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From pulling off one of the greatest engineering feats in history to starring in movies – it’s safe to say Eurostar has had a good 25 years. But what else has Eurostar been up to? Who was one of Eurostar’s first passengers? From robots to unusual things being flushed down the loo – we promise to make this list worth your while.

One of the engineers at the depot on a bike

1. Eurostar trains are a quarter of a mile long, so long the maintenance engineers in the depot use bicycles to get from one end to the other.

2. The interiors on our e320 trains are designed by Pininfarina, the same legendary-Italian design house responsible for the unique style of Ferrari.

3. When Eurostar started it was based at Waterloo, it only moved to St Pancras International in 2007.

4. Eurostar travels direct from the UK to 13 different destinations in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

5. Eurostar holds the Guinness World record for the largest champagne tasting event after 515 passengers sipped on bubbly as they sped from London to Paris.

 

Eurostar beekeepers working on our hives in Kent

6. Eurostar broke the UK rail speed record of 160mph (257.5km/h) on 30 July 2003, setting a new record at 208 mph (334.7km/h).

7. Much of the honey used on board the trains comes from our 10 Eurostar bee hives, located near Ashford in Kent.

8. Eurostar has its own gin, Toujours 21, created by the Silent Pool Distillery for our 21st anniversary.

9. Eurostar has carried over 200 million passengers since launch, which is more than the population of the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands combined.

10. Our e320 trains carry around twice as many people as a jumbo jet with up to 90% less environment-damaging carbon emissions.

Some of the cast of the Da Vinci Code standing next to a wrapped train

11. 90% of the water used to wash our trains is recycled.

12. A Eurostar train, fully loaded with 900 passengers, weighs 980 tons - the equivalent of approximately 140 fully-grown African elephants or 77 double-decker London buses.

13. Many unusual things get flushed down the loos on board the trains, including a set of false teeth (that were returned to their owner in pristine condition).

14. Eurostar has featured in many films. But in 2006 we played an even bigger role, taking the cast and crew of the Da Vinci Code to Cannes for the premiere, breaking the world record for the longest non-stop international rail journey in the process.

15. We put the speed into speed dating with an St Valentine's day event on board in February 2019, matching single passengers as they travelled between London and Paris.

Esther, the Odyssey octopus

16. Many of our passengers ask us if they'll see fish in the tunnel, which prompted us to launch an underwater virtual reality experience, Odyssey, so they could stay dry without being disappointed.

17.  Our passengers are a thirsty lot, consuming 1,400,000 cups of coffee, just over 1,000,000 cups of tea and 40,000 bottles of champagne onboard Eurostar trains every year.

18.  Eating habits have changed a lot since 1994 and 41% of meals dished up to our Standard Premier and Business Premier travellers are now either vegan or vegetarian.

19.  You can hire a whole Eurostar coach or even an entire train if you're travelling as a big group or, like Greta Garbo, just want to be alone.

20.  When Eurostar is travelling through the Channel Tunnel it's travelling 75 metres (246 feet) below the sea level. That's the same as 107 baguettes balancing on top of each other.

Pepper our Robot talking to a young passenger

21. When we launched in 1994, it took three hours to get to Paris. Today it takes just 2 hrs 16 mins, quicker than taking the train from London to Norwich.

22.  In 1994 a return ticket to Paris in Standard - booked 2 weeks in advance, would have set you back £95. Today, a one-way ticket costs from just £29.

23. The Queen was one of our first passengers, travelling to Calais in May 1994 to meet then French President, François Mitterrand, for the opening.

24.  Not surprisingly, many of Eurostar’s staff come from our destinations, including the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. But there are also 33 other nationalities working for us, making it a total of 37.

25.  Eurostar has its very own robot, named Pepper, she speaks English and French and can often be found chatting with passengers in our departure lounges.


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Image credits: © Eurostar; © Eurostar; © Eurostar; © Eurostar Odyssey; © Eurostar; © Eurostar; © Eurostar