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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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Heritage railways receive combined £6.7m Culture Recovery Fund lifeline

Heritage railways across the country have received grants totalling more than £6.7 million from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, to help them survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grants have been awarded to: The Bodmin & Wenford Railway (£260,000); Cambrian Heritage Railways (£20,000); Colne Valley Railway (£20,000); Dinmore Manor Locomotive Ltd (£26,100); Epping Ongar Railway Holdings (£98,000).

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (£318,000); Helston Railway (£76,100); Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society (£231,600); Kent and East Sussex Railway (£301,500); Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Community Interest Company (£79,300); Mid-Hants Railway and Mid-Hants Railway Preservation Society (£600,000).

Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust (£190,500); Middleton Railway Trust (£79,900); Modern Electric Tramways Ltd (Seaton Tramway - £435,100); North Norfolk Railway (£360,000); Northampton Steam Railway (£46,000); Plym Valley Railway (£27,900); Ribble Steam Railway (£207,200).

Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway (£470,000); Severn Valley Railway (£906,000); Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway (£26,500); South Devon Railway Trust (£332,300); South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society (£84,300).

A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (£153,000); Vintage Trains Charitable Trust (£194,800); Wealsden Railway Company (£153,900); Wensleydale Railway (£90,000); West Somerset Railway (£865,000); and WyvernRail (£85,000).

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 916, published on October 21, and available digitally from October 17.

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