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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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Branding unveiled for new West Midlands franchise

London Northwestern is the new brand for the long-distance trains operated by the new West Midlands franchise. The remaining services operating in and around Birmingham will be branded West Midlands Railway.

Both are currently part of the London Midland franchise. Abellio, JR East and Mitsui take over the new franchise on December 10, and Abellio described the LNW brand as a “reverential nod to the London and North Western Railway company - formerly the largest railway in Britain and the predecessor of the current West Coast Main Line”.

The WMR brand was announced last year, having been created by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). Abellio said creation of the two brands enables potential devolution of WMR to the WMCA. It said that the LNW would remain under Government remit for future refranchising.

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  • GWR Fan - 30/10/2017 13:39

    Liveries are not bad, but I think they could have done better. For instance, London Northwestern looks too much like a Livery Southern uses. Maybe for LNW, try a different design. West Midlands Railway's livery is not bad. I don't see anything wrong with it. But I think, throw in more yellow on the front of the train on both Liveries and you might make them better.

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 30/10/2017 19:17

    The people who commute on the trains in the Birmingham area will not like it. Oh well. Tough. Get used to the changes. As long as the new franchise will get new trains ordered to keep the passengers happy. Perhaps not but some passengers dont mind.

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  • thecrofter - 01/11/2017 14:24

    So we have West Midlands Rail (as the Authority), West Midlands Trains (as the franchisee) and West Midlands Railway as the branding. No confusion to be had here then.

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  • Anthony Millinger - 30/05/2018 16:59

    Why on earth has this been made so ludicrously complicated? What is wrong with WMT running simply and logically like East Midlands Trains? Inventing the anomalous LNW is confusing and unnecessary. For all those living on the main route through the West Midlands, services are no longer even remotely relevant to the region in which they operate. This is quite contrary to the government's stated policy of seeking greater regional devolution for the West Midlands. It is already the cause of considerable confusion and misunderstanding and should be reversed forthwith.

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