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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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Rebuilt ‘73/9s’ take over all Caledonian Sleeper work

A pair of Caledonian Sleeper Class 73/9s enter Spean Bridge on July 1. PETER FOSTER.

Caledonian Sleeper is no longer using Class 67s on its trains from Edinburgh Waverley to the Highlands, because sufficient rebuilt Class 73/9s are now available for these duties.

The deal to hire the locomotives ended on June 30.

CS hires its traction from GB Railfreight. The Class 73/9s had been scheduled to start in April last year, when CS took over Sleeper operations from First ScotRail. However, they were delayed due to various complications with the rebuild, and so GBRf hired the ‘67s’ from DB as a stopgap. ScotRail had used the Class 67s prior to the end of the franchise.

GBRf will use Class 73s on trains to and from Fort William and Aberdeen, while a Class 66/73 combination will be used on the Inverness train. The Class 73 is provided on that train for electric train supply, as the ‘66’ is not so equipped. 

  • For more on this, read RAIL 805, published on July 20.

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  • Gizzy - 05/07/2016 19:30

    Are 73/9 still Electro-diesels, or just pure diesel locos? Seems to be an odd choice to be used north of London, but I guess there aren't any 37s avaible instead....

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  • FrankH - 05/07/2016 23:08

    Sticking my neck out on this but i'm going to say they are still electro-diesel. The 1600 hp MTU engine is more powerful than 2 x 750hp engines as fitted to Voyagers. Don't ask, I read it somewhere. If they go back to GBRF duties on the southern region they can revert to using both power types.

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  • FrankH - 08/07/2016 00:15

    Back in time didn't class 37/4's haul these portions single handed. EWS got rid of them and used class 67's and now GBRF are using 4 or 5 locos for the same work. Yes it's progress with more efficient locos, but more and more 37's are being fully refurbed as companies realise they are a very handy tool to have. I know GBRF had the 73's already and to keep costs down used them but it might have been better to buy 4 37's and rebuild them with ETH and a 2000 or more hp engine. More power, adhesion and maybe the same RA. Just a thought.

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    • Michael R - 01/06/2018 21:48

      73s haul them single handed too but take six coaches now over the WHR. In days when the 37/4s were in charge the consist was normally only 4 coaches.

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  • Ethan Powell - 22/04/2020 16:27

    I Often Wondered Why The Class 66 Was Coupled to a Class 73/9, But Now I Know Why, the Class 67 Was a Good Loco, But The Class 66 Is a Fantastic Locomotive To Work On, I Know This Because a Few Years ago I Worked On a Freightliner Class 66 In The Bolton & Wigan Area

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