High-speed rail service Eurostar just got a lot faster and better looking. Set to launch by the end of 2015, the company’s sleek new e320 train will carry passengers crossing the Chunnel from England to France en route to Brussels or Paris at a top speed of 200 mph (320 kph). Eurostar held a press conference last week at London’s St. Pancras Station to announce the new train in celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary. The 17-train fleet is designed by Italian transport design studio Pininfarina, which has worked with car manufacturers Ferrari and Maserati, and built by Siemens.
“Having had ten consecutive years of growth, 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,” said Eurostar Chief Executive Nicolas Petrovic. “With just one year to go until our new e320 train comes into service, our passengers will soon see a complete transformation of our service.”
New features include 20 percent more seating capacity per train (900 passengers total), free WiFi, double the amount of seats for wheelchair users, increased luggage areas and wider reclining seats with USB sockets and touch-sensitive light controls. The seats will also be thinner to allow for more leg room. Eurostar is also expanding its destinations. In May 2015 there will be year-round service to Provence with stops in Lyon, Avignon and Marseille. At the end of 2016 direct service will begin to Amsterdam with stops in Antwerp, Rotterdam and Schiphol along the way.
Images via Eurostar