Eurotunnel to Boost Trains Ahead of London Olympics


Eurotunnel, which operates the Channel tunnel between Britain and France, said on Thursday it would reduce train travel times by five minutes to boost traffic ahead of this summer's London Olympic Games.

In a conference call as the company announced its results for 2011, Eurotunnel chief Jacques Gounon said travel time under the Channel will be reduced from 35 to 30 minutes to allow for more daily trains.

Train speeds will be increased from 140 kilometers per hour (90 miles per hour) to 160 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour), he said.

The company is expecting a boost in earnings this year with both the Olympics, starting on July 27, and celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's reign in June.

In a statement, Eurotunnel said it had switched into profitability last year, with a net profit of 11 million euros ($14.6 million), compared with a net loss of 58 million euros in 2010.

Sales rose 16.0 percent to 845 million euros, as almost 19 million people and about 17.7 million tons of freight crossed the Channel using the tunnel.