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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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Understanding passengers’ needs is key to recovery

The rail industry needs to understand how it can support passengers as travel habits change following the pandemic, the Chief Operating Officer of Trainline claimed on February 23.

Speaking at the National Rail Recovery Conference, organised by RAIL, Jody Ford told delegates: “There is significant overlap between leisure and commuter travel, but their behaviour last summer was very different.”

Ford, who was due to take over his new role as CEO after the NRRC, said that competition for new commuters will result from more choices than just the car, citing Zoom as one example.

“That’s ultimately the result of new, normalised working from home. There is the benefit of office working against the friction of travel. We need to, as an industry, rapidly evolve our rail offering for commuters,” he said.

He said he found that 66% of all train journeys terminate outside London and the South East, adding: “We have a shared agenda, we have a shared goal, shared across the regions, and that is to get UK rail to bounce back to where it was before - and in the process, accelerate modal shift from road and air to rail.”

  • Full coverage of the National Rail Recovery Conference will appear in RAIL 926, on sale digitally March 6 and in print on March 10. You can still register to watch any of the NRRC sessions on-demand within the next three months, by going to 


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