News! Eurostar e320 Trains & New Eurostar Routes

New Eurostar Train Rail Europe
New e320 Eurostar (on the left) and current Eurostar train (on the right). Photo c/o Eurostar

Eurostar E320 and New Eurostar Routes

Many of you may know what Eurostar is – it’s the “Chunnel Train” that runs between London and Paris (and a few other cities in France and beyond). You may not know that there are new Eurostar e320 trains coming, or that Eurostar routes have extended to popular cities like Marseille and Avignon in 2015!

There are many updates to Eurostar service starting at the end of 2015 and continuing through 2016 (for example: redesigned bar cars to give you the best champagne-drinking experience possible. Yes please!). Read on as we show you how you can benefit from these updates during your next trip with Eurostar.

New Eurostar Interior Rail Europe
New e320 Eurostar seating screens showing the train’s destination, direction of dining car and on-board restrooms, and more. Photo c/o Eurostar

What are the 2015/2016 updates?

Starting at the end of 2015, Eurostar will begin a gradual roll-out of its new Eurostar e320 fleet of trains. New features on these trains include

  • New seat display screens will show if a seat is taken or not (for example, the seat may be open when you get on the train, but it could be reserved for someone getting on at the next stop. This way, you’ll know if a seat is unreserved for the train’s entire route)
  • Automatic doors: the doors between each train car are now automatic, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with them if you’re carrying luggage (or champagne)
  • More accessibility: Passengers with limited mobility will now find more priority seating, more wheelchair facilities and more wheelchair lifts
  • WiFi! Everyone loves free WiFi, and now the entire train will be fully equipped in all classes of service
  • New bar/buffet cars. The new cars are designed with a sleeker layout, as well as more room for food storage, meaning more dining and drink options for passengers
  • New destinations: Eurostar will now travel all the way to Lyon, Avignon, and Marseille
Eurostar Interior Rail Europe
Delicious dining options served at your seat in Standard Premier (first class) and Business Premier (Business class). Photo c/o Eurostar

When can I ride these new e320 trains?

The entire fleet of Eurostar trains won’t be replaced immediately – new trains will replace old ones one-by-one. So if you’re traveling at the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016, you may get lucky and find yourself on one of the new trains – but it’s not a guarantee! We’ll definitely keep you posted as we know more. We’re eager to see your photos and hear your experiences on these new trains! (you can tag any Instagram or Twitter photos you take with @raileurope to give us a peek)

Avignon Eurostar Rail Europe
Avignon twinkles at dusk!

Where does Eurostar travel? What are the new Eurostar routes?

The new e320 trains will travel along all of Eurostar’s current routes — London to Paris and Brussels, Lille, Geneva (seasonally), and Cologne (either via Brussels with Thalys or via Brussels with DB trains). The current, non-e320 Eurostar trains have already started traveling to new routes as of May 2015. Here are some travel tips for these new Eurostar routes:

  • London to Avignon by train. This city is often called the “Gateway to Provence.” Personally, we’d expand a bit on that to include a mention of Avignon’s beautiful architecture, quaint streets, delicious markets, and warm locals. The direct Eurostar train from London to Avignon takes just over 5.5 hours.
  • London to Marseilles by train. This is where you’ll head if you want to experience Provence, city life, and the beach all at once. Marseilles is the second largest city in France after Paris! Direct Eurostar trains from London to Marseille take about  6.5 hours.
  • London to Lyon by train. Lyon is known for being one of the capitals of French food culture. If your mouth waters at the thought of French cheeses, meats, wines, bakeries, and all of the other delightful treats that make up a French diet, this is the city for you. Direct Eurostar trains from London to Lyon take about 4.5 hours.
    • Jackie’s Travel Tip: Since these routes are new, they don’t actually operate every day. Here’s a handy guide to when you’re able to catch a Eurostar train from London to the south of France (please note: it’s possible these exact dates may change slightly. If so, don’t worry — we’ll keep you posted!):
      • From May 1 – July 4, these direct trains operate on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays
      • From July 5 – August 30, these direct trains operate on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
      • From August 31 – November 1, these direct trains operate on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays
      • From November – onwards, the direct trains operate on Saturdays

 

Do you have plans to ride the “Chunnel train” in 2016?

PS: if you liked this post, share the love/knowledge on Pinterest!

new eurostar e320 fleet

About the Author

Jackie

Jackie is a freelance writer from Los Angeles currently living in Brooklyn. She worked as a travel consultant at Rail Europe for two years before switching over to Marketing & Community Manager (focusing on social media) in June 2014. In her free time Jackie travels whenever possible & maintains a personal travel blog at www.jackietravels.com.

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