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  1. ITV Report

Marking a decade since the launch of HS1

It took 30 years of planning and costed £5.8 billion.

The high speed Channel Tunnel rail link has carried its fair share of controversy over the years, but now it's a fast and reliable service taking passengers from the continent to our capital in record time. Today marks a decade since the line was completed.

Passengers can reach speeds of up to 186mph on the high speed Eurostar link between London, Brussels and Paris. The domestic Javelin journey carries commuters through Kent and Essex, stopping at landmark stations Ashford, Ebbsfleet and Stratford before arriving in St Pancras.

The Eurostar was originally estimated to carry over 22 million passengers Credit: ITV

Builders of the line predicted the Eurostar would carry more than 20 million passengers by 2004. This figure was then revised in 2007 to 10 million, a target they reached, although the number remained static for some time.

The real success story has been the Javelin; the domestic Southeastern service which stops at Stratford, Ebbsfleet and Ashford before arriving in St Pancras.

The Javelin train is carrying more passengers than ever before Credit: ITV

Passenger numbers have risen from 6.7 million in the first full year of operation, to 15.3 million. Due to the popularity of the service, Southeastern have announced plans to add more seats next year.

ITV Meridian spoke to David Statham the Managing Director of Southeastern about the news.c