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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Government-owned Class 365s to be withdrawn

The remaining Class 365s will be withdrawn from traffic by Govia Thameslink Railway at the start of the May timetable.

Twenty-one four-car electric multiple units will be sent off-lease, joining 19 classmates withdrawn by GTR in 2018.

Class 365s are used by GTR’s Great Northern operation on the London King’s Cross-Peterborough/Cambridge routes. GN also uses 29 Class 387/1s.

Owned by Train Fleet (2019) Limited (TF19) and dating from 1994-95, the EMUs are being sent off-lease because the majority of peak-time additional services on which they are used are not currently operating during the reduced timetable, which was introduced as a result of the pandemic.

“The Class 365 trains have been helpful ‘peak busters’ on a busy railway, but don’t benefit from air-conditioning, CCTV or selective door opening, making them less flexible than our other fleets,” said GTR Chief Operating Officer Steve White.

“Releasing this fleet earlier than planned, and temporarily reassigning other trains to reflect customer demand across the whole GTR network, allows us to make savings which is good news for the taxpayer.”

Ten ‘365s’ were used by ScotRail on electric services in 2018, due to the late delivery of the Hitachi Class 385s. Their introduction won the ScotRail Alliance the National Rail Award Train of the Year accolade in 2019 (RAIL 888).

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 927, published on March 24, and available digitally from March 20. 

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  • Tim Massey - 11/03/2021 19:13

    Good news for the taxpayer that owns the trains anyway? How does Mr S White figure that one?

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