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As lockdown restrictions ease and we start to consider travelling again, the future of cross-Channel operator Eurostar remains uncertain.
Eurostar is seeking financial support from the UK Government, citing higher access charges here as a reason.
The French Government has pledged to provide support for the operator, while £200 million has been provided by one of its shareholders, Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Hermes Infrastructure.
Registered in the UK and supporting 3,000 jobs either with the business or in the supply chain, the company is, however, 55% owned by SNCF (French state rail), 40% by CDPQ/Hermes and 5% by SNCB (Belgian state railways).
So: Should the UK Government provide financial assistance to Eurostar?

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IN PICTURES: Inside TransPennine Express' Mk 5As

The Class 68-hauled Mk 5As will be formed of five coaches, plus the locomotive. The formation will be ‘68’+TF+TS+TS+TS+DTS. In Velim, the set was formed of 68021 Tireless, TF 11501, 12701, 12702, 12703, DTS 12801.

The Driving Trailer (DTS) is 22.37 metres long with 64 Standard Cass seats, and weighs 32.90 tonnes.

Next to the DTS is a TS, which is known as T2. This has 59 seats plus an area for bike and bulk storage (there are a further six tip-up seats, but these are not included in the overall seating figure). A trolley can be stowed here. T2 is fitted with a standard toilet. This coach weights 31.56 tonnes and is 22.2 metres long.

Next are two TS coaches (known as T3). These weigh 31.82 tonnes, measure 22.2 metres, and each have 69 seats. These also have standard toilets.

The final coach in the rake is the TF (known as T1). This is 32.67 tonnes and is 22.37 metres long. Like the DTS it is fitted with buffers. It has 30 First Class seats plus two wheelchair spaces. There is also a fully accessible toilet fitted to this coach, as well as catering facilities.

An at-seat refreshment trolley will be on-board with a hot water urn exchange unit in the kitchen area, which reduces the need to load/remove the trolley mid-journey or between trains.

Including the Class 68, the train is 131.84 metres long. It has a maximum speed of 100mph.

The coaches are fitted with CCTV forward and rear-facing in the saloon and vestibule.

  • For FULL in-depth coverage of the Mk 5As from Velim, read RAIL 851, published on April 25, and available digitally on Android/iPad from April 21.
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