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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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Portishead re-opening delayed

The re-opening of the railway to Portishead could be set back by as much as a year, to early 2020.

It has been reported locally that problems with construction and signalling have caused the delay from early 2019 (RAIL 770), although the application for a Development Consent Order has yet to be submitted and funding has yet to be fully assured.

The project forms part of MetroWest Phase 1. The issues were due to be discussed at a meeting of the West of England Partnership Joint Transport Board on January 29, after this issue of RAIL closed for press.

A petition with some 6,000 signatures was delivered to Bristol City Council on January 19, supporting the opening of a new station at Ashton Gate. This would be served by trains to/from Portishead.



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