I wonder if your Soundbites October correspondents actually remember BR?
I remember a railway which knew the cost of everything, but the value of nothing, trapped in a downward spiral of cost cutting, declining service provision, and falling traffic.
I remember grass growing on station platforms; locomotives nicknamed "Scuds" because they exploded in random locations; and 8-coach trains replaced with 2-coach trains because they were cheaper. The fact that passengers had to be turned away wasn't a problem - it just seemed to be a new way to manage decline.
The semi-private railway is far from perfect, and is still evolving; but with 40% more freight and 100% more passengers over the last 18 years, it must be doing something right.
Ken Strachan, Nuneaton