The high-speed train connecting Brussels and Paris to London reached a new milestone in December 30, crossing the threshold of 10 million passengers carried during a single calendar year.
Nearing its 20th anniversary, the Eurostar line has carried a total of 140 million passengers. The train has seen a steady increase in the number of users since its launch on November 14, 1994. A total of 9.911 million passengers rode the train in 2012.
Regarding the record number of passengers seen in 2013, Eurostar points to a number of events focusing international attention on the British capital this year, including the birth of the royal baby, the David Bowie exhibit at the Victoria & Albert museum, and the Rolling Stones' 50th anniversary concerts in Hyde Park.
The upward trend, observed among Europeans and international visitors to Europe alike, can also be explained by the creation of new Eurostar routes.
This summer, the rail operator tested a new link between London and the south of France by way of Lyon, Aix-en-Provence and Avignon. The new route will become permanent from 2015. This winter, passengers boarding the Eurostar in London can even head into the Swiss Alps thanks to a partnership with the TGV Lyria des Neiges, an extension of the French high-speed rail network.