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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 studies UK opportunities

Alstom is looking at a number of different options in the UK market over the next few years according to Mike Muldoon, Head of Business Development UK & Ireland.

Speaking in Berlin on September 18 ahead of the InnoTrans exhibition, he said: “In the UK we are moving into other services that follow the market. We are number one in the world for ‘out of a box’ projects.”

HS2 is one the company is eyeing, and it is one of five bids shortlisted to build 54 classic compatible trains for the new line. “HS2 is the next truly big prize for the UK. We’ve got the biggest range and we are analysing the Invitation to Tender,” said Muldoon.

Providing the signalling was also something the company would be interested in.

He highlighted the company’s partnership with Stagecoach in the bidding for the next Southeastern franchise, and added: “We’ll take a more hands-on approach, but we are looking at a train too.” He said Alstom had been out of the UK rolling stock market “by design” but that it now has products available, including electric multiple units, that can be adapted for specific designs including suburban markets or 125mph running.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 863, published on October 10, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle on October 6.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 06/10/2018 09:55

    Alstom could continue to manufacture more new trains in the UK to replace the older trains that are due to be scrapped. Including trains that are over 40 years old.

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