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Eurostar abandons plans for Heathrow-Paris rail link

NEWS

PLANS to run Eurostar trainsfrom Heathrow to Paris have been shelved indefinitely, the company confirmed this week.

The management consortium which runs Eurostar, Inter Capital and Regional Railways, had proposed the link as an alternative to services from the North of England (NCE 7 January).

But a Eurostar spokesman said on Monday: 'We can't see any financial benefits from the Heathrow scheme.'

The project would have required electrification of a 2km section of track linking the West London Line to the Great Western Line at Acton. Short platforms meant the Eurostar trains would have had to be extensively modified to run at half length.

ICRR comprises British Airways, National Express, French rail operator SNCF and its Belgian counterpart SNCB. The House of Commons Transport Committee had accused ICRR of only suggesting the Heathrow scheme because BA was planning to increase its stake in the consortium from 10% to 34%. This has not happened and a Eurostar spokesman said: 'there is no date set for it to happen'.

A review of the financial viability of Eurostar regional services from Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow is due to be submitted by the end of the month and expected to be published by the end of the year.

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