It is generally accepted that the motivations behind the privatisation of BR were the desire of the Major government to be perceived as continuing the Thatcherite agenda of the successful disposal of state utilities and the medium term goal of reducing the financial burden on the Treasury. The expectation was that traffic levels would continue at more or less the same volumes which, because of the continuing increase in road traffic, implied further relative decline which would facilitate a relatively smooth handover to the private sector with government increasingly taking a back seat. However the outcomes have been quite different. There have been major problems with regard to the management and operation of the railway network, passenger and freight traffic have grown very significantly and lack of network capacity has become a major issue. The operational issues have led, amongst other things, to a significant increase in the costs of running the railways with much greater calls on the public purse than those enjoyed by BR. Far from getting the railways off the government’s hands and out of the political arena, privatisation has been accompanied by a process of almost continuous government interventions with persistent, sometimes very hostile, media commentary.