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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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Alstom to build £19m Technology Centre in Widnes

Alstom is to build a new Technology Centre in Widnes, in a 25 million euro (£19.5m) deal.

To be used initially as an academy, the centre will also be used for the carrying out of essential maintenance work, the company says. And further ahead, Alstom has not ruled out building trains at the facility, although that would depend upon winning UK contracts. 

Halton Borough Council has granted planning permission for the facility, with construction due to start later this year.

It will open in autumn 2017, and Alstom will use it as the North West Transport Training Academy. It will act as a UK centre for research and development, and provide training in engineering, manufacturing, project management and other transport skills. Alstom wants to “upskill the existing workforce’ as well as supporting apprentices and new graduates for the rail industry.

“This new centre is part of our global strategy to grow our service activities by localising our operations close to our customers,” said Andreas Knitter, Alstom’s Senior Vice President for Europe.

  • For more on this read RAIL 801, published on May 25. 

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  • FrankH - 17/05/2016 21:33

    Maybe a precurser to closing the site at Preston (next to the docklands area in a prime site location) which refurbs equipment.

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