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Travelling on a Eurostar train

Travelling with an instrument on a Eurostar train

The MU has been working with Eurostar to find a greener, more reliable, cost effective and safer means of transport.

See below for further details on:

  • How to transport your instrument
  • Companion seats
  • Hold baggage
  • Additional considerations

Members can claim discounted rates on baggage handling for instruments placed in the hold, as well as a fixed rate price for companion tickets for instruments taken on the coach.

Advanced fares can be as low as £34.50, you can find up to date information on fares, fees and conditions on the Eurostar website. We also recommend that musicians travelling regularly take advantage of the Club Eurostar scheme for further discounts.

How to transport your instrument

Instruments measuring over 85 cm at their longest length will require a companion seat to travel in your coach – although the Eurostar policy states that guitars can be carried on the overhead luggage racks without an extra ticket.

Instruments exceeding the following dimensions will need to be transported in the hold through baggage handling:

  • Window seat: 1 m (approx) x 57.5 cm x 45 cm
  • Aisle seat: 1.36 m (approx) x 57.5 cm x 45 cm

Please note it is very important that if you check your instrument through baggage handling you ensure it is in a hard case.

Q: What if I have a cello in a soft case?
A: You would need to book a companion seat.

Q: What If I have a cello in a hard case?
A: You can either book a companion seat or check it in through baggage handling

Q: Can I take another piece of hand luggage into the compartment?
A: Yes, all instruments carried in the main compartment would form part of your baggage allowance, so you will be able to take an additional piece of hand luggage.

 

Companion seats

Instruments measuring over 85 cm at their longest length will require a companion seat ticket. These tickets are offered at a fixed rate, and mean that the instrument can travel on a seat in your coach.

The lowest that Eurostar can currently offer for companion seat tickets is £35 each way – although this may be subject to increases.

You will need to book your companion seat ticket through Eurostars’ contact centre on 03432 186 186. You can arrange this at your departure station on the day of travel but, if you book in advance, you’ll have a better chance of your instrument travelling in a seat next to you.

Hold baggage

If you wish to check your instrument as hold baggage, Eurostar have offered an exclusive price of £20.00 each way (£40.00 return) to MU members. The usual return cost for this method is £60.00.

Instruments transported as hold baggage must be contained in a hard case.

To check your instrument into the hold and claim your discount, you will need to email your request to eurodespatch@eurostar.com or call Eurodespatch on 03448 225822, and include the following details:

  • The instrument you’re travelling with
  • Your date of travel and train number
  • Your MU membership number
  • Your phone number so they can get back to you (if contacting via email)

When you take the instrument to the terminal take your MU card with you as proof of membership.

Musicians travelling in a group of four or more can claim an additional 10% discount on baggage handling fees. To qualify for the discount, all musicians must be MU members and be checking their instruments into the hold via Eurodespatch.

Additional considerations

The MU visited the despatch areas in both London St Pancras and Paris Gard du Nord. In Brussels the SNCB railways baggage office handles instruments. The handlers are experienced in the safe handling and care of musical instruments.

All compartments onboard the train are locked and sealed until arrival. CCTV is in operation at the luggage offices and your instrument will always travel on the same train as yourself if requested at time of booking, subject to luggage hold availability. Otherwise they guarantee a 24-hour delivery.

On arrival follow the signs to the despatch area, and take your booking document for identification when collecting your instrument.

And remember to make sure that your instrument insurance is registered and up to date before you travel.