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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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Network Rail strengthens ties with European freight group

Network Rail has joined the board of the RFC North Sea-Med management, strengthening trade links between the UK and mainland Europe and making it easier to operate trains across the continent.

RFC North Sea-Med manages the Rail Freight Corridor North Sea-Mediterranean. This is a busy freight corridor that will be extended to London from November next year. It links France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland and Switzerland to the UK.

NR says that currently rail freight boosts the UK’s economy by £1.6 billion, with this expected to rise to £2bn by 2023. By joining the board of this corridor, it will make it easier to run more freight trains between the UK and mainland Europe, through a better understanding of capacity and a better opportunity to secure freight growth. 

  • For more on this, read RAIL 788, published on November 25.

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