South Western Railway Joins Potential Nationalisation List

By Gary Cutlack on at

The managers in charge of South Western Railway have issued a warning that the rail franchise may simply run out of money before the end of the year, adding it to the list of rail operators that could end up back in the public hands via nationalisation.

SWR foreshadowed its own death in yesterday's release of its accounts, in which it said it made a £137m loss in the year to the end of March, and warned that despite an injection of £146m from the backers of the franchise – FirstGroup and MTR – it may still run out of money before the end of 2020.

Hence it's likely to be added to Northern in the list of rail franchises that may be brought back under governmental control this year, as we seem to be seeing a nationalisation of the railways coming about not through political will, but the ineptitude of those currently holding the contracts to run the trains.

A spokesperson for the group said: "SWR's recent performance has been affected by issues including infrastructure reliability, timetabling delays and industrial action. We continue to be in ongoing and constructive discussions with the DfT regarding potential commercial and contractual remedies for the franchise and what happens next, in order to ensure we reach the right outcome for the government, our shareholders and our customers." [Guardian]