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Michael Schabas

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World Bank, 2008-current Commissioned by World Bank to study and evaluate market-based rail ticketing systems for China Railways. Previously completed a World Bank review on opportunities for alternative financing methods towards metro systems in China.

Hamburg-Koln Express, 2008 Developed business plan with German rail managers and RailRoad Development Corporation to launch Germany’s first independent intercity passenger rail operator.

MAV Cargo, 2007 Advised the RDC consortium bid to acquire Hungarian state-owned railfreight company. The consortium was shortlisted but decided not to prepare a final bid. 

FirstGroup Rhein Neckar GmbH., 2006 Led FirstGroup Plc into Germany, the largest, liberalising bus and rail market within Europe, with acquisition of a medium-sized private bus company in Speyer.

DSB-First, 2006 Negotiated a joint venture between FirstGroup Plc and DSB, the Danish State Railways, which successfully bid for rail concessions serving  Copenhagen-Malmo (Oresund) route, and for a concession serving Gothenburg, Sweden.

Commission for Integrated Transport, 2006 Completed a study for UK Government transport “think tank” of macroeconomic drivers of bus and rail costs.

Cargo Slovakia, 2005 Advised FirstGroup Plc on bid to acquire a state-owned railfreight company. Although shortlisted, FirstGroup decided not to prepare a final bid. 

Ofotbanen, 2004 Led investor group which acquired an interest in an independent rail operator carrying passengers and freight in Norway and Sweden.  

Uzbekistan Railways, 2002 Reviewed rail tourism opportunities under contract to the Asian Development Bank. Rail Tourism Strategies for Uzbekistan Railways.pdf   

GB Railways Group (GBR), 1995 Founder director with core team to acquire and develop railway businesses. Raised £7m equity on the London Stock Exchange (AIM) in 1997. Led successful investments in the UK, Australia and Estonia, and was acquired by FirstGroup Plc in 2003. GBR Annual Report 2002.pdf

● From 1997 to 2004, GBR operated Anglia Railways (turnover £80m) with 160km/h InterCity services in eastern England. Anglia was top rated by the UK Government with 50% passenger revenue growth, and was twice named “Train Operator of the Year.” Delivering Better Train Services.pdf

● In 1997, GBR led the Great Southern Railway consortium which acquired the Indian Pacific, Ghan and Overland trains in Australia. Threatened with closure under state ownership; GSR is now a profitable long distance tourist railway.

● GB Railfreight was established in 2000 and is now Britain’s third largest rail freight operator with 300 staff and 40 locomotives, serving a range of customers. Named "Rail Business of the Year" in the HSBC Rail Awards 2002.

● Hull Trains was established in 2001, Britain’s first new train company since privatisation, which now runs seven regular services daily between London and Hull in northeast England.

● GBR led the acquisition of Edelaraudtee, a passenger and freight railway in Estonia and the first fully privatised railway in the former Soviet Union.

● GBR also submitted bids for: Malawi Railways; Zimbabwe Rail Track Company; Melbourne passenger rail trains and trams (Australia); Macchu Picchu Railway (Peru); and WestRail freight (Australia).

WCML DevCo, 1994 Founded joint venture with Babcock & Brown, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Gibb Consulting, which was retained by Railtrack Plc to devise ways to define, fund and implement the modernisation of the West Coast Main Line.  



Active as an advisor and as an investor in the reform and restructuring of transport businesses in Britain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Australia, Canada, USA, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.


Paying for Crossrail.pdf

Institute for Economic Affairs Journal, 2005

Rail Tourism Strategies for Uzbekistan Railways.pdf Asian Development Bank, 2002

Break Up Railtrack.pdf

Personal View (Leader), Financial Times, 22 June 2001

On Rail Competition Taking the Biscuit.pdf

Modern Railways, 2001

Banded Road Use Charging.pdf Centre for Policy Studies, 1995