first_imgNightstar in a dreamSir – Reports that sleeping car services from provincial UK cities to Paris and Brussels will be abandoned (RG 8.97 p497) renders the Channel Tunnel Night Stock sleeping cars a costly white elephant, even allowing for any future conversions.The idea of running sleeping car trains from regional British cities to Paris and Brussels was never very good, for a number of reasons which have nothing to do with the oft-quoted technical problems. In essence, the market for travel from cities such as Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Cardiff and Plymouth to Paris and Brussels is very small compared to the equivalent London – Paris/Brussels market. This is evidenced by the relatively small number of air services currently operated – well below a fifth of those from London’s airports, even with Eurostar already running and taking significant market share.Surely the best use for the Night Stock is on long distance sleeper services between London and major European cities much further afield. I suggest two principal services – a ’French’ one and a ’German’ one. By detaching portions en route, the ’French’ service could cater for Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Genève, Torino and Milano, whilst the ’German’ train could cover the Ruhr, Frankfurt, Hamburg, München, Berlin and Zürich plus key towns in between. Coaches could be taken to their destinations independently or in other trains.Train travel by luxury sleeper is very civilised, particularly when there is good on board catering. I believe night sleepers from London to Europe would be a real attraction to business travellers as well as a profitable proposition for the operators.Andrew Cook, CBE Chairman, William Cook plc, Sheffield, Great Britainlast_img read more

City One Win from Title

first_imgManchester City are one win away from being crowned Premier League champions after a swaggering 3-1 victory over Everton, while Mohamed Salah was Liverpool’s hero yet again as the Egypt star clinched a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.Pep Guardiola’s side maintained their 16-point lead at the top thanks to a scintillating first half display at Goodison Park.City, on a five-match winning run in the league, can look forward to the delicious prospect of sealing the title when bitter rivals Manchester United visit Eastlands next Saturday. Leroy Sane put City ahead with a sumptuous volley from David Silva’s pin-point cross in the fourth minute.Gabriel Jesus increased City’s lead eight minutes later, the Brazil forward heading in from Kevin De Bruyne’s cross.Thrashed 4-0 at Everton last season in one of the worst defeats of Guardiola’s glittering career, City underlined their vast improvement since then as Raheem Sterling finished off a ruthless counter-attack in the 37th minute.Yannick Bolasie drilled home for Everton in the 63rd minute, but City’s club record 13th away league win means they have 84 points and can break the previous record total for Premier League champions — Chelsea’s 85-point haul in 2005 — if they beat United.Having already won the League Cup, City next face a Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Liverpool on Wednesday.In rainy south London, Liverpool trailed when Luka Milivojevic drove struggling Palace into a 13th-minute lead from the penalty spot after Loris Karius fouled Wilfried Zaha.But Senegal winger Sadio Mane levelled four minutes after the break with a close-range finish. Salah, in the midst of an incredible debut season at Liverpool, proved the match winner as he smashed home in the 84th minute.Salah, who has 37 goals in 42 games in all competitions this term, has scored in the joint-most Premier League matches (21) in a single 38-match season. That ties the mark set by Robin van Persie in 2012-13 and Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007-08.“I think the moment you see it is Mo (on the ball) you feel good. It was a very cool finish and long may that form continue,” Klopp said.Liverpool were unable to hold onto second place as Manchester United moved two points ahead of them with a 2-0 victory against Swansea at Old Trafford.“Lots of players played internationals, so they were tired in the second half. Every point is vital because we want to stay in second place,” United manager Jose Mourinho said.“In other leagues we would be fighting for the title. We are having a positive season and we still have the FA Cup to come.”Romelu Lukaku scored for United with a deflected strike from Alexis Sanchez’s pass in the fifth minute. Former Chelsea and Everton star Lukaku, who has netted in five times in his last six appearances, now has 100 career Premier League goals.Chile forward Sanchez bagged just his second goal since joining United from Arsenal in January in the 20th minute.The Premier League’s highest paid player had gone seven games without a goal until he finished off Jesse Lingard’s pass.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more