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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 323s to remain with Northern

Northern is to retain its 17 three-car Class 323s (323223-323239), as well as receiving 17 of West Midlands Trains’ 26-strong ‘323’ fleet.

The three-car electric multiple units will replace the operator’s four-car Class 319 fleet, which will return to Porterbrook.

The original plans set out in the Northern franchise agreement decreed that the ‘323s’ would be returned to their owner by December 31 2018. That deal was then extended to prevent a capacity shortfall.

They are used in the North West, running from Manchester Piccadilly as far south as Crewe and Stoke, and as far west as Liverpool Lime Street. The trains are maintained at Allerton (Merseyside).

Northern currently has 27 Class 319s (319361-386, 319446). These will return to Porterbrook, which plans to convert them into FLEX Class 769s, although no operator has yet been confirmed for them.

The ‘319s’ were leased until the end of the franchise in 2025, apart from two sets (319372/373) that were on a short-term lease to cover for unavailable Class 769/4s.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 886, published on August 28, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from August 24.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 17/08/2019 17:35

    Perhaps convert the Class 319s into Class 769s and cascade them down to Great Western Railway and Transport for Wales. As Northern wants to swap the Class 319s with the Class 323s that Northern have retained and cascaded from West Midlands Railway. And some of the Class 319s could be cascaded to London Northwestern Railway.

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  • Mr Fenton - 04/11/2019 20:20

    The 319s could be transferred over to London Overground in order to replace the 317s.

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