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Privatisation 'failed' railways

Rail privatisation has led to the UK having the most expensive fares in Europe, older trains and serious overcrowding, and train operating companies entirely reliant on public subsidies, according to a new report commissioned by the TUC.

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Over 90% of rail investment 'financed by taxpayers'

Rail privatisation has failed to deliver for rail users and taxpayers, according to a new TUC commissioned report published today. The report said that privatisation has brought in little private sector investment. The figures show:

  • The average age of trains has risen since rail privatisation, from 16 years in 1996 to 18 years old today. Just £1.9bn was spent on rolling stock between 2008 and 2012, compared to £3.2bn between 1989 and 1993.
  • Over 90% of new investment in recent years has been financed by Network Rail.
  • The UK has the most expensive rail fares in Europe. Long distance, day return and season tickets are all around twice the price of similar tickets in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, which have publicly-run rail systems.
  • Average train fares in the UK increased at three times the rate of average wages between 2008 and 2012.

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