Well, not exactly two hours, but pretty darn close. Last week, on September 4, a Eurostar train zipped from Gare du Nord station in Paris, sped underneath the English Channel, and finally ended at St. Pancras in London — a 306 mile-long route — in just 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 39 seconds, drawing these two major European capitals even closer together — indeed, within a fairly comfortable day trip of each other. As a point of reference, Amtrak takes roughly the same amount of time to travel about 90 miles between Sacramento and the Oakland Coliseum/Airport BART station on the Capitol Corridor.
The trip from London to Paris currently takes 2 hours 35 minutes, but now that the British section of the line has been updated to the LGV standard, about half an hour was shaved off the trip. Admittedly, operation speeds will decrease from 200 mph to 186 mph once official revenue service begins on November 14, but even then, the trip between London and Paris will only take 2 hours 15 minutes, twenty minutes less than it does now. Trips between London and Brussels will take about 1 hour 50 minutes. This line will be called “High Speed 1,” and when it officially opens, St. Pancras in London will reemerge as a redeveloped and restored St. Pancras International station.
If only California’s governor were similarly visionary.
Image courtesy Daily Mail.