Eurostar to invest £1bn on new Italian-designed fleet

Eurostar has announced it will spend around £1bn on its fleet, introducing 17 new trains over the next three years as well as improving stations and service.

Eurostar
Eurostar

The high-speed rail business unveiled its new e320 trains at London's St Pancras International station as part of its 20th anniversary last year. The new trains are expected to enter commercial service at the end of this year.

Carrying 900 passengers, the Eurostar e320 trains will boost capacity by 20% per train and will be capable of a speed of 320 kph (200 mph). 

Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar, said: "2014 was a pivotal year for our business as we celebrated our 20th anniversary and unveiled our new fleet. Our new e320 trains are now in the final months of testing and on schedule to come into commercial service at the end of this year. As we introduce new trains, upgrade our stations and invest in our service, passengers can look forward to a complete transformation of their travel experience."

In May Eurostar will commence an all year-round direct service to the South of France stopping in Lyon, Avignon and Marseille. "Ticket sales for our new South of France service have got off to a cracking start, demonstrating, once again, the enduring popularity of the region and the growing appetite among passengers for choosing high speed rail over plane for travel further into mainland Europe," added Petrovic.

New figures released by Eurostar today (18 February) shows business travel increased 4% last year and the company enjoyed a 3% rise in passengers to 10.4 million (from 10.1 million in 2013) bringing the total number of passengers travelling on Eurostar since the start of services in 1994 to over 150 million.

It also achieved year-on-year growth in underlying profitability with like-for-like operating profit up 2% in 2014 to £55m.

More:

Eurostar holds anniversary celebration for 1,600 staff and suppliers

In Numbers: Eurostar's 20 years of service

Eurostar confirms London to Lyon route

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