Top travel time between London and Paris should be at least 20 minutes faster thanks to track improvements that allowed a Eurostar train to set a record this morning. The test journey from Paris to St. Pancras Station, London, a 306-mile trip, took 2:03:39, the BBC reports. Regular service, priced to compete with flying, begins in November.
"It felt very good to be at the controls today," said the driver. French tracks already allowed speeds of up to 186mph, but on the British side, Eurostar has coexisted with local commuter trains. The £5.8 billion ($12 million) improvements included a new St. Pancras terminal, which will have a link to east London in time for the 2012 Olympics. (Read more Eurostar stories.)