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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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‘Staycation Express’ to return along full length of S&C

This year’s ‘Staycation Express’ will use a refurbished High Speed Train and run the full length of the Settle-Carlisle Line.

The final plans are being confirmed by Rail Charter Services, which last year used locomotive-hauled trains between Skipton and Appleby. This year, the plan is for the HST to operate the 0930 Appleby-Skipton, 1130 Skipton-Carlisle, 1500 Carlisle-Skipton and 1730 Skipton-Appleby, although the timings are yet to be finalised.

The trains will run daily except for Fridays between mid-July and early September (dates still to be determined).

“A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to build on the success of the ‘Staycation Express’ last year,” said RCS Director Adrian Quine.

“We are working closely with our partners and stakeholders, with innovation at the heart of everything we do, and look forward to announcing further initiatives soon.”

The full timetable and on-boarding catering details will be published in April, but Quine has already confirmed that the HST will be formed of five coaches that will be fitted with leather reclining First Class seating and power points. There will be an enhanced buffet counter and premium ‘at seat’ dining car, while COVID-secure Perspex screens will be fitted between every bay of seats.

A new branding and livery has also been revealed for the HST, which will be one from the Locomotive Services Limited fleet.

Driver training for the service has already started.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 927, published on March 24, and available digitally from March 20.

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  • Colin Gregory - 23/03/2021 16:40

    Wow looking forward to zee the refurbishment of hsts

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