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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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Prime Minister leads gratitude for “railway family”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given his heartfelt thanks to “the entire railway family”, for what he described as their heroic efforts to keep the country moving during lockdown.

In a speech at RAIL’s virtual National Rail Awards on September 17, which has been viewed by more than 1,000 people, Johnson delivered a powerful vote of confidence in the railway’s future.

He said he doesn’t think the crisis has ended the “human desire to move around quickly and efficiently” and reconfirmed that “we will deliver the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorian era”.

 

The PM’s speech was joined by a further 19 messages of thanks from leaders across the Government and railway community. All had been asked if they would like to provide a short video to thank railway staff for their efforts during 2020.

Messages were also broadcast from:

Andy Byford, Transport Commissioner, Transport for London.

Paul Crowther QPM, Chief Constable, British Transport Police.

Bernadette Kelly, Permanent Secretary, Department for Transport

Polly Payne, Director General, Department for Transport.

Andrew Haines, Chief Executive, Network Rail.

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus.

Alex Hynes, Managing Director, Scotland’s Railway.

David Horne, Managing Director, LNER.

Ian Prosser CBE, HMRI Chief Inspector of Railways, ORR.

Mark Phillips, Chief Executive, RSSB.

Malcolm Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Angel Trains.

Steve White, Chief Operating Officer, Govia Thameslink Railway.

Matthew Golton, Interim Managing Director, Great Western Railway.

  • You can still watch the ceremony at https://nra2020.co.uk.
  • See RAIL 914 for a full list of this year’s winners and all those entries that were highly commended, and for a special 24-page supplement putting the winners in the spotlight.
  • See RAIL 915, on sale digitally on October 3, in print on October 7 for more on this story.

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