Eurostar unveils plan to procure 50 new High Speed Bullet Trains

Maria Rose Posted on: 2024-05-20 06:15:00 Viewer: 2,756 Comments: 0 Country: United Kingdom City: London

Eurostar unveils plan to procure 50 new High Speed Bullet Trains

London, United Kingdom (Urban Transport News): Eurostar, the high-speed rail operator, is set to order up to 50 new trains following a robust financial performance in 2023 and successful debt refinancing. The company reported revenue of €2 billion in 2023, a 26% increase from €1.59 billion in the previous year, and an EBITDA rise of 8% to €423 million from €391.5 million in 2022. Passenger traffic also grew by 22% to 18.6 million, up from 15.3 million in 2022. The routes with the highest growth were London-Amsterdam (38%), London-Brussels (33%), and London-Paris (25%).

The new trains will replace the PBKA fleet and will operate alongside Eurostar's existing 17 e320 trains supplied by Siemens. This addition will expand Eurostar's fleet from 51 to 67 trains, a 30% increase, to meet the growing demand for sustainable travel and accommodate the projected 30 million passengers per year by 2030.

Eurostar currently operates eight e300 trains from Alstom, originally built for the Channel Tunnel's opening in 1994, as well as nine PBA and 17 PBKA high-speed trains for former Thalys routes between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Cologne. These Alstom trains are slated for replacement with the new order.

Though detailed design specifications are still pending, Eurostar aims for the new trains to set new standards in customer experience, comfort, and energy efficiency. The company plans to introduce the new fleet in the early 2030s and is considering various options, including the possibility of an interoperable fleet across its entire network.

Eurostar's strong financial position enables this investment. The company successfully refinanced its €963.7 million debt in April, reducing total debt to €650 million through strong cash generation and securing a new €650 million five-year green term loan with a €100 million green revolving credit facility. This financing structure leverages Eurostar's green credentials, with over 90% of its revenue linked to activities that significantly contribute to climate change mitigation.

Eurostar CEO Gwendoline Cazenave highlighted the company's progress since launching the new Eurostar brand, noting the record-breaking passenger numbers and revenue in 2023. She emphasized the high demand for Eurostar's services and the company's ambitious European plans, with the new train investment set to increase capacity and enhance the customer experience.

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