Eurostar's 1,600 employees will use cloud-based tool Box to share files between London, Paris and Brussels, its CIO Antoine de Kerviler said yesterday, a boon for SaaS start-up Box ahead of its imminent initial public offering.

The high-speed train service has put enterprise-focused Box – a rival to popular file-sharing tools Dropbox and Google Drive – in charge of securing and managing internal and external collaboration on employee's mobile phones.

For example, train drivers will use Box to access driver manuals from their iPads while in offline mode; procurement will be the sharing tool for contract management and HR for new joiners and leavers.

De Kerviler said that Eurostar's "disparate workforce", which is "working on multiple projects across three key countries," needed a way to access content and collaborate online. Previously staff used a combination of email and on premise file-sharing.

He added that Box had helped "fundamentally change the way we work across projects".

The move to Box is part of Eurostar's mission to create a productive workforce by offering employees secure and user-friendly tools while on-the-move.

Box's European general manager, David Quantrell, said Eurostar's announcement underscored an increased cloud-based tool adoption across Europe, as more firms encourage a mobile and collaborative workforce.

The 10-year-old start-up, which is set for its long-awaited IPO by the end of this week, counts Network Rail, Gatwick Airport and Oxfam among its customers. Last year mining giant Anglo American announced it was rolling out Box to 10,000 employees worldwide, and General Electric to 300,000 after Box went on a recruitment drive to hire former CIOs in order to target vertical industries.

Box allows users to share files on the web through iOs, Android and Windows Phone applications as well as Google Apps, NetSuite and Salesforce.

Late last year it bought a medical image viewing startup as part of its strategy to appeal to health-care companies.