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Reading through the various points here it seems to me we all agree that the old BR was underfunded, we all agree that the current rail companies are not doing a great job and that the involvement of the government is not helping. This leads me back to me original question,
Why would it improve if owned by the State ? What is the ‘magic bullet’ that would be introduced by having government ownership ?
Here in Belgium the argument has been made that the deterioration in quality of the Belgian Rail network is a direct result of it being a State entity.