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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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Battery-powered Electrostar enters traffic

A battery-powered Class 379 Electrostar carried passengers on the Manningtree-Harwich Town branch for the first time on January 12.

Its first train was the 1103 Manningtree-Harwich Town. The modified unit is 379013.

NR Principal Engineer James Ambrose said: “After months of engineering and testing, the train is running just as we would like it. We’ll be using this period to gather data on how it handles during passenger service – most travellers will recognise how quiet and smooth the ride is compared to a diesel-powered train.”

The Independently Powered Electric Multiple Unit (IPEMU) will run for five weeks on the branch, starting from January 12. This follows a week of testing on the line that began on January 5. It will remain in use until February 13.

It is fitted with six battery rafts, and uses Lithium Iron Magnesium Phosphate battery technology. The IPEMU can hold a charge for 60 miles and requires two hours of charging for every hour running. The batteries charge from the overhead wires when the pantograph is raised, and from regenerative braking.

  • For more on this story, see RAIL 766, published on January 21.


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  • Greg Tingey - 16/01/2015 08:18

    Where will it be tested away from the wires? Or only partially under the wires?

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 26/08/2019 13:42

    Greater Anglia should keep the Class 379 instead of replacing them. They are ideal to work on other routes such as branch lines in Essex including Wickford-Southminster.

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