Rolling stock for old rope

15 April 2009

‘The Competition Commission inquiry into the rolling stock market is only the latest evidence of the absurdities privatisation has heaped on the UK rail network’ says ASLEF’s General Secretary Keith Norman.


The report into the market for the leasing of rolling stock for passenger rail services calls for greater competition and says that franchises should be made longer (12-15 years).


‘The report completely misses the point,’ says Keith, ‘and ignores the fact that the rolling stock companies have been cash cows for their owners, primarily the banks.’ Angel Trains, for instance, was bought by the Royal Bank of Scotland in 1997 for £408 million yet sold in 2008 for £3.6bn.


Over the same period the amount of rolling stock on the UK rail network has grown by 3% while the number of journeys taken increased by 60%. ‘Rolling stock has been money for old rope for these companies’ says Keith ‘and they should be returned to public hands without delay.’

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