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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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TfL agrees £1 billion sale and leaseback deal for Elizabeth Line trains

Transport for London (TfL) has agreed a £1 billion 20-year sale and leaseback deal for its 70 Class 345 electric multiple units being delivered by Bombardier.

The trains will be leased from 345 Rail Leasing – a consortium comprising Equitix Investment Management Ltd, NatWest and SMBC Leasing. There is an option for TfL to purchase the fleet at the end of the initial lease term. The deal was approved by TfL’s Finance Committee in December, and the £1bn will be reinvested in infrastructure across the capital’s transport network including the new Piccadilly Line trains to be built by Siemens.

Simon Kilonback, Chief Financial Officer at Transport for London said: “As is standard practice across the rail industry, we have been looking to sell and lease back our Elizabeth line rolling stock. This will help us purchase new trains on London Underground’s Piccadilly line, where there is a clear need for a modern fleet.

“This is a positive deal for London, releasing almost a billion pounds of funding for TfL which can be immediately reinvested into delivering transport improvements, while still allowing us to operate these trains on our network."

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 876, published on April 10, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from April 6.

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