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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 next year for testing of tri-mode IET

Testing of a five-car Hitachi Class 802/0 tri-mode unit will begin in 2022, and the train could be in traffic the following year.

It is expected that the train will save more than 20% of fuel on Great Western Railway’s London Paddington-Penzance route.

The plan is for the ‘802’ to use battery power in and out of stations, and through urban areas. Of the 305-mile route, only 53 miles as far as Newbury are electrified (17%).

Hitachi will work with Eversholt Rail (which owns the train) and GWR on the project, using experience gained from Japan.

It will also receive support from Hyperdrive Innovation, which has agreed to create and develop battery packs that would be mass produced at its HYVE facility in Sunderland (RAIL 909).

Modifications to the Class 802/0 will be carried out at Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe facility in County Durham.

“This partnership is an exciting opportunity to unlock new greener trains for passengers, reduce running costs for operators and cutting carbon,” said Jim Brewin, Hitachi Rail UK & Ireland Country Lead.

“Britain is in a unique position to become a global leader in battery trains. We want to support the UK’s green economic recovery and levelling-up.”

Hitachi believes that projected improvements in battery technology, particularly in power output and charge, could enable diesel engines to be incrementally replaced on long-distance trains.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 921, out now.

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  • sean brennan - 22/02/2021 09:17

    why do we need more iets. It's bad enough it replaced most hsts on the network.

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