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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: Rail Operations seeks new sites to extend storage space

Rail Operations (UK) Limited is looking to lease more sites for storing off-lease trains.

Via its Traxion business, the company has already leased Crewe South Yard and the Marks & Spencers Logistics site at Castle Donington.

Traxion started trading on August 1. Crewe South Yard is being used to store Class 365s owned by Eversholt Rail Group, while TransPennine Express Mk 5A coaches have also been stored there for a period.

In an exclusive interview with RAIL, Rail Operations (UK) Limited Chief Executive Karl Watts said: “We are looking at Network Rail and Ministry of Defence sites. Security is important, and as such new trains will need hiding. There is a need for 46 to 47 miles of storage space if all fleets are stored.

“There are 4,000 vehicles coming off-lease, and they vary in age. Some second-generation EMUs will be disposed of straightaway like the ‘313s’, ‘314s’ and ‘315s’. They will go straight for scrap. Class 317/319/321/442s are very, very likely to be re-engineered - that is not a quick programme, and so they will need storage.

“So we saw this coming. We’ve done something about it and are the ‘go-to company’, but storage is complex.”

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 869, out now.

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