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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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Original Valenta engine to be fitted to 125 Group's latest power car

A production High Speed Train power car is to be fitted with an original Valenta power engine, after 43044 was secured by the 125 Group.

The former East Midlands Railway Class 43 is currently stored at Neville Hill, having been withdrawn earlier this year. It is fitted with a VP185 engine, but that is defective.

The Group has confirmed that one of its stored Valenta engines, which were fitted to the ‘43s’ when built in 1976-82, will be installed in 43044. The removed VP185 will then be used for spares for 43048/089, also owned by the Group and which retain their VP185 engines.

Longer term, it’s planned that an MTU-fitted Class 43 will be acquired.

The Group has also acquired two more HST Mk 3 coaches, meaning that it has a set of eight that it can use. One of the two new purchases is planned to be used for spares, although depending on its condition it could yet be returned to service.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 926, published on March 10 and available digitally from March 6.

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