Robert Hampton

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25th July 2013

Posted by at 10.39pm | In the News, Trains | No responses

It has not been a good month for Europe’s railways. First we had the deadly accident at Bretigny-sur-Orge in France, and then yesterday the horrific derailment at Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Railways are the safest way to travel, but I’m sure that statistic does not give much comfort to those involved.

I can’t imagine many more horrifying things to be involved in than a train crash. One minute you’re speeding along cocooned in a comfortable train, the next you find yourself thrown out of your seat as the carriage crumbles around you, ending up in as a pile of twisted metal and broken glass. My heart goes out to everyone involved in both accidents.

21st April 2010

Nation building
Posted by at 5.05pm | Trains | No responses

The German state railway operator DB Regio is poised to take over Spanish-sounding but resolutely British company Arriva, adding the latter’s bus and train operations to a portfolio which includes Chiltern Railways, the Tyne & Wear Metro and stakes in WSMR and London Overground.

DB have been quietly building a small empire in the UK public transport world, and they’re not the only one. Abellio, part of Dutch state rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen, own a 50% stake of Merseyrail and Northern Rail. Meanwhile, French operator SNCF, via its Keolis subsidiary, is a partner in the Transpennine Express franchise. Keolis also hold a minority stake in Govia who operate three rail franchises.

Turns out Britain’s railways are being nationalised — it’s just different nations who are in charge.