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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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Bombardier bi-mode Aventra could feature battery power

Bombardier has confirmed development of a 125mph bi-mode Aventra that could also include battery technology.

The Derby-based manufacturer plans to offer it to three upcoming franchise competitions, while also confirming it sees potential to export the trains.

Spokesman Will Tanner told RAIL that Bombardier plans to offer it for the East Midlands, West Coast Partnership and CrossCountry franchises, and confirmed that should any deals for the trains be won, they would be built at Derby Litchurch Lane where development work has already taken place.

Tanner explained that the company believes there remains a strong demand for bi-mode trains. The Aventra bi-mode would offer a maximum 125mph speed in both diesel and electric, and Bombardier claimed the ambience would be far better than other bi-mode units on the market. An option for ‘last-mile’ battery power is also being considered.

He said the company agreed with Rail Minister Jo Johnson’s comments that bi-mode trains provide a very useful “bridging technology to other lower-emission futures for rail”. 

  • For the full story, read RAIL 850, published on April 11, and available digitally on Android/iPad from April 7.
  • For an update on the Aventra projects, read RAIL 848, available digitally on Android/iPad

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 29/03/2018 23:23

    Bombardier are the best company when it comes to producting new trains that is fit for the UK’s railways. They should continue to manufacturing new trains for the UK and worldwide. New Aventra Bi-Mode units is a better choice and will be mainly built for the Midland Main Line to replace the Class 43 HST’s and also to replace Class 222’s Meridian DEMU’s that could be ideal for other routes such as Nottingham-Lincoln and Norwich-Liverpool Lime Street to replace the Class 159’s . Plus these new units could also work on the Marshlink Line between Ashford International and Brighton wither operated by Southern or Southeastern.

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 31/03/2018 02:54

    The Bi-Mode Aventra are likely to replace the Class 43 HST’s on the Midland Main Line that operates on EMT London St. Pancras-Nottingham, Derby, Sheffield & Leeds and could also operate on London St. Pancras-Lincoln via Nottingham and Norwich-Liverpool Lime St to replace the Class 159. Or to transfer the Class 222’s to Norwich-Liverpool Lime St service.

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