Europe is the most popular destination for UK tourists and visitors, and with 5.6 million users of the Channel Tunnel in 2005 alone these statistics are expected to dramatically increase (especially since the recent introduction of the Eurostar train service at Ebbsfleet International and current ongoing development of Stratford International).
The European rail network can currently be accessed via the Eurostar from London Waterloo and London St. Pancras, Ebbsfleet International or Ashford International stations, and allows the public to travel to a wide variety of destinations such as Brussels, Lille and Paris. Further connections include the TGV high speed train service.
A good standard, high speed service is operated throughout, and provides free baggage handling and minimal waiting times. In comparison to other types of transport, the European rail network is far more cost-effective (the Interail Travel Pass is available that covers up to 30 countries - a Global Pass is also available- along with the Swiss Rail Pass and the Benelux Rail Pass pass for Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands). Other advantages of these services are that tickets can be purchased at short notice and dramatically reduce CO2 emissions as opposed to alternative means. Extensive tourist information on pricing, locations and attractions are widely available, making the European rail more efficient for users.