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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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Vivarail D-Train trial cancelled after fire

Following a fire aboard the prototype Vivarail D-Train at Kenilworth on December 30, the planned trial with London Midland has been cancelled.

The eight-month trial that was due to begin next month on the Coventry-Nuneaton line, during which 230001 was to be pressed into revenue-earning service for the first time with London Midland. This is because the D-Train was undergoing final testing and had yet to receive its safety certification when it caught fire.

In a joint statement, trial sponsors Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, London Midland, Warwickshire County Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority said on January 9 that the likely delay in receiving certification meant that “there is no longer enough time to run and evaluate a pilot service using these trains before the next local rail franchise starts in October”. 

  • For an EXCLUSIVE in-depth interview with Vivarail Chairman Adrian Shooter, read RAIL 817, on sale now. 
  • For more on the fire, and what happens now with 230001, read RAIL 818, on sale January 18.




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