the London terminus switched to St Pancras International.

There are three classes of travel: standard, first and premium first. Standard is somewhat cramped to France, less so to Belgium, and requires that you buy your own food. That makes it dearer than an equivalent air ticket, and is two hours slower to Brussels. Premium first is comparable in service to a business-class air ticket, but considerably more expensive and similarly slower.

So Why Does Anyone Travel on Eurostar?

This is down to the indefinable romance of European rail travel. One boards a train in the city centre, and is whisked1 in eerie silence and comfort to the capital of another country, through The Channel Tunnel. If time is no object, it's the only way to travel and, if you like trains, it's a particularly beautiful one - gleaming white, excitingly streamlined.

1Except through Kent, where one is overtaken by 1950s vintage slam-door trains.

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