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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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ScotRail Mk 3 refurbishment plan

On December 1, former Great Western Railway 43146 and 43143 pass Washwood Heath with a St Philips Marsh-Ely stock move. The Mk 3s were moving for store (although two will move north to Inverness for training), while the power cars then went to Brush Traction, Loughborough for overhaul before starting a new career with ScotRail next year. TERRY CALLAGHAN.

The first refurbished ScotRail High Speed Train Mk 3s are due to be delivered to Craigentinny on February 15, for testing, commissioning and training. The HSTs will then enter traffic with SR from May (RAIL 836).

The four coaches are currently at Wabtec Rail, Doncaster, where they are being refurbished with new interiors and fitted with sliding doors. The vehicles involved are Trailer First (TF) 41032, Trailer Standards (TS) 42045, 42561 and Trailer Standard (Disabled) (TSD) 42207. They will be collected by SR 43021 and 43132, which are currently being used for training.

Meanwhile, the first overhauled Class 43 power cars for ScotRail are due to leave Wabtec Rail’s Brush Traction Loughborough facility on January 17 and travel to Doncaster for testing with the Mk 3s. These power cars will be 43033 and 43148. 

By the start of the May timetable change, when the HSTs are introduced by ScotRail, five pairs of ‘43s’ will have been overhauled (43012/021/033, 43132/143/146/148/168/169/183)

The next former Great Western Railway set to be sent off-lease will leave on January 11. 43012 and 43168 will take set LA05 to Leicester, with four coaches for refurbishment at Doncaster, and the other four for store at Ely. The power cars will go to Loughborough for overhaul, and will be released in late March.

GWR HST rakes to go off-lease between now and May

Stock for ScotRail:         41094, 41130/134/135/160, 42019, 42184, 42265/267/275/276/279/280, 42325/332/345, 42502/559/567/571/574/576

Stock for store at Ely: 40221, 40703/707/716/721/722, 41103/104, 42028/029/054/072, 42107/185, 42206/252/253/269/277/281, 42513, 44001/009/028/032/034/035

Stock for ScotRail (training):   40713, 42208/209, 44066

  • The full story can be found in RAIL 842, available on Android/iPad. 

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 27/12/2017 12:00

    As ScotRail are inheriting some of the Class 43 HST’s. Why not transfer the rest of the Class 43 HST’s from Grand Central &/or GWR to East Midlands Trains and some to Arriva Trains Wales to operate on Holyhead-Crewe/Manchester services. With some of the Class 43’s to be used on freight duties. As the Class 800’s, Class 801’s And Class 802’s IET’s that will be operated on the GWML, Cornish Main Line, London-Oxford & Cotswolds, ECML, London-Leeds, London-York, Transpennine routes and London-Hull “Hull Trains” services.

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    • BigTone - 27/12/2017 17:20

      Actually 3 HST sets are going from Grand Central to EMT. The idea is to cascade internally Meridian units to release Class 158s to help out with other services within the franchise (Meridians to the Liverpool - Norwich service?)

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      • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 28/12/2017 12:05

        Ok. So the Class 222’s Meridians could be replaced and possibly end up operating on other EMT routes such as Liverpool Lime Street-Norwich. And some might even be transferred to Arriva Crosscountry to replace the Class 43’s HST on Newcastle/Manchester-Exeter/Plymouth/Truro/Pencanze and Birmingham-Plymouth/Penzance and other Crosscountry routes.

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        • BigTone - 28/12/2017 13:55

          No, the idea is to release Class 158s to help out overcrowded services that are currently being run by single car units WITHIN the franchise. However, something will be needed to be done with all the HSTs that EMT has in the next two (?) years because of the disability regs.

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          • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 29/12/2017 13:00

            Probably you are right.

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          • FrankH - 29/12/2017 14:25

            Seeing as Scotrail has has found it more effective (rather than buy new) to make HST's disability compliant why don't other TOC's do it.

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          • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 31/12/2017 11:12

            Northern might have the Class 158’s to cover with services in the West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and South Trans-Pennine routes.

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            • BigTone - 03/01/2018 23:38

              Why? Northern are receiving Class 158s from Scotrail soon. 158782/6/9/ 867/8/9/70 and 871 They are also getting GWR Class 150/1s and 16 off Class 170. 453-461 and 472-478 Not to mention the brand new units will be coming in the next couple of years

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