Close Close
Poll

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?

View the poll

EXCLUSIVE: Off-lease High Speed Trains running out of time to avoid scrap threat

Owners of off-lease High Speed Trains have warned that scrapping the iconic trains is a realistic proposition if new uses cannot be found for them.

More than 200 Mk 3 coaches and 22 Class 43 power cars are currently off-lease, having been replaced on Great Western Railway by Intercity Express Trains. There is currently no planned future for the trains, which date from 1976. They are being stored at Potters Group (Ely) and at Long Marston.

Angel Trains Chief Executive Officer Kevin Tribley told RAIL: “At Angel Trains, we are exploring every opportunity for low-cost additional capacity across the network, but we will retire units if we cannot find short to medium-term term use.”

He explained: “We have tried to manage the final period of our HST fleets for the benefit of the industry, including the safe deferral of scheduled maintenance beyond assumed retirement dates.

“One of the challenges associated with subsequent delays is that this maintenance will have to be undertaken and the costs incurred, yet the future use and passenger benefits will only be for a short period.

“It is not just storage costs that must be considered. Reintroduction costs must also be accounted for.”

Porterbrook is also having former GWR vehicles handed back. A spokesman for the rolling stock company told RAIL: “We are exploring a number of opportunities for our off-lease HSTs, with passenger operators. We think these trains remain popular with both passengers and operators in the short term, but we will be guided by the market.

“Meanwhile, existing and potential rail freight customers continue to suggest innovative uses for these trains on high-speed rail freight services, especially on parcels and logistics work. We are keen to explore these ideas before making any final and irrevocable decisions on the future of these go-anywhere 125mph self-powered trains.”

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 881, published on June 19, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle now.

Comment as guest


Login  /  Register

Comments

  • Nova 3 - 18/06/2019 11:51

    I think we all don’t want the HST to be scrapped. The LNER HSTs should go to CrossCountry (Along with some sets of the MK4/DVT with a electro-diesel). And with some of the MK3 coaches from LNER or GWR, they could extend the XC HST from 7 to 9 cars. As for GWR, some of their HST could go to Chiltern Mainline or maybe Northern on the Settle to Carlisle line (both in short sets). Do you have any other ideas?

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register

RAIL is Britain's market leading modern railway magazine.

Download the app

Related content