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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Europe's high-speed rail system off to a fast start in 2012

Eurostar, the high-speed rail service that operates between the United Kingdom and mainland Europe, posted a 4 percent increase in ridership and 7 percent increase in total sales during the first quarter versus last year.

Ridership rose to 2.24 million compared with 2.15 million in the same period a year ago. Converted to U.S. dollars, sales for the quarter climbed to $339.8 million from $317 million a year earlier.

Eurostar officials attribute the growth to an increase in leisure travel during the quarter, although business travel remained flat. In addition, leisure travelers have been taking advantage of the service’s “highly competitive” fares to Amsterdam traveling via Brussels, they said in a prepared statement.

International passengers also helped drive growth, with the number of people originating outside Europe increasing about 29 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/20/2012