This is not a movie set. This isn’t from some post-apocalyptic new film starring Will Smith. This is a real, honest-to-God high-speed train that’s been abandoned and left to die. And it looks like something out of our dystopian future.
Eurostar train set number 373018 was part of the original group of Eurostar trains built to ply the tunnel under the English Channel. Fundamentally based on the TGV (with a few modifications, such as extra-fireproofing just in case something went wrong in the tunnel), it would rocket up to 186 mph in nothing but supreme smoothness and comfort.
But then the train people bought new trains, and 373018 was officially put into “storage.” But as you can see, it’s been essentially abandoned since 2014, allowed to be crawled over and reclaimed by nature, graffiti artists, and urban explorers alike:
It’s so weird to see something that’s not only not-that-old, but downright futuristic to us backwards Americans just sitting there, exposed to the elements and becoming all decrepit.
It wasn’t always like this. Here’s 373018 in its heyday, when it would regularly ply the routes between London, Paris, and Brussels:
Hey, Europe, if you’ve got one of these things just lying around, could we borrow one for a while? I got an idea.