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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 pushes for vital Midlands area upgrade worth up to £1billion

East Midlands Trains 158785 at Cossington on the Midland Main Line. PAUL BIGGS.

Network Rail is proposing a £600 million-£1 billion major upgrade of Leicester station and the surrounding railway.

Other upgrades NR recommends in its East Midlands Route Study, released in March, are from Syston East Junction to Peterborough via Manton Junction and further development of east-west Rail.

The biggest single block of work (if approved) would be the Leicester area capacity upgrade, for which NR will seek funding to resume studies at the beginning of Control Period 6 (CP6, which runs from 2019 to 2024). This is currently stalled at stage 2 (feasibility) of the Governance for Railway Investment Projects (GRIP) process, but NR wants to move it forward to detailed option selection in 2019.

  • For more on Network Rail's plans for the Midlands, read RAIL 798, published on April 13.

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 08/04/2016 12:16

    What about electrifying the Midland Main Line from Bedford to Nottingham, Derby, Sheffield, Leeds, East Midlands North Midlands and the Trans-Pennine.

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    • BigTone - 08/04/2016 16:15

      Andrew, that is on but what is happening is that they are getting the trackwork and signalling sorted first, which although means the electrification will take longer, it will be cheaper than electrifying then doing this work afterwards. Transpennine is nothing to do with this

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      • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 09/04/2016 11:25

        Right. So the electrification is off the topic at the moment as Network Rail are currently working on electrifying the Great Western Main Line to Bristol Temple Meads, Reading, Oxford, South Wales and Exeter St. Davis and the Gospel Oak-Barking line in London that is also due to start in June for 8 months up to February or March next year and also electrification in Northern England.

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        • BigTone - 09/04/2016 15:05

          Pretty well, yes.There is alot of work still to be done on the MML. I believe that at the moment, the Kettering - Corby line is having the second track put back in. Then there is straightening out the curve through Market Harborough. The work around Leicester. Remodelling the track at the South of Derby and remodelling Sheffield.

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  • Noam Bleicher - 09/04/2016 14:27

    Andrew, as GWML has shown, electrification is slower and costlier than we thought a few years ago. So it will happen, but it is just not physically possible to electrify all the places you list within one control period.

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