Speed and efficiency
With a top operating speed of 186mph (300km/h) and capacity for 766 passengers (a third more than most Airbus A380s), Eurostar trains are fast and efficient. Comfort is key, and everyone has an allocated seat, meaning you can sit back, relax and enjoy the journey.
Second-class carriages are comfortable and modern, with pairs of airline-style seats either side of the aisle, plus a small number of tables for four. You can purchase a range of sandwiches, hot and cold light meals, and sweet treats from the buffet carriage, or bring your own picnic – there is no restriction on the liquids that you can bring through security (though knives with blades longer than 3 inches are not permitted).
Standard Premier offers wider seats and more leg room, with a pair of seats (either airline-style or facing another pair across a table) on one side of the aisle and a single seat (either airline-style – a ‘solo’ seat – or facing another seat across a ‘club duo’ table) on the other side. Prices include a complimentary meal served at your seat. For departures before 11am, this comprises breakfast pastries, yogurt, fruit juice and tea or coffee. On later trains, you have the choice of two light main dishes and dessert, accompanied by a glass of wine, beer or a soft drink, plus tea or coffee. For selected destinations in France, if you upgrade to Standard Premier on Eurostar, you benefit from a free upgrade to first class on the connecting TGV, an option which is well worth considering, particularly for longer journeys.
For a full three-course cooked meal, unlimited wine and champagne, a later check-in time of just 10 minutes before departure, and access to the business lounge in St Pancras International and the Gare du Nord, you can upgrade to Business Premier. Seating arrangements are identical to those in Standard Premier.
Adults are entitled to bring one item of hand baggage and up to two suitcases, of which the longest side should measure no more than 85cm so they fit through the security scanner (we actually recommend cases no bigger than 55cm/22" so they can be stowed in the overhead racks where you can keep your eye on them, rather than in the limited extra storage space at the end of each carriage). There are no weight limits per se, but bear in mind that you will have to lift your cases above your head to store them on the luggage racks, and up and down stairs at some mainline stations. For winter holidays, one of your suitcases can be replaced by a set of skis (which again can be stowed in the overhead rack).
Whatever carriage you are travelling in, you’ll find a generous overhead luggage rack above your seats where you can stow suitcases and skis, plus a smaller one below that for coats and hand baggage.