Eurostar is showcasing the first of a ten-strong fleet of new high-speed trains at its London base at St Pancras station today (Thursday).
The Siemens e320 trains will offer 20% more seats and provide an opportunity for the high speed channel tunnel passenger service to add Marseille and Amsterdam as new destinations over the next two years.
The bigger 900-passenger Wi-Fi-enabled trains are being previewed as Eurostar marks the 20th anniversary of the first services between London and Paris.
Eurostar awarded Siemens a £700 million contract to build 10 new trains in 2010.
Delivery of the new trains was delayed from 2014 to 2015 and the project faced legal opposition from Alstom, which was eventually dropped in 2012.
The number of passengers travelling on Eurostar’s trains topped 10 million for the first time last year, giving it around an 80% share of the travel market between London and Paris, and London and Brussels.
Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: “Having had ten consecutive years of growth, we are seeing record demand for our services and the addition of new trains to our fleet will be key to achieving our growth ambitions.
“With just one year to go until our new e320 train comes into service, passengers will see a complete transformation of our service.
“The combination of bold design, chic interiors and wi-fi connectivity will raise the bar, providing an unprecedented level of style and comfort for our customers.”