UK Government Backtracks On Rail Privatization

Railroads in the United Kingdom continue to be 'renationalized' after former attempts at privatization.
January 6, 2004, 1pm PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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While the U.S. government continues to call for privatization as a major revitalization for Amtrak, the U.S. government-subsidized railroad passenger system, the United Kingdom continues to reverse its earlier railroad privatization program: "Rail bosses are to be stripped of much of their power by ministers, who believe the ramshackle network is running out of control, The Independent has learnt. The decision will concentrate power in the hands of Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Transport, and represents a dramatic stage in the 'creeping nationalisation' of the industry which was privatised in 1995. Mr Darling is planning to extend his control by taking power from the Strategic Rail Authority, the semi-independent body which receives billions of pounds of taxpayers' money but has failed to enhance performance, relegating it to the same status as the Transport Department's Highways Agency. It will have fewer resources, less power and more accountability to the Government and parliament. The move follows what was in effect the renationalisation of Railtrack, the infrastructure company replaced last year by the state-backed Network Rail."

Thanks to Richard Layman

Full Story:
Published on Monday, January 5, 2004 in The Independent
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