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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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Freight companies urge PM to ‘green light’ HS2

UK freight operators have sent a joint letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson making the case for High Speed 2 to be built in full.

Colas Rail, DB Cargo, Freightliner and GB Railfreight point out that the West Coast Main Line is already the busiest mixed use railway in Europe, ahead of an expected doubling demand in coming decades, and that the M6 motorway is already heavily congested.

“A failure to build HS2 would see today’s delays and congestion severely exacerbated in the years ahead,” the letter says.

“HS2 represents a once in a generation opportunity to massively bolster rail capacity. With each freight train taking 76 lorries off the road, on average, a failure to build the new line will lead to hundreds more heavy goods vehicles on to the M6 every day. It is an investment that will ease road congestion and boost local train services.”

The letter concludes: “Without HS2 journeys will be slower, traffic jams more frequent and carbon emissions higher. The alternative, with HS2, is a greener environment, a more productive economy and a happier nation, with the opportunity to shift more freight off roads and on to rail.

“We owe it to our customers, the economy and the environment to get HS2 done.”

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 898, published on February 12, and available digitally now.


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