Whilst rail franchising may not be facing possible reform, if Network Rail continues to receive coverage like this then they may not be quite so safe.
Before the election, Labour was promising wholesale change and there has been talk of the Conservatives looking at reform as well. It was as far as 'privatisation' in some outlets.
If Network Rail fails to deliver on the promises made for rail improvements in the Conservative Party manifesto, electrification etc...then the pressure will grow.
Now that the organisation is back under the more direct control of the Department for Transport and its ministers, since the debt came back on the public books, they become more accountable for its operation.
Greater ministerial responsibility has a way of focusing the mind of Government.
Network Rail’s five-year plan for what the government trumpeted as “the biggest investment in rail since Victorian times” is going seriously off track, the regulator has warned, with major works afflicted by soaring costs and delays, and only a fraction of planned renewal works completed on target.