As we forecasted last month, Eurostar will operate fewer trains this winter owing to a fall in passenger numbers in the wake of the terrorist attacks.
However The Independent reports that it will be Brussels, rather than Paris, which will bear the brunt of the cutbacks.
From January next year, 20 trains a week on the London to Brussels route will be axed.
When you consider that each of the original Alstom trainsets accommodates a maximum of 750 passengers it means that some 15,000 seats a week will be withdrawn from the market.
While it is true that the new Siemens trainsets can accommodate 900 passengers these are still not approved for the Brussels route. At the time of writing the latter is served exclusively by Eurosar’s original Alstom trainsets.
Besides the capacity cut the other bad news is that some onward connections will no longer be feasible.
In recent years a greater number of passengers had begun to use Eurostar’s Brussels services as a springboard to Holland, Luxembourg and Germany.
But the point-to-point business market is affected too.
Services out of London will still start at the early hour of 0650 but the next departure at 0804 will be axed.
What it means is that business people who live outside London, and who cannot reach St Pancras in time for the 0650 departure, will not be able to arrive in Brussels until lunchtime.
And the situation is no better in the evening peak. A business person returning home to Brussels has the meagre choice of the 1704 and 1934 departures with the latter being the final service of the day.
In a bid to woo more passengers Eurostar has relaunched its £19 one-way “Snap” tickets. But these are intended for leisure travellers as their restrictions make them unsuitable for use by business people.