To be precise, the Department of Transport has suspended normal franchise agreements and transferred “all revenue and cost risk to the government for a limited period, initially six months. Operators will continue to run services day-to-day for a small predetermined management fee”.

That isn’t quite taking public ownership of track and trains combined, but it’s pretty much as good as.

We flag it up simply because the news broke after our newslinks were published yesterday morning, and so much has happened since that a small proportion of our readers may have missed the news.  As for “a limited period”, well, we will see: as Milton Friedman used to say, nothing is so permanent as a temporary Government programme.