Close Close

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?

View the poll

Voyager evacuation reveals Dawlish vulnerability

The evacuation of a CrossCountry Voyager during the evening of September 13 is a timely reminder of the South West’s need for a railway fit for the 21st century.

That is the message from the Peninsula Rail Task Force after passengers were detrained from the 1707 Manchester Piccadilly-Plymouth, which was cancelled between Dawlish and Teignmouth after being hit by a wave.

The Task Force is campaigning for a series of improvements designed to ensure the region doesn’t lose out due to disruption caused by inadequate infrastructure.

PRTF Chairman Andrew Leadbetter said: “Last night’s incident at Dawlish with the train evacuation because of the severe weather is a timely reminder of just how urgent this situation is becoming. The rain was heavy, and the sea was not calm, but our rail network needs to be able to withstand a summer storm without issue.

“We cannot afford to take these situations lightly - and it is all the more reason that our campaign needs to keep up the pressure on the Government to invest.”

The PRTF has launched a consultation for its interim report on the South West rail network. Called On Track, the report sets out the vision for the peninsula and the first steps required to achieve the programme of work that it says will improve the network over the next 20 years.

Leadbetter said: “We have been campaigning and pressing the Government to deliver a programme of improvement for the South West rail network, creating greater resilience, faster journey times and increasing capacity. Our priority is to achieve a railway fit for the 21st century, fit for our residents, commuters and visitors.

“The Department for Transport has asked us to work with Network Rail to look at what might be needed to achieve our goal and to set out the individual projects required. This is a demanding body of work to undertake, so we are planning to complete by next summer.

“Given the game-changing nature of our proposals, it is important that we provide an update on our progress so far, so that everyone has the opportunity to understand the plans, and we can also ensure that these proposals will meet the needs of our communities.

“We need to keep challenging Government to invest in the West and commit to connectivity here.”

The report will be presented to Rail Minister Claire Perry in October.

Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


  • GWRrailwatch - 24/09/2015 20:00

    Surely this is a fault with the design of the Voyagers, which has happened before. I remember a story in Rail some time ago that the fleet was being modified so that this problem wouldn't recur. 'Old fashioned' HSTs, 150s and even Pacer 142s with the bus doors make it through ok. I wonder if Hitachi have taken the 'Dawlish Seas' into account when designing the new bi-mode IEP for the South-West? I doubt it. Anyone at Rail like to place a bet against that? The prize: an icecream on the beach or a pint in the Brunswick Arms.

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register

RAIL is Britain's market leading modern railway magazine.

Download the app

Related content