BBC graphs showing how Railtrack fared

The future of Britain’s railways is up in the air again with more talk of privatisation from the Government and Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn promising to bring rail back fully under state control.

An updated map by Railfuture vice president Barry Doe shows which train operating companies operate which lines and can be downloaded here: 2015 Rail operators

The privatisation warning has come from Nicola Shaw, who has been told by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to review Network Rail.

Ms Shaw, the chief executive of High Speed 1, has insisted that full privatisation of Network Rail is on the table for consideration.

This has alarmed trade unions and those members of the public who remember the disastrous period of privatisation under Railtrack when the inexcusable crashes at Hatfield and Potters Bar occurred. In 2000, four people died and and 70 were injured at Hatfield while at Potters Bar in 2002 seven people died and 76 were injured.

All the current train franchises are run by private companies. The coalition government ensured that East Coast was transferred to the private sector before the 2015 election, even though Directly Operated Railways had made a good job of running the franchise after private companies failed.

Mr Corbyn has suggested that franchises could be brought back into public hands as they expire.

This could allow a possible Labour government in 2020 to target the following franchises which would expire after the election:

Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern in 2021, Chiltern in 2021, East Coast in 2023, TransPennine in 2023, and Northern in 2025.

Mr Corbyn told the Independent on Sunday on 20 September 2015: “We know there is overwhelming support from the British people for a people’s railway, better and more efficient services, proper integration and fairer fares.

“Labour will commit to a clear plan for a fully integrated railway in public ownership.”

The Labour party conference, which starts on Sunday 27 September 2015, has voted for rail renationalisation many times. Polls have shown that the policy is popular with the public.

Barry Doe’s map can be downloaded for private or commercial use, including printing any size, without further permission.

The website also includes bus and train timetables and other crucial information to understanding how Britain’s railways are run.

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As a non-political organisation Railfuture is neutral on the ownership of the railway. It campaigns for the services that passengers and freight customers receive (outputs) rather than how the railway is run to deliver those services (inputs).

Railfuture's Media Spokesman Bruce Williamson appeared live on Sky News on Sunday 20 September in response to the Labour Party announcement. His five-minute interview can be viewed on YouTube HERE.