Rail start-up plans Paris-London services to rival Eurostar

The Local France
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Rail start-up plans Paris-London services to rival Eurostar
The Eurostar has increased ticket prices and cut services since Brexit. Photo by STEFANO RELLANDINI / AFP

A rail start-up has announced plans to set up a Paris-London route, operating as a rival to the Eurostar.


High-speed rail start-up Evolyn told Railway Gazette International it intends to launch services that would run non-stop between Paris Gare du Nord and London St Pancras.

The group said that it aims to launch its first services in 2025, with its full fleet in use in 2026. It would offer a "modern, innovative and sustainable" option providing "the best quality offer at competitive prices".

The group said on Wednesday that it had agreed a deal to buy 12 trains from French manufacturer Alstom.


The Channel Tunnel operators welcomed news that Evolyn intended to apply to become the second international operator on the Paris-London line, adding: "We look forward to working with all relevant stakeholders to ensure Evolyn can begin running services on the line as soon as possible."

Since Brexit, Eurostar operators have been forced to cut daily services between London and Paris by up to a third to avoid long queues in processing areas in both cities, due to the increased post-Brexit checks required.

This - coupled with the Eurostar operator's debt which is largely linked to the pandemic - has pushed up ticket prices.

READ ALSO How Brexit and Covid derailed Eurostar

Although Evolyn said that its service would also run from Paris Gare du Nord and London St Pancras, it was not immediately clear whether passengers would go through check-in in the same space as Eurostar passengers, or in a different area.

Eurostar operators have been in negotiation with St Pancras station to expand the check-in area in order to allow them to process more passengers. 

Evolyn is backed by the Cosmen family of Spain, and is backed by unnamed British and French investors. 



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