The following is a message posted on
China's most popular microblog site weibo.com by John
Ross, former Deputy Mayor of London. Chinese translation
is credited to amy780301：
I am travelling on the high speed train from Beijing to
Shanghai. I know about the finance of railway
construction - I negotiated the finances of an $18 billion
railway line construction in London. So i will write my next
weibo on some international experience on this.
As railway construction finance is discussed in China it
may be useful to know UK
experience. Costs of railway construction are often underestimated
sometimes by 50-100%. But benefits are underestimated even
more. So overall railway construction is very economically
Private ownership of the rail network in the UK also led
not to 1 but to several train
crashes with many deaths - one very near my house. So
the state had to take over the rail system to stop this.
Now safety has improved a lot with no major crashes。
2nd feature of railways
is that private companies are very inefficient. In
London metro system private companies modernising the system
lost the taxpayer $3 billion. The state had to take over
the work to stop the losses.