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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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RIA wants further electrification

The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is calling for further electrification of the rail network, in response to Rail Minister Jo Johnson’s comments at the Transport Select Committee’s inquiry into rail infrastructure investment on April 30.

“While advances in technology can help the industry move towards a zero-carbon railway, it remains RIA’s position that electrification is still the optimal technical solution for the intensively used parts of the rail network,” said RIA Technical Director David Clarke.

“The problem has been that some recent programmes have been costing far more than they should. This led RIA to launch its cross-industry Electrification Cost Challenge, which shows that electrification can be delivered at an affordable cost.

“RIA maintains that further electrification is an important part of any decarbonisation strategy for the railways, and the Government must keep an open mind on this issue if it wants to deliver a sustainable and affordable transport system for the future.”

  • FULL coverage of the Transport Select Committee hearing on April 30 will appear in RAIL 852, published on May 9, and available digitally from May 5.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 02/05/2018 10:45

    That would include the electrification to Kettering, Corby and electrification from Cardiff to Swansea, Reading to Newbury and from Didcot Parkway to Oxford.

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    • Leon Whitfield - 16/05/2018 17:03

      Why can't u electrify all the way from Didcot to Birmingham . If there was a rail crash . Trains to diverted to Paddington or Euston . Without waiting for desiel power to haul back . Makes since . Plus . Cut out poluation from Smokey desiel power

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 04/05/2018 00:01

    What about electrying to Swansea and Oxford. If the electrification to Newport, Cardiff and Newbury is been approved and has got the go ahead which will see overhead wires erected and extended so that Class 387’s can operate from Paddington to Newbury and Class 800’s to operate from Paddington to Cardiff via pantograph up and switch to diesel mode to continue its journey to Swansea and back.

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