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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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Newton Aycliffe facility connected to rail network

The final track component has been installed at Britain’s newest train factory at Merchant Park, connecting the factory with the rail network for the first time. Network Rail, Hitachi Rail Europe and Story Contracting turned the last Pandrol Clip at the £82 million Newton Aycliffe site in County Durham on March 25.

Due to be completed by mid-2015, work will now concentrate on the interior fitting out of the facility, which has already started.

Network Rail Route Managing Director Phil Verster said: “Today’s final fixing signals an important milestone in this exciting project. This facility is an achievement in itself and will continue to bring economic benefits to the North East, as well as maintaining the region’s proud rail heritage.

Once completed, Merchant Park will serve as a Hitachi Rail Europe facility for train manufacturing and assembly. It will be the base for the assembly of the new Great Western Main Line and East Coast Main Line trains for the Government’s Intercity Express Programme, as well as the new AT200 trains for Abellio’s ScotRail franchise.

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