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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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Report seeks to improve Anglian connectivity

A blueprint for transforming connectivity of the passenger rail network in East Anglia has outlined how a new timetable could be achieved with alterations to railway infrastructure, in order to serve pent-up demand away from the traditional central London commuter and leisure market.

The report’s authors, who work at the Network Rail Victoria Area Signalling Centre in London, have developed the idea in their own time and have had their ideas endorsed by senior industry leaders.

Building on the Swiss Railway experience, the report’s authors suggest that the greatest improvements would occur on routes such as Romford-Cambridge, Harlow Town-Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn-Stratford and Cambridge-Ipswich. These are cited as “less traditional routes that rail currently fails to offer an attractive service compared with other modes of transport, and where a transformation would have the most significant impact on modal shift”.

The report examines improving connectivity to Stansted Airport with direct trains to many parts of the Anglia network, as well as improving the Liverpool Street-Stansted journey time.

For more information, see RAIL 765, published on January 7.

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