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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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Hitachi targets export opportunities from Newton Aycliffe

Very High Speed Trains (VHSTs) built in Britain could be exported to Europe and even further afield from Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe factory.

The Japanese manufacturer says it is excited about the opportunities for VHSTs in the UK, where it is currently shortlisted as part of a Joint Venture (JV) with Bombardier for the classic-compatible 54-strong HS2 trains order.

And the company has confirmed it plans to export AT300 trains from Newton Aycliffe if and when orders are received. Both high-speed and VHST trains form part of the AT300 family.

“Our aspiration is to do more and continue to advance high-speed train technology and the benefit they can offer passengers around the world,” said Hitachi Rail Sales Director Nick Hughes.

Des McKeon, VP Sales UK & Ireland, Global Head of Regional & Intercity, Bombardier Transportation, added: “Our tried and tested joint venture means we’ve been able to work in partnership to expand the benefits of the ETR 1000 fleets, beyond Italy to France and Spain.

“The reliability and flexibility of the platform has proven it can transform travel in different markets. High speed is increasingly popular across the world and we’re excited about the opportunities in UK and elsewhere.”

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 915, published on October 7, and available digitally from October 3.

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