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Hong Kong’s MTR wins contract to operate London’s Crossrail

Out-Law News | 25 Jul 2014 | 9:55 am | 1 min. read

A subsidiary of Hong Kong-based transport operator MTR Corporation has won a £1.4 billion contract to operate a major new rail service across London.

The Crossrail train line will increase rail-based transport in the capital by 10% when services are fully operational and bring an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of central London.

MTR Corporation (Crossrail) Limited will operate services across the full 100 kilometre Crossrail route from 2019, serving 40 stations. Trains will cross from Reading in the west through tunnels under central London to Shenfield in the east.

Transport for London (TfL) said the construction project alone will generate at least 75,000 business opportunities across the country with 97% of companies in Crossrail’s supply chain based in the UK.

The managing director of London Underground and London Rail Mike Brown said: “The decision to appoint MTR was reached after a thorough and competitive procurement process and we look forward to working with them to transform rail services in the capital. As our population grows faster than any other European city, the case for stable and sustained investment in London’s transport network has never been stronger.”

MTR already plays a key role in London’s public transport network. MTR is part of LOROL, the joint venture company that operates the London overground rail network. MTR’s joint venture partner is German rail operator Deutsche Bahn AG, whose interest is managed by Arriva, the division responsible for regional passenger transport outside of Germany.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TfL. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and TfL.

UK transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Crossrail will provide a better and faster service for millions of commuters and will help create up to 30,000 additional jobs in central London by 2026. Crossrail is a part of our long-term economic plan and one of the many rail infrastructure projects benefitting from record levels of government investment.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said Crossrail “will revolutionise east-west transit in the capital, making London an even more attractive place to visit and invest”. Johnson said: “As has been the trend throughout this project, many hundreds of additional jobs will be created for local people, with MTR expected to employ around 1,100 staff including almost 400 drivers.”