EUROPE: The first of Eurostar’s ‘remodelled and redesigned’ trainsets is expected to return passenger service ‘in the coming weeks’, the cross-Channel high speed train operator announced on July 21.

The refurbishment of the Class 373 trains dating from the launch of Eurostar services in 1994 is being undertaken at SNCF's Hellemmes Technicentre in Lille.

The work includes the installation of Nomad Digital wi-fi equipment, but this will not be turned on until Eurostar’s 17 new Siemens Velaro e320 trainsets are delivered. The first of the Velaros are currently in the final stage of testing, and are expected to enter service from the end of this year.

The refurbished Class 373 trainsets have been branded e300, matching the e320 brand; the numbers in the designations refer to the trains’ maximum speed. Eurostar has not yet finalised how many of the 28 existing trainsets will be refurbished, and expects to make a decision once the Velaros are in service.

  • Eurostar has reported record quarterly ridership for Q2 2015, with passengers carried up 3% year-on-year to more than 2·8 million and sales revenues up 1·5% to £232m.