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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: TPE Mk 5As in Velim

The first Class 68/Mk 5A trains for TransPennine Express will enter traffic this autumn, the operator confirmed on April 12.

TPE unveiled the first set of five coaches at the Velim test track in the Czech Republic. Invited guests were able to sample the interiors of the CAF-built stock, and it will be this set that arrives first in the UK.

CAF designed the stock in Zaragoza, with the Driving Trailer Standard (DTS) coaches built in Irun and the Trailer First and Trailer Standards in Beasain (both in northern Spain). They are leased from Beacon Rail.

This is the first of three brand new fleets being introduced by TPE. They have been branded ‘Nova’, and the Mk 5A stock ‘Nova 3’.

“We are very proud of the trains, and we like to think our Nova fleets will be iconic for the North,” said TPE Managing Director Leo Goodwin. 

  • For in-depth news and feature coverage from Velim, read RAIL 851, published on April 25, and available digitally on Android/iPad from April 21.
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