A company planning to compete with Eurostar for cross-Channel rail services says it has signed a deal for up to 16 trains and aims to start operations in 2025.
Evolyn said it had agreed to purchase 12 trains initially from French firm Alstom as part of its £1bn investment to date.
The company would be in direct competition with Eurostar, should its plans not hit the buffers, which has had a monopoly for 30 years but faced Brexit and COVID-related challenges to its growth.
Evolyn was borne out from the theory that rail traffic across Europe will only increase as journeys by car and plane face pressure from climate targets.
Chief executive Jorge Cosmen said: “We know that the governments of the United Kingdom and France welcome a project that will allow their citizens to increase the connection options between the UK and several countries in continental Europe with a green alternative that will also contribute to decarbonization.”
The high-speed trains it has bought will be from Alstom’s Avelia range, meeting “all current high standards of sustainability, efficiency and reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions”, the company added.
It said that while it planned to launch services in 2025, it would be 2026 before it was fully operational.
The largest holding in the company is owned by Spain’s Cosmen family whose interests include a large stake in Mobico – the rail and coach operator formerly known as National Express.
Mobico said it was not part of the consortium.
Evolyn said its ownership structure was in the process of being finalised but it also comprised “British and French industrial and financial partners.”
“All in all, Evolyn will become an innovative alternative for a strategic and high-demand line both in the UK and Europe, which will seek to provide the best quality offer at competitive prices and become the trusted choice of users”, the statement concluded.
Written by: Newsroom