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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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Grand Central’s £21 million Blackpool fleet takes shape

Four Class 90s per day will be used by Grand Central on its new London Euston-Blackpool North route that is due to start in May, the open access operator has confirmed.

GC has also announced that four rakes of six Mk 4s will be leased from Eversholt Rail until December 2026, with Alstom maintaining them at its Wembley depot and overnight servicing carried out at the former Arriva North depot at Blackpool.

Driver training is due to begin imminently, using three sets of Mk 4s on a short-term lease.

Overall, GC is investing £21 million in its new fleet, with the first overhauled and repainted Class 90 (90026) delivered to Crewe International Electric Maintenance Depot last month (RAIL 899). The ‘90s’ are hired from DB Cargo UK, and 90026 will be joined by 90021/029/039/040 (one will be used as a spare). DB will maintain them at Crewe IEMD.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 900, published on March 11, and available digitally from March 7.

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