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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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Springburn Works to close

Springburn Works is set to close with the loss of 180 jobs, with the introduction of new trains blamed.

The site, near Glasgow, currently refurbishes trains mainly for ScotRail, but has suffered a steady decline in work in recent years.

A spokesman for Gemini Rail Services, which operates the site, said: “It is with deep regret that Gemini Rail Services has had to announce to employees its proposal to close the Springburn site in Glasgow.

“We are now entering a consultation period where all options will be explored with a view to avoiding redundancies. The proposal is as a result of increasingly changing and challenging market conditions which are outside of our control.”

He added that the number of pre-privatisation trains needing attention that has been the cornerstone of its business, has declined. Recent work includes refurbishment and ongoing maintenance of SR’s Class 15x fleet as well as Class 318 and 320 electric multiple units. Work has also been carried out on ‘classic’ High Speed Trains, while SR’s Class 170 fleet was also treated in recent years.

The spokesman added: “Due to the introduction of more modern vehicles, the number of pre-privatisation vehicles in service will reduce by 80% in the next five years.

“Furthermore, Springburn will continue to suffer an unsustainable decline in demand, due to its location, as only around 10% of the rolling stock that will be accessible is in Scotland and the North of England. As such, it is necessary to put forward the proposal. The decision to make this proposal has not been made lightly.”

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 869, published on January 2, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from December 29.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 17/12/2018 18:07

    Sad to hear that jobs will be lost from Springburn Works in Glasgow, Scotland. Because of new modern trains are in service. Including the Class 385 EMUs.

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