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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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The wait is over as Kenilworth station opens

West Midlands Railway 153365 became the first train to call at Kenilworth station in 53 years, after the long-awaited opening of the town’s new station on April 30.

Forming the 0616 departure from Leamington Spa to Coventry, the arrival of the single-car unit marked the completion of a £13.8 million construction project on the site of the town’s former station, which was closed under the Beeching cuts in 1965. 

The station’s opening will have come as a relief to Warwickshire County Council (WCC), which has faced mounting criticism over its management and cost control of the project (RAIL 850).

Since agreeing an £11.3m funding partnership in 2013 with Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (£3.5m) and the Department for Transport’s New Stations Fund (£4.9m), costs have risen by 20% and the original opening date of December 2016 has been missed by 16 months.

WCC also tried to blame the DfT for holding up the scheme in December 2017, before it subsequently emerged that documentation required by the Office of Rail and Road to grant safety and regulatory approval had not yet been submitted.

“Now that the station is opening, it is time to celebrate the completion of a very complex project and for the town of Kenilworth to celebrate that once again it has a rail station,” said Monica Fogarty, Joint Managing Director of WCC.

“This will provide a real boon for the local economy, bringing visitors to the town and also giving Kenilworth residents the opportunity to travel across Warwickshire without having to get in their cars.
“My heartfelt thanks go to all the people of Kenilworth who have shown such patience while the work was being carried out. I am sure the new station will make it all worthwhile.”

  • The FULL story will be in RAIL 852, published on May 9, and available digitally on iPad and Android from May 5.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 02/05/2018 00:57

    About time. 5 times it has been postponed. And yes Crosscountry trains won't be stopping at Kenilworth. Because the platforms are too short and only West Midland Railways Class 153's and Class 172's will be able to stop at Kenilworth.

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