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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 E320 unveiled in St Pancras

The first of ten Siemens E320 for Eurostar was unveiled at St Pancras this morning (November 13). It is the first public appearance of the new trains.

Eurostar also announced an order for seven more of the class, taking the total to 17.

Siemens was awarded the £550 million contract (for the first ten) to build the 200mph (320kph) Velaro D trains back in 2010. The first arrived in the UK on January 30 and has been used since to commission modifications to the Temple Mills depot, where they will be maintained.

The fleet is due to enter service in 2015, expanding Eurostar’s international services.

  • For more on this story, see RAIL 762, on sale November 26.

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