Eurostar, the high speed train that links the continent to Great Britain, ended 2014, the year of its 20th anniversary, with higher figures. This affected the number of travelers as well as profit. Traffic went up by 3% to 10.4 million customers, and sales went up by 1% to reach 867 million pounds (1,17 billion euros). With a constant exchange rate, the increase in turnover hit 4%. Operational profit went up by 2%, to 55 million pounds.
These figures are explained by a strong economic recovery in Great Britain, which meant an increase in the number of business travelers over the year (+4%), Eurostar said in a press release. “The year of our 20th anniversary was a good year”, said Nicolas Petrovic, Eurostar’s Director General, during a telephone interview with Belga. 2015 will be a “new start” for the company. It will launch a new line on the 1st of May, which will link London to Lyon, Avignon and Marseille. The first time in ten years, says Nicolas Petrovic.
The first e320 trains, developed by Siemens and capable of holding 900 people each, should be in service at the end of the year. All of the 17 new trains of this type should be running in the next three years, along with 27 Alstom trains.