Someone on the Shillingstone Facebook group sadly posted a petition to renationalise the rail network! I wasn't alone in pointing out how daft and unworkable this idea is! My last (final?) post on this issue goes as follows -
I think you just have to look at today's railway - busier than at any time since the 20s, freight on the rise, stations and lines reopening and a real buzz. This is no coincidence. This is because private enterprise now sees the value in working hard to promote the railways. The Swiss model is the best, with most lines being private yet having much of the equity owned by the communes, towns, cantons, and local individuals through which the lines run. Compare it with the mess that BR was, through no fault of its own, but because it was used as a political football. The real story of the complicity between Labour, Tory, Marples, Beeching and the vile road lobby has yet to be told. Renationalisation is impossible as the cost of buying back the infrastructure would place a charge on a new nationalised railway that would take decades - and genuinely HUGE fare rises - to pay back. Nationalisation is never an economic move, only ever a POLITICAL one, and we've seen what politics can do to the railways! The world is changing (despite what Occupy and most politicians tell us) and the future will be far more localised, almost totally rail-based and will be robustly capitalist. There's no point looking backwards through rose-tinted specs at a cosy past that never really existed. We have to work with what we've got, and with what we've got coming!