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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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EXCLUSIVE: Labour: nationalisation will lower fares and save money

A VTEC Class 91 passes VTEC 43238 at York. JACK BOSKETT/RAILREVIEW.

Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald says nationalisation will save money and not lead to additional expenditure if Labour is elected to power. Passengers will receive “lower fares, improved services and more effective investment in infrastructure and stations”, he said.

Responding exclusively to RAIL, he said nationalisation will save money “mainly by significantly reducing the operating costs, through an end to the fragmentation and complexity that follows from the creation of 16 different rail franchises with private companies”.

McDonald added that the cost of running franchise competitions would also end, claiming that in 2014-15 taxpayers subsidised the railway with £4.8 billion and that passenger contributions of around £9bn in fares have increased by 17% since 2010-11.

He also claimed that since privatisation the railway has received almost £72.5bn from taxpayers, adding: “It is clear to us, and I think the public, that the removal of private profit and dividends from the industry would be a considerable source of savings because private rail companies would no longer be siphoning off dividends - in 2014-15 alone £222 million was paid out by private TOCs to shareholders.”

  • For the full story, read RAIL 808, published today.

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  • Manchester Mike - 01/09/2016 15:12

    Will Labour mean it this time? Hopefully they'll get a more effective leader than "I didn't see all those empty and available seats" Corbyn.

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  • Tim Massey - 02/09/2016 08:12

    How are they going to save costs? The way to do that is to loose jobs, and their Union paymeasters will not stand for that

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  • malcolm graham - 05/09/2016 22:18

    a lot of people have a short memory of what nationalisation was like under british rail. lines were cut back to single line railways to save money./as down the line where i live ely to kings lynn sections were singled ,ely north junction was given single line leads,and we all now what a mistake that was and how much its going to cost to put right. so in the future when you want money for the railways for a national rail network,the goverment will just say sorry no money we have got to get the deficit paid off!!!

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  • BigTone - 06/09/2016 00:55

    Nationalisation means "Back to Beeching" and civil servants are renowned for reacting positively to market conditions NOT

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