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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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Late-February debut for Gatwick Express Class 387/2s

387210 at Derby Litchurch Lane on December 18 2015. RICHARD CLINNICK.

Class 387/2s will enter traffic with Gatwick Express on February 29. The first of 27 four-car dual-voltage Electrostars will begin running between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport, replacing the Class 442s currently operating on that route.

The ‘442s’ will be gradually withdrawn and sent off-lease by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which operates the GX route.

The £145 million fleet of ‘387/2s’ is owned by Porterbrook and is currently being built by Bombardier at Derby Litchurch Lane, with the final train (387227) due to be delivered at the end of March. Each train takes four days to build, after which testing is carried out on the West Coast Main Line. 

  • For more on this, read RAIL 794, published on February 17. 

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 03/02/2016 10:43

    So the Class 442's could be scrapped once all 27 Class 387/2's are in service. Plus Class 700's are also to be in service in Spring time.

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    • FrankH - 03/02/2016 11:48

      The 442's will probably replace older units elsewhere, to good to scrap surely.

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  • Noam Bleicher - 04/02/2016 10:11

    Even if there is no use for them on Southern Region, they could be used as hauled stock elsewhere.

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