November 14th 2006
London & Continental Railways (LCR), the company behind the construction of the UK’s first section of high speed railway and owner of Eurostar (UK) Ltd, has announced that the Channel Tunnel Rail Link will now be known as High Speed 1.
LCR launched the new ‘HS1’ marque during celebrations on 14 November 2006 at St Pancras International to mark High Speed One’s tenth anniversary. LCR says there are exactly 365 days to opening.
As HS1 was unveiled, Rob Holden, chief executive of LCR said, ‘It is unprecedented that a major construction project of this size and scale is on track to be delivered on time and within budget. With such a strong track record of success behind us, and as we approach the final run-in, we have chosen this time to name the new railway line, ‘High Speed 1’. High Speed 1 or HS1 will become the name that passengers and beneficiaries of the line will use to describe the project. CTRL has served us well but as the focus of work on the project shifts to bringing the infrastructure to life, about the time is right for High Speed 1.’
The HS1 logo will appear wherever people interact with the project, for example on road signs, on maps and atlases, on signage at the stations, in travel guides and web pages as well as information material associated with the project.
Having been lifted over the river Medway, tunnelled under the Thames, threaded through the M25 and through 18km of tunnelling under London, LCR has conquered the major engineering challenges in the construction of HS1. Construction work for the high speed railway and stations will be complete in summer 2007 including the complete testing and commissioning of track, signals and communication systems. This will be followed with a comprehensive fit-out of the stations and simultaneous programme of training and familiarisation for Eurostar staff and border control authorities.
Rail Minister Tom Harris MP said, ‘A year from now, Britain’s first high speed rail link will deliver faster journeys for passengers and more capacity on London services When Eurostar services are transferred to St Pancras in 2007, there will be faster journeys to the continent. The work will help regenerate areas along the route of the link.’
Eurostar international passenger services will commence from Eurostar’s new central London home at St Pancras International when the new railway opens for commercial services on 14 November 2007. The high speed line will be completed with a total project cost of £5.8bn, well within the overall budget for the project’s funding established in 1998 of £6.15bn.
Section 1 of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link was opened on time and on budget by the Prime Minister in September 2003. LCR remains on schedule to complete Section 2 and thus complete the entire project – now known as ‘High Speed 1’ - in 2007. This will meet the schedule laid down in 1998. The railway industry continues to press for more high speed lines, including a new north-south HSL, a freight-only railway and the construction of the CrossRail line under London.