April innovation under the English Channel

April innovation under the English Channel Wightlink Ferries will launch its new service today

In a world first, Eurostar passengers travelling beneath the English Channel will from today be offered a breath taking view of the Channel’s unique marine ecosystem for the very first time. 

Also today, Wightlink Ferries, a ferry company for visitors travelling to and from the Isle of Wight, has announced a new service that will add a submarine service to its already comprehensive fleet.

At Eurostar, new ground-breaking lighting technology will be fitted the entire fleet of trains and will be switched on today to reveal to travellers the never before seen marine life of the English Channel.

The result of a complex Anglo-Franco engineering collaboration, the new high power yet extremely energy efficient LED lighting technology has finally solved the problem of how to bring the Channel to life. 

More than 5,000 LED bulbs have been fitted to each Eurostar train all of which illuminate automatically upon entry into the Channel Tunnel and remain lit for around 20 minutes as the train travels the entire 50km length of the tunnel.

The specially engineered LED bulbs have been designed to emit a unique spectrum of light, fine-tuned to attract the marine life within the English Channel. 

The effectiveness of the technology has been demonstrated beyond doubt during trial runs under the Channel with an incredible range of marine life attracted to the cool, blue glow emitted by each passing train.

The project has been introduced as part of Eurostar’s celebrations to mark its 20th year of operation and recalls the engineering challenges which were overcome in the run up to the first services beneath the English Channel, 20 years ago.

Eurostar is marking these milestones by distributing to travellers a special 20th anniversary marine life spotter’s guide compiled by the renowned Professor of Marine Biology, Ismell Arat. 

Wightlink Ferries

At the same time, Wightlink Ferries, a ferry company for visitors travelling to and from the Isle of Wight, has announced a new service that will add to its already comprehensive fleet.

The new submarine, named SubLink, will provide an exciting yet efficient means for foot passengers to explore the waters between Portsmouth and the Island.

The service will run from today, with twice daily return services for passengers wanting to travel in mornings and evenings on weekdays.

On Saturdays, an additional midday service will run for passengers wanting to both experience the submarine as well as the island as a fun weekend activity.

The submarine has been commissioned from the British Navy, as an out-of-service ship.

It has been in dry dock for the past three months, to refurbish it so that it is suitable for all Wightlink passengers, including a café and comfortable seats on board.

Viewpoints at either end of the submarine will be available for guests to explore the amazing sealife found in the Island’s waters.

Mark Persad, head of marketing at Wightlink Ferries said, “We have been eagerly awaiting the moment when we could announce this very exciting development. Wightlink is the first ferry company to offer submarine services for passengers, providing not only a quick and easy way of travel to and from the Island, but also the unusual experience of being so far below water in a Navy submarine.”
Wightlink Ferries advises customers with claustrophobia not to travel on the submarine.