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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 trains for West Midlands begin testing in Czech Republic

The first four-car Class 196/1 has started testing at the Velim test track in the Czech Republic.

West Midlands Railway has 26 of the diesel multiple units on order from CAF, comprising 14 four-car sets (196101-196114) and 12 two-car sets (196001-196012). A second set (196102) has also moved to Velim.

They will enter traffic in the second half of this year, although no specific date has been announced. Those built in Spain will begin arriving in the UK in the spring, with the rest built at the company’s Newport factory.

WMR plans to use them to increase capacity on the Hereford-Birmingham route, where they will replace Class 170s.

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