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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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Thameslink begins testing at redeveloped London Bridge

Testing of Class 700s at the rebuilt London Bridge began on January 1. Eight-car 700015 became the first passenger train to cross over the new Bermondsey dive-under before arriving at the newly built platform at 1924. It ran from New Cross Gate.

Tests were then carried out for platform and signal interface checks, before it then ran to Blackfriars via the newly commissioned Metropolitan and Blackfriars Junctions.

Direct trains from Blackfriars to London Bridge stopped in January 2015, but will resume this month once further testing and driver training has been completed. A full service introduction is planned for May.

Platforms 4 and 5 are planned to be dedicated to Thameslink. Network Rail has remodelled the track layout at the station, with the dive-under at Bermondsey and a new viaduct over Borough Market and Borough High Street. The latter is used by Southeastern trains serving Charing Cross.

“This has already been a year of ‘firsts’, and this test train was a key moment for Thameslink,” said NR Thameslink Programme Director Simon Blanchflower. 

  • For the full story on London Bridge, read RAIL 844, published on January 17, and available on iPad/Android from January 13. 

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 06/01/2018 22:49

    Thameslink trains may start operating in March instead of May. And the new May timetable will be introduced with services to Cambridge, Peterborough, Cambridge North, Kings Linn, Littlehampton, Orpington and Ashford International to be announced in May when the new timetable is being introduced from May. Edging closer to the completion of the Thameslink Programme.

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 07/01/2018 18:41

    Thameslink trains will soon be using London Bridge coming to & From Bedford, Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, St. Albans, West Hempstead Thameslink, Kentish Town, Sevenoaks, Brighton, Three Bridges, Gatwick Airport. And from May-Thameslink trains will be operating to Horsham, Littlehampton, Crawley, Orpington, Cambridge, Peterborough, Ely, Kings Linn and Cambridge North.

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