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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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£7 million upgrade for Wimbledon

The Network Rail-South West Trains Alliance will replaced a dozed sets of points west of Wimbledon station in a £7 million project on weekends from Christmas until February.

More than 72 South West Trains per hour pass through Wimbledon at peak times and as a result, the railway around the station has a critical impact on punctuality across the network. 

No SWT trains will call at, or run through, Wimbledon on those weekends and an amended timetable in place at many stations. Thameslink services will continue to run to Wimbledon from London via Tooting during the affected weekends, however there will be no services from Wimbledon to Sutton via St Helier.

John Halsall, infrastructure director for the Network Rail-South West Alliance, said: “This vital project will significantly improve one of the most important sections of railway on our route, which will boost reliability and punctuality for passengers travelling through Wimbledon and from many other stations and locations.”

The project, being carried out by Network Rail and its contractors Colas Rail, will also involve preparatory work on some midweek nights between November 23 and mid December which will affect a small number of late night trains.

  • For more information, see RAIL 762, published November 26

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