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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’s D-Trains confirmed for Bedford-Bletchley

Three Vivarail two-car Class 230 diesel electric multiple units (DEMUs) will enter traffic on the Bedford-Bletchley line from December.

The deal was finally confirmed on March 1. The DEMUs will replace two-car Class 150/1s and single-car Class 153 diesel multiple units currently used by West Midlands Trains (WMT).

Vivarail spokesman Alice Gilman told RAIL the company will make a separate announcement on maintenance contracts and where the ‘230s’ will be based. She also confirmed that negotiations are continuing on whether they will be leased to WMT or sold.

WMT said the ‘230s’ are the first trains to be introduced by the new franchise, which replaced London Midland on December 10 last year.

Vivarail Chief Executive Adrian Shooter said: “This is a big day for Vivarail. We have invested considerable time and money to bring our innovative D-Train to this point.” 

  • For the full story, read RAIL 848, published on March 14, and available digitally from March 10 on Android and iPad.
  • To read about Vivarail's battery train, read RAIL 847, out now.

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 01/03/2018 23:40

    Vivarail who are converting the Class 230’s could replace the Class 142’s and Class 143’s on GWR and ATW including replacing those on the Welsh Valley Lines and the Cardiff suburban services. And may also include branch lines in Devon and Cornwall and branch lines in the Thames Valley to replace the 2-Car Class 165’s.

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