10 November 2010
Paul Chapman, Managing Director of High Speed 1, the owners of the UK’s first high speed railway line and St Pancras International said: "More choice and more competition means more destinations and even better service. This can only be to the benefit of the growing numbers of people using High Speed 1.
"Every day more people are switching from air travel to high speed rail and with the Government set to extend the high speed network in the UK, domestic and international high speed train operators and passengers are all set to benefit from this renaissance of the railways."
Speaking to ABTN Chapman said capacity at St Pancras would not be a problem, despite Deutsche Bahn planning to carry more than a million passengers in its first year of operation.
"We already know there are no issues about accommodating a second operator into St Pancras and equally a third, should a third materialise. As a business we exist to sell capacity to people and we have spent the last 18 months working through issues from boarding, travel gates, and customer comfort.
"We have six international platforms here, but in the peak hours we run between three and four trains per hour, so about 55 trains in each direction each day with Eurostar. The railway is built for far greater capacity than that. The full capacity is 20 trains per hour, so we can see demand increasing across Europe but we can’t see a point where we will run out of capacity."