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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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University of Birmingham leases HST for alternative fuel tests

A High Speed Train is being leased by the University of Birmingham to help analyse and test what alternative fuel could be used to power long-distance passenger or freight trains.

Porterbrook has partnered with the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN), which is based at the university. The plan is for the HST to be used to test and develop a range of digital and decarbonisation ideas on a highly flexible platform.

This follows the rolling stock leasing company’s work with UKRRIN on the Class 769 HydroFLEX that was launched at Rail Live 2019 last June.

Alex Burrows, Director, Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, added: “This HST will be invaluable in allowing us to test and develop our technologies on an operating train and in an open environment."


  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 888, published on September 25, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from September 21.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 20/09/2019 21:33

    Brilliant idea from University of Birmingham. Maybe Class 43 HST could be modified with hydrogen motors and to run on hydrogen. And to cut down on Co2 emissions on most or some of the railway lines.

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  • Silent Observer - 25/09/2019 15:03

    Leases a HST ? Why does this ROSCO donate a power car free of charge to the University, after all it is them who will benefit from any advance in the new technology.

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