What would nationalising the railways mean and would train fares be cheaper?

Credit: PA
  • Video report from ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen.

The announcement that train fares are set to increase by 1.9% from 2017 has been met with calls for the railways to be renationalised.

  • When were the railways nationalised?

From 1948 until the mid-1990s British railways were publicly owned.

  • How much would renationalising the railways cost?

The rail network is already publicly owned, but the operating companies are private and their franchises have to be renewed.

According to Jeremy Corbyn the cost would be "not very much" as the franchises would be taken over as they ran out, and then handed over to Direct Rail to be run.

  • When could nationalisation take place?

Of the 15 rail franchises, only five would run out during the next Parliament - when the Labour leader who is in favour of nationalisation would hope to be in power.

The other contracts already have, or would likely have, end dates reaching into the 2020s.

  • Would nationalisation make train tickets cheaper?

Prices are decided by levels of subsidy rather than ownership, and nationalisation would stop private sector innovation and investment that would lead to improvement and increased capacity.