How to fix Britain's broken railways

By Tom Haines-Doran

Paperback -
  • Price: £12.99
  • ISBN: 9781526164056
  • Publish Date: Oct 2022
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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  • Price: £12.99
  • ISBN: 9781526164049
  • Publish Date: Oct 2022
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-6405-6
    • Pages: 208
    • Price: £12.99
    • Published Date: October 2022
    • Series: Manchester Capitalism


    Why don't trains run on time? Why are fares so expensive? Why are there so many strikes?

    Few would disagree that Britain's railways are broken, and have been for a long time.

    This insightful new book calls for a radical rethink of how we view the railways, and explains the problems we face and how to fix them. Haines-Doran argues that the railways should be seen as a social good and an indispensable feature of the national economy. With passengers and railway workers holding governments to account, we could then move past the incessant debates on whether our railways are an unavoidably loss-making business failure. An alternative vision is both possible and affordable, enabling the railways to play an instrumental role in decreasing social inequalities, strengthening the economy and supporting a transition to a sustainable future.

    This book is relevant to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9, Industry, innovation and infrastructure


    'Punchy, well written and forensic in its analysis. Exposes how attacks on rail workers' terms and conditions have been at the heart of privatisation - and how passengers and taxpayers have also been fleeced by shareholders and bosses.'
    Frances O'Grady, General Secretary, Trades Union Congress

    'A clear, precise and accessible glide through the disastrous history of British privatised rail and a passionate case for why we need the railways now more than ever, Derailed is an InterCity125 in a discourse dominated by Pacers and Pendolinos.'
    Owen Hatherley, culture editor of Tribune and author of Modern Buildings in Britain

    'Tom Haines-Doran provides an excellent summary of the wrongs of rail privatisation, but that's the easy bit. The best sections of the book are those attempting to provide ideas for sorting out the mess and giving the railways the focus they need to survive at a time of concerns about climate change and inequality.'
    Christian Wolmar, author of British Rail: A New History

    is a fascinating and readable guide to the state of the UK's railways, which shows exactly what needs to be done to build a rail network that works for public good rather than private profit.'
    Grace Blakeley, author of The Corona Crash

    Derailed is a brilliant, revelatory book. Deeply researched, lucidly written and humane, it explains the chronic failure of corner-cutting, under-funding and privatisation in Britain's railways - and more importantly, what we can do about it. I commend this book to anyone who has ever wondered why things don't work properly in this country, and wants to know how to fix it.'
    Richard Seymour, author of The Twittering Machine

    The privatisation of our railways has proved to be one of the greatest policymaking disasters of the last century. It has cost the taxpayer and travelling public billions of pounds and, tragically for many passengers and railway workers, it has cost them their lives. This book demonstrates clearly how this scandal can be remedied.'
    John McDonnell MP

    'In Derailed, Tom Haines-Doran puts the UK's rail system in these political-economic contexts with a compelling account of its history, present conditions and future possibilities.'
    Chris Saltmarsh, The Ecologist

    'Derailed is a refreshing take on Britain's post-privatisation railways and convincingly makes the case for passenger-led reform. While primarily aimed at passengers and rail users, Derailed will find broad appeal with those interested in transport more generally, especially those intrigued by its role in the fight against climate change. Equally, this book would benefit undergraduates and more advanced scholars keen to understand the puzzle pieces of Britain's privatised rail network.'
    William Law, LSE Review of Books

    'This is a very impressive survey of Britain's railway industry, which also puts forward a whole series of proposals for improving it.'
    The Morning Star

    'Derailed is, in short, an indispensable read for anyone with even a passing interest in the railways, either as a passenger or member of staff. I hope that both unions and passengers' groups take notice of it. It can inform the movement well for the next stages of the struggle to get the public-transport system we so urgently need.'
    Kevin Crane, Counterfire

    'An absorbing read, and its slim paperback format means it is an excellent travelling companion for
    a rail journey...'
    Rail Express

    'This short and accessible book provides an incisive analysis of the reasons for the failure of the privatisation of Britain's rail passenger services.'
    Sean McCartney, Emeritus Professor at the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary, University of London


    1 Why don't the trains run on time?
    2 Why are fares so high?
    3 Why are there so many strikes?
    4 How can the railways be held to account?
    5 Is there light at the end of the tunnel?



    Tom Haines-Doran is a political economist specialising in transport systems, infrastructure and social movements. He currently works at the University of Leeds, leading research on transport decarbonisation. He previously worked as a researcher for the Urban Transport Group, authoring research documents for high-level decision makers in local and national government.


    By Tom Haines-Doran

    Paperback £12.99 / $18.95

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