MSE Poll: Should the railways be renationalised?

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Former_MSE_KarlFormer_MSE_Karl Former MSE
175 Posts
10 Posts I've been Money Tipped! Newshound! Best Buy Bear
Poll started 12 June 2018
We used to let the train take the strain; though in the last few weeks rail chaos has meant it's been the cause of it.

Privatisation over 20 years ago means our trains are currently run by 30 private rail firms. Could renationalising - taking it all back into public ownership - be the solution?

It's a complex debate, so just opt for which of these is CLOSEST to your view.
Did you vote? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below. To see the results from last time, click here.

If you haven't already, join the forum to reply.

Thanks! :)



  • Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
    11.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    The big problem is the government demand too much money from franchisees, who later find themselves unable to pay the franchise fees, often due to circumstances beyond their control (Network Rail delays, train delivery delays, etc)
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • pollypennypollypenny Forumite
    29.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    When much our British infrastructure is partly owned by the national companies of other countries it suggests that we can learn from them.

    Interesting results on survey.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
  • crismcrism Forumite
    67 Posts
    Part of the Furniture
    I’ve been commuting from SE to London for quite a while now. The cheapest option for me is £530 when taking slowest train that is ALWAYS late or experience some sort of difficulties en-route. 2 inches of snow, leaf fall, sun too low, too heavy rain are the most common excuses.
    This, plus poor quality of service - not cleaned properly with not working toilets is just impossible to justify the price. Bonuses of bosses paid annually instead makes me to think if I - and my fellow commuters - are nothing more than milking cows, living to pay rent, bills and transport?
    Any other country in the world will have rail as most reliable and cheapest form of transport, but not here. One example - an off peak return travel between where I live and Bournemouth cost £115. I was better off to rent a car (diesel to pollute a bit more), pay for fuel and food and this was still less than travelling on damn train!

    On another note, don’t you see that practically any industry that has been privatised and that affects lives of large population does notnwork anymore, because it is there TO MAKE A PROFIT to its board, not to make is rosy for the industry/business user; energy, water, transport, housing should be fully nationalized and looked after properly, instead being there to make huge money off the backs of hard working families of this country.
  • williamrowilliamro Forumite
    39 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I can remember when it was British Railways. It was awful. Dirty, slow, infrequent trains with tired carriages and catering often stopping for long periods miles from anywhere with no explanation given. Dirty unwelcoming stations. I do not think there was any payment for delays.

    Now it is generally a far better experience. They have messed up with the new timetables and that is bad particularly for commuters but it will improve.
  • aj23_2aj23_2 Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I'm 26 and it's funny that most are saying re-nationalise. You all struggle getting to work as it is with cancellations and delays. Do you all want regular 3 day strikes too?
  • It may sound like I'm an old codger, but what short memories folk have! When the railways were nationalised they were slow, filthy and inefficient. Yes, something needs to be done but nationalisation is not the answer.
  • MarkW2MarkW2 Forumite
    4 Posts
    Whenever this subject is discussed it is always assumes that the railways are privately owned.
    In fact the tracks and signals, where most of the problems arise, were re-nationalised in 2002. Has this improved the service? Also, as others have pointed out, many of the franchises are held by state-owned railways in other countries.
  • The re-nationalisation of any service will lead to;

    Massive taxpayer cost
    Much poorer service
    Reduced investment
    Reduced innovation
    The destruction of support industries and the jobs that creates

    The above would be the same for any industry. This is just a political campaign driven by the unions to re-establish their influence on these industries. Its a con against the working people who rely on these services. What qualifies a government to run these industries? leave it to industry experts.Less state control the better.

    Look at the facts, and look at passenger volumes since privatization 750 million journeys in 1995, now 1750 Million journeys present day all due to improved services, and investment in customers.
  • LesDLesD Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    This was a terrible 'poll'. The options were so complicated the only way to vote was nationalise or leave as is. And it's obvious that something has to change.

    But heaven help all you rail users if it is re-nationalised. At least I won't be affected. Haven't been on a train in years. You never know who's sat on the seat before you.
  • Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
    11.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    crism wrote: »
    Any other country in the world will have rail as most reliable and cheapest form of transport, but not here.

    Lots of countries - notably the United States - have no effective national rail system. Most states in the USA don't have any effective state-wide public transport.

    Even Switzerland has far fewer trains, with much greater padding in the timetable to recover from delays. Switzerland gets €5.8bn subsidy for 18.4bm passenger-km; UK is €4.4bn for 65.1bn passenger-km.

    If people want better rail services into London then a lot of very expensive buildings (and people's homes, and the countryside) are going to have to be knocked down or built on to accommodate the new lines and stations required, because with the best will in the world the network is beyond capacity and we can't add more capacity as fast as demand grows. And that will have to be paid for.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
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