‘Britainโ€™s trains have effectively been nationalised’

23rd March 2020 | News

Today, as a result of the Coronavirus Outbreak, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps utilised Section 118 of the Railways Act 1993 to suspend all current franchise agreements with private Train Operating Companies and replace them with temporary Emergency Measures Agreements.

This led The Guardian newspaper to report that ‘Britainโ€™s trains have effectively been nationalised‘, despite this actually looking more like a massive bailout for failing private companies whose share prices then surged as a result.

These Emergency Measures Agreements also only apply to franchises currently let by the Department for Transport and, of course, exclude LNER and Northern, which are already in public ownership – a fact we were celebrating at the start of the month:

Bring Back British Rail - Franchises

So, the new Emergency Measures Agreements do not apply to:

• the ScotRail or the Caledonian Sleeper franchises let by the Scottish Government which has its own Emergency Measures Agreements in place,
• the Transport for Wales Rail franchise let by the Welsh Government,
• the TfL Rail or London Overground contracts let by Transport for London, or
• the Merseyrail contract let by Merseytravel

Please explore the ‘Franchises‘ pages of our website (first launched in 2015 and now updated regularly) to find out who runs the railways in your area, and how you can help campaign for public ownership: