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October 14, 2023

Eurostar Rival to Launch Its First Cross-Channel Trains in 2025

Eurostar’s decades-long control over cross-train services could soon end as their competitor Evolyn prepares to debut its trains in 2025. This high-speed rail startup is making strides towards introducing a cross-channel route connecting London and Paris.

On Wednesday, Evolyn announced that it has agreed to buy 12 trains from the well-known French multinational manufacturer of railway vehicles, Alstom. The company further mentioned that this appropriation could be extended to include 16 trains, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

EVOLYN is a very solid project both technically and financially, under development for three years and which continues to evolve in order to offer passengers a competitive alternative in terms of service and price in a strategic and very demand which currently has only one operator, while meeting the growing demand for sustainable transport

EVOLYN

In addition, the total investment in the Evolyn project amounts to £1 billion (€1.16 billion). The trains are projected to commence operation in 2025, with the complete service expected to be fully operational by 2026.

A spokesperson for Evolyn noted that the consortium’s ownership and shareholders are a diverse group consisting of both French and British partners.

As he explains, this consortium includes industrialists, investment funds, financiers, experienced railway professionals, and international funds who share a keen interest in the project.

Eurostar has been very profitable, facilitating high-speed rail links between London and mainland Europe. Last year, the company achieved an outstanding underlying profit of €332 million.

While it revealed in June that its London-Holland route had seen a significant increase in passenger volume, more than doubling compared to pre-pandemic levels, the popular link is at risk of being suspended from June 2024 due to renovation works at the main railway station in the Dutch capital.

In response to Evolyn’s announcement, Getlink, the French operator of the Channel Tunnel infrastructure, stated that this development underlines the growth potential within the cross-Channel passenger rail market. They also pointed out that the Channel Tunnel infrastructure can accommodate almost twice the current level of rail traffic.

According to Getlink, the Channel Tunnel operates under an ‘open access’ framework, ensuring equal access rights for any rail operator travelling between the British and European networks.

Moreover, Evolyn’s ambitious plan includes introducing a non-stop service between London St Pancras International and Paris Nord. While there is potential for future stops in northern France, no additional routes are being considered at these early stages.

These plans have been in the works for three years, and the company is currently engaged in discussions to secure access rights to the track, an essential step in making this high-speed rail service a reality.

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