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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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NATIONAL RAIL AWARDS 2016: Outstanding Teamwork of the Year, Winner - S&C South Alliance - Acton Wells Junction Project

crossings with a stretch of plain line and a crossover on a bridge over the London Underground’s Central Line and another single track.

But in reality, it became a complicated project on a junction that has strategic importance for freight flows. It turned out that the bridge needed substantial work to rectify age-related weaknesses. It was imperative that an assured life could be provided for the heavier upgraded S&C work and the Kirov crane required to lift the crossing threatened the structural integrity of the bridge.

The approach taken combined the bridge repair with the S&C work, minimising the impact on the availability of the asset for traffic and installing quality items with a long line and low maintenance requirements.

There were many challenges involved including supporting the bridge over the Central Line, enhancing the bridge to support additional ballast and heavier components and dealing with a large number of suppliers.

Judges’ Comments

“Teamwork was described delivering extraordinary levels of co-operation such as one part of the team working differently to increase the contingency for other critical tasks. Delivering the whole task safely, on budget, and to time, the team achieved high levels of detailed planning in advance, providing for dynamic decision making during the blockade.

“Most impressive was the motivation of the team and each part of it not to complete the work as its main objective, but to deliver the best possible overall industry result.”

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