2014 was a good year for the rail industry in general, which includes Eurostar. In fact, this rail operator recently released figures showing that it experienced strong demand in 2014. Eurostar pointed out that its new service to the south of France has been a big hit. It also said there was an increase in business travelers.
Eurostar, a cross-channel train firm, said that it will start running e320 trains in 2015. The goal is for these new high-speed trains to attract new customers to Eurostar. This was something that Eurostar was able to achieve in 2014, as seen by its 3 percent increase in passenger numbers. Eurostar said that it serviced just over 10.4 million people last year. Overall, this means that Eurostar has been able to provide service to nearly 150 million people since it first started in 1994.
Of course, it wasn’t just the rail industry that enjoyed increases in passenger numbers. Airlines also saw in increase in passengers, and hotels saw a rise in bookings. This was all spurred on by the recovery of the UK economy. Total, travel bookings for businesses jumped 4 percent in 2014 compared to 2013. Sales for travel companies increased just 1 percent, but this helped companies see an increase in operating profits of nearly 2 percent.
To stay ahead of the curve and continue attracting new customers, Eurostar said it will continue to invest in its fleet. In fact, Eurostar said it will be investing nearly £1 billion in its fleet over the next three years. This money will be invested in 17 new trains, including the e320 trains. These new trains are able to carry around 900 passengers. That is about one-fifth more than what current train models can carry. However, carrying more passengers doesn’t slow these trains down. In fact, they are able to hit speeds of over 200 mph or 320 kmh. Current trains only hit about 300 kmh and slow to 160 kmh when they hit the Channel Tunnel.