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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: stock procurement remains a matter for operators

An artist's impression of a GWR Class 387. GWR.

Procurement and evaluation of rolling stock is a matter for the private operators, “as it has been since privatisation”, Rail Minister Claire Perry told Shadow Transport Secretary Lilian Greenwood in a Commons Written Reply on June 17.

Greenwood had asked whether operators, when selecting new rolling stock, are required “to make an assessment of the effect of such selection on UK industry and the wider UK economy”.

Perry added that Government welcomed the jobs and economic benefits resulting from Bombardier and Hitachi rolling stock assembly plants in the UK.

In a separate reply to Greenwood, regarding policy on taking into account the benefits of contracts to the UK economy in determining future rolling stock orders, Perry said that procurement is usually carried out by the private operators through franchising.

“If the Department was to procure rolling stock it would take account of the latest competition and procurement guidelines relating to social and economic impacts,” she said.

  • For the latest on new train orders and the planned cascades, read RAIL 803, published today (June 22). 

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  • Colin Redman - 22/06/2016 18:13

    So why was the IEP foisted on two operators. Ms Perry speaks with forked tongue.

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  • Notts Railman - 23/06/2016 09:37

    There are lies, damned lies, and Staements in Parliament. If stock procurement was a matter for the TOCs, why did the DfT procure the IEP trains and those for Crossrail and Thameslink?

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 26/06/2016 23:16

    I think new trains will still be built despite the UK has left the EU and jobs could be lost as a result but new trains means more people using trains more often and persuading commuters to use trains than travelling to work by car or bus.

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