Eurostar e320

If you will be taking a journey by these Eurostar trains our guide will tell you all you need to know, from boarding, to making the most of the journey experience.

ROUTES  l   RESERVATIONS  l   BOARDING    

LUGGAGE  l   ON BOARD  l   USING RAIL PASSES

BIKES  l   SUMMARY  

LONDON TO EUROPE BY TRAIN

The trains:

These new Eurostar trains are from the same ‘Siemens Velaro’ family of trains as the German ICE3 trains and the third generation Spanish AVE trains - both of which are among the best of the best European high speed trains.

On these e320 trains, the Business Premier/Standard Premier seats are located in coaches 1 - 3 and 14-16, while standard class is located in coaches 4 - 7 and 10-13.

On the older e300 trains, the Business Premier/Standard Premier seats are located in coaches 7 - 12, while standard class is located in coaches 1 - 5 and 4 - 18).

Though it isn't unknown for an e320 train to be substituted by an e300 train - reservations will be re-issued at check-in.

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Routes:

These e320 trains are used for most departures on this route:

London - Ebbsfleet (Ashford) - Paris

These e320 trains are used for some departures on this route:

London - Ebbsfleet - (Ashford) - (Calais) - Lille - Bruxelles

You will be travelling by e320 trains on this route.

(i) London - Bruxelles - Rotterdam - Amsterdam

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Reservations:

Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for journeys by these trains.

You can check the position of the seat you have been offered on the seating plan - if you book direct with Eurostar.com, you can change your seat during the booking process.

Rail pass users will need to have made reservations prior to boarding (see below).

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Boarding:

Eurostar conductors will be on the platform to help you find the coach in which your seat(s) will be located.

There is only one door per coach, therefore some seats have easier access by using the door on the adjacent coach/car.

Hence it can be a good idea to check the seating plan to ascertain which coach door gives the easiest access to your seat.

Or it can be worth asking the conductor on the platform, which door you should use for your easiest seat access option.

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Managing Luggage:

If you have large items of luggage, then the best option is stow it in the racks by the doors, and then find your seat.

You won’t need to rush to find your seat, all seats are reserved, so nobody else will be sitting in it.

If you find your seat first without stowing your luggage, you may discover that there is no space around your seat in which to store particularly large items of luggage.

However, medium sized bags (larger than the max size carry-on airline bag) will fit in the above seat luggage racks.
A big tick in the Eurostar e320 plus box is that these above seat luggage racks are exceptionally large.

Info about luggage allowances and items such as taking pushchairs is here.

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On Board:

These trainshave the facilities that are now to be expected on state-of-the-art high speed trains - power sockets, sleek toilets, WiFi and TV screens inside the coaches.

The seats (standard class):

Whether, the seats in standard class are too hard or too upright is a matter of personal preference, but what isn’t in doubt is that their distinguishing feature is the height of the seat backs.

Very few seats in each standard class coach are now grouped around tables - meaning that most seats are airline style, so you face the back of the seat in front of you.

Though because the seats are so high, you cannot see much ahead of you apart from the seat in front.

Using the seating plan (all classes):

The arrangement of the seats in standard class also has no relationship at all to the spacing of the windows.

If you are in a back-2-back window seat in standard class, which also has a very limited view out of the windows - you will have a particularly claustrophobic journey.

So the advice is to make use the ‘manage your seat’ facility when making a booking on the Eurostar website.

Check the position of the seat you have been allocated on the seating plan and if it doesn’t line up with a window then change it – particularly if you will be travelling by daylight.

The view from the windows on a Eurostar is rarely scintillating, but if you can’t see out of a window, the standard class journey can feel like travelling in a plastic box.

Catering:

Eurostar's guide to the food/drink served on board is available here.

In summary, if you will be travelling Premiere or Standard Premiere, you will have an at seat catering service, but if you will be travelling standard class you can go to the on board bistro/bar car.

Power Sockets:

Something else to watch out for in standard/2nd class, is that yes there is a pair of power sockets per seat – one for EU plugs and for one UK.

So be prepared to share the socket with a fellow traveller if you both have UK plugs or vice versa – but the position of these power sockets is somewhat bizarre.

The sockets are underneath the seat you will be sitting in, so finding the socket and lining up the plug can be quite the challenge – the easiest method is to sit on the floor!
So if you know you’ll want to charge up a device, plug it in before you take your seat.

Then don’t forget to take your charger with you when you leave the train, when you disconnect your device, the charger can be out of sight, out of mind.

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Using Rail Passes on Eurostar:

Some welcome news, rail pass users can now pay reservation fees to travel on Eurostar trains, in a similar manner to other international European high speed trains.

Previously tickets were offered at a special rail pass user rate, which could be more expensive than the cheapest fares.

The new rail pass reservation fees are similar to the cheapest single journey ticket prices, but as those cheapest tickets can sell out quickly, it's likely that the rail pass reservation fees will save money.

The prices below are for journeys between London - Lille, Paris or Bruxelles.

You can book rail pass reservations for Eurostar trains online with no booking fees via B-Europe here.

Booking in advance is recommended

You can obtain a rail pass reservations without paying a booking fee at Eurostar stations.

However, if you want to do this on the day of travel be prepared to be flexible re: the train you will take.
Some Eurostar departures can sell out completely, so you may have to take a (much) later train.

If you are a UK resident, your rail pass + reservation is only valid if you take a train from the UK on the first day that your pass is valid for and return to the UK on the final day that your pass is valid for.

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Bikes:

If you place a folding bike in its bag it can be taken on board as hand-luggage - if it is bagged.

Non-folding bikes can be taken on board if you book in advance or if you use the registered luggage service at the station on the day of travel.

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Catering
Availability
Restaurant
Bistro (Hot Food)
Bar (Cold Food)
Features
Availability
Double Deck
High Speed
Classes
First Class
Business Premier/Standard Premier
Second Class
Standard

Rail passes and reservations


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