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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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Perry: Rail freight could serve city centre stations during the off-peak.

Rail Minister Claire Perry believes rail freight could serve city centre stations during the off-peak.

She made the suggestion when discussing a sustainable railway, and suggested it is an effective way to beat the road market.

Speaking on May 18 at an Industry Day held in London, Perry said: “I believe there’s a real opportunity for rail freight to contribute to sustainability, too. One of the greatest challenges of our age is the emission of particulate matter from vehicles. This is not just a problem for future generations or far-away places. Particulates are here now, on our streets, already shortening lives. And one of the key contributors is road freight and the need to bring goods from out-of-town distribution centres into city centres."

  • For more on this, read RAIL 802, published on June 8.

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  • Adam Edwards - 23/05/2016 14:02

    Indeed they could. We could prepackage the freight into "parcels" for ease of handling and then create special staffed carriages to carry them. I think we might call them "vans with guards". In order to ensure this works well perhaps there also could be a special franchise called "Express Rail Systems" or something. I think red might be a good colour for them to use....

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    • Niall - 23/05/2016 17:03

      Extremely well put! It's only now just dawned on them that everything successive Governments have destroyed over the decades, would actually be useful, sustainable and environmentally friendly now...who'd have thought it! ;)

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    • FrankH - 23/05/2016 22:39

      Nice one Adam, nothing like a hint of sarcasm. Some people will miss the point though.

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