The Yard Creative has designed new buffet cars for Eurostar’s fleet of 28 trains.
The new-look interiors will be ‘drastically different from other train buffet cars’, according to The Yard creative director Steve James-Royle. Eurostar appointed the retail and branding group in August last year on the strength of a recommendation by its client Rail Gourmet, according to The Yard.
‘Eurostar approached us, asking us to use our retail knowledge to create a groundbreaking new interior that would help convince customers to choose Eurostar over other companies,’ says James-Royle.
‘The layout is where the striking difference between this and other train buffet cars lies,’ he adds. Currently, the Eurostar buffet car features five high perch tables and a counter display.
‘Eurostar wants to provide customers with a better retail service and create a destination that people will remember,’ says James-Royle. ‘Train buffets usually don’t consider retail logic, such as what the customer is basing their decisions on, and how to communicate and merchandise to them.’
The Yard’s designs – which had to fit into the same-sized footprint as the current offer – are complete and have been handed over to Italian car and train design specialist Pininfarina to implement.
Pininfarina is designing the Eurostar carriage interiors and livery, after beating Seymour Powell in what participants described as a ‘tortuous’ and ‘abominable’ extensive sixmonth pitching process.
No details have yet emerged about the graphics and branding work.
For its research, The Yard claims that it interviewed passengers on all Eurostar routes, ‘going back and forth multiple times to get a good cross-section’, as well as looking at dining offers on airlines and other train firms.
The new design will launch in 2012, by which time other rail operators will be allowed to compete with Eurostar by running high-speed services through the Channel Tunnel.
Eurostar was unavailable to comment on the plans.
THE EUROSTAR SAGA
April 2009 – Seymour Powell loses out to Italian train design specialist Pininfarina, which wins Eurostar interior and livery refurbishment contract
March 2009 – details of interior design longlist emerges, including pitches by Prospect Design, Tangerine and Design Connect, which made a joint bid, as well as Priestman Goode and Seymour Powell
August 2008 – Eurostar appoints The Yard Creative to redesign the buffet car interiors