Socialist Worker

Virgin rail smash and grab

Issue No. 2650

Richard Branson

Richard Branson

Richard Branson’s Virgin Group will have trousered £306 million in dividends from Virgin Trains by the time the franchise finishes operations within the next year.

And Virgin Rail Group Holdings will have pocketed at least £600 million since it was created in 1997.

Branson’s Virgin Group owns 51 percent of the venture. The other part is owned by Stagecoach, which has now been banned from bidding on franchises because of a £6 billion deficit in the Railways Pensions Scheme.

The firm argued the government should pay towards the scheme.

The government is set to award the next franchise this June.

In response to the news Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted, “Our railways should be publicly-owned and run in the interests of passengers, not shareholders.”

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