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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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Government “gambling” with South West economy

Recently reformed CrossCountry 221144 departs Dawlish on January 26 with the 1404 Paignton-Manchester Piccadilly. 100 metres of the sea wall collapsed just beyond the station, and now almost four years later the Government is being accused of gambling with the region’s economy due to the lack of a permanent solution to the railway’s resilience. DAVID HUNT.

Four years after storms closed the Exeter to Plymouth railway at Dawlish, the Peninsula Rail Task Force (PRTF) says the Government is “gambling with the region’s economy”, with no permanent solution to the resilience of the railway yet funded.

PRTF Chairman Geoff Brown says the Government has yet to respond to the task force’s Closing the Gap 20-year plan for investment in the region’s rail network - 14 months after it was published and submitted in November 2016.

“Network Rail has warned that there will be an increase in disruption and closures, rising by more than 600% to once in every four years by 2065, if nothing is done to the line. We can’t allow the Government to continue to gamble with our economy,” said Brown.

He added: “The Government has spent £35 million on essential repairs reinstating the sea wall. Another £15m has been committed to the development work at Dawlish to date, but these funds are not enough to take work beyond the option development stage." 

  • For the full story, read RAIL 846, published on February 14, and available digitally on Android and iPad from February 10. 

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 09/02/2018 15:21

    And that is why a brand new railway line near Dawlish that will divert trains away from the sea at Dawlish. With a brand new railway station to be built to serve the popular Devon seaside town as the current railway station next to the sea would be closed and completely demolished. With the so called former railway line to be made into a public footpath along the sea wall and peninsula.

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  • FrankH - 10/02/2018 14:52

    Another bunch of councils aka think tanks jumping up and down demanding work be done in their area

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    • BigTone - 16/02/2018 14:51

      Or the DfT thinking "We'll sit back" until the next lot of storms come trundling through. Then all resume "running around like headless chickens" mode

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  • Philip Walker - 21/02/2018 13:38

    Probably whatever work is done to strengthen the line and the defences at Dawlish, the line there will always be at risk to storms. The new Exeter to Newton Abbot main route needs to be built so that when there's storm risk or damage at Dawlish, disruption to main line services due to closures (or diversions) can be avoided.

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