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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 promised, but many are already delayed

Eleven operators will introduce new trains this year, according to the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).

It highlights that Caledonian Sleeper, Govia Thameslink Railway, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Hull Trains, London North Eastern Railway, London Overground, Northern, ScotRail, South Western Railway and TransPennine Express will all introduce new vehicles this year. However, it failed to mention that of those 11, six operators had been due to put the new trains into traffic last year.

RDG also reported that ‘refurbished-like-new’ trains were also being introduced. Again, some of these are late, including Porterbrook’s Class 769 FLEX units and SR’s Inter7City High Speed Trains.

CS, GTR, LNER, LO, Northern and TPE should have all brought new fleets into service from last year. Spanish manufacturer CAF built Caledonian Sleeper Mk 5 Sleeper and TPE Mk 5A stock that should have entered traffic in the autumn, while the Spanish company is also delivering Northern’s Class 195 diesel multiple units, the first three of which should have been in traffic by the end of last year.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 870, published on January 16, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from January 12.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 09/01/2019 23:00

    But why is it still taken so long to produce new rolling stocks that are to replace the older trains that are 30-40 years old. Why take so long. Despite what is happening this year with the UK leaving the EU. Which could affect the production of new trains and possibly could even affect jobs aswell at train manufacturing plants in the UK and Europe as the UK is opted to leave the EU market.

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