Eurostar is to hold a special unveiling event at St Pancras International station this month to show off its new high-speed e320 train.
The launch event on 13 November will be the train’s first public appearance since the order was first announced four years ago. Eurostar awarded Siemens a £550 million contract to build 10 new trains for the cross-channel operator in 2010.
The new trains are intended to expand Eurostar’s international services. The current fleet does not comply with European interoperability standards and is restricted to running a service between the UK, France and Belgium. The new Eurostar e320 sets will be able to operate to Amsterdam, Cologne (Köln) and other continental destinations.
Manufactured at the Siemens factory in Krefeld, the aluminium-bodied trains will be able to carry 890 passengers and their luggage, around 20% more than the existing fleet, at speeds of up to 320 km/hr (200mph).
Much of the extra space comes from having no dedicated power cars. Instead, traction motors are distributed along the train – one of the changes from the older class that caused most of the complaints about the contract. This frees up passenger space in the two end cars.