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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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High Court Injunction looms in GatEx new train row

Govia Thameslink Railway has issued proceedings at the High Court to seek an injunction enabling the operation of its new 12-car Gatwick Express trains.

Its move follows the refusal of ASLEF union members to drive the first two services that they were due to operate.

The driver of the first one refused to open the doors to let passengers on board, because the train is two carriages longer than the one it replaces.

Instead he drove an empty 0530 service from Victoria to Gatwick on April 9, kept the doors closed and returned empty again. The company said 30 passengers heading for the airport were left on the platform at Victoria station.

ASLEF opposes the use of Driver Only Operation (DOO) on the new 12-car Class 387/2 Gatwick Express trains, and has announced a ballot for industrial action.

A GTR spokesman said: “We launch legal action very reluctantly, but we have been left with no choice because of the position adopted by the ASLEF union.

“We will take any reasonable steps we can to defend the interest of our customers and maintain the Gatwick Express service with the new 12-car trains.”

  • For more on this news story, read RAIL 799 on sale April 27.

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  • Andy Nash - 25/04/2016 13:09

    Trains need a guard.. end of..

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 26/04/2016 22:27

    What's next for GTR and Gatwick Express. Properly introducing 10-car trains with all 27 4-car Class 387/2's to have a 5th carriage added for longer trains as 2x5-car 387/2's=10-car 387/2's just like what Gatwick Express did have the Class 442's that are 5-cars and were cascaded from SWT as the 8-car Class 460's were taken away and to be converted into 5-car Class 458/5's for SWT that the 458/0's were 4-car trains operating between London Waterloo-Reading and Windsor & Eton Riverside routes.

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  • Google - 01/05/2016 10:19

    Bring on driverless trains...

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    • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 02/05/2016 21:36

      Well that's not going to happen for at least 20-50 years time. Or even in 100 years time.

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  • Mr Truth - 08/05/2016 14:41

    This is not accurate. The driver did not refuse to take the train in service or open the doors, but instead gave Control three options; Provide a guard and run the train as a 12-car (as per the agreement between Govia and ASLEF), Run the train as an 8-car train in service without a guard, or to cancel the service. Control chose to cancel the service. This agreement isn't a 'you scratch my back, i'll scratch yours' type, it is a safety agreement. It provides a baseline, just like the zero-tolerance approach to drink and drugs...

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