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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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Carne opposes five-year funding cycle for big projects

Network Rail Chief Executive Mark Carne told the Public Accounts Committee  “there is no doubt at all in my view” that the Great Western Main Line electrification programme should have been managed in the same way as projects such as Crossrail and Thameslink.

“Personally, I think it is a really good way of funding ongoing operations, maintenance and renewals. But I am not sure it is a really good way of funding major investment projects,” he said.

PAC member Nigel Mills expressed doubt about NR’s ability to estimate costs, with the Enhancements Cost Adjustment Mechanism programme expected to be completed in 2017 rather than the original March 2015 deadline: “So actually, you don’t know how much all these projects are going to cost, so I don’t know how you can say your estimating is generally good, seeing as you haven’t done the estimates.”

  • For more on this, read RAIL 787, published today (November 11).

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