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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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Eurostar and Thalys propose high-speed collaboration

Eurostar and Thalys have proposed a merger designed to create a European high-speed travel company.

The Green Speed project has been presented to the boards of both companies, although it requires approval not only from them, but also consultation with the representative bodies of the employees and European Commission regarding merger control.

Between them, the two companies operate in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and the UK. Combined they run 112 trains each day, carrying more than 18.5 million passengers per year. Eurostar celebrates 25 years of Anglo-French operations on November 14, while Franco-Belgian high-speed operator Thalys started running trains in June 1996.

In a statement posted on the Eurostar website, CEO Mike Cooper said:This is an exciting development for our customers as it will enable us to offer you a more extensive network, increased connectivity and frequency of service, and a fleet operating on renewable energy."

  • 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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  • Old Fogey Railwayman - 07/10/2019 08:25

    "Combined they run 112 trains each day, carrying more than 18.5 million passengers per year." That shows just how small the Eurostar and Thalys businesses are. Compare with LNER: over 150 trains per day, about 22 million passengers per year. The Europeans just don't get the idea of frequent train services.

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  • Susan Pike - 30/11/2019 15:53

    Sounds great & presumably far more energy efficient. Looking forward to travelling ! Love trains

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