The first of Eurostar’s new fleet of high-speed trains has called at Ashford International station.
Arriving at 2.55pm on its way to Paris, the Eurostar e320 was able to stop at Ashford thanks to the completion of a £10 million project to install new signalling equipment and adapt the station’s platforms.
The milestone comes a day before the high-speed operator launches its direct Amsterdam service.
The project was delivered by Network Rail and funded from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund.
Network Rail route managing director in the south east, John Halsall, said: “This project is a perfect example of how the railway can play a strong role in the continuing economic development of the South East.
“Our partners have put their faith and investment in the industry to deliver this project, which will future-proof the town’s station and preserve its status as part of Europe’s high speed network.
“High speed rail and links to Europe have given Ashford a huge boost over the past 22 years and we are pleased to be working with Eurostar and local authorities to keep that going.”