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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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Rail Operations Group ‘47’ modified for haulage work

Rail Operations Group will soon use a Class 47 to haul multiple units without the need for translators, following modifications carried out to the first of its four locomotives.

Previously, the company has only been able to use its fleet of modified Class 37s or Class 57/3s sub-leased from Direct Rail Services, as both these fleets are fitted with Dellner couplings that can be used to haul brand new electric multiple units as well as off-lease trains.

47812 is the first of the four operational ‘47s’ in the company’s fleet to be treated. It has been modified at Arlington Fleet Services’ Eastleigh Works as part of a major overhaul. ROG is putting all its ‘47s’ through this work.

Speaking to RAIL on March 20, Rail Operations (UK) Ltd Managing Director Karl Watts said the equipment fitted was not as powerful as that designed by ROG, but that this would not affect how the company plans to use the ‘47s’. 

“There’s no specified target for them to be used - they are to supplement the ‘37s’. It adds robustness,” he said.

  • For the FULL story including more on ROG's fleet plans, read RAIL 902, published on April 8, and available digitally from April 4.

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