TSSA calls for rail public ownership as inflation soars

Close up of a hand holding a train ticket on a train

TSSA has today (Wednesday) called for rail companies to be brought into public ownership and slammed the current rail fares model as ‘outdated and impractical’, following the announcement of a 12.3 per cent RPI rate for July.

Figures released this morning show the Retail Price Index (RPI) has risen to 12.3% in July – up from 11.8% the previous month and is the highest since January 1982. The July RPI rate has historically been used as a benchmark by the Department for Transport (DfT) to determine fare increases the following year, generally setting these at RPI + 1 per cent.

The DfT has not announced what next year’s fares increase will be yet, but has said that it will be below the current rate of inflation.

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes said: “The current fares model is outdated and impractical. We need to bring our railways into public ownership and have a complete overhaul of ticketing to make rail travel cheaper and more attractive to passengers to get people onto our railways.

“Rather than maximising profits for private rail firms, we need services and passengers to be put first. Any increase to fares even close to the RPI rate announced for July will price passengers off the rails and into their cars.

“If this Government is serious about protecting jobs and making any meaningful steps towards tackling the climate crisis, they must bring our railways into public ownership where they can be run for public good not private profit.

“The Tory cost-of-living crisis is hurting everyone. We need solutions which puts people and our climate front and centre.” 

A red background with white text in the middle third. Text reads Our Rail Our Future. On either side are columns of small multi-cultural cartoon people in various train company and Network Rail uniforms.

Our Rail Our Future

Our dispute with Network Rail and all DfT train operating companies over pay, job security and terms and conditions is settled. Find out more about our campaign.

Find out more

In this section

Red rule book image

Rule book & guidance notes

The Rule Book sets out the framework for all TSSA activities. Access the TSSA Rule Book and Guidance Notes here.

TSSA conference delegates voting with hands in the air

Annual conference

TSSA conference is the supreme governing body of the union, setting our key policies and priorities for the year ahead.


TSSA is a democratic union with elections for key roles


Organising is about involving members in union activity. Find out about TSSA's approach to organising here.

People at a demonstration with a sign saying 'solidarity'

Trades union councils

Trades councils are local groups of trade unionists. Branches are encouraged to affiliate to their local Trades Councils

Independent Inquiry

Information and updates regarding the independent inquiry, including the full report and support.

TSSA Industrial Action Brief August 2022

TSSA Industrial Action Brief August 2022



TSSA Helpdesk

0800 328 2673 United Kingdom

1800 805 272 Republic of Ireland

Helpdesk Enquiry Form

Member advice from our Helpdesk

If you are a TSSA member and are looking for advice or assistance in connection with your employment or membership, you can contact our Members’ Helpdesk.

We can advise on a range of workplace issues including; discipline and grievance hearing, maternity rights and redundancy.

Helpdesk opening hours: 09:00 - 17:00 Monday - Thursday  |  09:00 - 16:00 Friday

Please note: we cannot undertake to provide advice to non-members, to members of other unions, or to members on behalf of their partners/friends. If you are not yet a member, please join TSSA online.