Happy birthday Eurostar

By | Category: Travel news
Eurostar trains

the trains we are used to are now 20 years old. New trains start next year

Today Eurostar celebrates its twentieth birthday.

The impact of the service has been tremendous on our travel habits. There are fewer flights between the south east of England and Paris or Brussels because it is easier and often faster to just catch the train from city centre to city centre. Sometimes it is even cheaper but not always.

Loading vehicles onto Le Shuttle has also provided speed as the actual time you are in the tunnel is less than thirty minutes which is much faster than a ferry would take and you don’t have cancellations if the weather is rough.

The future is just as significant. There is the start of the year-round Provence service in May 2015 (stopping at Lyon, Avignon and Marseille) will then be followed in 2016 by the launch of a direct service from London to Amsterdam with stops in Antwerp, Rotterdam and Schiphol Airport on the way.  The London-Amsterdam route is the largest international airline market in Europe attracting over 3 million business and leisure passengers so expect to see a decline in numbers here as well

Compared to the same period in 2013, in the third quarter of 2014 passenger numbers grew by about100,000. These figures mark ten consecutive years of growth in sales revenues and passengers. But it isn’t just leisure passengers using the trains. During this period the number of passengers choosing to travel in Eurostar’s Business class of travel saw an uplift of 6% compared with the third quarter of last year.

To meet the demand from customers for travel beyond its existing destinations, Eurostar is significantly upgrading its fleet with the production of the new e320 trains. One was shown to the public at St Pancras International station in London yesterday although the trains won’t come into service for another year. Carrying 900 passengers, the e320 trains will boost capacity per train by 20% and will be capable of a speed of 320 kmph (200 mph).

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