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Nine Eurotunnel passenger shuttle trains to get re-vamp with Bombardier Transportation

ByMolly Mileham-Chappell

New computer generated images out today show how nine Eurotunnel shuttles for passengers to the continent could look when they receive a full makeover.

The 800-metre long trains will be renovated as part of the company's '2018-2026 mid-life programme', after bosses signed a contract with Bombardier Transportation to renovate the “PAX” shuttles.

The seven year contract is valued at €150 million, and deliveries of the refurbished locos will start in mid-2022 and continue until mid-2026.

How the passenger shuttles could look once renovated. Credit: Eurotunnel (7932961)
How the passenger shuttles could look once renovated. Credit: Eurotunnel (7932961)

The new CGIs show a crisp and bright lighting design for the passenger trains, which have each travelled an average of 300 round trips per month in their 25-years in service since the opening of the Channel Tunnel.

More than 236 million passengers have travelled between France and Folkestone in Kent during the 35-minute Channel crossing, in which they remain in their vehicles.

How the Eurotunnel passenger shuttles currently look
How the Eurotunnel passenger shuttles currently look
How the passenger shuttles could look once renovated. Credit: Eurotunnel (7932963)
How the passenger shuttles could look once renovated. Credit: Eurotunnel (7932963)

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

Laurent Bouyer, President of Bombardier Transportation France, said: "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.

How the passenger shuttles could look once renovated. Credit: Eurotunnel (7932965)
How the passenger shuttles could look once renovated. Credit: Eurotunnel (7932965)

"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.”

François Gauthey, deputy chief executive officer of the Getlink group which Eurotunnel is a part of, said: "We are celebrating 25 years of operation of these unique Shuttles that were built 30 years ago.

How the passenger shuttles could look once renovated. Credit: Eurotunnel (7932959)
How the passenger shuttles could look once renovated. Credit: Eurotunnel (7932959)

"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.

This includes 12 single-deck carriages for coaches, minibuses, caravans and vehicles over 1.85 meters high, 12 double-deck carriages for cars and motorcycles, and two double-deck loader wagons, in addition to two spare loader wagons.

As project technical advisor, Bombardier will lead the integration and renovation operations, except for the single-deck loaders, and will lead on engineering design and procurement for onboard equipment.

Eurotunnel will undertake design and procurement of key equipment such as brakes, doors, fire doors, fire detection, HVAC and the double-deck loaders and sort the final processing of the renovated shuttles with authorities, while Bombardier will provide technical support to prepare required documentation.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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