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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 of five FirstGroup Class 803s arrives in UK

The first Class 803 electric multiple unit for FirstGroup’s East Coast open access operations has arrived in the UK for assembly at Newton Aycliffe.

FirstGroup has five five-car EMUs on order from Hitachi. They will be fitted with batteries, although these will not provide traction performance - instead, they can power on-board services should the train fail.

This is the first of the Class 80x fleet to have batteries fitted, although the manufacturer hasn’t ruled out fitting more powerful batteries (which could provide power) to its existing bi-mode fleets.

The second and third Class 803s are due in the UK during May and will also move to Newton Aycliffe. 

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 903, published on April 22, and available digitally from April 18.

 

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