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To welcome the first train north run by the people’s railway after the handover from National Express on Saturday morning a bunch of us campaigners from Keep Metro Public were at Central Station.

Well I say the people’s railway, but actually although the government has had to take the service back into public control, it will be run by a government backed company called Directly Operated Railways. So in effect it will be run at arms length and they are resisting all calls to keep the east coast line in the public sector. The Transport Select Committee said it should be kept as a comparator and the Chair of Keep Metro Public, Vicki Gilbert said on BBC Look North on Saturday that it should be run as a cooperative.

More bad news though: a comment posted by Richy Smith on Sky news website says

Elaine Holt advised tory government on sell off of railways.

Then MD First Great Western total disaster.

Then MD First Capital Connect another disaster.

Now working for government on nationalising railways something very wrong here.

Possible better news is that Lord Adonis now has it in his power to strip National Express of its other East Anglia franchise. Rail unions want the company to be stripped both of its other two franchises, claiming it has done a poor job. Adonis had threatened to do this as punishment for defaulting on East Coast and as the Torygraph explains his timing of the handover was “cute” – it was brought forward a month to prevent National Express keeping the automatic right to extend its East Anglia franchise. By doing this any extension is now in the gift of the DfT. So we need to put pressure on Lord Adonis to carry out his threat.

The bigger campaign of course is for all the railways to be brought back into public ownership. Green Party policy is to

Bring the railway system back into public ownership and spend £2 billion on new track and rolling stock, and on urban tram schemes – together creating 20,000 jobs.

And of course to Keep our Metro Public, which is why we were all there to demand that our Metro stay a People’s Railway.

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