How public ownership of trains is making a MAJOR comeback – shock chart

Grant Shapps says there are ‘tentative signs of stabilisation’

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Public ownership of trains is making a comeback in a major fashion. In recent years the nationalisation of rail providers has shot up. Why is the Government taking back control of trains in the UK? explores who owns and runs the rail services in the UK.

Over the past few years, the Department for Transport has had to step in and convert private ownership of trains to public.

The latest private rail operator to be stripped of its franchise by the Government is Southeastern rail.

Its franchise was removed after it failed to declare more than £25 million of taxpayer funding.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the operator of Last Resort would take over the running of rail services to protect taxpayer’s money.

Mr Shapps said: “We won’t accept anything less from the private sector than a total commitment to their passengers, and transparency with taxpayers.

“Through the Operator of Last Resort, we’ll prioritise the punctual, reliable services passengers deserve.”

How do 2019 levels compare to 2022?

According to ORR/PA analysis, the number of publicly owned operators has increased dramatically from Spring 2019 to 2022.

In 2019 just one percent of operators were publicly owned.

By 2022 this had shot up to a staggering 25 percent of operators being publicly owned.

While ownership by UK-based private companies dipped from 23 percent in 2019 to 31 percent in 2022.

The biggest decline in ownership of rail operators has been by foreign-owned companies.

It seems foreign investors are no longer interested in owning UK rail companies.

Foreign ownership plummeted from 61 percent in 2019 to 44 percent by 2022.

Why are railways being nationalised?

A significant proportion of the UK’s railways are already publicly owned.

Network rail, for example, the largest operator in the UK is under state control.

There are now 15 passenger rail franchises in the UK.

The system was designed to ensure value for money for taxpayers and for the Government to be certain that operators are delivering services efficiently.

But the franchise model has been blasted for being ineffective.

Shadow Transport Secretary Jim McMahon, has blamed the Government for the latest scandal surrounding Southeastern rail.

He said: ”This is yet another example of the complete failure of the franchise model, which prioritises private company profits over passengers and service.”

He argues that rail franchises should be brought back into public ownership, adding that Ministers “must acknowledge their previous approach just hasn’t worked.”

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