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Will!

Will the government take over Southern trains?

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Incremental renationalisation as the rail franchises come up for renewal seems like an obvious vote winner in commuter land.  They could be run as concessions like London Overground as an interim measure until the Department for Transport is ready for full nationalisation.  I'm surprised the Labour party isn't all over this one.

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We do have this strange thing about privatising monopolies, letting them raise prices, and then acting all surprised when the service becomes very expensive leading to all sorts of repercussions.  Oh, and accepting the lack of investment and then when things fall apart giving cash subsidies to sort it out.

It is very odd.

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With only a handful of exceptions, all railways in the world only operate with state ownership or state subsidies.

But ask this - are our railways a failure, and if so, by what measure?

Since privatisation, our railways have massively increased the number of passenger miles they facilitate. I would call that a success.

What needs considering is why people have to commute so much (HPI and shortage of housing in part) , why there are so many people (go figure)  and why rail is preferred to other modes of transport.

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6 hours ago, dgul said:

We do have this strange thing about privatising monopolies, letting them raise prices, and then acting all surprised when the service becomes very expensive leading to all sorts of repercussions.  Oh, and accepting the lack of investment and then when things fall apart giving cash subsidies to sort it out.

It is very odd.

All is not lost. Someone somewhere makes money from all that mess.

 

But that's communist talk. 

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7 hours ago, hotairmail said:

Southern is already owned by the state. The French state.

On Brexit I think we ought to resurrect the rule that no overseas state companies can own privatised franchises in water, electricity, trains, post etc. Etc.

The Southern contract is a classic example where that nexus between the State and private companies goes spectacularly wrong. Not only is it essentially a privatized monopoly but also the nature of the agreement means that the risks have almost entirely been socialised as the operator is paid simply to run the trains and collect the fares which then get handed to the DoT. Since there are any number of reasons why the operator can get legally dodge its obligations such as strikes, bad weather, over running engineering works etc the franchise holder  can potentially still get paid by HMG even if the trains don't turn up and not a penny is recovered from passengers. No surprise that this is exactly what has happened with GTR who since they signed the deal have managed to engineer with a little help from Network Rail and the Unions countless scenarios where the commuters have been left waiting at the station but the company still collect its management fee from the taxpayer.  It would be nice to think that the idiots in government and the civil service who agreed to this scenario would be held accountable but I won't hold my breath waiting for it to happen.

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In my experience, the senior civil servants have never worked at the coalface in private industry and just don;t think in the same way.  Unless you go into a contract thinking "how can my partner game this to screw me over financially, and how can we agree a contract to stop that" you'll never make a success of it.

Same mindset of men going into marriage, really :P

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16 hours ago, hotairmail said:

Southern is already owned by the state. The French state.

On Brexit I think we ought to resurrect the rule that no overseas state companies can own privatised franchises in water, electricity, trains, post etc. Etc.

Foreign ownership may be the reason EU countries' railways are so cheap. Profits are siphoned off and directed at subsidising their railways. British are mugs. 

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Yes, there are some things that should not have been "sold off"! OMG I'm sounding like Lenin.:blink:

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