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Public/private debate resurfaces after DfT’s East Coast franchise decision

The question of whether the nation’s railways would be more efficiently run by private enterprise or a publicly-owned body leapt to the top of the media’s agenda in mid-May. Rik Thomas reports

25 May 2018
The news that the East Coast main line rail franchise was to be temporarily taken back into public ownership reignited the long-running media debate on whether the rail network would work more effectively in public or private hands
The news that the East Coast main line rail franchise was to be temporarily taken back into public ownership reignited the long-running media debate on whether the rail network would work more effectively in public or private hands

 

“Pity the baffled passenger from Edinburgh, Newcastle or Leeds as the train painters get to work on yet another rebrand on the East Coast main line,” Simon Calder, The Independent’s travel correspondent, began an article entitled “Is rail doomed to fail?” on 16 May. “The average passenger will not care [what colour the trains are], so long as the train is on time, affordable and staffed by the same excellent men and women who are losing count of the number of...

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