Richard Wellings discusses the West Coast train deal on Radio 5 Live. He argues that the fundamental problem in the rail industry is the complexity of the franchise process and the risks firms have to bear in the bidding process.
Trains are hugely expensive because of this complexity and reducing it should be the government's absolute priority. Privatisation was badly handled and has forced artificial strcture on to the rail industry. Rail in a more free market environment would simplify its structure and return to a situation where the same company owns both the tracks and the trains. A lack of entrepreneurship and heavily regulation created in the 1990s has reduced flexibility and added a great deal to costs.
Listen here.  Segment starts at 37:34.