Starting on January 1st, 2015, Lyon will be connected to London in less than 4 hours 30 minutes.
That is the goal Eurostar has set for its link from Saint Pancras station to Part-Dieu station. The British can continue their journey to Avignon and Marseille via two direct connections, without having to change trains.
The return trip, from Lyon to London, will also be offered but will require an additional hour of travel.
This is due to border and customs controls for entry to British territory, requiring a stop along the line, mostly likely in Lille.
Marseille was chosen as the terminal point of the service because it is thought to be more attractive for travelers than nearby Aix en Provence.
This new service should boost links between the UK and the south of France, while also promoting Lyon internationally among  British tourists and investors.