London is de-privatising its rail services

This is intereting. We know that the Conservatives have been ridiculing the idea to re-nationalising the national railways, but when the elections come calling and leadership ambitions to be fulfilled, free market/privatisation will have to take back seat. The Tansport for London is in the process of taking over the running of most if not all of London’s rail network routes.

So, last week, the Centre for London think tank published a report called “Turning South London Orange”, which argued that Transport for London (TfL) should take over all suburban rail services in the south of the capital.

This morning, the mayor of London Boris Johnson and the British government’s transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, released a joint statement, saying, basically: Okay. …

Even if it does happen, TfL will only take control of different routes once the various franchise come up for renewal, so the change will take five years or more to take effect.

But this is nonetheless a remarkable statement of intent that the capital’s rail network should be run by the capital’s transport authorities. It’s a big deal. …

London has 14 main line rail terminals. TfL took over the suburban services into Euston when the London Overground was created in 2007; it swallowed those into Liverpool Street last year, as part of the preparations for Crossrail, and most of the ones into Paddington will follow when that line opens in 2019.

That leaves 11 terminals unaccounted for. Today’s statement mentions six more:

  • London Bridge, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Victoria, and Waterloo, which between them account for most of the south London rail network;

  • And Moorgate, which accounts for a couple of lines through north London into Hertfordshire.

Blimey: TfL to take over most of London’s rail network, says government