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Some interesting arguments here on both sides. Personally I’m in favour of state run railways for the same reason I’m in favour of state run water and electricity, that is vital services should not be left to the private sector.
For a well run state owned railroad, look no further than Switzerland. Clean and efficient with reasonable fares. A simplified ticketing system and one where you can break your journey without penalty if you wish.
Interestingly the first railroad company in Switzerland was owned by the British which is why the trains run on the left side of the tracks!