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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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Plummer: new trains and carriages supporting British jobs

Gatwick Express 387201 on test at Gatwick Airport. JULIAN GAJEWSKI.

Rail Delivery Group’s new chief executive Paul Plummer has highlighted how the industry is spending £9.3 billion on new trains by the end of the decade.

“We know that fare payers want better trains, so this investment over the next four years is great news for our passengers,” he told delegates at a rail conference in Derby on November 27.

“An average of 12 carriages per week are being built to meet demand - a far higher build rate than just a few years ago. More than half of the new trains are being built by British-based manufacturers, supporting more than 2,000 jobs including at least 100 apprenticeships.”

His claim was backed up by Rail Minister Claire Perry, who said: “Introducing more modern, high-quality trains is central to our commitment to give passengers better journeys and boost economic growth.

“We’re already making massive improvements through franchising - such as removing Pacer trains from the north of England with requirements for at least 120 new-build diesel vehicles, and introducing new trains on the East Coast, Great Western and Thameslink lines.

“We are also pressing ahead with our plans for electrification, which will enable faster, greener, electric trains to run on large parts of the UK’s rail network.”

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

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 27/11/2015 19:54

    Bombardier are currently building 27 Class 387/2's Electrostars for Gatwick Express and the 8 Class 387/3's Electrostars are to be built for Great Western Railway along with 29 Class 387/1's Electrostars to be cascaded from Thameslink which means Thameslink could be getting 20 Class 387/4's Electrostars and also Bombardier are building the 65 Class 345's for MTR Crossrail and 45 Class 710's Aventra's for London Overground. And are nearly completing 80 S7 Stocks for the London Underground District Line that is to be used between Upminster and Ealing Broadway replacing the D78 Stocks that the D Stocks are to be transferred to the North of England to be converted into Class 230's D-Trains from Vivarail for Northern Rail and possibly to be used on rural lines in East Anglia. Siemens are currently building 55 Class 700/0's 12 Car and 60 Class 700/1's 8 Car Desiro City fleet for Thameslink and are soon to build 30 5 Car Class 707's for South West Trains. With the Class 319's to be transferred to Northern Rail once the electrification to Leeds is being completed aswell to Bolton, Blackburn, Wigan, Warrington, Burnley and Merseyside. Hitachi are currently building the Class 800's and Class 801's IEP fleet for Great Western Railway and Virgin Trains East Coast to replace the current intercity rolling stocks and are to build 70 Class 385's for Abellio Scotrail. So yes brand new trains being built by the Canadian manufacturer-Bombardier, Japanese manufacturer-Hitachi and German manufacturer-Siemens for the major railway lines in the United Kingdom.

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 28/11/2015 01:50

    Also would that mean brand new trains that could be built to replace the Class 321's & Class 317's EMU's and the Class 90+MK3+DVT Intercity fleets that Abellio Greater Anglia are to lose the franchise in October next year with the new franchise to be chosen and to decide on whether to order brand new trains either from Bombardier or Siemens or Hitachi and to build those new trains for Essex, East Anglia, West Anglia, Cambridge, Ipswich, Colchester, Norwich and rural lines also to get brand new trains including the Class 230 D-Trains to be used on Marks Tey-Sudbury line, Ipswich-Felixstowe line and Norwich-Cromer-Sheringham line to replace the Class 153's and Class 156's Sprinter DMU trains to be cascaded to Southwest England or the North of England.

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  • Anthony Sneath - 28/11/2015 22:13

    The 120 new build diesel vehicles are not the Class 230 units. I would think the Class 230's could be deployed on the Matlock to Newark Castle services allowing the released units to strengthen other services eg Newark NG to Grimsby and Peterborough to Lincoln services which currently use Class 153 units and at peak times, passengers are being turned away because of overcrowding. Maybe extend the Matlock to Newark Castle services to Lincoln

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