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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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EXCLUSIVE: Haines: electrification must start soon and progressively

“My big pitch to Government on decarbonisation has been ‘start soon and start progressively’,” Network Rail Chief Executive Andrew Haines has told RAIL in an exclusive interview.

“Don’t pretend you’re going to unlock half a dozen schemes simultaneously because you’ll probably flood the supply chain, we won’t have the capacity, and we’ll end up dropping a few balls and knock the cause back. But start to lay out the pipeline and basically demand that we demonstrate value for money.”

Haines conceded that the industry will need to find more cost-effective ways of electrifying the network, but he is confident that with recent breakthroughs in methods for the likes of bridge clearances, NR could deliver electrification costs which are “much more credible and palatable than they were”.

He also believes that a joined-up long-term partnership between the industry and the supply chain can deliver much more effective and better value-for-money electrification, by properly incentivising the supply chain.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 904, published on May 6, and available digitally from May 2.

  • For an EXCLUSIVE in-depth interview with Haines, read RAIL 905, published on May 20, and available digitally from May 16.

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