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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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ROG to use Class 91s for Midland Main Line electrification testing

Testing of the newly electrified Bedford-Corby route will begin in late March/early April, using a newly acquired electrification test train.

Operated by Rail Operations Group, two Class 91s and a rake of eight Mk 3s will be used to test the new infrastructure, ahead of East Midlands Railway introducing planned electric services on the route from December.

The Midland Main Line is being electrified from Bedford to Kettering/Corby and Market Harborough.

Rail Operations (UK) Limited, ROG’s parent company, is leasing 91122 and 91128 from Eversholt Rail for the project and is actively looking to expand its operations to other schemes.

The on-board test equipment is being supplied by Data Acquisition & Testing Services Ltd (DATS), which will carry out the various tests on the infrastructure. Testing and data equipment will be carried aboard the Mk 3s (the former ‘Pretendolino’ rake of stock last used by TransPennine Express).

The two ‘91s’ will be fitted with modified pantographs to enable analysis of the overhead wires. There is also the option to include a third electric locomotive in the centre of the train.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 898, published on February 12, and available digitally from February 8.

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