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Demand for sustainable travel is booming: Will Eurostar add new routes?

A Eurostar train at Gare du Nord train station.
A Eurostar train at Gare du Nord train station. Copyright AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard
Copyright AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard
By Euronews Travel
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Eurostar's chief executive also said that she expects St Pancras and Paris Gare du Nord will be redesigned over the next five years to make more space for passengers.

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Eurostar is considering adding more routes from London as it looks to buy 50 new trains.

“There is huge demand for our services and we have big European ambitions," chief executive Gwendoline Cazenave told the Financial Times on Thursday.

She said that Eurostar is “definitely” considering new routes from London to Europe, adding to its current services between London, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels.

A new fleet could mean “new European routes”, Cazenave added, “I think by the end of the year or early 2025 we will be able to say more.”

The cross-channel passenger rail service is in talks with manufacturers to replace some of its older trains. As well as this, the new trains will help increase the size of its fleet from 51 to 67.

The company will choose a manufacturer based on how quickly the new trains can be delivered and it expects them to be in service by the early 2030s.

More passengers could mean bigger stations

Eurostar’s expansion plans come after the company announced that its annual revenue had surpassed €2bn for the first time last year. It also saw passenger numbers climb to nearly 19 million.

Demand for sustainable travel has left the company preparing for an expected boom. It is anticipating an estimated 30 million passengers each year by 2030.

Eurostar passengers wait in the Gare du Nord concourse.
Eurostar passengers wait in the Gare du Nord concourse.AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard

The Eurostar chief executive also said that she expects St Pancras and Paris Gare du Nord will be redesigned over the next five years to make more space. The rail operator in charge of St Pancras said earlier this year that it was exploring the possibility of expanding the hub from 1,800 passengers per hour to 2,700.

Eurostar’s terminal in Amsterdam is also being expanded. Currently capacity is limited to just 200 people but by the end of the work, 600 should be able to board a Eurostar train at once.

However Cazenave said the company has no plans to reopen its Ebbsfleet and Ashford stations in Kent, UK which were closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will the new EES checks cause queues for Eurostar services?

Biometric border checks are due to be introduced at London St Pancras later this year. The new Entry/Exit System (EES) will require residents from outside the EU or Schengen area to register before they enter the zone.

There has been a lot of confusion and concern about these checks including worries that they may lead to delays for passengers.

Despite the imminent introduction of the EES, Cazenave said she is confident travellers won’t be left facing big queues. Part of the planned redesign of St Pancras is aimed at creating space for travellers going through these checks.

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