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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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HSTs bought for charter use

Redundant High Speed Trains have been bought by Locomotive Services Ltd, and will enter traffic next year.

The company has also purchased two Class 90s, as it seeks to expand its existing operations. The purchase of only one HST has been confirmed, although RAIL understands that a deal is in place for more. It is buying the HSTs and Class 90s from Porterbrook, which declined to comment when asked by RAIL about the deal.

LSL owner Jeremy Hosking said: “Locomotive Services Limited are pleased to announce that we have recently entered into an agreement that will see our operational fleet expand from 2019.

“The inclusion of a High Speed Train , Mk 3 coaching stock and Class 90 locomotives in our fleet will enable the continued expansion of our operation, while protecting our heritage assets from excessive use. We will be providing further details in due course.”

It is currently unclear how the HSTs will be used, but RAIL sources have suggested the company is targeting the luxury market with First Class and catering to be offered.

The HSTs will be those sent off-lease by Great Western Railway. Currently no Porterbrook-owned HSTs have been returned by GWR, although this will happen later in the year as more Intercity Express Trains are introduced.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 859, out now.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 16/08/2018 11:52

    Its better to transfer the Class 43's to other operators that would need them such as Crosscountry that could inherit few more of them to operate on Edinburgh-Plymouth, Newcastle-Plymouth and Manchester-Penzance services. And East Midlands Trains to inherit some of the Class 43's before they are being replaced by Bombardier Aventra Bi-Mode or Stadler Flirt Bi-Mode stocks that will operate on London St. Pancras-Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and Sheffield main line routes.

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  • James Lee - 28/01/2020 18:14

    Will these charter HST's have valenta's reinstalled?

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