Eurostar has promised to power trains across its five-country network by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

The high-speed rail network plans to “become the backbone of sustainable travel in Europe” as it works towards its target of carrying 30 million passengers by the end of the decade (for reference, Eurostar carried 18.6 million passengers in 2023).

The rail operator has a fleet of 51 trains, serving 28 destinations in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

Eurostar trains have been running on 100 per cent wind power in the Netherlands since 2017, with the UK figure at 40 per cent since 2023. In Belgium, the rail network has signed a MoU with Infrabel to study the installation of solar projects to power trains.

Eurostar CEO Gwendoline Cazenave commented:

“This is a deliberately ambitious target, Eurostar wants to use its brand and commitment to accelerate change across the sector.

“To achieve our goal, we work closely together with our partners in each of our markets, we encourage regulatory support for the rapid deployment of new renewable energy projects.”

According to the rail operator, a passenger’s carbon footprint from one flight between London and Amsterdam is the equivalent of seven Eurostar journeys.

“Today, the transport sector accounts for 25 per cent of European greenhouse gas emissions, making sustainable high-speed rail a key solution to a quarter of Europe’s climate problem.”

Eurostar has also become the first rail company to join the RE100 alliance, made up of companies committed to sourcing 100 per cent of their energy from renewable sources. London Gatwick, Heathrow and Incheon International airport are also members of the alliance.

Ollie Wilson, Head of RE100, Climate Group, added:

“We’re delighted to welcome Eurostar to RE100, the first rail firm to join. Eurostar is setting a global example and leading the way on renewables powering our rail networks. Eurostar now has the opportunity to draw on a global network of over 400 companies as it works towards 30 million journeys a year powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.

“We encourage other businesses in the rail sector to follow Eurostar’s lead and commit to 100 per cent renewable electricity.”

The rail operator is also exploring circularity throughout its operations, with onboard catering taking into account sustainable sourcing, environmentally friendly options and packaging. Any unsold food from Eurostar Café is also donated to waste-reduction company Olio, which redistributes it to local communities across London.

Eurostar also highlighted its interest in developing further ‘open hubs’ to connect Eurostar services to domestic networks or long-haul flights, citing its air-rail partnership with KLM as an example – travellers can purchase combined Eurostar trains and KLM flights under one booking.

Earlier this month the rail operator made fares more flexible across its three classes, which will also be renamed following the rail operator’s merger with Thalys.

Eurostar unifies travel classes and introduces more flexible fares