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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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Alstom CEO discusses Brexit challenge

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union presents huge challenges for the market, Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge said at Innotrans on September 18.

“I’m a European citizen and I am worried globally about the impact,” he said.

“Our work in the UK is local, so there are no consequences on Day One. But if there are delays on Day Two - such as delays for HS2, no travel to and from the UK - then if it is a mess then it is a mess for everyone.”

Speaking at a press briefing, Poupart-Lafarge said the relationship between Siemens and Alstom is “so good” ahead of any potential merger, despite the French company launching a legal challenge against its German counterpart over Transport for London’s decision to award Siemens preferred bidder status for the first Deep Tube contract.

Responding to a question by RAIL, he said: “We have time to discuss the merger and financial matters, and there’s the day-to-day where we are competing like cats and dogs. The situation has not been raised by Siemens, and discipline between the companies is good.”

He confirmed that a decision into the merger must be made by January 28.


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