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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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Karen Boswell appointed Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe

Former East Coast Managing Director Karen Boswell is to take over from Keith Jordan as MD of Hitachi Rail Europe, with effect from June 1.

Boswell has been appointed to lead ‘the rapid expansion of the company’, while Jordan will take up a new international role to integrate Ansaldo STS and AnsaldoBreda, which were recently acquired by Hitachi.

Nick Hughes also joins HRE from from Ansaldo STS where he is currently UK Chairman. Prior to that, Hughes held senior business development roles in Alstom Transport and Jarvis.

Andy Barr will remain as Chief Operating Officer and will hand over the responsibility for sales to Hughes, allowing Barr to focus on expansion of the company.

The company’s manufacturing plant at Newton Aycliffe is expected to be operational later this year, focussing initially on maintaining existing orders for Class 800/Class 801 Intercity Express Programme Trains, as well as the AT200 EMUs for ScotRail.

  • For more on this story, read RAIL 774, published on May 13.

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