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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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TransPennine Express launches £500 million Nova fleets

Three train fleets costing more than a combined £500 million were formally launched by TransPennine Express at Liverpool Lime Street on November 22.

The operator’s Class 68/Mk 5As, Class 397 five-car 125mph electric multiple units and Class 802 five-car 140mph bi-mode units were shown off ahead of the December timetable change.

TPE put its Class 68/Mk 5A sets into traffic from the late August Bank Holiday weekend, while the ‘802s’ began running from October. It's planned that ‘397s’ will enter service from November 30.

“Our vision was for Nova to represent the brightest future for rail in the North, so we are pleased to make this vision a reality for customers, colleagues and businesses who make the TransPennine Express network such a crucial part of our infrastructure here in Liverpool and across the North,” said TPE Managing Director Leo Goodwin.

The trains were built by CAF (Mk 5As and ‘397s’) and Hitachi (‘802s’). Eversholt owns the Class 397s (Nova 2) and Angel Trains owns the Class 802s (Nova 1), while the ‘68s’ are leased from Direct Rail Services.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 893, published on December 4, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from November 30.


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