1bn pounds in public aid for Channel link

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The Independent Online
At least pounds 1bn of public money will be used to fund the construction of the Channel tunnel rail link, the Government said yesterday.

Roger Freeman, Minister for Public Transport, confirmed that the developers, to be chosen at the end of the year, will be given European Passenger Services, the British Rail-owned company that will run the Eurostar trains between London, Paris and Brussels, as part of a public sector contribution. EPS's debts of pounds 1bn would be written off, and its assets - including the Waterloo International station - would all be handed over.

Companies interested in bidding for the line, costed at pounds 2.8bn, must express an interest by next month.