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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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New £100 million depot for Welsh Metro planned

A new depot costing almost £100 million will be built at Taff’s Well, near Cardiff.

It will be home to 36 Stadler Citylink Metro vehicles that will operate on the Taff Vale lines.

The Welsh Government said 400 train crew, 35 Metro vehicle maintenance staff and a South Wales Metro integrated control centre employing 52 staff will all be based there.

The existing depot at Cardiff Canton will be upgraded in a £5m scheme so that Stadler Flirt trains, including the tri-mode fleet, can be based there.

Investment is also planned to enhance stabling facilities in Treherbert and Rhymney.

Wales Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates said: “The construction of the Taff’s Well depot presents one of the first opportunities for Welsh suppliers to directly benefit from our £738 million investment in the South Wales Metro.

“I am genuinely excited about the benefits of this public sector investment making a real and tangible difference to Welsh businesses and communities.

Clearance and construction work for the new depot should start next year, and will be completed by mid-2022.

Transport for Wales will procure construction firms through Sell2Wales and the Stride framework to ensure economic benefits for Wales.

KeolisAmey won a new 15-year franchise in May, and signed its contract on June 4. It will replace Arriva Trains Wales on October 14 this year, and plans to replace the entire ATW fleet.

  • For the FULL story about the new Welsh franchise, read RAIL 855, published on June 20, and available digitally on Android/iPad from June 16.

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