Eurostar aims to set a record time today on its inaugural journey over the new 186mph line into London’s St Pancras International station.

The train operator will leave Paris Gare du Nord station mid-morning, making the 306-mile journey to St Pancras in two hours, 15 minutes.

This will be the new journey time between London and Paris from November 14, the official launch date, and cuts 20 minutes off the current time. The new journey time for London to Brussels is one hour, 51 minutes and one hour, 20 minutes to Lille.

Chief executive Richard Brown said: “Today marks Britain’s entry into the European high-speed rail club. We can now run trains at high speed all the way from the Channel Tunnel to London, making journeys between cities quicker, more convenient – and far greener than flying.”

Eurostar will also stop at Ebbsfleet International in Kent, from November 19, and Ashford before reaching Paris.