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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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Class 20s redeployed on railhead treatment train and freight duties

Class 20s owned by Harry Needle Railroad Company have been resurrected for hire duties after a long-term deal with GB Railfreight came to an end in the summer.

Eight Type 1s had been hired by GBRf to haul London Underground S-Stock between Neasden, Derby Litchurch Lane and Old Dalby. Initially this was for new deliveries, but then for S-Stock being returned to Bombardier for modifications.

That deal ended in July, with the ‘20s’ placed into warm store pending developments.

Now HNRC has found use for most of the locomotives. One pair (20311/314) has been hired to Direct Rail Services for railhead treatment train duties, while another (20118 Saltburn-by-the-Sea and 20132 Barrow Hill TMD) has been hired to DCRail for freight duties.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 889, published on October 9, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from October 5.

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