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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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Stadler sets sights on supplying trains for new franchises

Stadler is targeting more business in the UK, with upcoming franchises providing opportunities for the Swiss train manufacturer. The company is also investigating providing alternative power for its trains.

Speaking in Bussnang on May 3, before the unveiling of the first Class 755/4 bi-mode unit for Greater Anglia (see separate news story and feature), Stadler UK Marketing Director Ralf Warwel said that there were “quite a few activities” the company was looking at, suggesting East Midlands and maybe the West Coast Partnership.

The company is also keen to supply locomotives (possibly Class 68s) for the CrossCountry and Chiltern Railways franchises, where potential bidders have investigated the Class 68/Mk 5A concept about to be introduced by TransPennine Express.

Stadler is also interested in the Invitation to Tender issued by Direct Rail Services last year for ten diesel-electric locomotives, to be delivered next year.

Warwel said that the company was looking at all the products available, adding: “We are looking at alternative energy. It is too early to see technical details. Diesel is very good, but batteries are probably the furthest advanced for alternative power. Batteries are something that has the potential to be good, but technology moves so fast. Batteries need recharging, so more work is needed.”

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 853, out now.
  • For a full, in-depth story on the unveiling of the Class 755/4 for Greater Anglia, read RAIL 853, out now.
  • For a full, in-depth feature looking at the construction of the Class 745 and '755' fleets for Greater Anglia, read RAIL 853, out now.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 23/05/2018 11:35

    I think Stadler could manufacture more new EMU trains and Bi-Mode trains that Bi-Mode Flirts could operate on the Midland Main Line and to replace the Class 43 HST’s. Whilst the electrification on the Midland Main Line will only extend to as far as Kettering and Corby.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 23/05/2018 23:35

    I think Stadler could manufacture new Bi-Mode trains for the East Midlands (Midland Main Line) and transfer the Class 222's, Class 180's and other DMU units to Crosscountry. With the Class 43 HST's that some are to be cascaded to Scotland with some already in Scotland. As more new Bi-Mode trains are to be built to replace the DMU's and yes more EMU trains are also to be built with electrification on some major lines that are to be electrified.

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    • BigTone - 24/05/2018 19:20

      Why transfer the 222s? They're needed in the East Midlands Cross Country should get their own bi-modes. Look at the milage they do under the wires. What EMT (or their successors) are going to do with the Corby line I don't know as nothing is on order. Use parked up units for the time being?

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      • AndrewJG8918 - 26/05/2018 20:16

        Probably you are right about Class 222’s. They are reliable DEMU trains that Bombardier have built for the East Midlands. But passengers have complained about the legroom whilst sitting on any seat is like being squashed even though I have been on the Class 222’s and the seats do look very nice.

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  • H-S-T Productions - 13/06/2018 14:36

    An Inter-City style 68+Mrk5 coaches would be a useful idea for the Cross Country lines going down from Birmingham via Leamington/Banbury, Oxford, Reading and Southampton/Bournemouth, since currently places down here don't benefit from the occasional better-quality ride XC's HST's give on the routs down vis Bristol etc.

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