The plan is for Great Western Railways to be split into two:
“The plans would create a new West of England rail franchise to provide long-distance services between London, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall together with local and regional services across the south-west.”
“Transport secretary Chris Grayling says the government wants to break up the troubled [Great Western] Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise when the current contract comes to an end, and look into reopening lines closed during the notorious Beeching cuts of the 1960s.
But the proposals also include publicly-owned Network Rail sharing its responsibility for running the tracks with private train operators.
Britain’s rail network – the tracks, bridges and infrastructure – was taken into public ownership after a bungled experiment with privatisation left it close to collapse.
Railtrack, the privatised franchise, went bankrupt after being hit with the cost of repairs and compensation from the Hatfield rail crash in 2000. …
… Mr Grayling denied that the plans amounted to the splitting up and privatising of Network Rail.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “No, we’re not privatising Network Rail. Network Rail will remain in public ownership, but Network Rail is going to be devolved into a series of route businesses, it’s not going to be one big central blob, it’s going to be a series of locally-focused, or route-focused, operations around the country.”