Why are Britain’s trains so bad - could nationalisation fix them?

2017 saw the most train delays in nearly 15 years. And as services seem to be getting worse, ticket prices are going up - leaving many passengers furious.
But why are Britain’s trains so bad and what can be done to fix them? Is nationalising the railways the answer?
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  • British Rail was substandard and bloated under Government Control and Maggie Thatcher did not help. Contrary to popular belief the British Government/Crown still owns the trains and the track but contracts out to private contractors to run and maintain the trains.-------------------In the USA the passenger tracks are leased from private freight rail companies by Amtrak and local governments own and run the local trains but are at the mercy of the for profit freight carriers

    Ray TylickiRay TylickiVor 17 Stunden
  • Don`t worry dear brits, since its privatization the german train company is following yours closely at sucking.

    Mr. DMr. DVor 17 Stunden
  • im old enough to remember a nationalised rail system and thats not the answer, but holding the train companies to account and limiting fares is essential. Also remember that more people than at any point in the past are using the railways. Then add that all tracks lead to london apart fro the trans penine routes. And its costs at least twice as much to go to london as to go away from london by the same amount of distance or time. Rubbish rip offs

    Brett GoughBrett GoughVor 17 Stunden
  • Maintaining a colonial appearance is expensive if the "public transportation" is treated as a cash cow for entitled bureaucrats, not as a dedicated public service for the benefit of the users including tourists spending money in the economy. All over the world trains shake terribly where track was laid without laser leveling and powered heavy equipment for a smooth track bed.

  • I travelled once from Bournemouth to Birmingham. 10 hour trip. Never again!

  • Y’all shouldn’t compare y’alls self to other countries. You should improve based on what people in your country wants

    Herbert TannerHerbert TannerVor 18 Stunden
  • That's funny. I live in Toronto and we are are wanting our gov't owned TTC to be privatized. It's a nightmare system. Private owned business is always a better option. You can't put the gov't out of business if they arent providing decent affordable service. Nevermind the waste in tax dollars.

    Billy MurrayBilly MurrayVor 19 Stunden
  • We tend to think the grass is greener on the other side, that other countries do it better. I suspect this is a myth. The German train service is deluged with similar complaints. Running a rail network is actually rather a tricky business . . .

    James Neilson GrahamJames Neilson GrahamVor 19 Stunden
  • What's the name of the reporter?

    Raitis FreimanisRaitis FreimanisVor 19 Stunden
  • Would could just say: "Why are Britain's _______ so bad?" and fill in anything. Any culture who seeks to colonize the whole world is obviously deeply, deeply inadequate. They are inferior in every way, including their evilness and have been a bane on this planet.

    The OneThe OneVor 19 Stunden
  • Nationalisation seldom fixes ANYTHING. The problem you get is once it becomes public owned no one has to try from that point onwards.Everything becomes someone elses problem. Everyone can surrender their own personal responsibility.

    scabbycat catscabbycat catVor 20 Stunden
  • You haven't experienced NJTransit in the US then.

    An NgoAn NgoVor 21 Stunde
  • You've got your facts wrong on your ticket cost. A annual Navigo pass that can take you every day from Paris to Etampes is 827€ or 732£ and not almost 200 quid more like you state.

    SolaremusicSolaremusicVor 22 Stunden
  • What! last time I was in the UK in 15 I couldnt believe how good your trains are. I guess you just arent use to bad railways.

    Beagle76Beagle76Vor Tag
  • The queen should donate 10 million for rehabilitation as a parting gift to a country that gave her and her family so much!

    Green OrchidGreen OrchidVor Tag
  • The British philosophy of if it isn't broke don't fix it!

    Green OrchidGreen OrchidVor Tag
  • Ticket prices are very high for those trains. But at least UK has trains when US does not have trains. Building electric trains worldwide is important to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

    hbarudihbarudiVor Tag
  • On the subject of rail fares. I think I lot has to do with the job and house market too. I know people that commute from town to town everyday. If the job and housing markets were in the same area, there would be no need for a commute and over crowding on peak services.

    Al HAl HVor Tag
  • In the US, a train costs more than a plane flight

    hall01235hall01235Vor Tag
  • Just hang all neoliberal Tories who have hijacked this country and are privatising all public services and are stealing peoples taxes.

    Dante 888Dante 888Vor Tag
  • People should stop complaining about social issues and put your own shits together, clean your room

    Dr.GavagaiDr.GavagaiVor Tag
  • Why? Because the UK is broke. That's it. That's all you need to know.

    Three OneThree OneVor Tag
  • Like some I am a London commuter just three times a week. Travelling is a joke. Every day, it costs me £12 to commute into university and another £12 to commute home. I'm tired of this money draining shite and actually considering local student accommdation. (in case anybody isnt aware accommdation in London is already a finacial suicide) but it's the better of the two options. I love this city but flipping heck. we need wipe clean this financial catastrophe. And STOP HOLDING ONTO THE PAST!! The golden age of steam for Britain is dead! we're clinging onto an industrial nostalgia while the rest of the world moves on and forgets us. We NEED to innovate better or redesign the train systems from the ground up!!

    AzerGhost16AzerGhost16Vor Tag
  • Come to Croatia! Here you buy a train ticket and you end up on a bus :D

    tonythedrummer66tonythedrummer66Vor Tag
  • Nationalisation?. It’s the infrastructure, tracks, staff, too many passengers, not enough trains, the unions, contracts of employment, and the rest, they all get their own salaries based upon the company they work for, Network Rain owns the track and stations, trains in lease, then the shareholders, it’s an awful mess, what would happen the franchises run out, could TfL run those surberban services?.

    Jack SugdenJack SugdenVor Tag
  • We do not have problems with trains here in Brazil , , delay, low speed, confort, dirty, we have not trians ah ah ah ah

    paulo roberto pedrosopaulo roberto pedrosoVor Tag
  • whoa! people make a huge effort to defend privatisation

  • So, if the government ran it and they made 23 million in profit, all of that would go back into the railroad instead of shareholder dividends. But, if the government ran it, they wouldn't have made 23 million. They would probably be losing money and asking the government for a bailout.

    James BarcaJames BarcaVor Tag
  • The wealthy don't use them.

    Gary CollinsworthGary CollinsworthVor Tag
  • British railways needs Lalu Yadav

    Shubham KumarShubham KumarVor Tag
  • Correction *English trains

    Tom CharlestonTom CharlestonVor Tag
  • in 1700s it was faster than your horse and carriage. trains however are not faster than your amg or bmw m3. obsolete

    Sven Olaf KamphuisSven Olaf KamphuisVor Tag
  • just buy a car. all trains are bad and obsolete. not door to door, cant overtake, steer, or stop within acceptable distances. and slow to boot.

    Sven Olaf KamphuisSven Olaf KamphuisVor Tag
  • Because they can be. We are so owned in the UK.

    Billy McCarthyBilly McCarthyVor Tag
  • Spot on, and I loved the use of archive footage too. A well-made, well-presented wee film. It's a tough one. The regional model is a failure, and the franchise system more a financial instrument than a rail service. I feel commuter services could be run by a specialist commuter company, intercity by an intercity company, tourist and holiday trains, by tourist and holiday companies, and so on. On a recent trip through Europe we used the services of Austria, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Austria offered the best service. The trains were modern, clean and quiet, the staff friendly, the ticketing system straight forward with day passes and destinations. I'd recommend state infrastructure, with open access to private companies like grand central, rail tours etc. Today, with centralised routing of trains, there's no reason to run a closed system, operators could simply book a train from a list of offered slots and pay an access fee for the maintenance of trains and track. Put an end to the idea that trains are like anything else, they are unique, and they require a unique solution; not nationalisation, not privatisation, but something else entirely.

    matt milnematt milneVor Tag
  • The usual Channel 4 disinformation. The railways can’t be nationalised while we are in the EU and the prices are high because the rail companies have to pay GIGANTIC amounts to the government for the franchises.

    Ryan StarkRyan StarkVor Tag
  • Come on....You never heard about US?

    MaksMaksVor Tag
  • SO BAD??? compare to what? Spain, for instance, has a much worse train system.

    FlipFlipVor Tag
  • when the government gets involved everything gets stuffed the money is robbed

  • All of Britain's problems are because of the damming labour party. Britain has become such a backwards country since after ww2. Only getting worse

    noahnoahVor Tag
  • How can it work? There's no compatition. There's no two trains side by side

    noahnoahVor Tag
  • I totally disagree with the title. ..one of the oldest country to use tram for people and goods, raw materials, etc.... has one of the most effective results in the world. Brazil, for example has stopped the caring of their rails ways to use trucks, much more polluted, expensive, etc. ...while the tram works on a very low cost. Britain has lots to share with other countries as an exemplo of rail way use.

    Vanda AlmeidaVanda AlmeidaVor Tag
  • Privitazation has its steep corruption. It's not an answer. Stinking profiteering ( species self interest greed) takes over.

    billy kobilcabilly kobilcaVor 2 Tage
  • I can't afford trains anymore, I have to get national express bus. Greed greed greed.

    Kat OdonnellKat OdonnellVor 2 Tage
  • The specifics of the issue have been exposed thoroughly quite a while ago :D songinstitute.ca/detail/video-wcMA0MFdNZQ.html

    jassenjjjassenjjVor 2 Tage
  • You refer to the Labour Govt nationalising the 'Big Four' as "British Rail", it was actually 'British Railways', only changing to British Rail much later. However you omit to mention two important facts, firstly the rolling stock isn't owned by the operators whose name is on the side, but by banks. Secondly you make no mention of freight, which of course travels down the same tracks as passenger trains, albeit some of the recent investment by Railtrack is directed at freight services, eg improving the line from Felixstowe to the Midlands. For instance having your 2000 ton container train shunted in to a loop to let a passenger train by is not beneficial to the overall scheme of things. When it comes down to waste of money though the new SW Train operator is spending £895m, admittedly in the UK, on a new fleet. This will replace two existing fleets, one just 3 years old, and the second having just a complete new traction package fitted to make it more efficient. There is no alternative for this rolling stock at present. Now I expect a bank somewhere is in theory paying for this, but of course we all know that in the end the passenger/taxpayer is coughing up for rolling stock which has a life expectancy of 30 years, to sit idle after just 4!

    Robert RichRobert RichVor 2 Tage
  • Offcourse there's always room for improvement but the leveled service we are getting its excellent compare to rest of world unfortunately we took everything asba guaranteed look at the past and future in coming days how much we travels though time so stop punishing negativity look for bright side

    sajjad warraichsajjad warraichVor 2 Tage
  • you are a beautiful girl

    Skyler dawnSkyler dawnVor 2 Tage
  • Check our trains in the Philippines... Or lack there of. In 2017 the trains broke down 367 or so plus times

    Cat CastleCat CastleVor 2 Tage
  • Stations to old like the trains. Build new trains and Stations.

    RON776RON776Vor 2 Tage
Why are Britain’s trains so bad - could nationalisation fix them?