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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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CAF to build trains for Arriva Trains North

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) will build 281 carriages for Arriva Trains North Limited, in a deal worth £490 million.

The contract is for 31 three-car and 12 four-car electric multiple units, and 25 two-car and 30 three-car diesel multiple units. The carriages will be owned by Eversholt Rail, and all will be in traffic by December 2018.

The stock is based on CAF’s Civity platform.

“These new trains will bring much-needed improvements in comfort and capacity for passengers on this important part of the network, and we look forward to working with our partners to bring them into service,” said Eversholt Rail Group Chief Executive Mary Kenny.

Arriva’s UK Trains Division Managing Director Chris Burchell acknowledged that the timetable for delivery was demanding, but added: “I hope that today’s announcement once again makes clear our determination to deliver on our promises to passengers.”

Antonio Campos, CAF S.A. International Commercial Director for Western Europe, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for CAF to consolidate its position as one of the leading manufacturers of trains within the very competitive UK market.

“CAF is delighted to be working with Arriva Rail North and Eversholt Rail Group to provide high-quality, cost-effective and highly reliable trains for the people throughout northern England. These trains will provide an improved travelling experience for regular rail passengers.”

CAF is also building 75 Mk 5 carriages for Caledonian Sleeper.

  • For more on this story, read RAIL 793, published on February 3.

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 22/01/2016 12:21

    Should be good to see CAF to build new trains for Northern England and possibly for Merseyside, East of England and Wales.

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    • DavidB_ - 24/01/2016 23:54

      What rolling stock contracts is it that CAF are bidding for in East of England and Wales?

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  • Stephen Waring - 23/01/2016 10:46

    As always interesting questions posed. Wonder will there be different versions of the electrics for commuter and inter-urban Northern Connect work. The diesels presumably all for NC. What if diesels were to have electric transmission so they could later be converted to bi-mode by addition of a pantograph car? Not holding breath for that little fantasy.

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  • Rob Edwards - 24/01/2016 13:19

    I bet the steelworkers losing their jobs in Port Talbot, Scunthorpe etc. will be delighted that steel-bodied trains will be imported

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    • FrankH - 27/01/2016 11:07

      I had similar thoughts myself but included Bombardier at Derby.

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    • Doncaster Phil - 28/01/2016 08:56

      Bombadier is not a UK based company and imports a large percentage of components from overseas . They won the Cross rail contract for over 600 vehicles after throwing their toys out of the cot after losing out to Siemens on Thameslink. It's called competitive tendering and CAF have agreed to a very demanding timetable. Bombadger could even be bothered to provide a design concept when asked by TFL to consider the next generation of EVO stock for the underground. Dont waste your sympathy guys....

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    • N Clayton - 08/02/2016 19:50

      That is a VERY salient comment.

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  • Matthew Jones - 25/01/2016 21:36

    It would be nice to see bimodal Civity variants considered as an option for extending Merseyrail services beyond the third rail network. The Borderlands Line, for example, could use such trains to provide a direct service to Liverpool city centre.

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  • Matthew Jones - 25/01/2016 21:36

    It would be nice to see bimodal Civity variants considered as an option for extending Merseyrail services beyond the third rail network. The Borderlands Line, for example, could use such trains to provide a direct service to Liverpool city centre.

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  • Paul - 29/01/2016 11:51

    As a long suffering Northern Rail passenger, I notice the number of 2 car sets, which for me means we will still be treated like cattle on new trains, we should be looking at 3 and 4 car sets, plus the numbers do not look that great against the current fleet

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    • BigTone - 30/01/2016 18:08

      I read somewhere that Northern are also going to get some Class 185s (presumably when TransPennine gets their 125 mph units)

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    • BigTone - 03/02/2016 02:59

      Also don't forget the rolling electrification projects in Lancashire/Yorkshire. Wouldn't be a bad idea to put an extra coach in the Class 185s with a pantograph and traction package making them dual mode?

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