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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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Adaptable Carriage secures Government funding

Product development company 42 Technology has secured £350,000 worth of Government funding towards developing a system that can turn passenger carriages into goods vehicles.

The Adaptable Carriage system allows seats and tables to be stowed within three minutes, creating space for cargo that would normally be sent by road. 42 Technology envisages the system being employed on quieter off-peak services to carry low-density, high-value goods. It could also be used to create storage space for wheelchairs and bicycles, if required.

The firm has been awarded the funding by Innovate UK to “further de-risk the technology and provide access to organisations to help demonstrate its feasibility and value to the rail and logistics industry”, according to Zane van Romunde, Transport Sector Lead at 42 Technology.

A pilot testing programme is expected to commence later this year, with Porterbrook supplying rolling stock for the trials. RAIL understands the tests are likely to use either an off-lease Class 319 electric multiple unit or a ‘769’ Flex bi-mode unit.

“We are in the process of identifying a suitable test vehicle for the trials,” Rupert Brennan-Brown, Head of Communications and Engagement at Porterbrook, told RAIL.

  • The full story is in RAIL 847, published on February 28, and is available now on Android and iPad.

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  • Greg Tingey - 16/05/2018 07:58

    Bring back the Guard's Van! And / Or Red Star Parcels!

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