First upgraded Class 373 also unveiled
Eurostar has reported record passenger numbers during Quarter 2 (April to June) 2015, with over 2.8 million travellers carried between the UK and the continent, a 3% increase on the same period in 2014.
This was accompanied by a 1.5% rise in sales revenue, which reached £232 million in Q2. Overall sales revenue for the first six months of 2015 fell by 2%, with terrorist attacks in Paris and closure of the Channel Tunnel following a lorry fire onboard a freight shuttle affecting income during the first three months of the year.
The operator reports that business travel has seen particularly strong growth, with the number of Business Premier passengers in Q2 up by 10% year-on-year. Eurostar also says that its new direct service to the south of France has proved popular, with over 88,000 tickets sold so far. The service, which launched on 1 May, links London with Lyon, Avignon and Marseille.
The company has also unveiled pictures of its first refurbished Class 373, which it says will now be known as ‘e300’ to distinguish it from the new ‘e320’ trains now being built by Siemens. The upgrade includes the application of a new external livery and an interior redesign, with the first train due to enter commercial service ‘in the coming weeks’. Eurostar also reports that the new Siemens Velaro ‘e320’ trains are in the final stage of testing and that the fleet is on schedule to be launched at the end of the year.