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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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Green light for Talgo's Longannet site

Planning permission for the Talgo UK train manufacturing facility at Longannet, Fife, was approved on December 18, paving the way for the company to start building work as soon as it wins an order.

Scottish Enterprise made the application to develop the site of the former power station, with a mix of business, general industrial use, storage and distribution facilities as well as the factory.

This allows Talgo UK’s stated ambition of being able to start construction of the site the day after it wins its first contract to become reality. The company has also always stressed it’s not just here for the £2.75 billion HS2 trains contract (due to be awarded next year), but for other UK opportunities, as well as the export market.

“By taking part of the site, Talgo UK can now continue to develop our plan to bring ‘true manufacturing’ back to the UK rail industry – sourcing from the UK supply-chain, and keeping more money in the local, regional, and national economies of the UK,” said Talgo UK Managing Director Jon Veitch.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 895, published January 2, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from December 28.



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