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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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Consideration for new Brighton Main Line

The Department for Transport published the terms of reference of a new study that will give “consideration of the ‘BML2’ concept, which would create a new rail link by re-opening the Lewes-Uckfield line, along with other measures”.

The London-South Coast Rail Corridor Study, to be carried out by consultant WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, will consider options for increasing capacity and relieving pressure on the Brighton Main Line, including recommendations for investment in the existing Brighton Main Line and the evaluation of BML2. Its findings will help inform the Government’s future investment decisions for the rail network between London and the South Coast, said the DfT.

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  • Philip Walker - 22/10/2015 22:24

    In my experience of using the Brighton line, the congested double-track section between Balcombe Tunnel Jn and Brighton needs heavy investment, as it is not fit for purpose as a main line that has to cater for both fast non-stopping trains and trains that call at intermediate stations. NR proposals for grade-separation of the junction north of E Croydon where the lines to Victoria and London Bridge diverge, and extra platforms at E Croydon must also be essential projects. Reopening Lewes-Uckfield line would NOT require extra paths in the London area as it could just involve extension of existing London-Uckfield services. And if Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge were reopened, services could run via the E London Line to Essex and Stansted. But as “BML2” avoids Gatwick Airport and central Croydon and has slower journey times, I cannot see it would lead to any reduction of congestion on the current main line.

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 25/10/2015 20:06

    Brighton Main Line 2 may not happen for 10-12 years. But if it does get the go ahead then it will improve services with stations between East Grinstead and Lewis to be reopened and/or revamped with the new main line to be rebuilt on the disused section should be ideal and to reduce congestion on the current Brighton Main Line.

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