It is 9:38pm and Guillaume is waiting. The station lights of Gare du Nord glint in his round spectacles, his black, unruly hair peeking out from under his hat as he peers over the bustling, expectant crowd. This vigil at Platform 3 has become a fortnightly ritual. He waits for his love.
‘Her name is Constance,’ he says, smiling. ‘We met in London last year. She’s French but she works there. I take the train to London one week, she comes to Paris the next, so we see each other every weekend.’
This Eurostar service is their vital link, an international locomotive artery flowing lifeblood into their romance. 2014 marked its 20th anniversary, an occasion celebrated by the announcement of seventeen new hi-tech Siemens trains set for action this year.