How Foreign Governments Profit From Half Of British Railway Journeys

    More than 50% of UK railway travel involves a foreign state-owned railway company. Labour is developing its policy on the issue.

    Foreign governments make money from over 50% of railway travel in the UK, new analysis by BuzzFeed shows.

    The French, German and Dutch state railways together run the majority of UK rail services in terms of passenger miles travelled.

    The findings come as Labour's policy team considers whether to commit the party to taking the railways back into public ownership if it wins the 2015 election. Labour's leadership faced grassroots calls to commit to rail renationalisation over the weekend after reports that its leadership might not adopt the policy.

    Since it was privatised in 1993, Britain's railway franchising system has allowed train companies owned by foreign governments to make money running services in Britain.

    Out of the 309 million passenger miles travelled on UK trains in 2012–13, 159 million were made on franchises either partly or entirely controlled by a foreign state railway.

    Foreign state-owned railways either control or partly control these UK rail franchises: