The interiors of Eurostar trains are to their first major reburbishment since Channel tunnel services were launched in 1994. The multimillion pound contract for the fleet of 28 trains has been awarded to the Italian design consultancy Pininfarina, best known for its track record in the car industry.
Pininfarina is best known for its work in the car industry, with prestige marques such as Ferrari and Maserati as well as volume manufacturers including Peugeot, Alfa Romeo, Ford and Volvo. It is also developing the revolutionary, electric Pininfarina BlueCar that is due to go into production in 2011, and which promises to help cut carbon dioxide emissions from road travel.
Pininfarina also has extensive experience in the rail industry, having designed the interiors and exteriors of Italy’s high-speed trains; rolling stock for Swiss, Danish and Norwegian Railways; automated light rail cars in Lille, northern France; and trams for cities in Italy, Greece, Sweden and Turkey.
Pininfarina will be responsible for the full interior design including styling and engineering, and the exterior livery. The 28 trains in the Eurostar fleet will be fitted out by SNCF, and the first ones are due in service in 2012.
Nicolas Petrovic, chief operating officer, Eurostar, said, “We want to offer our travellers the highest standards in comfort, style and innovation, and I am confident that together we will deliver Eurostar trains that fully meet the 21st century expectations of our travellers.”