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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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Hopes rekindled of full Midland Main Line electrification

Electrifying the entire Midland Main Line could be back on the agenda.

The scheme was originally confirmed in 2012, only for Government to cancel electrification north of Kettering/Corby in July 2017, stating that bi-mode trains would be ordered instead.

Electrification was later extended to Market Harborough, but politicians have routinely called for the wires to serve Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield as originally planned.

During a House of Commons debate on transport on September 17, HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson said in response to a question from Alex Norris (Labour/Co-op, Nottingham North): “We are currently delivering the Midland Main Line upgrade, which includes electrification from London to Kettering, with additional electrification to Market Harborough being developed.

“Further electrification of the MML is currently at an early stage, but it is being examined by Network Rail.”

Stephenson said the DfT will continue to work closely with NR on the development of a proposal that would include approaches to advancing the delivery of electrification across the route.

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

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  • David Snape - 27/09/2020 07:25

    If electrification was completed to Sheffield then it would make economic sense to follow it through on the route to Doncaster.

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    • James - 22/02/2021 17:42

      And also to Leeds it would make sense too.

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  • M sedgwick - 27/09/2020 07:47

    Given what's happened so far, the government could still be in to minds about this and go ahead as before.

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