A new way to reach Paris by train from London is set to launch in 2025: Firm investing £1billion to compete with Eurostar has agreed to buy 12 high-speed trains
- Evolyn said it had reached an agreement to acquire 12 trains from Alstom
- Eurostar has a monopoly on cross-Channel services, which began in 1994
- READ MORE: Holidaymakers warned about tempting ‘low-deposit’ getaways
A company aiming to operate services through the Channel Tunnel in competition with Eurostar has agreed to purchase 12 trains, it said.
Evolyn said £1billion is being invested in its bid to start cross-Channel rail services in 2025.
The company said it is led by the Spanish Cosmen family – an investor in coach and train company Mobico, formerly known as National Express – and is backed by ‘important British and French industrial and financial partners’.
It said it had reached an agreement to acquire 12 trains from French manufacturer Alstom, with an ‘option to scale up to 16’.
Evolyn chief executive Jorge Cosmen said: ‘The acquisition of 12 high-speed, state-of-the-art trains, to be expanded to a minimum of 16 according to our forecasts, is the definitive step in the materialisation of Evolyn, a high-speed rail operator that has been under development for three years and that today marks a very important milestone.
Evolyn said £1billion is being invested in its bid to start cross-Channel rail services in 2025. Above is St Pancras railway station, the terminus for continental services in the UK
‘We know that the governments of the United Kingdom and France welcome a project that will allow their citizens to increase the connection options between the UK and several countries in continental Europe with a green alternative that will also contribute to decarbonisation.’
Eurostar is the only company that has run passenger trains since the Channel Tunnel opened in 1994.
Other proposed rival operators have been unable to overcome regulatory hurdles.
Eurostar said it aims to carry 30million passengers a year by 2030 and ‘become the benchmark for sustainable travel in Europe’.
Eurostar said it aims to carry 30million passengers a year by 2030 and ‘become the benchmark for sustainable travel in Europe’. Above is a Eurostar train in Ashford en-route to Paris
It has a fleet of 51 trains and offers the largest international high-speed network in Western Europe, serving 28 destinations in Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
In 2022, Eurostar carried 14.8million passengers and generated sales of €1,532million (£1.328million).
Eurostar is owned by SNCF Voyages Développement, a subsidiary of SNCF Voyageurs.
A recent study by Greenpeace revealed that travelling by train is five times less polluting than flying, but on 79 of the 112 routes they looked at between 27 European countries, flying was cheaper.
Travelling to Barcelona from London by train was found to be 10 times more expensive on average than flying and up to 30 times more expensive if booked at the last minute – the biggest price difference in the analysis.
Source: Read Full Article