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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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Tender announced for new West Midlands trams

Transport for the West Midlands has launched a tendering process for new battery-powered trams.

TfWM already operates one battery-powered tram, but is now looking to add 18 new trams to its fleet with the option to purchase 32 more in the future.

It plans to use the new trams on a number of proposed extensions to the network. TfWM said the battery technology will remove the need to have overhead wires, making it easier to construct various sections of the new routes.

It said it is looking for a supplier with “tried and tested tram fleets in operation elsewhere in the world”. A supplier is expected to be confirmed by May next year, with TfWM hoping the new trams will be operation by summer 2021.

Roger Lawrence, West Midlands Combined Authority portfolio holder for transport and leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “The West Midlands is leading the way on sustainable public transport in this country. We launched the UK’s first battery-powered tram earlier this year, and now we’re adding more to the network. We had to wait for the technology to catch up with our ambition - so we will retro-fit all our existing trams with batteries.”

He added: “Eventually, this tender could treble the amount of trams operating on our network, potentially increasing our regional fleet from 21 to 71 trams, meaning more services and more stops as we extend the tram network for passengers across the West Midlands.”

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 18/08/2018 01:06

    I think it will be the first ever battery operated trams that Birmingham has ever seen. I think its a great idea.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 19/08/2018 22:11

    Battery powered trams in Birmingham is a brilliant idea. And it’s the first ever time that Birmingham will be familiar with once it enters service which gantries, structures and overhead wires can’t be installed in certain areas of the city centre.

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