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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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Sheffield tram-train suffers more delays

Network Rail (NR) has confirmed that the tram-train trial between Sheffield and Rotherham has been delayed, but no date for its introduction has been announced.

Department for Transport (DfT) Parliamentary Under-Secretary Andrew Jones, responding to a question from Liberal Democrat Campaigns Chairman Greg Mulholland, said the DfT and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, which is funding the project, had been advised by NR that a review has been initiated regarding the current programme of work needed to adapt the infrastructure to allow the seven tram-trains to operate between Meadowhall South and Rotherham Parkgate. 

Jones explained: “The department understands that Network Rail has encountered significant issues with the approval of new bespoke electrification equipment needed to operate the tram-train vehicles. 

“The current programme showed delivery of these works by early spring 2017, however until the outcome of the Network Rail review is known, no further details can be provided.”

NR spokesman Dan Donovan told RAIL: “The tram-train Pilot in South Yorkshire is a first for Britain’s rail network and as such it involves a number of bespoke designs that will allow the vehicles to operate over the rail network. The project team is carrying out a thorough review of the programme and will report back to stakeholders by the summer.”

  • For more on this, read RAIL 804, published on July 6.

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 17/06/2016 14:27

    So the 7 Class 399 (399201-399207) Tram-train vehicles are to be built but they will not be used once the electrification to Rotherham Central is completed next year and with 399201 to be tested on once the overhead wires have been installed between Tinsley / Meadowhall South and Rotherham Central via the Freight only line and the Dearne Valley Line plus those tram-trains are dual voltage (similar to the Electric Multiple Units that changes voltage from AC 25kv Overhead to DC 750v 3rd Rail just like in London on the Thameslink line as they can switch from 750v DC overhead to 25kv AC overhead) and the Class 399 Tram-train can reach speeds up to 100 km/h (62mph) which is quite fast for a Tram-train to accelerate than other trams that reaches speeds of 60mph (99km/h).

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