High Speed 1 (formerly the Channel Tunnel Rail Link) is the first high-speed rail project in the UK and Britain's first new railway in a century. Its 109 kilometers of track connect London with the Channel Tunnel, enabling Eurostar trains to whisk passengers between London and Paris (or Brussels) in just two hours and 15 minutes at speeds up to 300 kilometers per hour.
On November 6, 2007, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II officially launched High Speed 1 and opened St. Pancras International Station, the magnificently restored Victorian train station in the center of London. Eurostar service on the line began November 14.
Bechtel led a consortium responsible for design, project management, and construction management of High Speed 1, which began in 1998 and was completed on time and within budget. The new line crosses over the River Medway, tunnels under the River Thames, and threads above and below ground through London before terminating at St. Pancras, now Europe’s largest passenger interchange. (See Detail Design.)
Construction of the first section, from the Eurotunnel terminal at the Channel Tunnel entrance to the north Kent connection to London’s Waterloo Station, opened to the public in late 2003. The last track segment was laid in December 2006.