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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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DfT awards franchise ‘Passports’

The Department for Transport has awarded 11 companies Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) Passports, in an effort to make it easier and faster to bid for rail franchises.

The PQQ Passport removes the need to complete lengthy sections of franchise applications where the information required is identical. Companies now only need to complete it once. The Passport is valid for up to four years.

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “The award of the PQQ Passports will not only benefit bidders, but taxpayers and customers, too. It will give applicants time and resources to improve their bids while reducing the administrative burden on the department. Simplifying this process will help open up the market to more bidders and improve competition on our railways.”

The companies awarded PQQ Passports are:

  • Abellio Transport Group
  • Arriva UK Trains
  • First Rail Holdings
  • Go-Ahead Holding
  • Govia
  • Keolis
  • MTR Corporation (UK)
  • National Express Trains
  • Stagecoach Group
  • Trenitalia
  • Virgin Holdings

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