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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 expects to maintain services post-Brexit

Cross-Channel operator Eurostar has told RAIL it is having constructive conversations with Government on Brexit, and will continue to do so.

The operator serves France, Belgium and Holland, and plans to increase its services to Amsterdam next year.

Spokesman Rob Haycocks told RAIL on December 14: “At this point in time, we plan and expect to maintain services on the existing basis and timetable following Brexit.”
The comments come after Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling said in a Commons Written Reply on December 12 that Government was committed to the continued success of the Channel Tunnel.

Grayling was responding to a question from Catherine McKinnel (Labour, Newcastle-upon-Tyne North), who had asked about the safeguarding of cross-border freight.

He replied: “The Government has agreed in principle the terms of the UK’s smooth and orderly exit from the EU, as set out in the Withdrawal Agreement. The UK has also agreed with the EU the broad terms of our future relationship as set out in the outline Political Declaration.

“This includes a commitment to agree bilateral arrangements with Member States to ensure the continued smooth functioning and operation of services through the Channel Tunnel.”

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 869, published on January 2, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from December 29.

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  • simhedges - 27/12/2018 23:36

    Yeah, but what happens if the Withdrawal Agreement gets voted down?

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