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Eurostar is a train service that connects London (Waterloo station) with Paris (Gare du Nord), Lille and Brussels (Brussel Zuid station). Trains cross the English Channel via the Channel Tunnel, or "Chunnel". In Southern England, a new railway line has been built to the same high-speed LGV standards used in France. The two-phase Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) project has been partially in operation since 2003, reducing times to and from London Waterloo. Eurostar have announced that upon completion of the CTRL into London St. Pancras, the finished railway will be branded as High Speed 1 to the public from 2007-11-14 onwards. From 2003, the journey time from London to Paris has been 2 hours 35 minutes with London to Brussels slightly faster at 2 hours 20 minutes. In November 2007, times from London to the Channel Tunnel will be cut by 20 minutes, when the construction of the full CTRL is complete. CTRL Section 2 (CTRL2) will bring the British portion of the route up to the same standards as the French and Belgian LGV high-speed sections, allowing 300km/h running. Works about to finish near Brussels Zuid will additionally provide a 4 minute improvement for all Brussels-bound services. Completion of the dedicated rail link on the British side will allow a significant potential increase in the number of Eurostar trains serving London. Grade separation of the CTRL from UK domestic railway services through Kent, means that timetabling for Eurostar train paths will be unaffected by peak hour restrictions. After CTRL2 is completed, up to eight trains per hour in each direction will be able to travel from London to the continent, moving the bottleneck in capacity to the Channel Tunnel itself.
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