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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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Leicestershire strategy focuses on HS2 benefits

A connection between the Midland Main Line and HS2 close to the latter’s planned East Midlands Hub station at Toton could help to boost Leicester and Leicestershire’s economy by at least £40 million per year.

That is the conclusion of a 25-year strategy for the railways of Leicestershire, focusing on the benefits to the area from HS2, and on how changes and improvements to rail services and routes would help boost the area’s economy.

The report, published on February 22, was jointly complied by Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Economic Partnership.

It says a connection close to Toton would “radically improve” links to and from places in the North such as Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh. To achieve this, the report also calls for plans for Toton to include the necessary platform capacity and track layout to enable direct Leicestershire-northern England services to operate through the station.

  • For more on this story read RAIL 795, published on March 2

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  • Graham Nalty - 26/02/2016 08:44

    What the Leicestershire report shows is that over half the benefits of HS2 will be lost if passengers have to change trains at Toton rather than have direct through 'classic compatible' trains from Leicester through to Leeds via HS2. And these benefits will be much greater if the Government follows the wishes of Sheffield people, local business and city council and puts the HS2 station in Sheffield city centre, rather than the poorly located proposal for Meadowhall. This must also strengthen the case for 'classic compatible' HS2 trains direct from Nottingham Midland to Birmingham, Leeds and London.

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