/ The London Traveler
London — By Andrea Kirkby on January 3, 2010 at 12:49 pm
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Another weird trip – Ebbsfleet International

I thought my journey round the Circle Line was mad. But Diamond Geezer, another London blogger, has made an even stranger journey. He’s been to Ebbsfleet.

A gleaming new station, but no trains or passengers to be seen

A gleaming new station, but no trains or passengers to be seen

To be precise, he’s made the trip from Stratford International to Ebbsfleet. They’re both on the Eurostar line, only Eurostar doesn’t actually stop at Stratford. (Which means that Stratford International is a contradiction in terms, doesn’t it?)

Ebbsfleet is a station without a point, although Eurostar does stop there. It’s marooned in the middle of nowhere with just a big car park for company. It’s a little difficult to see the point of arriving at Ebbsfleet – you can’t get a train to anywhere else (except London, and slow local trains to Rochester and Faversham). But it has more trains than the potentially quite useful Stratford, which connects to the East Anglian main railway line and serves large areas of East London.

Diamond Geezer got a ‘high speed’ ticket from Stratford to Ebbsfleet, for a trip lasting ten minutes. It cost £12.40. I think my Circle Line experience was cheaper. (Anyway, you ought to go and read Diamond Geezer’s account of his journey, and see the photos of the blisteringly new but not very useful Ebbsfleet!)

That ridiculous fare pales into insignificance, though, when you find out that Stratford International cost £210m, and may never see an international train use it. Eurostar certainly doesn’t intend to at the moment as it admits on its web site.  What a shambles! What a waste!

So please, if you’re using Eurostar – remember, Stratford ‘International’ isn’t going to work for you. Use St Pancras!

Photo by daisybush on flickr

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