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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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Southern uses Class 313 as COVID test centre

A Southern Class 313 electric multiple unit is being used as a COVID-19 test centre at Brighton station.

Three-car 313207 is stabled at Platform 8 and is used for twice-weekly rapid lateral flow tests for Govia Thameslink Railway staff who cannot work from home (GTR has up to 1,250 staff who qualify for these tests). These are offered by Government and will continue until the end of June.

It has been fitted with curtains and screens to prevent the spread of the virus, and a team of 15 staff have volunteered to work as testers.

Among them is Brad Lade, a Southern Onboard Supervisor, who said: “I wanted to do something which will benefit people, to give them and my family peace of mind that my colleagues and I are COVID-free.”

  • The FULL story appears in RAIL 927, published on March 24, and available digitally from March 20.

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