Event to Mark Nationalisation of Network Rail

22 August 2014
Circular No. NP162/14

Dear Colleague

Event to Mark Nationalisation of Network Rail


Network Rail Head Office, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG

As you may be aware on 1st September, nineteen years after the privatisation of Railtrack in 1996, Network Rail will be nationalised.

Instead of being a Not for Dividend company in the private sector,  the government have stated that Network Rail will now be a “central government body in the public sector.”

The union has been advised that this decision will not result in changes to terms and conditions and collective bargaining.

The government has been forced into reclassifying Network Rail as a public sector body following a decision taken by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In essence the ONS has said that because of the governments close relationship with Network Rail and Network Rail’s reliance on government funding, then Network Rail has to be treated as being in the public sector.

This is an important moment in the union’s campaign for the renationalisation of the railway. The decision supports the union’s belief that as the railways are a public service, reliant on public funding, then they should be under public ownership.

The unions will be a using the event on 1st September to make the case that Network Rail moving into the public sector should be the start of the process to return the entire rail network to public ownership and create a wholly integrated, nationalised and  democratically accountable railway run for the benefit of passengers, workers and the whole of society.  

The event will also be used to counter sections of the media and right - wing who are already scaremongering about the implications for the economy of Network Rail’s £30bn in debt being added to the public books.

Such comment ignores the fact that keeping Network Rail’s debt off the books was always an accounting trick. Ultimately it is always the tax payer and fare payer who are responsible for paying off debt taken out to maintain and enhance the railway.

It is no surprise that the media is already being briefed that the government wish to “restructure” Network Rail to get it back off the government books as soon as possible and that this could lead to the wholesale re-privatisation of Network Rail and fragmentation though the McNulty inspired deep alliances with the TOCs.

RMT will of course resist any attempts to re-privatise Network Rail and will be sending a clear message on 1st September that all of our railways should be under public ownership.

Nationalise our railways! – Please support the event on 1st September 2014, bring your banners and flags.
Yours sincerely  

Mick Cash                    
Acting General Secretary