European train options set to expand

PLANS for more rail services from Britain to Europe via the Channel Tunnel are emerging ahead of the removal of the Eurostar monopoly in 2013.

DB German Railways were bringing an ICE train through the tunnel for the first time this month, and existing operator, Eurostar, has announced plans for a £700 million capital investment in its fleet starting in 2011, which will see the company embarking on a major upgrade of its rolling stock.
The programme will include the complete overhaul and refurbishment of the existing fleet of 38 Eurostar trains to a new design created by Pininfarina, the Italian design house renowned for its iconic car designs.
In addition, Eurostar will purchase 10 new trains, which will complement its existing fleet.
Capable of a speed of 320 kilometres per hour, the Eurostar e320 will see journey times between London and Paris reduced to just over two hours, between London to Amsterdam to under four hours and between London to Geneva to around five hours.

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