The E320 is horrible. Discuss.

From a passenger perspective, is the class 374 better or worse than the 373?

  • Better

    Votes: 23 39.7%
  • Neutral / No Opinion

    Votes: 18 31.0%
  • Worse

    Votes: 17 29.3%

  • Total voters
    58
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jamesontheroad

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I enjoyed my first ride on one of Eurostar's shiny new E320 trains a few days ago from Paris to London.

I say 'enjoy' because I don't think I actually enjoyed it.

The carriages are brighter inside, but that was about the only improvement. My biggest disappointment were the seats. In standard class they were beyond comfortably firm, and about one fifth of all seats in a typical carriage were mis-aligned with or had no window.

Lots of small details also surprised me. The grab handles on the seats are too small, so I watched as most people walking down the aisles just grabbed the head rests. The fold down tables lack the clever little metal loop of the older trains, and have no cup or bottle holder. Un-grasped bottles and cups went flying into the aisle a couple of times during our journey.

Am I being unfair, and yearning for the soft, cosy nineteen-eighties vibe of the old fleet, or does anyone else who has ridden these new trains share my feelings?
 
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Bletchleyite

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Window alignment is terrible in the original units as well. For some reason, SNCF never thought that important on TGVs - even, to my great annoyance, in first class.
 

Groningen

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I would worry more over the comfort of the seats, than the windows. With 2 hours and 40 minutes from London to Paris and v.v. it less than going to Newcastle, Swansea or Carlisle. The landscape in Kent and northern France is pretty uneventfull!
 

Bletchleyite

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Hard seats are very much a matter of opinion. I prefer them (I like the "ironing boards", Desiro seats and the GWR high-backed "coffin" seats); old style Mk1 seats give me backache. But not everybody does.
 

Blamethrower

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Having not been on the train and only seen in it St Pancras, my only observation is that it looks heavy, lardy and bulbous. I like the Velaro but only in ICE-3 guise, the new Velaro D variants look hideous in comparison to the sleek ICE-3s. Also, they removed the seats behind the driver :(

Seat-wise, I prefer a harder seat because when a train accelerates/decelerates and rocks side to side, the softer the seat, the more you sway from side to side, using your muscles more than you should.

I know this sounds like a paradox but the harder the seats, the more comfortable the ride.

Pitch and height are very important too. As a direct comparison, MML Bedford - London, you can get a 319, 377 or a 387, all of which have different seats.

For me, the 387 is the best. Hard seats yes but the right pitch and height. The 374's recline and have foot rests so I can't imagine there being too many issues with long distance comfort.

On 373's it depends, standard premium is fine, standard gives me chronic arse ache.
Hopefully e320s improvements on legroom in standard will address that
 

notadriver

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Having not been on the train and only seen in it St Pancras, my only observation is that it looks heavy, lardy and bulbous. I like the Velaro but only in ICE-3 guise, the new Velaro D variants look hideous in comparison to the sleek ICE-3s. Also, they removed the seats behind the driver :(

Seat-wise, I prefer a harder seat because when a train accelerates/decelerates and rocks side to side, the softer the seat, the more you sway from side to side, using your muscles more than you should.

I know this sounds like a paradox but the harder the seats, the more comfortable the ride.

Pitch and height are very important too. As a direct comparison, MML Bedford - London, you can get a 319, 377 or a 387, all of which have different seats.

For me, the 387 is the best. Hard seats yes but the right pitch and height. The 374's recline and have foot rests so I can't imagine there being too many issues with long distance comfort.

On 373's it depends, standard premium is fine, standard gives me chronic arse ache.
Hopefully e320s improvements on legroom in standard will address that

I'm hoping to ride in one of these soon. Maybe one direction in 1st class. As for the seats behind the driver it looks very difficult to see out the front anyway as the driver sits in middle ? Much better to have a forward facing camera view that everyone can see inside the train.
 

Blamethrower

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The view out of the front of an ICE3 isn't all that great, to be honest.

Oh but it is, sit on the back galleried seats and you get the best view. Of course you need to get the driver to de-opaque (?) the screen.

I've sat there between Frankfurt and Cologne, the gradients/tunnels/viaducts are really impressive

Would like to see a front facing camera that you can stream from the on-board wifi though (as mentioned above)

The only other place I can remember being able to see in front is on the Duesseldorf U-Bahn
 
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jamesontheroad

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I would worry more over the comfort of the seats, than the windows. With 2 hours and 40 minutes from London to Paris and v.v. it less than going to Newcastle, Swansea or Carlisle. The landscape in Kent and northern France is pretty uneventfull!

True, but the E320 have been acquired specifically for longer journeys, such as London - Amsterdam.

I should say the luggage arrangements are an improvement, with bigger racks inside the passenger saloon, but boarding is still slow with 80+ people and bags boarding through just one door at the end of the car.
 

Peter Mugridge

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I'm hoping to ride in one of these soon. Maybe one direction in 1st class. As for the seats behind the driver it looks very difficult to see out the front anyway as the driver sits in middle ? Much better to have a forward facing camera view that everyone can see inside the train.

I don't think the 374s have the forward view though?
 

edwin_m

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Travelled to Paris on an E320 last week. My overall feeling was it was not dramatically better or worse than the 373. However it did take me about 10min to locate the power sockets and if you are in a window seat and plug in something you then put on the table then you have to move or unplug it to avoid tripping over the cable if you leave your seat. Also the wi-fi, which the on-board magazine claims wonderful things of, wasn't working.
 

Groningen

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I see that the E320 has 1.500 Volt ability on board to go to Amsterdam. Only thing is that the train will be delayed with at least 30 minutes in Lille Europe for bordercontrol. So will that ever come?

Shortly beyond this topic i certainly remember the german Silberlinge where the smell of plastic and where your (sweaty) clothes were glued to the plastic seats.
 

radamfi

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I see that the E320 has 1.500 Volt ability on board to go to Amsterdam. Only thing is that the train will be delayed with at least 30 minutes in Lille Europe for bordercontrol. So will that ever come?

Shortly beyond this topic i certainly remember the german Silberlinge where the smell of plastic and where your (sweaty) clothes were glued to the plastic seats.

NS created this plan in 2013, showing Eurostar to London starting in December 2016.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=107459132&postcount=1036

I'm guessing as a Dutchman you have already seen the plan for the 2017 NS timetable:

http://nieuws.ns.nl/ns-legt-grote-spoorboekwijziging-voor-aan-reizigersorganisaties/

http://nieuws.ns.nl/download/142193/nskaartplannendienstregeling2017.pdf?10000

So the domestic part of the plan for the HSL-Zuid appears to be as stated in 2013.

This document discusses the timetable in detail and at the end mentions Eurostar at the end when talking about co-operation with other operators:

http://www.locov.nl/Images/Locov 20...anvraag dienstregeling 2017_tcm311-372113.pdf

says

Net als bij dienstregeling 2016 kan dienstregeling 2017 nog mutaties ondergaan, als gevolg van inpassing van de dienstregeling van andere (goederen)vervoerders en regionale vervoerders.
...
...
...
Op enkele trajecten kan de capaciteitsaanvraag van NS mogelijk raken met die van andere vervoerders. Hierdoor kan de dienstregeling er anders uitzien dat in de specificaties. Dit voorbehoud geldt in het bijzonder voor de trajecten:
...
...
...
• Inpassing Eurostar.
 

HSTEd

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Doesnt Eurostar need 1500v for the Ski trains more than anything?
 

Groningen

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@radamfi: May the E320 ever come to Amsterdam it will (hopefully) not make the detour to Breda. That Beneluxtrain (from what i have heard) will be slower despite making use of the HSL. From the timetable 1986/1987 Brussel - Amsterdam had a traveltime of 2 hours and 58 minutes. And remember changing direction in Antwerpen. It is now 20 minutes slower! What a progress!
 

radamfi

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@radamfi: May the E320 ever come to Amsterdam it will (hopefully) not make the detour to Breda. That Beneluxtrain (from what i have heard) will be slower despite making use of the HSL. From the timetable 1986/1987 Brussel - Amsterdam had a traveltime of 2 hours and 58 minutes. And remember changing direction in Antwerpen. It is now 20 minutes slower! What a progress!

Presumably, Eurostar will stop at the same stops and run at the same speed as Thalys between Amsterdam and Brussels. Given the need to get off and get on again at Brussels it will probably be largely used as an extra high speed train between Amsterdam and Brussels.

Yes, the Beneluxtrain will be slower. It is not really intended as a high speed connection. It is primarily for providing links between Den Haag and Belgium and between Breda and Belgium. If you want to go fast, then there is Thalys and Eurostar. However, it will probably be possible to change at Rotterdam to get to Schiphol and Amsterdam faster. It might even be possible to change at Breda while the Beneluxtrain reverses if there's a train to Amsterdam sooner.
 

ItchyRsole

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True, but the E320 have been acquired specifically for longer journeys, such as London - Amsterdam.

I should say the luggage arrangements are an improvement, with bigger racks inside the passenger saloon, but boarding is still slow with 80+ people and bags boarding through just one door at the end of the car.

Every car has 2 doors to board from.
 

anme

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Yes, the Beneluxtrain will be slower. It is not really intended as a high speed connection. It is primarily for providing links between Den Haag and Belgium and between Breda and Belgium. If you want to go fast, then there is Thalys and Eurostar. However, it will probably be possible to change at Rotterdam to get to Schiphol and Amsterdam faster. It might even be possible to change at Breda while the Beneluxtrain reverses if there's a train to Amsterdam sooner.

Are details of the new Benelux train announced? Unfortunately the links in your earlier post don't work for me. :( Will this replace the current service via Roosendaal? Is there anything about fares and booking requirements?

The current IC service is frustratingly slow, and indeed may be primarily intended for intermediate journeys but I know several people who use it regularly end to end, partly for price but also because of the fully flexible ticketing and regular service - you can just turn up and go, whereas for Thalys you have to book a specific train, meaning you always have to be conservative. With the IC, you might actually get home sooner because you're able to get an earlier train than expected.
 
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radamfi

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Are details of the new Benelux train announced? Unfortunately the links in your earlier post don't work for me. :( Will this replace the current service via Roosendaal? Is there anything about fares and booking requirements?

The current IC service is frustratingly slow, and indeed may be primarily intended for intermediate journeys but I know several people who use it regularly end to end, partly for price but also because of the fully flexible ticketing and regular service - you can just turn up and go, whereas for Thalys you have to book a specific train, meaning you always have to be conservative. With the IC, you might actually get home sooner because you're able to get an earlier train than expected.

Here's another link to that map:

http://www.treinreiziger.nl/actueel/binnenland/eind_2014_weer_benelux_amsterdam_-_brussel-145639

You can see that Roosendaal will be left with just the local train to Antwerp, as well as domestic trains.

I believe the slowness is due to intense lobbying from Den Haag, however I don't think the plans are yet set in stone. This article from a month ago is about a proposal by a passenger organisation to speed up the journey from 3 hours 14 minutes to 2 hours 50 minutes by using the high speed line all the way from Schiphol instead of going via Den Haag (although still reversing at Breda):

http://www.treinreiziger.nl/actueel...ties_doen_voorstel_voor_snelle_benelux-147451
 
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anme

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Here's another link to that map:

http://www.treinreiziger.nl/actueel/binnenland/eind_2014_weer_benelux_amsterdam_-_brussel-145639

You can see that Roosendaal will be left with just the local train to Antwerp, as well as domestic trains.

I believe the slowness is due to intense lobbying from Den Haag, however I don't think the plans are yet set in stone. This article from a month ago is about a proposal by a passenger organisation to speed up the journey from 3 hours 14 minutes to 2 hours 50 minutes by using the high speed line all the way from Schiphol instead of going via Den Haag (although still reversing at Breda):

http://www.treinreiziger.nl/actueel...ties_doen_voorstel_voor_snelle_benelux-147451

Thanks - that's very interesting. The Benelux IC going via Breda makes sense. This also offers good connections to the rest of the Netherlands (actually better than Roosendaal). I understand that Den Haag wants to keep its connection to Brussels, but it does make the journey a lot slower.
 
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ItchyRsole

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Lovely train. Seats a slight disappointment in 1st but spoke to someone at Eurostar & they are in the middle of getting padded seat covers put on 1st class seating & lights to be dimmed.
 

Groningen

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However, it will probably be possible to change at Rotterdam to get to Schiphol and Amsterdam faster.

Most Dutch will not pay a supplement for an unreliable train called Intercity Direct.
 

anme

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Most Dutch will not pay a supplement for an unreliable train called Intercity Direct.

Intercity Direct is included in international tickets between Amsterdam and Brussels, so no supplement to pay.

The few times I've used Intercity Direct it was full and standing, so someone seems to use it. Admittedly I didn't check whether they were all Dutch.
 
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Comstock

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I would worry more over the comfort of the seats, than the windows. With 2 hours and 40 minutes from London to Paris and v.v. it less than going to Newcastle, Swansea or Carlisle. The landscape in Kent and northern France is pretty uneventfull!

Obviously the post of someone who travels abroad regularly. As someone who has only ever been abroad three times, twice on the EuroStar, I like to drink in every detail I can.
 

radamfi

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Most Dutch will not pay a supplement for an unreliable train called Intercity Direct.

Now that Rotterdam to Amsterdam is every 15 minutes, surely most people doing that trip now use Intercity Direct? Surely not that many people will go the long way around to save just 2.40?
 

farci

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I enjoyed my first ride on one of Eurostar's shiny new E320 trains a few days ago from Paris to London.

I say 'enjoy' because I don't think I actually enjoyed it.

The carriages are brighter inside, but that was about the only improvement. My biggest disappointment were the seats. In standard class they were beyond comfortably firm, and about one fifth of all seats in a typical carriage were mis-aligned with or had no window...
Am I being unfair, and yearning for the soft, cosy nineteen-eighties vibe of the old fleet, or does anyone else who has ridden these new trains share my feelings?
I agree with James. I had my first experience yesterday with an E320 Paris-London following a Rennes-Paris sector in an older TGV. Same sector times for both but the TGV was a good old train with comfortable seats while the new Eurostar reminds me of the new Airbus seats which are optimised for much shorter journey times than a train plus they have to weigh less to save fuel
 

WestCoast

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I misread the title as the (ADL) E200 bus, in that case I would entirely agree that they are rubbish :lol:

Hopefully will be able to try out the E320 train soon...
 

talldave

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Erm yes they do. I've been on it 3 times. It's pretty clear.

Well if you mean they have a door on either side of the train, then yes there are two doors on most carriages, whilst some have four. But when boarding from a platform on one side of the train only, most carriages have only one door available. E320 seating plans on seat61.com show this quite clearly as do several YouTube videos of E320s.
 
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