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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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Train quality is East Midlands Trains' passengers’ main concern

The age and quality of rolling stock on East Midlands Trains (EMT) is passengers’ single biggest area of concern, according to research conducted by Transport Focus as part of the consultation into the next East Midlands franchise.

TF found that while impressions of EMT were positive overall, passengers described the interior design across its fleet as “basic”, and contrasted the rolling stock with that of Virgin Trains and London Midland, which operate over parts of the EMT network.

The cleanliness of train interiors was also criticised, with satisfaction rates of 74% on local routes and 86% on long-distance services. Satisfaction for toilet facilities was 50% on local routes and 55% on London trains.

Increasingly, passengers regard free wireless internet and plug sockets as essentials - internet access is regarded as the third-highest priority for improvement, behind value for money and getting a seat.

Value for money satisfaction is at 66% for local journeys, 58% for Liverpool-Norwich, and 42% for London services. The latter figure compares with a national average from the National Rail Passenger Survey of 58% for long-distance operators.

  • Read RAIL 835 for the full story, published on September 13.

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  • BigTone - 06/09/2017 16:33

    Whoever takes over the franchise needs to address overcrowding starting with the abolishing of single coach working.

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    • Matt - 20/02/2018 09:44

      Could not agree more! Living close to the Skegness-Grantham Line, I’ve often seen 1 and 2 car trains operating in peak hours in the height of summer. With the huge number of holiday makers travelling to Skegness and lack of coaches, returning from London last year was a nightmare. I was standing between the cab and the luggage racks, suitcases piled up in front of the doors restricting access to passengers, the walkway packed with standing people, and even this train had 2 coaches so god forbid how it would be in a single car class 153.

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