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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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MPs debate reliability of ECML wiring

IEP 800003 leads 800004 through Marholm, near Peterborough. JOHN RUDD.

Rail Minister Paul Maynard has met Network Rail’s London North Eastern and East Midlands Route Managing Director Rob McIntosh, to discuss ways to improve reliability of the East Coast Main Line’s overhead line electrification.

Maynard confirmed the meeting in a House of Commons Transport debate on March 30. He was replying to Rachael Maskell (Labour/Co-op, York Central), who had asked about the “urgent renewal” needed for the ECML’s wires.

Maskell had asked: “We already know that there is six times higher spend in the South than in the North on rail and transport infrastructure, but we also seem to have an east-west divide in rail - the East Coast route has received £3 billion less than that of the West. Will the Government bring forward their funding to upgrade the East Coast Main Line infrastructure, since the passenger performance measure is now at 25.1% because of overhead line failure?”

  • For more on this, read RAIL 824, published on April 12.
  • Read RAIL 817 for an EXCLUSIVE interview with McIntosh

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  • BigTone - 04/04/2017 11:20

    Penny wise, pound foolish has come back to bite them. Hope it does get sorted properly.

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    • BigTone - 10/04/2017 13:31

      I see today (Monday) the wires are down in the Retford area

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  • FrankH - 05/04/2017 21:37

    The WCML north of Crewe was wired in the mid 70's in the same way as the photo. Cable supporting cable. Cheap and cheerful. When/if they put steel supports across they can do away with the first 6 foot or so of the uprights maybe more.

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  • David Ord - 02/06/2017 22:20

    It's not just the reliability either. Visiting from Hawaii I traveled up the WCML and down the ECML and the ride on WCML is way smoother. Really, in places ECML is appalling.

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