It’s an axiom of business that competition leads to lower prices, so the news that Eurostar will soon face competition on the London-Paris high speed train route is very welcome.

Monopolies are rarely good for the consumer, and it seems that Eurostar’s 30-year reign as the only company offering cross-channel rail travel may be over.

Spanish company Evolyn said it agreed to purchase 12 trains from French multinational rolling stock manufacturer Alstom, with an option to buy four more.

It should be noted that Alstom have stated that no contract has been signed yet.

An Alstom train

Service expected to start running in 2025

The total investment in the project is £1 billion and trains are expected to start running in 2025, with the service in full operation in 2026.

Spanish businessman and Evolyn CEO Jorge Cosmen has already invested in UK-based coach and train company Mobico – formerly National Express:

“We know that the governments of the UK and France welcome a project that allows their citizens to increase the connection options between the UK and continental Europe with a green alternative that will contribute to decarbonization.”

Channel Tunnel can handle twice as many trains

Getlink is the French operator of the Channel Tunnel and said that the news “confirms the growth potential of the cross-Channel passenger rail market”. It added that the existing infrastructure is designed for almost double the current rail traffic level.

The Channel Tunnel operates on an ‘open access’ basis, guaranteeing an equal right of access to any rail operator travelling between British and European networks.

How will departures work?

Perhaps more of an issue than the number of trains going through the tunnel will be the number of passengers departing through London St Pancras and Gare du Nord. However, while these details are yet to be confirmed, consumers can be optimistic of lower prices in the future.

london st pancras eurostar

London St Pancrasev