Eurostar Orders New Fleet Of Trains

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 90 months ago
Eurostar Orders New Fleet Of Trains

Eurostar this morning announced that it has placed a £700 million order for a fleet of ten new trains, which could allow it to run direct services to cities in Germany and The Netherlands. The company has also employed Italian firm Pininfarina to refurbish its existing fleet of 28 trains.

The Eurostar e320 train, which can reach up to 200mph, will be built by German firm Siemens (much to the chagrin of the French, who wanted their own company Alstom to get the contract). They'll also be able to handle the different signalling systems that continental railways use. An obvious new destination would be Amsterdam, one of the more popular air routes in Europe, which could be less than four hours away by train.

Eurostar might not be the only player in town: earlier this year, Deutsche Bahn were reported to be interested in running services between St. Pancras and the German city of Cologne. A longstanding hurdle to non-Eurostar trains was a safety directive that stated operators should have a power car at either end so that the train can 'split' in the middle; this was reversed last week by the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority. The French, however, are disputing this decision, on the self-serving ground that Alstom are better placed to manufacture power cars than Siemens.

Anybody who wishes to take a look at one of the new trains should head down to Kensington Gardens, where for one day only a full-size model will be on display beside the Albert Memorial.

Last Updated 07 October 2010