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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 385 interiors to be fitted in Italy

Four Class 385s will have their interiors fitted at Hitachi’s facility in Pistoia (Italy), before they enter traffic with ScotRail.

Four-car 385102 was taken to Tees Dock on April 29, with three-car 385001 following the next night. They will be joined in Italy by 385002 and 385101, which have been used for tests at Velim (Czech Republic) and lately in Germany.

A Hitachi spokesman explained that the four pre-series trains must visit Italy, rather than the company’s Newton Aycliffe facility, because their build has reached too advanced a stage for them to be slotted into the production line at the county Durham site.

The four ‘385s’ will return to the UK in the autumn and are expected into traffic before the end of the year.

There is still no date for the trains to enter traffic, but Hitachi told RAIL on April 30: “We’re doing everything within our power to deliver a fleet of brand new electric trains as quickly as possible for passengers in Scotland.” 

  • The FULL story will appear in RAIL 852, available on May 9, and digitally from May 5. 

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 02/05/2018 10:48

    I think the Class 385's might start passenger service just before Christmas or after Christmas.

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  • J.G.Webster - 02/05/2018 14:35

    Still got to sort out the windscreen fiasco!

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