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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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Virgin begins £21m refurbishment of East Coast fleet

Virgin Trains East Coast 91126 and 43319 at Peterborough on July 26. RICHARD CLINNICK.

A £21 million refurbishment programme is under way on Virgin Trains East Coast’s 45 trains, with the first due to be released ready for the new Sunderland services starting on December 14.

Despite Intercity Express Programme trains replacing the entire High Speed Train fleet by the end of 2019, as well as all but a handful of Class 91/Mk 4 sets, VTEC is committed to spending £40m on the fleets.

The operator said that 401 carriages will be overhauled. This involves replacing 24,123 seats and fitting refurbished toilets, new carpets and curtains. First Class carriages will be fitted with leather seats.

  • For more on this, read RAIL 789, published on December 9. 

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