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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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Consortium appointed to deliver increased Waterloo capacity

An agreement between the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance and contractors has been reached for work to begin on major improvement works at London Waterloo, the UK’s busiest station.

A project to boost peak time capacity by 30% by 2018 will involve the extension of the existing platforms 1-4 and the re-opening of all five of the formerly mothballed Waterloo International platforms, supported by improved track and signalling. Temporary access has already been constructed to platforms 21-24 in the former International terminal.

The consortium, which includes Skanska, Colas Rail, AECOM and Mott MacDonald has been selected to carry out the work following a “detailed and stringent” procurement process. The consortium will now work with the Alliance to scope out plans to boost capacity at London Waterloo and other inner London stations. Detailed plans will then be submitted to the Office of Rail Regulation and Department for Transport for approval.

The lengthened and re-opened platforms will allow the operation of 10-car services, operated with both new and refurbished rolling stock. The Waterloo International platforms were last used in November 2007, when Eurostar services switched to St Pancras International.

  • For more on this story, see RAIL 771, published on April 1.

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