Close Close

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?

View the poll

GWR confirms new trains plan for electric services

A GWR Electrostar at Derby Litchurch Lane on July 29 2016. RICHARD CLINNICK.

Ahead of the extension of its electrified services to Maidenhead, Great Western Railway has confirmed to RAIL that it needs 18 Electrostars to be able to operate the route.

To date, Bombardier has delivered 19, although by the end of April, not all had been accepted by GWR.

From May 21, the ‘387/1s’ will run from London Paddington to Maidenhead. Currently the electric multiple units run only as far as Hayes & Harlington, but the overhead line electrification has been energised further west, allowing the trains to expand their operations.

As things stand, GWR uses two pairs of four-car Class 387/1s to operate a half-hourly service throughout the day. This began in January after the ‘387s’ were introduced into traffic last September to cover peak-time trains between London and Hayes & Harlington (RAIL 809).

The operator said that it needs 18 EMUs in order to cover those being used for driver training and standby duties, as well as any that are undergoing maintenance. There will be five pairs of Class 387s in passenger use each day.

Introducing Class 387s on the Thames Valley route will allow GWR to cascade its Thames Turbo fleet westwards, with Class 165/166s moving to the Bristol area.

  • For more on this, read RAIL 826, published on May 10. 


Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


  • SteveB - 09/05/2017 09:04

    Looking further ahead, many of the Class165/166s are used between Oxford and Paddington. Therefore, it seems illogical to delay electrification between Didcot and Oxford. It will mean that services will have to be split at Didcot, and will delay the diesel fleet's cascade westwards.

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
    • BigTone - 09/05/2017 12:04

      Oxford services will get bi mode Class 800 until the wires reach Oxford. This electrification problems are holding up diesel unit cascades and causing problems elsewhere in the country

      Reply as guest

      Login  /  Register
  • AndrewG1989 - 10/05/2017 06:19

    What about extending the Class 387's to Reading or will that happen sometime next year.

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • SteveB - 10/05/2017 06:45

    The bi-mode trains will replace the HS125s stopping at Slough and Reading, but it's the stopping services calling at Didcot that I use when travelling from Swindon to Oxford; the electric stopping services will have to terminate there and the platforms will be swamped with passengers thus inconvenienced.

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
    • FrankH - 13/05/2017 14:48

      In the afternoon (16.00 onwards) there are only 4 services to Maidenhead with 3 return journeys, the other goes empty stock to Reading. In the morning there is 1 service which starts there to Paddington. So the number of turbo units released wont amount to much. Would be better used to strengthen existing services to Reading and Oxford until enough bi mode units are ready or the OHLE is complete to Oxford.

      Reply as guest

      Login  /  Register

RAIL is Britain's market leading modern railway magazine.

Download the app

Related content