One rail­way?

Rail (UK) - - Open Ac­cess / Let­ters -

In re­sponse to the ques­tion by Nigel Har­ris in RAIL 839 (‘One Rail­way - or back to BR?’), I think that the lat­ter is al­ready hap­pen­ing by stealth.

Net­work Rail had to be (and has been) na­tion­alised, as no pri­vate sec­tor com­pany could ever make a profit from run­ning it.

Train op­er­a­tions are now mainly in the hands of state-owned over­seas com­pa­nies whose trea­suries must be rub­bing their hands with glee as UK tax­pay­ers con­trib­ute to their economies ei­ther di­rectly or through the fares, es­pe­cially when they are sole op­er­a­tor on many routes.

It is true that more peo­ple than ever are us­ing our trains, but in large part that’s due to more peo­ple than ever re­sid­ing in the UK.

Like health and education, a na­tion’s trans­port net­work is all part of its in­fra­struc­ture, and as such can­not be linked to prof­i­teer­ing.

Cap­i­tal­ism has rightly been con­sid­ered the least bad op­tion of run­ning a coun­try’s econ­omy, but that doesn’t mean ev­ery­thing has to be pri­va­tised.

For those who couldn’t stom­ach a re­turn to the name BR, then surely it’s not be­yond man’s wit to come up with another – for ex­am­ple, RAIL UK. Tony Shield, Bury

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