The issue we have is Governments saw its aquisition as a chance to prune the system, prioritise the car [Hellow Earnest Marples] and ultimately under-invest and give it to private companies and foreign state railways for a penny! The taxpayer pays into private shareholders pockets and we see the results. Thats why the system is flipped!
From an article in 2019 when the West Coast changed franchisee:
... almost all of whom are now run by other European Countries.
German state railway Deutsche Bahn operates four British railways including the London overground and the Grand Central line to Sunderland. Seven UK railways are operated or partly-operated by Dutch state railway Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), including Merseyrail, Scotrail and the West Midlands Railway. Seven railways are operated fully or partly by French state railway SNCF, including Transport for Wales and the Thameslink.
Out of roughly 30 UK railways, only six are fully owned and operated by private companies or British government authorities
Madness. There must be a reason why this rarely, if ever, exists in any other country.
..... and no, the answer isn't bring back the old British Rail, but to have a single nationally owned, modern and well run rail system. Like virtually every other developed economy. A good name might be British Rail.