Eurostar says the improved performance was driven in part by the strength of the business market with the volume of business customers growing by 21% compared with the same period in 2017.

The rise in the number of passengers from the United States continued into the third quarter with a 6% increase year-on-year, with the Ryder Cup golf tournament in Paris in September having an impact.

Leisure traffic was boosted by the success of Eurostar’s new service between Britain and the Netherlands, with an additional 130,000 passengers travelling to Amsterdam and Rotterdam by high-speed rail since the service launched in April.

Eurostar confirmed on October 23 that it will introduce a third daily service between London, Rotterdam and Amsterdam in June 2019, and has plans to run four trains a day when the governments introduce border controls in the Netherlands at the end of next year. It has ambitions to operate five daily services in the future.

“After a strong summer period the business has continued to perform very well, buoyed up by our new London to Amsterdam service which has transformed travel between these important capital cities,” says Eurostar chief executive, Mr Mike Cooper. “The potential of our Amsterdam route is significant as the Netherlands is becoming increasingly popular as a business and tourist destination.”