Certification alongside new Deutsche Bahn ICE trains will assist German national operator in starting services through the Channel Tunnel

 

Pictured: Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic at St Pancras with the new e320 train

 

Eurostar has added an extra seven trainsets to its initial order for 10 new generation e320 trains. The announcement was made at the unveiling of the first e320 at St Pancras, a year before the rolling stock begins entering passenger service.

Eurostar said the order had been increased in line with its plans to serve new destinations and also to enable it to run some e320 services on its current routes from London to Paris and Brussels.

Eurostar will begin operating a new year round service to Provence, stopping at Lyon, Avignon and Marseille in May 2015. It will begin London-Amsterdam services with stops in Antwerp, Rotterdam and Schiphol at the end of 2016.

New features on board the vehicles will include a wifi-enabled entertainment portal including live news feeds and weather reports as well as a collection of destination guides. In addition, each seat will have power points, a USB socket and more legroom. New facilities for business passengers include private meeting rooms. The trainsets will also provide a 20% increase in capacity over the current Eurostar stock.

“We are seeing a record demand for our services and the addition of new trains to our fleet will be key to our growth ambitions,” Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic commented. He added that  the e320 trains would provide “a complete transformation of our service” through “bold design, chic interiors and Wi-Fi connectivity”.

The Siemens-built e320 trains will be certified for service alongside Deutsche Bahn’s new ICE stock, providing a key clearance for the German national operator to implement its much-delayed plans to operate through the Channel Tunnel from London to Frankfurt.

 

This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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