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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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Port of Felixstowe expands rail facilities

The Port of Felixstowe has commissioned two new rail-mounted gantry cranes at its North Rail Terminal. The cranes were manufactured by Liebherr and co-financed by the European Union’s Trans-European Transport Network programme.

With nine rail cranes and 16 sidings at its three terminals, the Port of Felixstowe says it is the largest intermodal rail facility in the country. In 2014, the port handled 890,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and 60 arrivals and departures every day. It says rail business is 20% higher than when the North Rail Terminal opened in 2013.

DB Schenker, Freightliner and GB Railfreight run services to destinations including Birmingham, Manchester, Trafford Park, Scunthorpe, Hams Hall, Daventry and Coatbridge.

Port of Felixstowe Chief Executive Clemence Cheng said: “The frequency of services we can offer makes rail a much more reliable and viable alternative to 17 destinations in the UK, helping to reduce road congestion and allowing customers to strip carbon out of their supply chains. The new cranes will help us to move even greater volumes by rail.

  • For more on this subject, see RAIL 774 published on May 13 2015

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