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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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Rail Live: Track fault detector showcased

One of Network Rail’s Plain Line Pattern Recognition (PLPR) trains is set to feature at this year’s Rail Live at Long Marston (Warwickshire) on June 20-21.

“PLPR1 is one of five trains we have that capture high-definition imagery combined with track geometry information which, when analysed with complex computer algorithms, enables candidate defects with the track to be highlighted,” said Jason Saxon, Head of Supply, Digital Railway for Network Rail.

“It replaces a method of basic visual inspection on plain line track and represents a major step forward in the detection of track faults such as missing rail fastenings and damage to sleepers.”

The technology means that inspection staff do not have to walk for miles along the railway, saving time and improving safety for rail staff.

Rail Live will be an opportunity for visitors to the event at Quinton Rail Technology Centre to see the technology up close, and ask NR representatives about how it is used on the railway.

Rail Live 2018 is an enhanced annual event undergoing a transformation this year, aimed at bringing the entire industry together to showcase rail expertise to the worldwide industry.

This year’s event builds on the popular plant show that has been staged at Long Marston for the past five years. As such, there will be a large number of live demonstrations of innovative plant and on-track equipment, including:

  • N Demonstrations of new rail welding technology by Thermit.
  •  A new ballast scraping machine from AP Webb.
  •  A ballast vacuum demonstration by Railcare Sweden.
  • The latest in Augmented Reality and Holographic Projection from High Speed 1.

The National Rail Convention conference programme is also being staged at the event, with a high-profile line-up of speakers including Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling.

  •  Rail Live (and the National Rail Convention) is a trade show for individuals working in the rail industry. You will be required to register with a verified rail industry email address in order to attend. Go to to register.

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