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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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Trans-Pennine upgrade to include electrification

The proposed trans-Pennine route upgrade will include electrification - a year after extensions of the wires to Swansea, the Lake District and on the northern section of the Midland Main Line were cancelled.

Writing to Railway Industry Association Chief Executive Darren Caplan, Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling said the project was expected to account for a third of anticipated enhancements expenditure in Control Period 6 (2019-24).

Grayling wrote: “Unlike some other investment projects, the trans-Pennine upgrade will be a rolling programme of enhancements, including both major civil engineering projects and electrification.”

He added that improving journey times would involve rebuilding and relaying “most of the trackbed” from Manchester to York.

Network Rail is finalising options for the route upgrade, and Grayling told Caplan that he has instructed NR to “prioritise those elements which bring the quickest passenger benefits”. Such elements could include track realignment to improve line speeds.

NR is working with the Department for Transport, in consultation with Transport for the North, .to establish the best way of upgrading the route. It expects to deliver its final project plan later this year, with initial works beginning in spring 2019.

  • To read the FULL story, read RAIL 858, published on August 1, and available digitally on Android/iPad from July 28

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 21/07/2018 12:06

    Some good news about the electrification in South Wales that will extend to Cardiff and Swansea. And the electrification on the Midland Main Line to Corby & Kettering which is also been given the green light. The electrification to Newbury is still in good progress and should be completed by the end of this year. And hopefully the electrification to Oxford could also been given the green light which could start late next year or in 2020. Aswell the electrification on the Manchester-Preston line that is also to be electrified will be completed next year.

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    • BigTone - 30/07/2018 20:54

      The Corby electrification was never stopped, should be completed next year? Anybody got any ideas what trains are going to be used?

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