Olympic and Paralympic royalty launch golden Eurostar train for Paris 2024

Olympian Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill was among the sporting stars to launch Eurostar’s first ever Golden Train with just one month until the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Golden Train, described as a “symbol of support” for those competing in the Games, was christened by Dame Jessica as well as Paralympian Maisie Summers-Newton and Team GB athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton, and departed London St Pancras International on Tuesday morning.

The special locomotive was unveiled to celebrate the upcoming Games in France, which begin on July 26, with Eurostar to welcome more than 2,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes on board from Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

Dame Jessica, who won gold in the women’s heptathlon in 2012, said it was “an honour” to unveil the new golden Eurostar train.

She said: “As we gear up for the Paris 2024 Olympics, Eurostar’s Golden Train symbolises the journey towards excellence.

“It’s an honour to be part of this launch, and I wish all the athletes the best as they compete on the world stage as I pass the baton to talent such as Maisie.”

Eurostar’s Golden Train
Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill was among the sporting stars to unveil the golden Eurostar train at St Pancras International (David Parry/PA)

Swimmer Ms Summers-Newton, who won two gold medals at the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020, said: “Launching Eurostar’s Golden Train is an incredible experience.

“The Paralympic Games are a testament to resilience and determination, and I am excited to be part of an event that celebrates these values and can’t wait to compete in the Paris 2024 games.”

Customers will be able to enjoy Olympic-themed treats this summer as they travel with Eurostar including Olympic chocolates and desserts on board and an Olympic-gold cocktail menu.

Eurostar’s Golden Train
Former Team GB athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton joined Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and Maisie Summers-Newton to unveil a golden Eurostar train (David Parry/PA)

Passengers can also enjoy festivities and celebrations at Eurostar’s dedicated fan zone at shopping complex Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross.

Eurostar said it expects to see two million customers using its high speed service to travel to the Games between July and September.

To accommodate for increased numbers, Eurostar has added eight more services to its London to Paris timetable during the Olympics and 160 trains for athletes as part of its sustainability commitments.

Eurostar’s Golden Train
Paralympian swimmer Maisie Summers-Newton helped to unveil the golden Eurostar train at St Pancras International (David Parry/PA)

Eurostar states a 2023 study suggested the 2,000 athletes expected to travel to Paris by train would be reducing their CO2 emissions by up to 96 per cent compared with air or coach travel, helping to decrease athletes’ carbon footprint.

Simon Lejeune, Eurostar chief safety and stations officer, said: “Eurostar is delighted to partner with four national teams for Paris 2024 including Team GB and ParalympicsGB. In honour of this, we’ve launched The Golden Train, a symbol of support for all athletes going for gold and for customers who’ll be travelling via us to get to the games.

“We’re honoured to have Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Maisie Summers-Newton and Perri Shakes-Drayton here to mark the moment.”