As you settle into your seat, the brakes hiss off and the Eurostar very gently eases itself out of the magnificent arched trainshed of St Pancras International Station.At this stage, the train is heading north, but almost immediately it makes a sharp right-hand turn past the huge steel gasometers that have been a familiar sight behind Kings Cross/St Pancras for years and which are now, believe it or not, listed structures.

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They were refurbished with an interior by designer Philippe Starck in 2004-2005.

Most of these classic trains will be withdrawn by the end of 2018, but 8 will be refurbished to become e300 trains.

Anything up to back-pack sized will fit on the overhead racks above your seat.

The train manager makes his announcement that your Eurostar train to Paris is about to leave, the door alarm sounds and the doors then hiss shut.

The Eurostar now plunges back into a short tunnel for its own crossing underneath the Thames, emerging the other side in the county of Kent.

Some Eurostar trains now call at Ebbsfleet station in north Kent, near the M25 motorway.

You bring your bags with you and put them on the luggage racks.

Large racks near the entrance doors easily take large items.

Buy tickets direct from Eurostar at print your own ticket. Business Premier & Standard Premier = 1st class with drinks & meals. Tips on choosing a specific Eurostar seat Tips if you have to travel at short notice Buy special connecting UK train tickets Suggested hotels in London & Paris NEW: If you are happy booking shortly before travel - or actually need to go at short notice - and OK leaving the exact departure time up to Eurostar, there's a new Eurostar Snap option only sold on a special Eurostar mini-site, see the information below.

Eurostar is the high-speed passenger train linking London with Paris, Lille & Brussels via the Channel Tunnel at up to 300km/h or 186 mph.

Eurostar is owned 55% by SNCF French Railways, 5% by SNCB Belgian Railways & 40% originally by the UK government but now sold to overseas investors.