Network rail

Don’t abandon privatisation because of Northern Rail

Jeremy Corbyn likes to say that he ‘won the argument’ at the last general election, where he argued – amongst other things – for the re-nationalisation of the railways. It was a popular policy. Today, as if on cue, the government announced that Northern Rail is being taken into public ownership, stripping Arriva Rail North of the franchise. So what’s going on? Should we now regard rail privatisation as a failure? For a start, we don’t have privatised rail. We have a hybrid system created under John Major, with private firms running (but not owning) the trains, and a notorious state-run Network Rail owning the track – its failures are