When I first travelled on the Eurostar – I was impressed. It was modern, clean and, when it got to France at least, fast.

Having now used it for a number of years however, I am now of a slightly different opinion. Compared with the train that runs Strasbourg-Paris:

  • It’s small, dark and pokey
  • The seats are uncomfortable (they don’t recline and are crammed in with a total disregard for leg-room)
  • If you’re UNLUCKY enough to get a ‘window’ seat (being on the window side does not necessarily guarantee you a window), you also have to do battle with a waste-bin attached to the bulkhead (which was added later – as no-one had thought to include bins in the original design!) thus restricting your movement even further
  • There’s no trolley service – so if you’re in Carriage 18 – you have to hike through 12 carriages, without tripping over, just to get a cup of coffee

So thinking back to that sodding advert starring Eric Cantona – who proclaimed the journey gave him “room to think, to breathe” – one can only assume that this was because he had the entire carriage to himself!

And they wonder why so few French people use it!