Eurostar International, the high-speed passenger train operator between the UK and mainland Europe has today announced a £700 million investment in its fleet.
The investment includes:
- Purchasing 10 brand new 320kph trainsets, which will each carry 20% more passengers than the existing Eurostar trains to city centre destinations throughout Europe
- Commissioning Pininfarina to overhaul and redesign its current fleet of trains from 2011
- Adding wi-fi, real-time travel and destination information, interactive entertainment including video-on-demand, music and news-feeds to all trains
Why is there a train in Hyde Park Today?
Last night, Eurostar placed one of the new e320s in Kensington Gardens, by the Albert Memorial, for one day only, opposite the Royal Albert Hall next to the Albert Memorial.
Prize draws for London-Paris tickets via Twitter
To highlight today’s announcement and the e320 being in Kensington Gardens, by the Albert Memorial, everyone who uses the hashtag #neweurostartrains on Twitter today will be entered into a prize draw, for one of five pairs of return tickets from London to Paris.
The new Eurostar e320 – facts and stats
Capacity, speed and safety features
- The e320 will be built to Eurostar’s bespoke specification
- Following a competitive tender process Eurostar has awarded the manufacture of the new trainsets to Siemens
- The new Eurostar e320 trains can run at 320 kph and will be 'interoperable'. This means that they can operate across the European high speed rail network and can provide direct services between London and a range of city centre destinations throughout Europe
- With capacity to carry more than 900 passengers, the Eurostar e320 will have 20 per cent more seats than the existing Eurostar trains which carry 750 travellers
- Capable of a speed of 320 kph, the Eurostar e320 would see journey times between London and Paris reduced to just over two hours and London to Amsterdam to under four hours
- At 400m long the Eurostar e320 trains are the optimal length to take advantage of the tunnel’s unique, in-built safety features and allow direct easy access to the Eurotunnel service tunnel in the event of an evacuation
- The trains will comply with all the existing fire protection requirements of the Channel Tunnel and will be built with ‘distributed traction’. This means that the electrical and power equipment is distributed throughout the train rather than in power cars at either end
- The interiors and external livery of both the e320 and the refurbished Eurostar fleet will be designed by Pininfarina (internationally renowned for their work with Ferrari, Lamborghini and other car brands) to a design unique to Eurostar
- The Pininfarina redesign is based on passenger feedback and aims to provide an exceptional travel experience
- The redesigned Eurostar trains will be equipped with the most advanced wi-fi and on-board ‘info-tainment’ on any train in Europe. This will include real-time travel and destination information as well as interactive entertainment including video-on-demand, music and news-feeds
Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said:
- “Over the last 16 years Eurostar has revolutionised travel between the London, Paris and Brussels but our sights are now set on expanding our business across Europe.”
- “The transformation of Eurostar into a standalone business and the major capital investment announced today is a mark of our growth ambitions for the future.”
- “The combination of our new state-of-the-art trains and our refurbished fleet will cement our position as the leading rail operator between the UK and the continent and make us the obvious choice for short haul European travel."
Eurostar was established in 1994 as an unincorporated partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways)
On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR
Today’s announcement represents the first key initiative since the recent transformation of the business from an incorporated joint venture to a single, unified corporate entity. The investment in the fleet will be funded largely by cash and commercial bank financing
The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph. Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 100 million passengers between London and the Continent. Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet
The new Eurostar e320 will carry more than 900 passengers at speeds of up to 320kph
Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe’s leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network
Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel’s biggest customer
To book tickets or for more travel information, please visit www.eurostar.com or call 08432 186 186
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