The Eurostar has carried passengers across the Channel Tunnel for over twenty years and in 2017 it celebrated ten years at St Pancras International
Eurostar International is jointly owned by SNCF (55 per cent), SNCB (five per cent) and a consortium made up of two companies: Caissede Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ) and Hermes Infrastructure (40 per cent).
2017 saw an increase in passengers on the Eurostar, especially during the summer months. The TOC reported a 15 per cent rise in third-quarter revenues to £255 million over the same period in 2016. Railway network revenue increased by four per cent as Eurostar traffic grew by four per cent to almost 2.7 million passengers.
In April 2018 Eurostar began operating an Amsterdam service. The departures terminal at St Pancras has been improved to accommodate passenger growth with a duty-free shop opening early in 2018. Other improvements include E-Gates to speed up the security process.
Passengers can take advantage of the Eurostar from city centre stations across England, France and Belgium, connecting them with more than a hundred destinations across Europe. In Paris the new Paris Business Premier lounge offers a stylish, comfortable environment for both working and relaxing. Designed by global architects, Softroom, the Paris lounge is situated on the top floor of the original 19th Century building, and features high ceilings, marble fireplaces, a cocktail bar and intimate snug spaces, the lounge captures the spirit of a Parisian apartment.
There has also been extensive renovation of the Eurostar terminal in Brussels Midi. This has created an expanded departure area and a more efficient check-in space which will be further enhanced by the introduction of facial recognition e-passport gate technology for the peak summer holiday period.
Community and environment
From the early days of operation, Eurostar has championed the environmental benefits of high-speed rail and encouraged the switch to sustainable modes of transport for short haul international travel, with a Eurostar journey emitting 80 per cent less carbon than the equivalent short-haul flight.
The 17 new e320 trains carry twenty per cent more passengers, which is twice as many as a jumbo jet, and they are 17 per cent more efficient per seat than its original fleet. Eurostar is committed to giving young people opportunities and offers work experience and mentoring programmes aimed at providing a combination of advice, support and first-hand experience to help them gain skills.
For those looking to start a career, there is a long-established engineering apprenticeship programme, and a new customer service apprenticeship programme across its stations, its contact centre and onboard.
Eurostar supports the communities in which it operates and has forged partnerships with organisations ranging from honey clubs, which produce honey for some of the desserts on board its trains, to a local ‘Skip Garden’ using recycled skips in King’s Cross to grow fruit and vegetables and Kent Walk to School, a scheme that takes more than 250,000 car journeys off Kent’s roads.
Eurostar introduced the first of its new state-of-the-art e320 trains at the end of 2015. Created especially for Eurostar by Siemens and Pininfarina, the new trains are interoperable, which means they can operate across the European high-speed rail network.
The new trains have 20 per cent more capacity, carrying up to 900 passengers per train. They also feature free Wi-Fi in all classes of service, and access to free onboard entertainment including more than three hundred hours of TV shows and movies.Pininfarina has transformed the look and feel of the train, with new interiors designed to enhance each passenger’s sense of personal space and comfort. It worked closely with the Eurostar team to ensure the design put customers first, with clever new features including extendable tables and seats with power sockets and USB connections. The e320s started on the Paris route where demand is the highest, and Eurostar started introducing them on the Brussels route in 2017.
As well as the new trains, Eurostar is carrying out refurbishment of some of its original TMST sets. These are being completely stripped and remodelled with the same Pininfarina design as the e320s, including Wi-Fi and on-board entertainment. These newly named e300 trains are used across all of Eurostar’s routes including the South of France service.
Chair: Clare Hollingsworth
Chief Executive Officer: Mike Cooper
Chief Financial Officer: James Cheesewright
Commercial Director: Nicholas Mercer
Strategy Director and Company Secretary: Gareth Williams
Director of Communications: Mary Walsh
Chief Operating Officer: Philippe Mouly,
Chief Customer Officer: Marc Noaro
Chief Information Officer: Laurent Bellan
Managing Director, New Digital Business: Roberto Abbondio