Stratford International ready to join Europe

Stratford International ready to join Europe

24 Apr 2006

The £210m Stratford International station has opened – with the hope that Eurostar services will be confirmed later this year.

Stratford International StationStratford International will be the main rail station serving the east London Olympic site in 2012, with high speed ‘javelin’ trains expected to ferry 25,000 spectators an hour between the sports venues and the centre of the capital.

Some concerns have been expressed that the station will be empty until Eurostar confirm the timetable for their new Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) services, due to begin out of St Pancras in 2007. High speed domestic services are expected to start in 2009.

Work on Stratford International started in 2004. It is a bridge station spanning a one kilometre long, 25 metre deep trench - as long as Tottenham Court Road in central London, as deep as an eight storey building and wide enough to fit three QEII sized ocean liners.

Completion of the station, expected to handle around 2.5m passengers a year, coincided with a progress visit by members of the International Olympic Committee.

Rob Holden, chief executive of London and Continental Railways (LCR), builders and operators of the CTRL, said: “We are proud not only of the progress we have made to keep the Channel Tunnel project on schedule and within budget but also of our contribution to the 2012 games and their legacy.”

Eurostar are currently compiling a report into best options for stopping patterns for CTRL trains, which as well as St Pancras and Stratford will call at Ebbsfleet and Ashford in Kent. The stopping patterns are expected to be announced later this year.

An LCR spokesman said: “Until the start of the Olympics Stratford International will be in the middle of a huge building site, but there will be a number of major landmarks realised along the way.”

As well as Eurostar, domestic high speed and the Olympics, the new Stratford City retail and residential development is set to open in 2010, and an extension of the Docklands Light Railway will also improve links between the station and the rest of east London, LCR said.

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