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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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Tram-train operation to continue in Sheffield as new systems proposed

Tram-trains will continue running in South Yorkshire beyond the end of the two-year trial period, with the Government believing it could act as an inspiration for similar schemes elsewhere.

More than 1.5 million passengers have travelled on the Sheffield Supertram tram-trains that serve Rotherham Central, sharing infrastructure with Network Rail, since they began running on October 25 2018.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris claimed the scheme had transformed public connections in the region. He highlighted the £125 million Department for Transport funding in the project.

According to South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), more than ten transport authorities want their own tram-train systems in cities including Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow. Tram-trains are already on order for Transport for Wales, to operate into Cardiff Bay.

“Our region is leading the way for tram-train learning and application in the industry,” said SYPTE Executive Director Stephen Edwards.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 919, published on November 18, and available digitally from November 14. 

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  • Dan Sellers - 10/12/2020 16:30

    I think Manchester would suit tram train operation as the Metrolink originally started with ex BR lines (Altrincham - Bury) with higher than normal platforms in the city centre / new build sections. I feel that Metrolink will encourage regeneration of the run down inner city areas such as around Ardwick and Pomona but this hasn't happened in the ex steelworks corridor in Sheffield - Rotherham. Stocksbridge (former Great Central Main Line north of Sheffield) would also suit tram-train operation as this uses an existing freight line and would encourage regeneration of the most neglected / derelict / run-down deprived area of Sheffield from the Wicker right out to Stocksbridge. Tram trains could also be extended to / from Rotherham to Doncaster and reopen the Cudworth line, as well as a new park & ride at Parkgate and serve the Tinsley industrial estate in the former railway yard / steelworks area.

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