Rail reform – all words and no action?

May marks the first anniversary of the launch of the long-awaited Williams-Shapps ‘Plan for Rail’ and the unveiling of Great British Railways. Initially, both were generally well received, for it seemed a rare opportune moment in railway history. At long last the Government had acknowledged that the real problem had been the years of complications and ills of fragmentation, rather than privatisation per se. That Network Rail was in many ways not fit for purpose. And that as a result of the pandemic, every Train Operating Company (TOC) was beholden to the Government for their continued existence. That surely would enable more rapid change.

But a year on, what progress to report?

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