Is Eurostar in recovery?
The optimistic question belies the difficulties facing Eurostar, well described in this article published by Westobserver (source Financial Times) on July 5th 2023.
The recent merger with Thalys has injected optimism into the management of both services, prompting a small hint that the question of the Kent stations could be revisited if all goes well. But Eurstar is described as focusing unapologetically on its core destinations (London, Paris, Brussels) in order to return to profitability after the pandemic.
A great quote: “The operation bears the scars of its untidy birth through complex, inter-governmental agreements about the building of new rail lines. It was originally set up without even a single, unified operating company. Different trains were operated by different national rail companies co-operating to run the services. That cumbersome structure struggled to handle the emergence of competition from low-cost airlines, spurred by European legislation that came into force in 1993, just as the tunnel and the other European high-speed rail lines were being built.”
This demonstrates what a shambles has resulted from the lack of joined up thinking on the part of govermnents, not to mention the mess resulting from the UK sales of HS1 and its own share of Eurostar.