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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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GB Railfreight to lease ten Class 60s from Beacon Rail

Ten GB Railfreight Class 60s are to be leased from Beacon Rail.

GBRf bought the Type 5s from Colas Railfreight earlier this summer (RAIL 858), and has agreed a sale and long-term leaseback of the ‘60s’ with the rolling stock leasing company.

The company says the purchase supports its growth in handling commodities such as biomass and aggregates. Because of their power, the ‘60s’ will allow GBRf to operate heavier trains, enabling growth on contracts including the deal with waste company Biffa that started in March.

Contracts for HS2 construction trains are also being targeted by GBRf, prompting recent deals for Class 66s from DB Cargo as well as the ‘60s’.

GBRf Managing Director John Smith said: “The move is demonstrative of why GBRf is the UK’s fastest-growing freight company, and this rate of development will only continue.”

The purchase of 60002/021/026/047/056/076/085/087/095/096 from Colas follows a deal for 16 Class 56s (RAIL 857).

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 860, published on August 29, and available digitally on Android/iPad from August 25.

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