The UK government has handed a Chinese state transport and property company a seven-year deal to run one of the Britain’s biggest rail franchises in a controversial deal that brings together train and track operations.
MTR, which operates the Hong Kong metro, will run South West Trains (SWT) with FirstGroup from August, on a promise of delivering faster and more frequent services.
The Chinese now join German, Dutch and other state railway operators operating rail services in the UK.
All we lack is a British state rail operator running trains in the UK despite the compelling evidence that state run operators are best equipped to undertake this task. That's the price we pay for dogma. And let's not pretend there is no price: these operators are here to make money at the expense of the UK taxpayer who loses out as a result. It's a pretty good definition of folly. But that doesn't stop it being deeply annoying.