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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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First D-Train with Transport for Wales in March 2019

The first Class 230 D-Train for Transport for Wales should be ready by March 2019, with all five in traffic from May 2019.

Speaking exclusively to RAIL at Rail Live on June 21, Vivarail Chairman Adrian Shooter said that parts for the trains are being ordered. The driving vehicles will be fitted with batteries, while the centre car will have four gensets.

Shooter said the driving vehicles will be built at the company’s Long Marston base and the centre-cars will be built at its Seaham facility.

He said that when travelling, the ‘230s’ will recover most of their energy through regenerative braking that will be put back into the batteries.

Shooter told RAIL that the trains will save around 20% on fuel consumption. He added that having four doors per car will also reduce dwell times on the Metro services on which they will be used in North Wales.

Tristan Guyard, Deputy Rolling Stock Lead - Rail Services, Transport for Wales, told RAIL: “From a passenger’s point of view, they’ll be like brand new trains as everything inside the train is new. They’re also green because we’re fitting them with brand new, state of the art engines and batteries, and we’re re-using the existing body shell rather than starting from scratch.

“On the Conwy Valley and Wrexham - Bidston routes, ‘230s’ will be quicker than most other new trains built in the UK at the moment. This is because of the high proportion of motored wheels and the use of batteries to provide additional power. When these trains come into service, we will be able to improve journey times and have a more flexible timetable as soon as 2019,” he said.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 856, published today, and available digitally on Android/iPad now.
  • To read about the Transport for Wales franchise, read RAIL 855, available digitally on Android/iPad.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 04/07/2018 11:56

    West Midlands Trains Class 230 DEMU to enter service on the Marston Vale line later this year and KeliosAmey Wales Class 230 DEMU’s to enter service from March next year. Could other train operators also receive some of the Class 230’s DEMU’s such as GWR that could use the Class 230’s on Slough-Windsor & Eton Central, Maidenhead-Marlow, Twyford-Henley-on-Thames and West Ealing-Greenford branch lines. That will replace the Class 165’s to be used on other services or transfer the Class 165’s to Bristol to operate them on other services in the Bristol area, Devon and Cornwall and to work alongside the Class 166’s, Class 150’s and other DMU units.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 05/07/2018 12:41

    Why not have half of the Class 230’s that will replace the entire DMU stocks including the Class 175’s or keep the Class 175’s on the North Wales Coast Line but use half of the Class 230’s to operate on local rural lines in North Wales, Mid Wales and some to operate on the Welsh Valley lines that won’t be electrified and to serve the Swansea area.

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    • AndrewJG8918 - 05/07/2018 21:11

      And to be formed as 2-Car and 3-Car.

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    • David - 09/07/2018 10:08

      Vivarail won't be supplying them for free like you seem to suggest.

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  • FussFilter - 27/08/2019 14:42

    Sad that these haven't entered service yet, and are unlikely to before the year end.

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