Following Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson’s announcement that he would be ending Abellio’s contract to run the ScotRail franchise three years’ early (on 31 March 2022), Bring Back British Rail’s Ellie Harrison was invited onto BBC Radio Scotland’s Jackie Brambles show to discuss ScotRail’s future with rail journalist Philip Haigh and Rachel Jackson, actress and comedian.
The Labour Party’s manifesto for the UK General Election on 12 December 2019 promises to deliver publicly-owned railways, mail, water and energy. Could this finally be our chance to Bring Back British Rail?
Make sure you register to vote before the deadline on Tuesday 26 November 2019, 11.59pm so that you can have your say!
And order your Bring Back British Rail merchandise in time for the election! Our #GE2019 Special Offer gets you a Rail Card Wallet, Enamel Badge and Embroidered Patch for just £10 including delivery in the UK.
18th March 2019 | News
We agreed with Keith, rail franchising is broken and told him public ownership is the answer!
Please take time to #TellKeith your views before the deadline on 31 May 2019
Coverage in the Daily Mirror of our Care2 petition hand-in with more than 120,000 signatures, at the Department for Transport on 18 January 2019. We’re demanding that the public ownership of our railways is properly considered in the Williams Rail Review.
Sick of rising rail fares and chaotic commuting?
Tired of the endless tinkering with our broken privatised railway system?
It’s time for a #RailRevolution.
On Wednesday 2 January 2019, as our rail fares rise again by 3.1%, we’re joining forces with our friends at We Own It, the Association of British Commuters and NOR4NOR to organise a national day of action calling for radical reform.
Coinciding with the public consultation for the government’s new ‘root and branch’ review of rail: the Williams Rail Review, we’re calling on passengers all over the country to respond in favour of a re-unified national rail network run for people not profit.
On Wednesday 2 January 2019, protests will take place at stations across the country (see full list here), with a central one at London King’s Cross from 7:30-9:00am (photo call at 8:00am). See the Facebook event page for details, print a Bring Back British Rail placard and come join us!
Sign the Petition
Then on Friday 18 January 2019, to mark the deadline of the Williams Rail Review public consultation, we’ll be delivering our Care2 Petition to Re-nationalise our Railways signed by 118,039 people to the Department for Transport to demonstrate the sheer weight of public support for public ownership.
Make sure you add your name before then: bringbackbritishrail.org/care2
Media Coverage from 2 January 2019
• Furious passengers protest price hikes, Daily Mail
• Anger at ‘disgraceful’ rail fare rises as stations hit by protests, Sky News
• Chris Grayling blames unions for rail fare hike, BBC News
• Rail passengers stage ‘national day of action’ in protest at fare increases, Evening Standard
• Rail users to mount ‘national day of action’ over 3.1% fare rise, The Guardian
• Rail season tickets to jump by £100 for many commuters, Metro
• Train price hike: Jeremy Corbyn calls for public ownership of railways, Independent
• Rail fares rise 3.2% TODAY despite trains chaos, Mirror
• Protest in Birmingham over rising rail fares, Birmingham Live
• Protests at Sheffield railway station as rail fares rise by an average of 3.1 per cent, The Star
• York protest over national rail fare hike, The Press
Following the Office of Rail and Road finding that ‘systemic failings’ have been the cause of the huge problems with new timetables on the Northern and Govia Thameslink Railway franchises, Ellie Harrison was invited to address the question ‘should we bring back British Rail?’ on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show.
Bring Back British Rail campaign founder Ellie Harrison was interviewed by Johanna Ross for Sputnik News, following Chris Grayling’s acknowledgement that ‘systemic failings’ are the cause of the many problems on our privatised rail network. Isn’t that what we’ve been saying for the last nine years?
On 16 May 2018, one month after we launched our Crowd Justice campaign to take Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to court over his handling of the Virgin Trains East Coast franchise fiasco, it was announced in the media that the route would be ‘re-nationalised’, as LNER (London North Eastern Railway) from 24 June 2018.
Success! Or is it? It later emerged that the new LNER franchise (unlike ‘East Coast’, which ran the line from 2009-15 and was wholly publicly-owned by the Department for Transport), would be run by a consortium of private companies: Arup, Ernst & Young and SNC-Lavalin.
Our legal action continues. Our lawyers have now written to Government for a forth time: to request further information about the new LNER arrangement, as well as the ongoing review of the suitability of Stagecoach and Virgin to retain their franchise ‘Passports’, given the dramatic failure of their Virgin Trains East Coast operation after just three years.
Thanks to all 907 people who have so far pledged support on Crowd Justice. Together we have already had a huge impact on events. Please continue to join this historic action.
Pledge and share our case page today: crowdjustice.com/case/eastcoast
Our Lawyers’ Letters
• 5 March 2018: Leigh Day to Department for Transport
• 16 April 2018: Leigh Day to Department for Transport (Pre-Action Protocol)
• 15 May 2018: Leigh Day to Government Legal Department
• 1 June 2018: Leigh Day to Government Legal Department
• 17 July 2018: Leigh Day to Government Legal Department
• 21 May 2019: Leigh Day to Government Legal Department
• 26 June 2019: Leigh Day to Government Legal Department
Our Case in the News
Enough is enough! Our East Coast mainline was a brilliant success in public-ownership and should never have been re-privatised in 2015. Now it has failed for the third time at the hands of private operators: GNER in 2007, National Express in 2009 and now Virgin Trains East Coast in 2018.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has admitted that Virgin Trains East Coast “got its numbers wrong” and breached “a key financial covenant” in their franchise agreement. Yet, he is allowing its owners – Stagecoach and Virgin – to walk away and continue running and bidding for other rail franchises. We can’t let them get away with this.
We’re now working with public law experts Leigh Day to bring Chris Grayling to court to account for these decisions. We expect this to be a landmark Judicial Review case; exposing the farce of rail franchising for the shameful waste of public money that it is, and paving the way to a re-unified national rail network run in the public’s interest once again.
Please pledge and share today: crowdjustice.com/case/eastcoast
2018 year is bittersweet. We’re commemorating 70 years since our railways were unified and nationalised as ‘British Railways‘, as well commiserating 25 years since the disastrous 1993 Railways Act, which paved the way to the fragmented mess of privatisation that we have now.
These contrasting anniversaries show that times can, and do, change. In the last nine years since our campaign was founded in July 2009, we have been central in transforming the national debate, taking the re-nationalisation of our railways from a taboo topic to mainstream policy. Now we’re sure it’s only a matter of time until we realise our dream.