Nightstar 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 Britain
“It’s a very explosive team, especially on the flanks. When they win the ball, they come out on fire in a very explosive way. “At the start of the game, Man United will have the possession and Leicester will be the team that can create havoc on the counter-attack. It’s very hard to predict. “We are in a position where you want to be after 13 games but there are 25 to go. If there’s five or six to go and we are in the race, of course. But at the moment it is too early, I think we have a chance but it is very early. I know people always want to know what will happen in the future but let’s take care of the game on Sunday.” Wenger could welcome Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back into his ranks for the game at Norwich while Aaron Ramsey will be pushing for a start as both return from respective hamstring injuries. Arsenal are finally starting to get players out of the treatment room ahead of the busy festive schedule and Wenger also revealed Theo Walcott is close to a comeback after a calf problem. “Not for Sunday,” he replied when asked if the England forward was ready to return. “He goes through a few tests and steps but the first one was successful. He started running again on Tuesday morning and had no reaction. He has another big hurdle to get across and hopefully he will be successful.” Press Association The Foxes sit at the top of the table after a superb start to the season under Claudio Ranieri – with Jamie Vardy leading the drive as the division’s top goalscorer. They welcome van Gaal’s second-placed Manchester United to the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening looking to recreate their famous 5-3 win over the Red Devils last season. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has joined Louis van Gaal in considering Leicester as genuine Barclays Premier League title contenders. While Leicester are the team with the most goals to their name, United have shipped just nine to set up an interesting clash in the East Midlands. And Wenger, whose Arsenal side are the only team to beat Leicester in the league so far this season and also inflicted a 3-0 defeat over United earlier in the campaign, believes Ranieri and his squad are bonafide championship challengers – along with struggling holders Chelsea. “Of course, you cannot rule them out,” the Frenchman replied when asked if Leicester could win the title. “Mathematically, you cannot rule Chelsea out. Even the bottom teams are in it. It is so difficult. It is so tight and I don’t even look at the league anymore because it is very, very tight. “Last week as you said, we had a bad result against West Brom and so did Manchester City (against Liverpool) so it compacted the whole table.” Wenger will be watching the Leicester game ahead of Arsenal’s flight to Norwich on Saturday as they prepare to take on the Canaries at Carrow Road on Sunday afternoon. The 66-year-old does not know what to expect but a draw would open up the chance for the Gunners to take over at the summit if they are successful in Norfolk. “It will be quite interesting because Leicester are a team who have no pressure and they play with no pressure and have quality,” he said.
WATCH US LIVE FOLLOW US LIVE TV SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT First Published: 8th August, 2020 11:17 IST Associated Press Television News Last Updated: 8th August, 2020 11:17 IST Trout Homers Again On Birthday, But Angels Fall To Rangers Mike Trout homered again on his birthday, but Robinson Chirinos drove in two runs without a hit and the Texas Rangers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night Mike Trout homered again on his birthday, but Robinson Chirinos drove in two runs without a hit and the Texas Rangers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.Trout turned 29, and homered for the fifth time in the seven big league games he has played on his birthday.The three-time AL MVP put the Angels up 2-0 in the first with his 444-foot drive over their bullpen in left-center. It was Trout’s fourth homer in four games since rejoining the team after the birth of his first child, and his fifth overall this season.Chirinos had a sacrifice fly in the second inning, then walked with the bases loaded as part of a three-run fourth when the Rangers went ahead to stay when all of those runs were unearned.Jordan Lyles (1-1), one of three offseason additions to the Rangers rotation, struck out five in 5 1-3 innings. Rafael Montero, activated from the injured list earlier in the day, worked a perfect ninth for his first career save capped by Trout’s game-ending strikeout.Angels starter Griffin Canning (0-2) threw more balls (45) than strikes (43) while walking six batters in 3 2-3 innings.Canning walked three in the fourth, including Chirinos with the bases loaded, then his throw into center field on an attempted pickoff that allowed another run was one of two Los Angeles errors after two outs in the inning. The bases were still loaded when reliever Mike Mayers hit Nick Solak with a pitch before Rougned Odor’s inning-ending strikeout.Los Angeles went up 3-1 in the top of the fourth when Albert Pujols hit his 662nd career double and scored on a single by Max Stassi, who had taken over as the Angels catcher an inning earlier after Jason Castro was ejected for the first time in his 833 career games over 10 seasons.Castro was upset after striking out on a check swing in the second inning and got tossed by Edwin Moscoso, the rookie fill-in umpire who made the call from third base.TRAINER’S ROOMAngels: OF Jo Adell (tight right quad), the top prospect who made his big league debut Tuesday, missed his second game in a row. Manager Joe Maddon said the rookie was doing much better and could be back in the lineup Saturday.Rangers: RF Joey Gallo was out of the lineup with a sore right wrist after going 1 for 11 in three games at Oakland, including seven strikeouts his previous eight at-bats. … 2B Odor (right oblique) was the DH in his first game since Saturday. … LHP Joe Palumbo (ulcerative colitis) was placed on the 10-day injured list.UP NEXTKolby Allard (0-0) makes his second start since taking over in the rotation for two-time AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber. The Angels will bring up lefty Patrick Sandoval from their alternate training site before Saturday’s game.Image credits: AP Written By