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Welcome & Editorial - March 2013

4 March 2013

March sees the fiftieth anniversary of the Beeching Report, whilst we’re now 20 years on from the start of the Tory’s programme of rail privatisation. Both were disasters for transport workers and the public alike, and both have had to be at least partially reversed.

In this issue Paul Salveson looks at the Beeching Report, the campaign against it and examples of the lines reprieved or re-opened since the ‘Beeching Axe’ struck (pages 18-20). General Secretary Manuel Cortes reports on ATOC’s first ever meeting with the rail unions (page 11) and how the Government look set to put off major franchising until after the 2015 election. With franchise extensions expected to be offered as ‘management contracts’, the pretence of private sector investment by TOCs falls away, just as the collapse of Railtrack back in 2002 started the flow back from the fully private model John Major and co had envisaged.

No one underestimates how much effort will be required to fully reverse the failed experiment of privatisation, but we’re working hard to upgrade our direct access to the levers of power through the Labour Party (page 10). With Labour odds-on to form the next government, TSSA is looking to train up and support people to organise around our goals within the party or to become local or Parliamentary candidates. Even if you’re not yet a Labour member but want to find out more, do have a read and get in touch.

As ever, your letters, thoughts and ideas for future articles are always welcome. This is your magazine, so do get in touch if you’re involved in something that should be shared with other TSSA members. I hope you enjoy this issue.

Ben Soffa, editor

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