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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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Major improvements for South West railway?

Major rail improvements for the South West - including flood resilience, increased capacity, journey time improvements and an alternative route to the coastal railway between Exeter and Newton Abbot - are moving closer with the publication of the South West Peninsula Rail Task Force (SWPRTF)’s 20-year plan interim report.

The report is the final stage before the definitive 20-year vision for the region is delivered to the Government in summer 2016. Its analysis concludes that regions suffer a decrease of 6% in productivity for every additional 100 minutes’ travel time from London, but that journey time savings as a result of new trains and linespeed improvements could generate £520 million worth of economic benefits to the South West.

  • For more on this, read RAIL 786, published on October 28.

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