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07 October 2010

Eurostar unveils new generation of energy-saving high-speed trains

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Green light at the end of the Channel Tunnel

Eurostar has today announced a planned £700m investment in its rolling stock that will result in the rail operator running some of the greenest trains on the planet from 2014.

The company revealed it is to buy 10 new trains and refurbish its existing 28-strong fleet as it looks to further build on its position as a low-carbon alternative to short haul flights.

Engineering giant Siemens is set to be awarded the contract to manufacture the new electric e3202 trains, which it estimates will consume about 10 per cent less energy than existing models.

The e3202 is an updated version of Siemens' Velaro, the fastest high-speed train in the world, which over a distance of 100km consumes 0.33 litres of petrol equivalent per seat – about the same as a can of cola – and produces at least three times less CO2 per person-kilometre than a standard passenger flight.

Eurostar said the e3202 will be capable of a top speed of 320 kph (200 mph) and will be able to operate across the entire European high-speed rail network, whisking up to 900 passengers from London to Paris in just over two hours, to Amsterdam in fewer than four and to Geneva in about five hours.

In contrast, the trains currently in Eurostar's fleet carry 750 travellers at up to 300km/h (186mph).

Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar, said that the move would further strengthen the company's position as a rival to European flights, which according to some estimates account for up to a third of the world's aviation emissions.


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