The new trains will be able to carry 20 per cent more passengers and travel at speeds of up to 320kph, bringing journey times between London and Paris down to just over two hours.
The overhaul and redesign by Pininfarina will include the addition of Wi-Fi, real-time travel and destination information, interactive entertainment including video on demand, music and news feeds to all trains.
The investment in the fleet will be funded largely by cash and commercial bank financing.
‘Over the last 16 years, Eurostar has revolutionised travel between the London, Paris and Brussels but our sights are now set on expanding our business across Europe,’ said Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar. ‘The transformation of Eurostar into a standalone business and the major capital investment…is a mark of our growth ambitions for the future.’