Concerns over Jeremy Corbyn’s plans to nationalise key sectors of the British economy were aired this week after the Labour leader unveiled ‘ambitious’ proposals to bring broadband, utilities, mail and PFI under government control.
Corbyn has also set his sights on the railways after fares were hiked once again next year by as much as 2.8 per cent.
The Trades Union Congress general secretary Frances O’Grady pointed out that “we’re already paying the highest ticket prices in Europe to travel on overcrowded and understaffed trains,” adding that passengers shouldn’t be “subsidising private train companies”.
But as The Independent pointed out, thanks to Britain’s rail network being at the whim of the free market almost all train operators are (at least partly) already state-owned – just not by the British state.
After the Virgin Trains franchise fell into the hands of First Trenitalia, which is part owned by the Italian Government, there are now few purely private operators left on UK railways.
Govia runs Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern and Gatwick Express as a joint venture between Go-Ahead group and French company Keolis, which itself is 70 per cent owned by the French National Railways Corporation.
Meanwhile Arriva UK Trains is behind the operators, Chiltern, CrossCountry, London Overground, Grand Central, and Northern.
In total it runs around a quarter of all British train operating companies, and is part of German firm Deutsche Bahn, in which the German state is the biggest shareholder.
Full list of state-owned British rail operators
The full list can be found below:
c2c: Italian state
Chiltern: German state
Caledonian sleeper: PRIVATE
CrossCountry: German state
East Midlands: Dutch state
Eurostar: French state
Gatwick Express: French state
Grand Central: German state
Great Northern: French state
Greater Anglia: Dutch state
Heathrow Express: PRIVATE
Hull Trains: PRIVATE
LNER: British state
London Northwestern Railway: Dutch state
London Overground: German state
London Underground: British state
Merseyrail: Dutch state
Northern: German state
Northern Ireland Railways: British state
Scotrail: Dutch state
South Western Railway: Hong Kong state
Southeastern: French state
Southern: French state
Stansted Express: Dutch state
TfL rail: Hong Kong state
Thameslink: French state
TransPennine Express: PRIVATE
Transport for Wales: French state
West Coast: Italian state
West Midlands Railway: Dutch state