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New Eurostar e320s in final testing stage

Eurostar reported that its new fleet of e320 trains is now in the final stage of testing, ahead of their scheduled launch at the end of this year.

The operator is also carrying out a complete overhaul of its existing fleet after buying 17 new e320 trains and redesigning its current e300 model (pictured above and below).

The recently remodelled and redesigned train from the existing fleet, named the e300 after its capacity to travel up to 300kph, will enter commercial service in the coming weeks. Similarly the e320 will top the current fleet by travelling up to 320kph.

Eurostar e300 028

Interior shot from a refreshed Class 373 / e300

The new Class 374 trains, dubbed e320 by Eurostar (pictured below) and built by Siemens at Krefeld , have increased seat capacity and a new livery and interiors created by the Italian design house Pininfarina. They offer wi-fi connectivity and advanced passenger information services aimed at “improving and transforming the travel experience”, Eurostar said. They are a variant on the Velaro design, popular across Europe.

NG 140722 TVC Eurostar full-0485

Above: Class 374 / e320

The total bill for buying the 17 new trains and refurbishing the existing fleet is about £1bn.

Eurostar carried a record number of passengers during the second quarter of this year. There were over 2.8 million people travelling between the UK and the continent, representing a 3% increase compared with the same period last year. The number of business travellers also rose by 10% and sales revenues grew despite terrorist attacks and a Eurotunnel lorry fire in the beginning of the year.

The second quarter also saw the introduction of Eurostar’s new all-year round direct service to the south of France launched on 1 May, which runs between London and Lyon and Avignon and Marseille.

Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar, said: “Over the last three months we have carried more passengers than in any other quarter. With demand for our services at an all-time high, we are looking forward to the arrival of our new trains.

“The combination of state-of-the-art design, unrivalled comfort and 20% extra seats means that we are well placed to meet the growing demand as passengers increasingly opt for high-speed rail over plane.”

Images show recently remodelled e300 train due in service in the coming weeks.


Nonsuchmike   21/07/2015 at 13:30

Pacer and other two car train travelers throughout the UK will be delighted to hear that the corporate few will be able to enjoy their prawn sarnies or bouillabaisse in more luxury at greater speeds as they zoom towards Bruxelles Midi or Marseille St Charles. Don't worry Mr CEO and Ms Chief Finance Officer, we forelock tugging semi-human sardines will continue to put up with our daily humiliation amid sweaty and cramped corpses on the 6.57 to Workingtown so that you can swan off on the Premier Service and wave the flag for Britain (even if you voted for a party that at least in part wants us out of the EU). We will continue to work our proverbial socks off and suffer in silence in the vain hope that eventually some re-hashed underground train or 30 year old smelly diesel will be handed down to "improve our lot". Rather than extend and integrate rail and bus services by building a few extra rail tracks, interchanges, flyovers/unders and extend bus running, it is surely better for the few to travel in pretentious style in brand new trains built abroad, rather than skype the meetings. As I approach my eighth decade on this rock, it still amazes me that business and government policies can still be so focused on selfish insularity rather than co-operatively building for the common weal. Oh! How I yearn to be proved wrong in this respect.

Neil Palmer   22/07/2015 at 20:28

What ARE you babbling on about Mike. Where is the connection? Eurostar is not a DfT managed TOC and their funding does not come from government. You may as well try to start some class war complaining that passengers in the north are still travelling on Pacers (which in case you missed it ARE being replaced) while Tesco builds new supermarkets.

Joel   04/08/2015 at 14:02

Mike's point is the disparity of investment (now) in 'the south' and investment (tomorrow, or the day after) in 'the north'. While rail travel is dictated by the short-termism of profit before the franchise expires instead of a derived demand infrastructure enablement programme, the 'south' will always benefit first, which is an insult to the rest of Britain (and I'm a softie southerner from London's East End where we too have a lot to put up with!). Maybe Mike could have expressed it better, but the sentiment is right.

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