Posts Tagged ‘Railways’

Living where privatised railways mean subsidising foreign state-run services

by Dan McCurry.

The railway that passes our constituency Labour party office in Bethnal Green and Bow is owned by Abellio, the Dutch state railway company. Am I alone in thinking this is somewhat surreal? We supposedly put these franchises out to tender because we wanted the private sector to provide their management know-how. It turns out that […]

Talking Tosh on public ownership – the speech of the week

by Jon Lansman.

“Talking Tosh”, as Billy Hayes (moving the Communication Workers Union motion against privatising Royal Mail) said immediately after this outstanding speech, has acquired an entirely new meaning. Tosh McDonald, Vice-President of train drivers’ union ASLEF, received a much deserved standing ovation for an off-the-cuff contribution, seconding a motion in support of the public ownership of the […]

The public wants rail, water, energy re-nationalised, and it needs doing

by Michael Meacher.

The latest figures show that a season ticket, including tube travel, from Woking in Surrey to central London cost £3.268 last year. A similar 22-mile journey in Italy from Velletri to Rome cost just £336. In France the 24-mile journey from Ballancourt to Paris costs £924. The RMT argues that the vastly higher costs of […]

Johann Lamont shows how to be a union-friendly leader

by Jon Lansman.

Johann Lamont, the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, speaking to the annual conference of the train drivers’ union ASLEF in Edinburgh, delivered a clear message of support for trade union rights, trade union involvement in policy-making and policies that trade unions have been seeking. She said she didn’t – and no one should – […]

Railways are too important to run on greed

by James Bloodworth.

In the novel Catch 22, one of the central characters is an entrepreneurial war profiteer by the name of Milo Minderbinder. Caught swindling his fellow countrymen, Milo likes to evoke the “historic right of free men to pay as much as they have to for the things they need in order to survive”. When Milo’s profiteering […]

Rebuilding Rail: a blueprint for rail industry reform

by Mick Whelan.

The Rebuilding Rail report was commissioned by rail unions ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and UNITE in order to examine how a better structure for the railway could be created in order to deliver better value for taxpayers or passengers. It calls for a complete overhaul of our fragmented, franchised network, putting rail back into the hands […]

Staff at Virgin Trains deserve respect

by Manuel Cortes.

This morning, talks between TSSA and Virgin Trains broke down after Virgin Trains refused to commit to observing their own procedures when addressing concerns regarding staff sickness, capability or discipline. Virgin Trains management, including Patrick McGrath, HR Director, read a pre-prepared statement and then left. The message that they gave us was:

How not to run a railway

by Michael Meacher.

One of the areas where Labour should be setting out its vision, which everyone is crying out for, and where Labour would attract huge popularity, is by reasserting the role of an activist State in areas where the market has run amok, is out of control, or has massively failed. The railways would be a […]

The £32bn Great Train Robbery

by Ben Mitchell.

The lure of high speed rail travel has proven too much for ministers to resist. Seduced by the chance to finally emulate its European neighbours, Britain will have its very own TGV in the not so near future. In a 2006 major review of Britain’s transport needs, the former head of British Airways, Sir Rod […]

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