It’s official. The original Eurostar trains, which first entered service in 1993, are now museum-pieces.
A Class 373 power car has gone on show in the Great Hall of the National Railway Museum in York. It is a permanent addition to the national collection, and it will, according to the museum “bring to life a new chapter of contemporary railway history” for the many thousands of visitors that will see it each year.
A representative of the fastest, and longest, trains currently in UK service, the Eurostar will be accompanied by an interesting and engaging display. Visitors will learn how the high-speed service revolutionised rail travel between the UK and the continent and, to a great extent, replaced air travel as the way to make the journey.
Eurostar trains are capable of travelling from London to Paris in two hours, 15 minutes and from London to Brussels in two hours. Today, over 10 million people a year use the service.
With the new Class 374 trains, built by Siemens, being introduced to service from December 2015, now is a fitting time to recognize the contribution made to cross-Channel travel by the original trains.
Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive officer of Eurostar, said: “Our new fleet of trains will start to enter service by the end of the year, allowing us to take more passengers further into Europe than ever before.
“The combination of state-of-the-art design, unparalleled comfort and environmental efficiency of our new fleet means that we are well placed to serve the growing demand as passengers increasingly opt for high speed rail over plane.
“The donation of one of our first-generation power cars is a chance to acknowledge the historic role our service has played in connecting the UK and mainland Europe. Eurostar is a true example of collaboration between national railways and the rail industry, providing inspiration for other global high-speed rail projects.”
The power car completes the museum’s collection of items that tell the full story of European rail travel – visitors can also see a 25ft diameter concrete ring produced for lining the Channel Tunnel, an electric locomotive and muck truck used during the Tunnel’s construction.