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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 HS2 construction train to Washwood Heath

GB Railfreight hauled the first HS2 construction train to Washwood Heath on August 25.

More than 150 trains will carry up to 235,000 tonnes of stone from the Peak District to the Birmingham site - the equivalent of more than 13,000 lorry movements.

Ten trains per week will each convey 1,500 tonnes of aggregate, which will be used to build a large piling platform for the Bromford Tunnel approaches, as well as embankments and haul roads around the site, cutting the number of HS2 road vehicles on public roads.

HS2 Ltd says that construction of the entire railway will involve up to 15,000 rail freight movements - or in excess of one million lorry journeys.

At the peak of Phase 1 construction post-2022, it is estimated that around 17 trains per day will serve construction, with other railheads including the logistics hub at Willesden, which will cater for up to eight trains a day from this year until 2024.

Network Rail’s HS2 Programme Manager, Freight and National Passenger Operators, Nick Cole said: “Network Rail has been collaborating with HS2 Ltd and its supply chain partners on the HS2 Materials by Rail programme for the past two years."

GBRf Managing Director John Smith added: “HS2 is a hugely important project for the UK."

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 913, published on September 9, and available digitally from September 5.

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