New Documentary Asks Why Britain’s Trains Are So Bad

Other | Wednesday 9th January 2019 | David

It would be fair to state that since British Rail was privatised by Conservative MP John Major back in 1997, the UK’s train service has been an absolute disaster. If anything, that’s an understatement. Soaring prices, constant delays, and staff shortages are just a few of the problems commuters in the UK will face on a daily basis.

A new eleven minute documentary released on Channel 4’s YouTube channel examines why the the privatisation of British Rail had such a disasterous impact on the country’s train services. As the film explains, each of the major train services in the UK are now owned and operated by a different private company. This was meant to allow for healthy competition, but it instead led to a major decrease in the quality of service. The infrastructure in many of the UK’s largest train stations is now outdated, and only a third of Britain’s tracks are electrified. Tracks and signals in the UK are owned by Network Rail, a company which is still owned by the government, even though the trains themselves are now owned by private companies.

In other words, each of the separate companies will point the finger at each other when it comes to addressing the problems of the British train system, instead of taking responsibility themselves.

While there is no easy solution to the problem, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has promised that if he were elected, he would re-nationlise British Rail within five years. This would certainly be no easy task, so it is debatable as to whether he would actually be able to accomplish it. But one thing is clear: the current system is broken. Members of Parliament have even said that Britain’s train system is ‘no longer fit for purpose', so other countries considering privatising their rail services should look to the UK and warned of the consequences such an action could have.