Eurotunnel announces renovation of cross-channel shuttle trains

Eurotunnel has signed a contract with Bombardier Transportation to renovate nine “PAX” Shuttles.

Composed of 254 wagons, each 800-meter long shuttle is made up for passengers’ vehicles with passengers remaining in their vehicles during the 35- minute Channel crossing.

In the 25-year period since the opening of the Channel Tunnel, the shuttles have each travelled an average of 300 round trips per month and have enabled over 236 million passengers to travel between the UK and France.

The contract is valued at €150 million over a period of 7 years and deliveries of the newly refurbished shuttles will start in mid-2022 and continue until mid-2026.

Teams from Bombardier France and Belgium originally designed and built the vehicles in the 1990’s and launched Bombardier’s activities in France.

This year, the company celebrates 30 years since its establishment at the Crespin facility in the Hauts-de-France Region.

Commenting on the deal, Laurent Bouyer, President of Bombardier Transportation France, said, “Mobility technology leader Bombardier brings its expertise and experience to Eurotunnel to renovate the shuttles it uses in the Channel Tunnel. This project, the largest in Europe in terms of scope and ambition, marks a milestone in the development of our refurbishment activities and places Bombardier as the leader of this market in France.”

He added, “As well as their own know-how, our French teams will be able to tap into the overall engineering expertise and processes across the Bombardier group to make a success of this unique project”.

Further comment came from François Gauthey, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Group, who said, “Eurotunnel has chosen to put its trust in Bombardier Transportation for the renovation of its passenger shuttles. We are celebrating 25 years of operation of these unique shuttles that were built 30 years ago. This strategic investment, our most important in 25 years, allows Eurotunnel to maintain the highest level of quality service and to affirm trust in its long-term perspectives”.

Bombardier will be responsible for the renovation of 26 wagons on each of the nine shuttles, including 12 single-deck carriages for coaches, minibuses, caravans and vehicles over 1.85 meters high, 12 double-deck carriages for cars and motorcycles, and 2 double-deck loader wagons, in addition to two spare loader wagons.

Meanwhile, a new report shows that Eurotunnel revenues for the first quarter of 2019 increased by 5% to €254.4 million.

Reacting to the figures, Jacques Gounon, group chairman and CEO,said: "For the first quarter of 2019, the group has mobilised on all fronts, especially in the initial Brexit context of 29 March, in order to deliver the best possible quality of service and to meet our customers’ expectations.”

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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