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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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Kiepe traction equipment to be fitted to ‘442s’

Class 442s entering traffic with South Western Railway from December 2018 will be fitted with traction equipment from Kiepe Electric UK Ltd, as part of a £45 million project to reinstate the trains.

The contract was awarded on October 25, and 18 five-car ‘442s’ will be treated at Eastleigh Works. When back in service, the electric multiple units (EMUs) will operate between London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour.

The fleet of 24 EMUs, owned by Angel Trains, will also be refurbished. They are currently out of traffic, having been withdrawn by Gatwick Express and Southern in 2016-17. The remaining six not leased by SWR could be employed by Alliance Rail, which wants to use them between Southampton and Waterloo.

The traction equipment being fitted to the SWR ‘442s’ will replace that fitted when the ‘442s’ were built by BREL at Derby in 1987-88, when traction motors and electrical control gear were removed from the Class 432 4-REPs (built in 1966-67) that they replaced.

  • For much more on this, read RAIL 839, published on November 8.

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 26/10/2017 11:40

    I think new traction equipment will enhance the performance of the Class 442's and to accelerate much quicker than before. Also Kiepe Electric (formerly Vossloh Kiepe) are also fitting in new traction equipment on the Greater Anglia's Class 321's.

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    • FrankH - 25/11/2017 11:04

      You'd have enjoyed a ride on a 4 REP Andrew, 3200hp. Although they usually pushed a 4TC unit to Bournemouth they went like the clappers. As fast were the Clacton Express units out of Liverpool street with 3384HP on 25KV OHL. Both would reach 100mph with ease.

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