HK’s MTR wins London rail franchise (the operator of HK Disneyland Resort Line)
Source : Financial Times
MTR Corporation is to operate its first rail services outside its native China after it was awarded the contract to run a series of local overground rail services in London in a joint venture with Laing Rail.
The start of the contract for MTR, which operates Hong Kong’s famously efficient rapid transit system, and Laing, which holds the UK’s Chiltern Railways franchise, will mark the handover of responsibility for funding and deciding on service levels for the routes from central government to Transport for London, the London Mayor’s transport body.
MTR, which is majority owned by Hong Kong’s government, has been seeking for several years to expand outside the territory. It is building a new lines for metros in Beijing and Shenzhen, but this is its first success after several applications to run local rail services in Europe.
Source : Daily Mail
Chinese to run major parts of London rail and Tube network
A Chinese train firm is to take over key parts of London's rail and Tube network.
It is to help operate Mayor Ken Livingstone's London Overground system, which will join together the North London rail line and the East London Tube line.
Hong Kong-based MTR and British firm Laing will take control of the North London line, currently called Silverlink Metro, in November.
MTR Laing will run the extended East London line, which will shut for a £1billion upgrade in December, when it reopens in 2010.
Brian Cooke, the chairman of London TravelWatch, said: “This is good news for London. Laing has a very good record in running the Chiltern line.
“MTR operates one of the best metros in the world. Hopefully they will both bring these skills to London’s rail concession.”
The highly efficient MTR has been desperate to gain a foothold in the running of Europe’s rail networks and particularly the British market.
It failed on previous bids for Southeastern, South West Trains and GNER franchises.
Metro services in Hong Kong have a 99 per cent punctuality record. Built 27 years ago, the system was originally run in part by British engineers, many with experience of British Rail and London Underground.
Hong Kong MTR Corporation is also preparing to bid for a franchise to run train services between Denmark and Sweden.