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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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Ex-'321' demonstrator to be hydrogen pioneer

The first Alstom Breeze Class 600 hydrogen multiple unit (HMU) will be converted from 321448.

The four-car electric multiple unit is owned by Eversholt Rail, which is working with Alstom on the project.

It was moved by road to Alstom’s Edge Hill depot near Liverpool in mid-October, ahead of a move to the company’s Widnes facility. Alstom has recently invested an extra £1 million in preparing the site for the Breeze conversion work.

Greater Anglia last used 321448 in 2018. The EMU was deemed non-standard as it had been refurbished internally with two interior designs (one suburban, one metro) and TSA AC traction motors, as part of an evaluation of plans for what would become the Renatus project that involved a substantial refurbishment and re-tractioning of 30 GA Class 321/3s.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 919, published on November 18, and available digitally from November 14. 

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  • Andrew Gwilt - 16/11/2020 08:30

    What about converting the Class 317 EMUs as Hydrogen multiple units instead of scrapping them. It’s good that the Class 321 EMUs that to be replaced by the Class 720s will have a 2nd chance of life and therefore not to be scrapped but to be converted as Class 600 “Breeze” Hydrogen trains to be used in England and Wales.

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  • AJ Gwilt - 18/11/2020 06:03

    The rest of the Class 321 EMUs which are to be replaced by the Class 720 EMUs and to be moved for storage and converted into Hydrogen multiple unit. Alstom could also fit batteries onto the Class 600 and to make these trains not just run on hydrogen power but also to run on battery power as well. With the UK taking a step forward to a much greener railway. And scrap the diesel multiple unit trains and replace them with converted Hydrogen and Battery operated multiple unit trains for the next 30-40 years.

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