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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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ScotRail picks up the pace on ‘active travel’ Class 153s

ScotRail has revealed its first ‘active travel’ Class 153 which will eventually be used on the West Highland Line.

Five single-car diesel multiple units are being refurbished by Brodies at Kilmarnock. The work includes stripping the interior of the ‘153s’ to create space for carrying cycles and large sporting equipment.

A ScotRail source explained that driver training has restarted within the company, with additional safety measures agreed with drivers’ union ASLEF. The Class 153s will form part of that agreement.

The five DMUs moving to SR are 153305/370/373/377/380. These were previously with Great Western Railway, with three sent to Northern on a short-term lease. All are now at Kilmarnock.

Each DMU will have 24 seats (20 around tables and four airline-style), with the rest of the vehicle able to carry up to 20 cycles via custom-designed racks, sporting equipment, and large items of luggage. There are spaces for tandem cycles as well as an e-bike charging socket - a first for a UK train.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 917, published on November 4 - and available digitally now


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