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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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Signal failures blight London-Reading journeys

Signal failures on the Great Western Main Line between London and Reading have been running at an average of almost one a day in recent months, according to figures released by Network Rail.

In March 2015 there were 36 failures (causing 6,189 delay minutes), with the trend over the past five years rising inexorably towards daily failures. The delays that result from the failures are also rising, although delay minutes per incident have remained constant over the five years.

RAIL understands that the problems centre on three areas: existing signalling from the 1990s around Acton and Southall; poor reliability of new axle counters around Slough; and various problems with new points laid in Moreton Cutting last Easter. The latter are not reflected in the figures released by NR because they only cover to March, whereas Easter fell in April. 

​For more on this story, read RAIL 778, published on July 8.
For more comment and analysis on the rail industry – subscribe to RAIL.
 

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