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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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Pacer goes to school

Network Rail has helped to move a former Northern two-car Pacer to Kirk Merrington Primary School, in Spennymoor, where it will be used as a library.

The diesel multiple unit was moved by road after the school raised funds to buy 142045. The previous library had been repurposed as a classroom.

NR volunteers installed ballast and track on which the ‘142’ now stands. Work will now focus on removing its seats, improving the flooring, and installing lighting. When complete, it will be a library and a wellness hub. In the longer term, it’s planned to open the Pacer to the public.

“When I heard about the school’s plans, I knew our teams could help,” said Network Rail North and East Route Operations Manager Mick Hodgson.

“I’m so proud of them for getting involved and volunteering their skills. This project means Kirk Merrington Primary School will have a library again, and it will provide space for additional learning activities for many years to come.”

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