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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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Sturgeon unveils new look Caledonian Sleeper at Inverness

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon marked the upcoming launch of the new Caledonian Sleeper train franchise on March 23, visiting the new-look Guest Service Centre in Inverness and unveiling the new franchise's 'white stag' brand. The overnight service will transfer from First ScotRail to Serco Caledonian Sleeper Service Ltd on March 31.

Sturgeon met with the design team that created the new interiors for the passenger lounges, as well as CS staff who have also been adorned with new uniforms. Sturgeon also unveiled the new name of DB Schenker 67004 Cairn Gorm at Inverness station, which has been repainted into the CS 'midnight teal' livery and which is set to operate on the service until the autumn when GB Railfreight Class 73s take over.

The lounge facility features soft furnishings and shower facilities by Edinburgh-based Ian Smith Designs. Contracts for the construction of 75 new carriages, making up four new trains, were signed with Spanish manufacturer CAF last month, with the design process now under way.

  • For more on the launch of the new CS franchise, read the news story and exclusive six-page interview with CS Managing Director Peter Strachan in RAIL 771, published on April 1.

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