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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 unveils first complete Scottish Class 385

385004 (left) and 385103 (right) at Newton Aycliffe on October 12. RICHARD CLINNICK.

Three-car 385004 - the first complete Class 385 - was unveiled at Hitachi Rail Europe’s Newton Aycliffe facility on October 12.

The electric multiple unit (EMU) is destined for ScotRail and is the first to be finished at the County Durham facility. It was unveiled alongside fellow three-car 385015 and four-car sets 385103/104. The other three are not quite as advanced as 385004. Three-car 385003 is also close to completion.

HRE is building 70 Class 385s for ScotRail - ten in Kasado (Japan), with 60 assembled at Newton Aycliffe. They were due to enter traffic in December on the Edinburgh-Glasgow route via Falkirk, but that has been delayed owing to issues surrounding the overhead line electrification, which has been energised but not tested. As this issue of RAIL went to press, it was expected that testing could begin in mid-October. 

  • For much more on the Class 385s, read RAIL 838, published on October 25.

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 14/10/2017 02:25

    Are Scotrail going to start using the Class 385's next year. Hope so with Hitachi building these new commuter trains.

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  • John Russell - 14/10/2017 19:31

    Of all the new units currently being introduced, these have to be the ugliest.

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