In a guest editorial, GRAHAM CROSS, Managing Director of SLC Investments, assesses the merits of the Williams-Shapps White Paper

Pioneering spirit: loco No 68009 Titan propels the 12.55 Birmingham Moor Street to London Marylebone Chiltern Railways service across the M42 at Widney Manor on 23 December 2020.
John Whitehouse

was asked by a friend on the day the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail was published whether the Government had renationalised the railways. I answered that the making of the key decisions has been well and truly nationalised, but the operation of the trains is outsourced to the private sector. The train operator will become all arms and no brain. The brain will be in the new public body called Great British Railways (GBR). But how will GBR use its brain? How will the new system actually work, what will change, and will it lead to better outcomes for customers, taxpayers and the regional economy?


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