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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?

View the poll

Halton curve gets the green light

The Liverpool City Combined Authority has approved a range of projects aimed at improving travel across Merseyside, including reinstatement of the Halton Curve.

Also endorsed by the Welsh Government and by Cheshire West and Chester Council, bringing the line back into full use will entail an hourly direct service between Liverpool and Chester, and the extension of some services into Wales.

The intention is to include the services in a revised specification for the forthcoming Wales and Borders franchise beginning in 2018. Work will start in June 2017 and be completed by May 2018.

Merseytravel estimates that the new services would generate more than 200,000 new rail journeys between Liverpool and Chester per year, by offering an alternative route between the two cities to the Wirral Line. 

Approval of the business case releases the £10.4 million allocated to the scheme through the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF). An additional £5.67m will come from the City Region’s own LGF pot of £232m.  

  • For more on this story, see RAIL 799 on-sale today (April 27).

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  • Alex S - 27/04/2016 13:12

    This is a step forward reconnecting two great cities and also encourage more people to travel between Wales and the northwest of England especially people wanting to fly to & from Liverpool airport will soon be able to go by train and not car. I'm just disappointed that a more ambitious plan wasn't put in place by having double track along the Halton curve with potential 3 services each way an hour from Liverpool to Cardiff/Holyhead & Chester. Rather than passengers having to change at Crewe and Chester.

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  • John Davidson - 27/04/2016 13:32

    Long overdue. Opening great opportunities for the Northwest area.

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  • Julian G - 28/04/2016 17:05

    This is great news any development in improving connectivity between the business centers of the North West is great news and a great opportunity to promote tourism and economic development for those communities lets see more of these investments helping to redevelop our Northern economies. Lets hope this is phase 1 to the bigger plan and improves the case for Electrification of Chester and the North Wales coast.

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  • John Burns - 22/10/2016 12:37

    It needs to be from North Wales to Liverpool via Chester stopping at Liverpool South Parkway for the airport. A new line should be run into the airport with a new airport station ASAP. The Wrexham to Bidston, Borderlands Line needs to have battery/electric trains and incorporated into Merseyrail. Again ASAP.

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