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.