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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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Network Rail closes in on appointments for East Coast ETCS partners

Network Rail is in the final stages of appointing traffic management and system integration partners for its Digital Railway Transformation programme on the East Coast Main Line.

NR is planning to install European Train Control System (ETCS) on the southern section of the ECML between Peterborough and London by the end of Control Period 6 (March 2024), while also developing traffic management systems for the Trans-Pennine Route Upgrade (TRU) project.

Toufic Machnouk, NR’s Programme Director for Digital Railway on the ECML, confirmed to MPs at an All-Party Parliamentary Rail Group meeting on October 29 that NR was at the “back end” of the procurement process, which had commenced with two tenders in 2018 to find a technology provider and a systems integration and train control partner.

A third tender was then launched in May this year, to appoint a traffic management partner in a potential eight-year deal worth £180 million. The process contains provision to appoint one or two partners to operate between York and Manchester Rail Operating Centres.

“System Integration is going through the legal process, but I want it ‘yesterday’ and I sincerely hope it will be very soon. The procurement of the traffic management has been done in one lot and is due to conclude in the New Year,” said Machnouk.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 891, published on November 6, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from November 2.

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