State ownership for Chiltern Rail!

29 January 2008

The good news: Chiltern Railways it to be taken into state ownership! The bad news? It’s the German state!

 

Deutsche Bahn (DB) is buying Chiltern Railways’ owner Laing Rail from civil engineering group John Laing for an undisclosed sum. As DB is the state-owned German National Railways a private UK passenger rail franchise will become state –owned.

 

‘It’s a pity it’s the wrong state,’ said ASLEF general secretary Keith Norman.

 

The German state rail operator said Chiltern - which runs trains from London Marylebone to Aylesbury, Warwick and Birmingham under a 20-year franchise - would become part of its regional and local services operator DB Regio AG.

The acquisition also includes Laing's stakes in the London Overground Rail Operations Ltd (LOROL) commuter rail concession and in the Wrexham, Shropshire & Marylebone Railway Co (WSMR), which has won regulatory approval to begin running train services from Wrexham to London this spring.

DB says that despite its new acquisitions, it prefers an integrated railway such as Germany's, where one company runs trains and infrastructure on most of the network.

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