cross-posted from:

Labour will fully nationalise the train network within five years of coming to power, with a pledge to guarantee the cheapest fares as part of “the biggest reform of our railways for a generation”.

One of Labour’s first major acts in government will bring all passenger rail into national ownership under Great British Railways as contracts with private operators expire, a plan endorsed by the architect of the Conservatives’ own rail plan.

Labour will announce it plans to cut waste and claw back shareholder dividends, saving £2.2bn. It will establish a watchdog, the Passenger Standards Authority, to scrutinise the new system. Passengers will be offered best-price ticket guarantees, automatic delay repay and digital season tickets across the network.

bIn a speech on Thursday, the shadow transport secretary, Louise Haigh, will say renationalisation “is not going to be easy and it will take hard graft, but it will be my mission to get us to the right destination and to deliver for the Great British passenger”.

Labour insiders hailed the announcement as the moment the party would begin to champion its more radical proposals in the run-up to an election campaign, after a number of U-turns including over green investment.

  • @Nighed
    2 months ago

    How it generally works now is that the operators win a contract from the government to run a line for X years. They pay the government for that contract, then have (as a for profit company) to make enough money to make a profit on top of that. There are various rules though on the fare increases allowed (hah!) and the contracts generally include minimum service levels etc.

    The actual tracks and signals are run by network rail who are a state owned company that own most of the infrastructure (replaced Railtrack who were an actual public company that went bust!)

    The stations are managed as part of the operator contracts I believe? Unsure on their ownership.

    Because the operator’s contracts are time limited the operators can change over time, when that happens though the rolling stock (trains) are generally transferred with that, either through being sold to the new operator or leased. (It’s not like you can order a new fleet of trains and get them delivered on short notice!)

    My understanding is that labour is mostly going to take over the running of each contract as it runs out instead of buying them out. I assume they are then leasing the trains to avoid the up front expense of buying them all. As they won’t be trying to make a profit it (should) be possible to run a cheaper service and could/should allow the lines to be run for the public good instead. (That’s where people opinion of public ownership comes in)

    There are already some lines run like this as the operator went bust and it defaulted back to government control.