škoda 2024

Eurostar to invest in up to 50 new trains

posted on 16th May 2024 14:11

Following strong financial results in 2023 and successful debt refinancing, Eurostar is now preparing to invest in up to 50 new trains as it looks boldly to the future. As demand for sustainable travel continues to grow, this milestone investment will ensure there is enough capacity to encompass the 30 million annual passengers Eurostar expects by 2030 and for future growth.  

The new fleet will eventually operate alongside Eurostar’s current fleet of 17 Class e320 Velaros, providing a total fleet of up to 67 trains (a 30 % increase compared to the 51 trains Eurostar operates today). While the detailed design elements are to be confirmed, the new trains will set the standards for customer experience and comfort. It aims for the first new trains to be in service from the early 2030s. 

Both Eurostar customers and staff will be involved in the design process and all trains will be created in the most eco-friendly way. The new fleet will be required to have improved energy consumption versus the current fleet. The news comes following a successful year for Eurostar.

On 16 April 2024 it can report that for 2023, Eurostar Group exceeded 2 billion EUR revenue for the first time and achieved EBITDA of 423 million EUR. This success was due to a ramp up of operations from 2022 to 2023, and overall growth in passenger numbers reaching nearly 19 million. This strong performance in 2023 means Eurostar can now confidently invest in its future fleet. Eurostar Group successfully refinanced its existing debt of 963.7 million EUR in April 2024. Total debt now stands at 650 million EUR in the form of a five-year Green Term Loan.

Gwendoline Cazenave, Eurostar CEO, said: “In our 30th birthday year, Eurostar has set out ambitious plans to carry 30 million passengers by 2030 and become the backbone of sustainable travel in Europe. Just seven months after the launch of the new Eurostar, we are well on our way, breaking records in 2023 in terms of passenger numbers and revenue. There is huge demand for our services and we have big European ambitions. Investing in up to 50 new trains will provide more capacity and give customers something really special, offering a cutting-edge experience in terms of comfort, accessibility and sustainability. Customer service will be top of mind in the design, ensuring the unique experience Eurostar is known for long into the future.” 

Eurostar fleet today and tomorrow 

Today, Eurostar operates 51 trains: 17x Velaro e320, 8x TGV Eurostar e300, 17x TGV PBKA, 9x TGV PBA. Seat capacities are: 894 on the e320, 750 on the e300, between 371 and 399 on the PBKA, and 371 on the PBA. Classes e320s and e300s run on cross-channel routes, the TGV PBKAs and PBAs run on continental routes.  
In the future with the new fleet investment, Eurostar will eventually have up to 67 trains (up to 16 more than today): 17 e320s and up to 50 new trains.  

Eurostar 2023 financial results 

For 2023 compared to 2022, Eurostar Groups reports: 
Revenue of 2 billion EUR, up +26 % from 1.589 billion EUR. 
EBITDA of 423 million, up +8 % from 391.5 million EUR. 
Passenger numbers reached 18.6 million, up +22 % from 15.3 million. 
The 2022 figures used for the comparisons are those of the first consolidation carried out by the Eurostar Group and audited by the statutory auditors in November 2023. 

Eurostar (including former Thalys) currently operates across five countries: the UK, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Germany. The routes with the strongest growth in 2023 year-on-year were:  
London - Amsterdam +38 %,  
London - Brussels +33 %, 
London - Paris +25 %.
Eurostar Group successfully refinanced its existing debt of 963.7 million EUR in April 2024. Total debt now stands at 650 million EUR. This was achieved via: 
- Strong cash generation following its post-Covid recovery;  
- A new 650 million EUR five-year Green Term Loan with a 100 million EUR Green Revolving Credit Facility (RCF).  
This innovative financing structure relies on Eurostar Group’s ‘green pure player’ status, reflecting its green international transportation capabilities through high-speed electric trains. More than 90% of revenues are associated with activities that substantially contribute to climate change mitigation as per the EU’s Taxonomy regulation. It also aligns with the Green Loan Principles as published by the Loan Market Association (LMA).

Eurostar is owned by SNCF Voyages Développement (55.75%; a subsidiary of SNCF Voyageurs), CDPQ (19.31%), SNCB (18.50%) and funds managed by Federated Hermes Infrastructure (6.44%). The legal merger between Eurostar and Thalys took place in May 2022.



Related news