Friday 12 August 2022


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rail unveiled

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are the railways really privatised?

We are often told that the railways are privatised, and private sector companies are certainly involved in the industry.

But that is not the same as complete privatisation, in the way that supermarket chains or budget airlines are privately-owned.

So who owns what?

Who owns what?

The industry depends on a combination of organisations, ranging from those which are owned by the state to private sector companies, trade bodies and other industry groups.


Train leasing companies (ROSCos)
Railfreight operators
Open access passenger operators
Train builders
Other companies in the supply chain
Contractors employed by Network Rail
Contractors employed by train operators
Station traders

Private sector presence

Franchised passenger operators
Operating concessions

In public ownership

Network Rail
Direct Rail Services
London Underground
Northern Ireland Railways

State sponsored or supported

Association of Community Rail Partnerships
National Railway Museum

Government bodies

Department for Transport
Transport Scotland
Office of Rail and Road
Rail Accident Investigation Branch
British Transport Police
HS2 Ltd
Integrated Transport Authorities/PTEs
Crossrail Complaints Commissioner

Industry sponsored bodies

Association of Train Operating Companies
Rail Delivery Group
Rail Supply Group
National Skills Academy Rail

Independent trade bodies

Rail Alliance
Railway Industry Association
Rail Forum East Midlands

Campaigning and consumer organisations

Transport Focus (statutory)
TravelWatch London (statutory)
Campaign for Better Transport
Greengauge 21

bidding for rail franchises: revenue
profits and losses
who runs the stations?


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