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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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Train builder CAF starts work on new Welsh train factory

Work has started on constructing CAF’s new factory in South Wales.

The Spanish manufacturer said it scoured the UK, investigating more than 100 sites, before selecting Celtic Business Park at Llanwern, near Newport.

CAF will be able to build trams, suburban and metro fleets, and inter-city and high-speed trains at the site. The factory will measure 46,000m2, with a floor area of 15,000m2 (the equivalent of two rugby pitches). The internal volume is 167,125m3 (the equivalent of 1,500 double-decker buses).

The factory will create 300 new jobs, according to CAF. The company plans to start recruiting staff in the spring, and offer training and apprenticeships from the autumn. It also plans to support the wider UK rail industry supply chain by developing a ‘cluster’ of local and national companies to supply train parts.

“The factory will have the flexibility to allow us to respond to the exacting demands of both existing and new customers, by providing the most complete offering of any rolling stock provider operating in the UK,” said CAF UK Director Richard Garner.

  • For the full story, read RAIL 844, published on January 17; available on Android and iPad on January 13.
  • For an update on the CAF Mk 5s for Caledonian Sleeper, read RAIL 844, published on January 17; available on Android and iPad on January 13.

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 03/01/2018 21:18

    Great news for Wales and UK to have new jobs created at the new CAF manufacturing plant in Llanwern, near Newport. Plus they could also manufacture new London Underground deep level tube stocks for the Bakerloo, Piccadilly, Central and Waterloo & City lines.

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