Trains should be assets not commodities

21 January 2015

It was revealed yesterday that Eversholt Rail, one of the three rolling stock companies which owns around 28% of the UK’s fleet of passenger trains has been sold to a Hong Kong based company CK Investments for £2.5 billion. CK Investments currently controls Northumbrian Water and mobile phone network Three. 3i Infrastructure who currently own Eversholt Rail along with investors Morgan Stanley and STAR Capital stand to make around £358 million from the deal.

ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said ‘the news that Eversholt Rail is to be sold by one group of investors to another group of investors is a brutal reminder that the trains in Britain’s privatised railways are commodities not assets. CK Investments see an investment opportunity while millions of passengers across the UK rail network have had to endure rolling stock which is, on average, 40 years old.’

Mick added ‘The Public Accounts Committee told us last week that the government has no long term strategy for the future of the rail industry. The UK rolling stock market is the greatest failure of rail privatisation and the sale of Eversholt Rail to yet another international investor who will profit from the British public purse demonstrates this scandalous situation is alive and well.’

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