The much-loved rail service connecting the UK to Europe to be scrapped next year | The Sun

A FAMOUS rail service connecting the UK with the rest of Europe is set to be scrapped from next year, it has been announced.

Visiting Europe by train is sometimes simpler than flying, but from 2024 one of the most iconic routes will no longer be available to travellers.

Since the late 1900s the Orient Express has connected London with Istanbul, via several other destinations on the continent, but from next year that service will be changing.

The UK leg of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE) is going to be scrapped because of "enhanced passport and border controls" that are set to be implemented later this year.

Currently, passengers start their journey at London Victoria station where, they take a British Pullman service to Folkestone.

From there, they board coaches to Calais, before re-joining Belmond's service to Paris, where they resume their Orient Express journey.

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Instead, passengers will now have to take the Eurostar, or fly, to Paris, where they will then start their luxury train journey.

A spokesperson from the line's operator Belmond said: “We’re adjusting operations in 2024 ahead of enhanced passport and border controls.

“We want to avoid any risk of travel disruption for our guests – delays and missing train connections – and provide the highest level of service, as seamless and relaxed as possible."

From later this year, biometric entry and exit checks will be enforced for Brits heading to countries in the EU.

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The Entry-Exit System will include fingerprint scans and captured facial images.

The new rules, being introduced because the UK left the EU, will "increase processing times" for UK tourists, it has been warned.

ABTA's director of public affairs Luke Petherbridge told the House of Lords committee earlier this year: "Across the industry there is pretty widespread concern about that.

"It will dramatically increase processing time for UK tourists.” 

Belmond, who run the Orient Express service, are concerned that the new measures will cause delays for their passengers, meaning the UK leg from London to Folkestone will no longer be an option.

The news that the much-loved route would be scrapped was met with disappointment by some fans of the line.

One wrote on Twitter: "Such a shame. Glad we made that journey from London to Venice on our honeymoon a long time ago."

Another added: "So sad. This was going to be my and my wife's retirement present to each other.

"The gloss will have gone by just jumping on the Eurostar, not exactly a treat even if in the posh seats."

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Meanwhile, the cost to renew a passport went up this year for the first time in five years.

And applying online for your passport could save you money.

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