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submitted 3 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

cross-posted from: https://feddit.uk/post/10932557

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.

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[-] [email protected] 17 points 3 weeks ago

The linked post says...

...but not rolling stock.

So just the building and maintenance of the rail network. Not the franchises that run on the rail network.

SMH!

[-] [email protected] 7 points 3 weeks ago

Exactly. The rolling stock is where all the money goes, meanwhile the public-facing train companies you buy tickets from (who rent rolling stock) operate at or near a loss. This way the train companies can negotiate better contracts with local governments - "Look, we're barely making any money, we have to charge ludicrously high fares for piss poor service!"

[-] [email protected] 4 points 3 weeks ago

I think you may have misunderstood. Rolling stock means just the physical trains themselves. The franchises (one of the two major profit extraction points) will go. The rolling stock firms will still exist but after a time be negotiating with a unified British Rail with a unified plan to negotiate prices.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 3 weeks ago

I'll be honest. I thought the franchises owned the rolling stock. This does sound less anaemic than I first thought.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago

It’s a pretty common misconception; especially because it makes a certain sense!

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

Isn't network rail already a state owned company? This policy is talking about replacing the private operators.

[-] [email protected] 16 points 3 weeks ago

That sounds like a bold policy that would be popular with the electorate. Am I dreaming or will there be some.rapid overnight rewrites of the speech?

[-] [email protected] 12 points 3 weeks ago

Sounds like someone's been visited by three ghosts.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 3 weeks ago

I don't think it'd need The Ghost of Britain Future to demonstrate that Labour need to get cracking fixing the mess the Tories have got us into. I am surprised it's taken this long and/or they didn't wait until after the election.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 3 weeks ago

They're only announcing this because it's a bit too big for the Tories to steal.

[-] [email protected] 13 points 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago)

A policy! And I thought they were just campaigning on "we're not the Tories"!?

This is more just confirming a rough policy they have had for ages right? Just let the contracts age out and take them over when they do?

I do wonder if just allowing the operators to actually compete on the same lines might help though (within reason)

[-] [email protected] 4 points 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago)

It's what the airlines do. There are multiple airlines at all run more or less the same routes and you choose whether or not you want to be treated like crap for a cheap price or not.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

Sorta hard to do when only one train can run a route at a time. Choice would only apply if no time line is required.

will not work for commuters.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 3 weeks ago

My early morning brain is too slow to understand these plans. It has the word Renationalise and that's great but what's actually going to happen?

The government takes over the running of the railways but not the ownership of the physical trains is that right? So what happens to those? They get leased back to the government?

Can someone explain for a simpleton like me how the these things now relate to each other? The train tracks and signals, the train stock, the ticket offices and stations, the various railway operators.

Ta.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 3 weeks ago

It sounds like the plan is that the government will renationalize the railways but behind the scenes companies will own the trains and like you say lease them to the government. They won't actually operate the trains they'll be done by government employees.

Presumably there will be some kind of price cap on how much the government is prepared to pay per train. But with the emphasis on making money removed it's possible we'll see all those little lines that don't really make any profit reopen.

This is actually good, trying to make money from public infrastructure is a dumb idea as it leads to cost cutting measures that essentially make the infrastructure useless. The profit turns up in other areas of society.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks 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.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago)

Currently Network Rail owns and operates (nearly) all the railways, signals and ticket offices. Not sure about stations. Train companies rent rail stock, but they pay a high price for this and subsequently pass that onto the consumer, while maintaining that it's necessary to charge expensive fares because their costs are so high.

The government owns Network Rail. The government will take over the rail companies, and this will probably end up staggered as different companies have different contract dates. The rail stock itself will probably remain under the same ownership with more or less the same ridiculous rental charges.

So all in all this probably won't make that much difference.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

Rail track is owned by network rail. Under the government but run privately.

Stations are run by train companies.

Trains used to be owned by banks. And rented to train companies. Not sure its still banks. But def rented from a privrate company.

So this would start to see arenationalised network rail (minor changes to how its run basically) renationalisation of stations as contracts to run them expire. They already belong to government/nation

And renationalisation of routes as contracts run out. Renting the same trains the current companies rent. Of course currently those companies have to kit out the trains themselves. They literally rent empty carriages. So its likely the renationalised company will have to consider that.

[-] [email protected] 8 points 3 weeks ago
[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

Come on now, it's not like Starmer to bait the left wing and then abandon the pledge as soon as he needs to impress some Thatcher lovers.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago)

Bullshit. Give it a week tops for it to be walked back, or for it to come to light that it is just a massive handout to the rail companies.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

This is the best summary I could come up with:


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”.

In 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.

Haigh, one of the most left-leaning remaining members of the shadow cabinet with close links to the unions, has been able to protect her renationalisation policy despite intense lobbying efforts to water it down.

Mick Whelan, its general secretary, said: “The commitment delivers for the economy, for the taxpayer, for passengers and for staff,” adding that privatisation had “allowed a few companies to make enormous profits, which have taken much-needed money out of the sector”.

Labour underlined that it would not extend renationalisation to the ownership of the actual trains, as urged by unions including the RMT, by publicising an endorsement by Mary Grant, the highly paid chief executive of the rolling stock leasing firm Porterbrook.


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this post was submitted on 24 Apr 2024
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