The people fighting to end the railway rip off

Anti-privatisation campaigners at King's Cross station

15 August 2019

Yesterday we learnt how much our already extortionate fares are going to rise by next year. Another eye-watering fare hike - this year at 2.8%. We're being ripped off, and all for the luxury of travelling on delayed, overcrowded trains - if they even turn up at all. 

Meanwhile, shareholders have been making a killing. Rail companies have paid out over £1bn in six years. 

It's clear that privatisation is broken. And the public can see this too - 76% of us want our railways brought into public ownership. 

That's why across the country people have come together to fight for a publicly owned railway, so we can end the rail rip off once and for all. 

From Glasgow to London and King's Lynn to Birmingham, rail passengers and workers have said loud and clear that it's time to bring privatisation to an end. 

We've collected some of the best clips from the day: 

We Own It and RMT campaigners outside King's Cross station in London:

Transport campaigners Get Glasgow Moving outside Glasgow Central:

In Edinburgh, RMT workers and We Own It supporters demanded an end to the rail rip-off: 

In the North West, passengers and workers came together in Manchester, Stockport and Chester to make the case for public ownership:

In Cambridgeshire, people came out in force, in Cambridge and in Kings Lynn:

And Dorothy and Emma made the case for public ownership in Worthing

They were all joined by others across the county, from Hampshire to Birmingham and from Yorkshire to Peterborough. Together they represent the three quarters of the UK public who support publicly owned rail! 

And the press have caught on too, the campaign was picked up big time, including in:

What's next?

While our rail fares are going up, the government is running a review into the future of the railways. It's run by a man named Keith Williams, and he hasn't yet made his mind up what he wants to recommend. You can help him. 

Watch and share this video and tell Keith we need a publicly owned railway: 



Sign and share this petition to add your support to the campaign for public ownership!

Anti-privatisation campaigners at King's Cross station

Do you believe in public services for people not profit?

Win campaigns for public ownership by subscribing to our mailing list! We'll hold your data in accordance with our privacy policy and send you carefully chosen information about current and future campaigns, projects and appeals. You can unsubscribe at any time.


Shirley Walford replied on

Much if the money the public pays to privatised railways leaks out of the system and goes to shareholders and CEOs. That money should be going into the infrastructure, workers on the lines and an independent board that can oversee proper management and deliver the services we want.

Mo Easton replied on

How on earth can it be logical for share owners and board members to make a huge profit (and get 6 figure salaries) when passengers are having to pay exorbitant prices to travel by a system that could be quicker, safer and with a lower carbon emission per mile than other way? If more rail routes were sustainably electrified, more greener electricity introduced and no share holder/large salaries paid everyone would gain. (Including share holders etc.)

Yvonne Pugh replied on

Privatization doesn't work for the country.

Ken Smith replied on

Having just again had to use the railway i found my costs had risen drastically this private ownership is NOT working and must be Stopped immediately. The Railways must be in PUBLIC OWNERSHIP .

Rodney Hartley replied on

Bring it back

Nicholas Thorn replied on

Good news but more action is needed, e.g. refusal to pay increased fares

John Smith-Warren replied on

The only way for our Railway to operate efficiently is to bring it under one roof. By selling the operations off bit by bit has created self interested companies fighting between each other and the looser is always the passenger. The Railway is like a great big clockwork machine and all its parts have to work together, privatisation has broken too many parts of the mechanism for it to work - especially for the local services that feed the “big” expresses and are then, in turn, fed by them. Fix the machine by making it one integrated operation that is owned by the users not the operators as soon as possible. And make sure that it is operated by the British Government so there are no shareholders soaking up the profits.

Pauline spiteri replied on

Rail prices have gone out of control years ago to the best of my knowledge when British rail was British rail I cannot remember any complaints about rail prices then.Nowadays all the privatisation has I think has caused nothing but problems,

Maureen Marsh replied on

I cannot improve on the statement 'cut costs not jobs' and i object to high pay for upper management and shareholders while the majority of passengers struggle with the rising cost of fares!

Peter Freshwater replied on

National rail services in private hands do not work in any co-ordinated way, and put profit for shareholders before service to the people. They must be brought back into public ownership and run for the benefit of all of us.

Kerryann Lund replied on

Public transport is an essential service. We need more people using it to combat climate change. It should be affordable and not be run for profit. It's done in other European countries, why not here?!

James Ross replied on

Under the present rail franchise system the service has become absolutely appalling.

Paul Gibbons replied on

This twice yearly ritual is getting tired! The various parties put out the same old propaganda. A way forward would be to use a Wages Index rather than RPI or CPI. Alas wages are hardly going up at all. The problem with public ownership is that the Treasury never allows enough Capital Spending. Public ownership is sound in theory but more important is for the same body to run both track and trains. A lot of money is being invested in Capital projects but one could always spend more.

Add new comment