Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1011/27994

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 September 2018

Private firms and toothless regulator to blame for trains chaos - nationalise rail now!

Commuter trains are packed, unreliable and overpriced, photo Kurtis Garbutt (Creative Commons)

Commuter trains are packed, unreliable and overpriced, photo Kurtis Garbutt (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

An RMT member

Britain's rail regulator admits it was asleep at the wheel in the run up to the May 2018 timetable change which resulted in chaos on vast swathes of Britain's railways.

The Office for Rail and Road (ORR) has said that the May 2018 timetable change created a perfect storm for passengers in the north west and south east of England "directly impacting upon their work and families and in some circumstances their personal safety."

New services introduced in the timetable change required staff to be trained on new routes. But the private train operating firms did not plan sufficient time for this. Add engineering delays on the north west electrification scheme going back to autumn 2017 and the potential for a full-scale crisis should have been crystal clear.

In its report published last week the ORR states that neither they nor the Department for Transport "sufficiently tested the assurances... about the risk of disruption, despite having information and powers that would have allowed them to do so." In other words the watchdog simply took the profiteering rail firms at their word.

Arriva Trains North and South Western Railway cancelled up to 370 and 410 trains each day respectively and, to mitigate this, simply erased advertised trains from the passenger timetable!

Scandalously nobody is willing to take responsibility for the chaos. The tracks, stations and other infrastructure are owned and maintained by Network Rail, which is state owned but which contracts out much of its work to private firms.

Meanwhile, the train services themselves are owned and operated by private train-operating companies on temporary franchises. Even the Tory transport secretary Chris Grayling has admitted that he is "not a specialist in railway matters" but he is now supposedly looking at ways to 'change the system'.

For socialists it is clear that the only solution to the fragmented chaos on the railways is immediate nationalisation under workers control and management. This means removing from the equation the spivs and speculators whose only interest is milking our railways for all they are worth. Labour is far too soft on the rail racketeers by promising to let them continue to leech off us until their franchises expire.

Since rail privatisation in the 1990s public subsidy has soared from 1.6 billion (in today's money) to over 5 billion now. Foreign government-backed organisations today run 72% of the train operating companies. According to the Daily Telegraph nearly 90% of all journeys are made on services provided by foreign backed operators.

However, despite being supported by the vast majority of the public, nationalisation is still off the table, although the Tory government will temporarily step in to rescue failing franchises as it did when Virgin Trains East Coast was on the brink of collapse earlier this year.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 26 September 2018:


What we think

Militant was right - councils can fight cuts

Fight for a democratic, socialist Labour Party

Fighting for socialism amid capitalist chaos


Socialist Students

Students and workers unite and fight

Freshers fairs: socialist ideas chime with students


News

Private firms and toothless regulator to blame for trains chaos - nationalise rail now!

Fight plans for A&E appointment system - fight to save our NHS

Labour civil war rages in Enfield

Them & Us


Workplace

Who wants driver-only operation?

Hospitality workers coordinate historic strike

Strike vote: college staff want a pay rise

Compulsory redundancies stopped at Leicester University

Safety-critical airport workers continue strike

Glasgow workers striking for equal pay


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Victory for Sheffield Save Our NHS

Residents push back Barking estate landlords

Brilliant sales at Labour Party conference

Directors' contempt for repressed workers

Huddersfield campaigners keep their powder dry


International socialist news and analysis

Trump's tariffs raise international tensions


Opinion

Powerful defence of the welfare state

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 26 September 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Rail:

triangleSouth Western rail workers launch five-day safety strike to save guards

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleSouth Western rail guards hit 18 strike days

triangleThem & Us

triangleStrikers ready to up the ante over rail safety

Trains:

triangleWho wants driver-only operation?

triangleRail rip-off reversal

triangleGuards move closer to beating driver-only operation

triangleGuards continue fight against driver-only operation

Nationalise:

triangleBig drugs companies dodge 3 billion pounds in tax

triangleNationalise the energy giants to combat global warming

triangleNationalise rail! Tories out!

Franchises:

triangleGovernment continues to back failed private rail

triangleRMT determinedly continues Southern strike

Nationalisation:

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: What is socialist nationalisation?

Transport:

triangleTurn the heat on the bosses not the bus drivers!

Britain:

triangleThe renewed relevance of Engels' classic Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

South Western Railway:

triangleNorthern Rail guards continue fight against driver-only operation

RMT:

triangleTube workers walk out

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

17/10/18

Brexit

Tories' Brexit bust-up - general election now

17/10/18

Universal Credit

Universal credit = universal misery

17/10/18

Engels

The renewed relevance of Engels' classic Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

17/10/18

Mental health

Fully fund mental health services now

17/10/18

Saudi Arabia

Tory and Trump hypocrisy over murder of Saudi Arabian journalist

17/10/18

Pay

No to fat-cat top judges' 59k pay hike - fight for decent pay for criminal justice workers

17/10/18

Fracking

Toxic fracking gets the go-ahead while protesters jailed

17/10/18

Cardiff

Homeless driven from Windsor streets for royal wedding: abolish the monarchy and end homelessness now!

15/10/18

Socialism

Socialism - the podcast of the Socialist Party

10/10/18

Racism

Fight racism: fight for jobs, homes and services for all

10/10/18

Them & Us

Them & Us

10/10/18

Tories

Tories' crisis conference - Corbyn must fight for general election

10/10/18

Amazon

Workers' action wins Amazon pay rise

10/10/18

Capitalism

Workers in UK do 1.2trn of unpaid housework and care

10/10/18

Super-rich

Super-rich flee to Monaco to evade Corbyn

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999