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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 trial suffers further delay to 2017

The long-delayed first trial of a tram-train in the UK has been pushed back further until at least January 2017, Network Rail and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive confirmed on December 12.

This is a nine-month slip on the previous estimate, and a delay of over six years on the original timescale for this much-troubled project (RAIL 762).

Seven Vossloh vehicles are already in production for the public service that will form part of the trial on the Sheffield Supertram network - from the city centre to the Meadowhall South tram stop, and then via Rotherham Central station to a new 400-metre spur serving the Parkgate shopping area.

The move of the project from the Huddersfield-Penistone line to the Sheffield-Rotherham route was approved back in May 2012 (when a start date of 2015 was given). Network Rail and the SYPTE said on December 12: “Project timescales have been revised to incorporate the comprehensive design works needed to adapt the rail network to allow tram-train vehicles to run.”

  • For more information, see RAIL 764, published on December 24.

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