Eurostar banks on Brexit bargain hunters from France

French shoppers heading over to London to take advantage of the falling pound should mean good news for struggling Eurostar.

Eurostar banks on Brexit bargain hunters from France
Photo: AFP

The Eurostar high-speed train service is banking on French holiday shoppers travelling to London for Brexit bargains to help
revive passenger numbers that have slumped due to terror attacks, it said Friday.

With the Nice attack that killed 86 happening on July 14, the July through September period saw a 10 percent slump in passengers, the company said.

But “after a softening in demand over the summer, we saw an increase in travel from the continent to London during the half term holiday,” said chief executive Nicolas Petrovic.

The number of travellers from France to Britain during the school holidays jumped 18 percent.

“With the weakening of the pound, the UK is proving to be an attractive destination. The outlook to the end of the year is encouraging with many travellers taking day trips to London to do their Christmas shopping.”

The company, which also runs a London to Brussels service, said work was continuing towards opening service to Amsterdam, as it looks to steal away some of the 3 million air passengers along the route every year.

“The launch of our Amsterdam route at the end of next year marks a key milestone and represents a significant growth opportunity for the future,” said Petrovic.

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Eurostar’s souvenir bomb warning after Paris station evacuated

Passengers on Eurostar have been warned about bringing shells that have been turned into souvenirs onto the trains after Paris' Gare du Nord station had to be evacuated.

Eurostar's souvenir bomb warning after Paris station evacuated
The Eurostar terminal at Gare du Nord was evacuated
The Paris transport hub had to be evacuated early on Monday morning after a World War II shell was found in a passenger's bag.


The evacuation, which happened at about 5.45am on Monday, was completed by 10am, but has led to longer than usual queues for Eurostar services.

It is the latest in a series of security alerts caused by passengers trying to take souvenir war artillery on to trains.

Eurostar issued a special warning ahead of the First World War commemorations in November 2018, but with just a month to go until memorial events for the D Day landings, there are fears that the problems could recur.
“As you're travelling during the commemoration period, please remember that you can't bring any real or replica bombs, shells (complete or partial) or weapons on board – even if you bought them from a gift shop,” Eurostar told passengers last year.
“If you bring them with you, they'll be confiscated at security and may result in the need to evacuate the station.”
Old World War I shells turned into flower pots have been popular souvenirs in Belgium and France ever since the end of the conflict, but passengers attempting to take them on board trains for Britain have sparked bomb scares in recent years.
Some of the alerts, which happen every few months, have also been caused by war memorabilia collectors bringing back disarmed ordnance unearthed by farmers at battle sites in northeast France.
Eurostar said even disarmed shells can set off X-ray alarms.