HL Deb 27 July 1998 vol 592 cc166-7WA
Lord Berkeley

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Who now owns the Eurostar trains formerly owned by British Rail and European Passenger Services: to whom are they leased and for what time period. [HL2867]

Baroness Hayman

Eurostar (UK) Ltd. has the beneficial ownership rights to all of these trains. Seven of the Class 373 intercapital trains are subject to finance leases which were put in place when the company was in the public sector. These leases are between the company and the National Westminster Bank and the Abbey National and are for a period of 25 years. Four Class 373 intercapital trains and 7 Class 373/2 beyond-London trains, being the remaining Eurostar trainsets, are subject to a leasing arrangement with Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. This facility was put in place in January of this year and is for a period of 25 years. However, unlike the original leases with the NatWest and the Abbey National, which are tax based, it is quite simple to terminate these leases at short notice.