IN BRIEF : Branson group wins pounds 3bn Chunnel link

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The Independent Online
The contract to build the pounds 3bn Channel Tunnel rail link to London has been won by London & Continental, a consortium which includes Richard Branson's Virgin group and bus company National Express, it will be announced today.

To help fund the 68-mile link between St Pancras and Folkestone the consortium will also be given the potentially lucrative British part of the Eurostar operation which runs the Channel Tunnel trains, and around pounds 1.5bn in government subsidy. First trains on the much-delayed line are expected to run in 2003.