Fiona Harvey The rail road to Copenhagen

While a brass band played Christmas carols on the platform at St Pancras, the “green train” set off for Copenhagen, via Brussels on Friday evening.

This is only one of the hundreds of train journeys being made to Copenhagen for the UN climate summit, which begins on Monday. One much longer journey is almost finishing for a group of Asian attendees who set off some weeks ago through China and on the famous Trans Siberian Express across Russia, then down through Northern Europe to Copenhagen.

Delegates are also en route by train from most of the capitals of Europe.

This section of the journey, from London to Brussels, is run by Eurostar, taking climate change experts, green campaigners, a group of 75 “climate champions” brought together by the British Council, and a smattering of journalists.

On Saturday, another “climate train” will set out from Brussels, via Hamburg, to Copenhagen, arriving late at night, when Connie Hedegaard, the Danish environment minister and host of the talks, will welcome the passengers.

Only a few carriages on the Eurostar are taken up by the Copenhagen contingent. The other passengers look vaguely bemused at all the fuss.