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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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NATIONAL RAIL CONFERENCE EXCLUSIVE: Rail industry will be judged on “ability to adapt” to Williams - Haines

Network Rail Chief Executive Andrew Haines has called on the rail industry to embrace the recommendations of the forthcoming Williams Review, otherwise individual companies and organisations “will not deserve to have a part in its future”.

In an impassioned keynote speech delivered at RAIL’s National Rail Conference in London on November 12, Haines warned that the industry’s collective response to independent chairman Keith Williams’ conclusions will be just as important as the Review itself, and that “there will be no excuse” for not acting upon them.

He told delegates that there had been a tendency to blame the structure of the industry since privatisation for poor performance, but that once the Williams Review is published after the General Election on December 12, it will have to shoulder more responsibility for problem solving if things are to improve.

He said: “The elephant in the room is not what Keith Williams says in his report, or how quickly a government reacts to it. It’s our collective ability and resolve to grasp the challenges and opportunities that these levels of investment and change represent."

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 892, published on November 20, and available digitally now.

 

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