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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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First seven Pacers to be withdrawn by Northern this weekend

Seven Class 142 Pacers will be withdrawn this weekend, Northern has confirmed.

Owned by Angel Trains, 142005/016/021/022/025/046/066 were due to be removed from traffic from August 10 and stored ahead of disposal. A further five, 142012-014/030/033, will move to Heaton.

The diesel multiple units will be replaced by an internal cascade of DMUs, following the introduction of new Class 195s built by CAF. The CAF DMUs entered traffic from July 1 (RAIL 883), several months later than planned.

Northern has 79 Class 142s in its fleet, and all were due to be withdrawn by the end of the year - as were the 23 Class 144 Pacers. However, delays introducing the new DMUs means the ‘144s’ will stay in traffic into next year (RAIL 884).

The Class 142s being withdrawn are based at Newton Heath (142012-014/030/033) with the rest at Heaton. The Newton Heath-based trains are being replaced by the new CAF trains, while those at Heaton are being replaced by Class 156s and ‘158s’ cascaded from the North West.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 885, published on August 14, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from August 10.

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