Eurostar celebrates its 20th anniversary with the unveiling of its new e320 train which is scheduled to enter commercial service at the end of 2015.
Eurostar announced its decision to augment its fleet with a further 7 new e320 trains. With the original order of 10 e320s now in the final stage of completion, this increases the number of new trains to 17 in total.
The introduction of the e320 represents a major advance for international high speed rail. Carrying 900 passengers, the e320 boosts capacity per train by 20% and is capable of reaching a speed of 320 kph (200 mph). With the external livery and interiors designed by Pininfarina, the legendary Italian design house, world-renowned for its iconic car designs, the new Eurostar train boasts many innovative features aimed at maximising energy efficiency and delivering an enhanced experience for travellers.
Recognising the importance of connectivity for passengers, going forward, the Eurostar fleet will be equipped with free wifi throughout the train, allowing customers to email, chat and tweet during their journey. The new wifi portal will provide a range of information and entertainment including live news feeds and weather reports as well as a collection of destination guides.
With the introduction of the e320, customers will enjoy more space per seat with each seat equipped with power points and a USB socket. Business passengers will experience the ultimate in on-board comfort with a carefully designed environment aimed at maximising productivity whilst offering a relaxing space. For leisure customers the e320 will represent a considerable upgrade with a newly designed bar buffet, ergonomically designed reclining seats and increased luggage areas.
Beyond its core routes of Paris, Brussels and Lille, Eurostar serves a range of destinations including the French Alps, Swiss Alps and Geneva. May 2015 will see the start of a new year-round direct service to Provence, stopping at Lyon, Avignon and Marseille, followed at the end of 2016 by the launch of a direct route to Amsterdam with stops in Antwerp, Rotterdam and Schiphol along the way.