Today’s news will come as a surprise to Eurostar fans.
It had been thought Eurostar would return to some sort of normality from next year.
That is what the train operator had announced at the time it suspended service to its Kent stations, along with Southern France.
The news is from a report conducted by HS1 which concluded that Eurostar would only be operating at half its pre-Covid levels by March 2022.
Every train using the above high-speed link pays a toll fee. So if Eurostar runs fewer trains then HS1 stands to lose its fees.
The Telegraph reports that “£20 million from the missing Eurostar services can be transferred to [train operator] Southeastern. This means the taxpayer would, in effect, pay for Eurostar’s lost revenue through the back door.”
Last month we reported that the proposed Eurostar/Thalys merger had been postponed.
Eagle-eyed readers will have seen the tweet by @VRTmag concerning the news that Thalys (owned 70 per cent by SNCF and 30 per cent by Belgium’s SNCB) was seeking financial help.
Thalys now confirms that it has received funding of €120 million from five European banks. This will enable it to continue operations.
#Thalys has obtained financing from 5 European banks for a total amount of €120 million, with a maturity of 4 years, thus securing the red high-speed train's #future in a context of the gradual lifting of travel restrictions and resumption of activity. #MoreEuropeForAll pic.twitter.com/ZHq4PL2RSZ
— Thalys Newsroom (@NewsroomThalys) May 25, 2021