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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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Competition concerns remain over train leasing - ORR

The Office of Rail and Road says concerns raised by the Competition Commission in 2009 about competition in the rolling stock market have not been alleviated.

It says the interaction between the franchising system and the leasing of rolling stock continues to determine much of the market, and that train operators’ choice is heavily influenced by the Department for Transport’s franchising policy and Invitation To Tender specifications.

This is the key finding of the regulator’s review into competition in the train leasing market, the final decision of which was published on April 28.

ORR also says that while its investigation into rolling stock leasing companies’ compliance with Transparency Orders has revealed no issues with compliance, new entrants who were previously unaware of the policy could be “caught out” by it if they engage in re-leasing activities.

A Transparency Order applies when a train leasing company makes an indicative offer of the level of rent for which it would be prepared, in principle, to lease existing rolling stock.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 905, published on May 20, and available digitally now.


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