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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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RAIL 779 top features

Read the following feature selection from RAIL 779, published July 22 2015:

  • Hopes grow of gains for Gainsborough - RICHARD CLINNICK follows up on RAIL 777's article on the plight of Gainsborough's two stations. PHOTOGRAPHY: NIGEL HARRIS
  • Wrap artists - PAUL PRENTICE goes behind the scenes at Bounds Green depot to help vinyl a Virgin Trains East Coast Class 91. PHOTOGRAPHY: PAUL PRENTICE/PAUL BIGLAND
  • The knock-on benefits of 'Norwich in 90' - RICHARD CLINNICK examines the work required to realise the dream of Norwich-London services in 90 minutes

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  • Philip Walker - 11/09/2015 13:05

    Of course Norwich in 90 should be possible. While the congested double-track section south of Colchester might be difficult and more long-term to improve, north of Colchester is surely easier, particularly the Ipswich-Norwich section which should surely be capable of sustained high-speed running. Norwich in 100 was once achieved by an hourly train only stopping at Colchester and Ipswich, so could be achieved NOW while investment takes place for 90mins. 100mins is not 90 but is still an improvement. Stops omitted on the hourly faster train could be covered by timetable adjustments, e.g. extending the Ipswich semi-fast to Norwich. So upgrading Colchester-Norwich for higher speed, and timetable improvements may be the quickest way to reduce the journey time.

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