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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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Varamis plans electric freight to carry light goods

Freight trains using electric multiple units could be operating on the East Coast Main Line by the end of the year, in plans unveiled by Varamis Rail.

The initial plan is for trains to run between London, Doncaster and Newcastle, with further expansion into Scotland. Trains are due to start in December.

“Our concept is to offer an express parcels/consumer goods rail delivery service around the UK’s electrified rail network,” Varamis Managing Director Phil Read told RAIL on March 27.

Initially, the rolling stock was to have been Class 365s stored at Crewe South Yard. However, Read said alternative EMUs have been offered and therefore all options are being considered.

He told RAIL: “We’ve had constructive discussions with two major logistics companies who were very positive about our alternative concept of moving their goods.

“We feel that we’re offering the logistics sector an opportunity to become more sustainably progressive than ever before, and an opportunity that currently is not available to them. Collaboration with logistics companies is key for us to deliver the benefits that will give indisputable support to their social responsibility strategies.”

Read said the routes were chosen owing to their capacity and their being electrified. He wants the trains to run at more than 80mph, which would enable express train paths to be used. Work is under way with Network Rail to identify these.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 902, out now.

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  • Shane - 11/04/2020 07:49

    I heard that another company were hoping to use redundant HST for use as an express parcel service on the non electrified Great Western sections

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