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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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ORR works to boost heritage railway safety

The Office of Rail and Road has provided six Risk Management Maturity Model (RM3) workshops to the heritage railway sector, in a bid to improve safety on non-main line railways.

The regulator has also held safety update workshops, providing practical guidance in how to use RM3 in a heritage environment in order to improve safety management capabilities.

Plans are also being developed to create a Heritage Safety and Standards Board aimed at increasing cross-sector co-operation, sharing safety-related information, and helping to develop, review and promote proportionate ways of managing safety risk.

ORR says it supports the action the Heritage Railway Association is taking to develop a strategic approach to increasing its capabilities, noting “significant improvements” in its sector leadership.

HM Chief Inspector of Railways Ian Prosser CBE said: “The HRA has taken a significant and important role in providing, among other things, safety leadership to the sector - most visibly by developing and promoting proportionate ways to manage safety risk.

“ORR issued advice and guidance to the industry to help them through the Coronavirus pandemic. We’re pleased that they have listened and used this guidance to safely reopen its railways for the public to enjoy.”

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 914, published on September 23, and available digitally from September 19.

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