I am completely baffled to read that a majority of UK electors favour the re-nationalisation of the railways. I grew up in a country where the trains rarely ran on time and were beset by strikes. These days, I travel up to London several times per month, using Chiltern Railways from Banbury to Marylebone. I have an old codger’s Rail Card so can get to London and back for £12.00 return if I book early. Chiltern trains are invariably on time, they are clean, there is free wi-fi, I can always get a seat and usually a table with a power point and the staff are friendly and helpful. Marylebone is a delightful station, clean and accessible and the tube journey onwards is a lot quicker than trying to catch a taxi. All-in-all, the travel experience is excellent. On the rare occasions when a Chiltern train is a few minutes late, it is usually clear that the cause is a late running earlier train run by another rail operating company.
Now I accept that the Chiltern network is very straightforward, running from Marylebone to Birmingham with only a few distracting branch lines so I am sure it is an easier network to manage than more complex ones. However, it works and works well. Why change it and send it back to a state-run monopoly? Don’t people realise that the state is hopeless at running businesses? It is subject to political pressures and when the government is a left-leaning one, it will favour the provider over the customer.