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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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End of the line for locomotive-hauled Fife Circle trains

Class 68-hauled passenger trains are due to be withdrawn by ScotRail at the end of May.

Two ‘68s’ and two rakes of air-conditioned Mk 2s have been supplied by Direct Rail Services since Abellio began operating the ScotRail franchise in April 2015. They were due to be displaced once the Inter7City High Speed Train fleet entered traffic, but that project is running two years late.

The other key factor surrounding their withdrawal now is that dispensation for the Mk 2s to remain in traffic despite not meeting accessibility regulations expires at the end of May. Already Riviera Trains Mk 2s supplied by DRS for SR have been returned to their owner.

Currently the ‘68s’ are used on evening trains on the Fife Circle, whereas previously they had been used on early-morning and early-evening peak period trains on the route.

Once ScotRail increases the number of trains it can run following lockdown, diesel multiple units will replace them as sufficient IC7s will have been delivered to facilitate an internal cascade.

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