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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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GALLERY: Northern's new Class 331 construction in Spain

A selection of images taken in CAF's Zaragoza factory in Spain on January 31, showing the first complete Class 331 electric multiple unit, which is about to start testing.

RAIL was also able to look at the production line, with the first six '331s' in various stages of construction. At the time of RAIL's visit, the first almost complete four-car Class 331 had yet to be fitted with tables and litter bins, while fold-up seats still needed to be fitted in certain areas. 
They are part of a £490 million order for 98 new trains that start entering traffic from December.
  • For an in-depth report on the Class 195 and '331' introduction with Northern, read RAIL 846, published on February 14, and available digitally on iPad and Android from February 10.
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