ALSTOM says that no deal is in place with Evolyn for the supply of high-speed trains, contradicting claims from the new entrant when announcing its plans to launch Paris - London cross-Channel high-speed services last week.

In a statement posted on its website, Alstom said that it was offering “important information” as a means of a clarification following the Evolyn press release issued on October 11.

“Alstom and Evolyn have established a short-term agreement to proceed with initial train system engineering activities with the objective of accelerating activities, should the parties eventually enter into a contract for the purchase and delivery of a certain number of trains, provided that Evolyn is capable of securing project financing,” Alstom says.

“With regards to potential future delivery dates for new trains, at this time, the final train delivery dates will be confirmed when a firm and final contract will be agreed upon, to be signed at a later date.”

Responding to a question from IRJ regarding Alstom’s statement, an Evolyn spokesperson maintained that a notice to proceed had been signed and that conformation of the financial structure of the agreement is “imminent.”

Evolyn is seeking to launch cross-Channel services in 2025 and said in it statement that it plans to order 12 high-speed trains from Alstom initially with an option for another four sets. The company told IRJ that it plans to lease the fleet, but offered no detail on the identify of the specific leaser or the terms of this agreement.

Evolyn confirmed in its press statement that it is planning to invest £1bn in the project. However, Alstom’s statement, and the expected difficulty of securing approval to operate a new fleet of trains through the Channel Tunnel, means that the timeline for the introduction of services appears ambitious.