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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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EXCLUSIVE: Major projects will still be vital - so we need to be ready - Haines

Major projects designed to increase capacity (such as Crossrail 2) should go ahead, says Network Rail Chief Executive Andrew Haines - despite nobody being able to predict what passenger demand will be like following the pandemic or how long it might take for significant levels of patronage to recover.

“The need for additional capacity will be there and frankly, all this crisis might have done is bought us a few years of time,” Haines told RAIL.

“The challenge for Government will be whether they use that time to make sure that we can be ready for when we need it, or do people look back and say we wasted that opportunity.”

NR is also working with Government to ensure that enhancements which were already in the pipeline, such as the next phase of the TransPennine Route Upgrade (which is yet to go through Treasury approval processes), do not lose momentum.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 904, published on May 6, and available digitally from May 2.
  • For an EXCLUSIVE in-depth interview with Haines, read RAIL 905, published on May 20, and available digitally from May 16.

 

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