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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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"Better than in BR days, but marred by franchise complexity" - McLoughlin

Privatisation has made Britain a better country, according to former Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin.

In his George Bradshaw address on February 25, he said: “In 2013, as Transport Secretary at the 20th anniversary of the Railway Act, I said ‘rail privatisation has made Britain a better country’. It has certainly delivered a better railways system. Seven years on - I stand by that.”

McLoughlin looked back to the days of British Rail, telling guests: “I sometimes compare my time in the Department for Transport in the late 1980s to my time there in the 2010s. In the 1980s I saw a railway in the doldrums, run by bureaucrats not entrepreneurs, dirty and unsafe, and declining in the nation’s esteem.”

In comparison, he claimed now that the railway has been transformed into “a growing, thriving modern railway with more than double the number of passengers.”

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 900, published on March 11, and available digitally now.

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  • P Hanson - 11/03/2020 20:49

    Has McLoughlin got his head in the sand, privatisation has been a diaster costing the Taxpayer billions of pounds. As for his comments about British Rail they were starved of money but were run by professional railway men not Bureaucrats. I am surprised he did not mention BR sandwiches along with his comments about dirty trains and being unsafe.

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