Eurostar has reported a rise in revenues of 25.2 per cent to £78.4 million in the first three months of 2008 thanks to a substantial rise in passenger numbers in the period. The train operator said it had 2.17 million passengers (up 21.3 per cent) in the first quarter of the year.

The company also said that it reached an all time high level of punctuality of 93.6 per cent.

Eurostar said that part of the reason for their increase in passengers could be the result of travellers switching from planes to trains because of concern for the environment. The company cited a YouGove poll in which 33 per cent of respondents said the environmental impact of a short-haul journey was more important to them than a year ago.

Eurostar also recently started running services from Paddington station in addition to Waterloo station.

Richard Brown, chief executive of Eurostar, said: We are delighted at the public's ever growing desire to travel by Eurostar. It shows that High Speed 1 and our fabulous new stations are capturing people's imagination, combined with the fast, reliable and green advantages of our high-speed trains.