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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 Operations (UK) Ltd orders Class 93 tri-modes

Thirty Class 93 tri-mode locomotives will be built by Stadler for Rail Operations (UK) Ltd, with the initial batch of ten due for delivery in early 2023.

Stadler’s first tri-mode has three different power sources.

In electric mode, it is able to run on 25kV AC overhead lines with a power of 4,000 kW (5,361hp).

The locomotive will also be fitted with a CAT-ERPILLAR C32 engine and Lithium Titanate Oxide (LTO) traction battery packs, allowing it to operate over non-electrified lines, as well as a diesel engine with a nominal power of 900 kW (1,200hp) and which meets EU 97/68 Stage V emission requirements.

The two LTO battery packs provide 400kW (536hp) extra power to supplement the engine when the locomotive is running in diesel/battery hybrid mode, as well as last mile carbon-free shunting operation.

The mixed-traffic locomotives are based on the Class 68 and ‘88’ locomotives, but with a higher maximum speed of 110mph.

“The rail industry has acted very positively in understanding its role in reducing carbon emissions and improving inner-city air quality,” said ROUK Chief Executive Officer Karl Watts.

“The Class 93 fleet, with its array of green credentials, will allow us to lead the way in supporting the rail industry deliver its decarbonisation targets. The Class 93s also allow us to develop new markets and modernise many aspects of UK train operations.”

  • For more on this story, see RAIL 923 (published on January 27 and available digitally from January 23).

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  • Andrew Gwilt - 16/01/2021 01:52

    Mind you I would probably think that Stadler could continue with manufacturing more Bi-Mode and Tri-Mode locomotives for freight duties and/or for passenger services such as on to be used on Transport for Wales, ScotRail, Transpennine Express, Great Western Railway, Caledonian Sleeper and Grand Central.

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    • sean brennan - 22/02/2021 09:12

      aslo it could be used for northern to replaced class 158 units on express routes.

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