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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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Class 67s to continue on Scottish sleepers

GB Railfreight will use Class 67s hired from DB Schenker for the Caledonian Sleeper franchise.

The ‘67s’ will be used until enough rebuilt Class 73/9s are available. This is expected to be October. GBRf plans to use six Class 73s to haul CS trains between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Fort William and Inverness.

This means that Class 47s hired from Harry Needle Railroad Company will now not be used.

In a statement DB told RAIL: “After receiving a request to support the mobilisation and handover of the new franchise from GB Railfreight, we have agreed to provide four Class 67 locomotives on an interim basis for the haulage of the Caledonian Sleeper services. This will begin on April 1.”

Serco will operate the CS franchise, taking over from ScotRail when the franchises were split.

For more on this story, see RAIL 770, published on March 18.

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