Publicly owned rail service makes a profit

So, after the farce is over, and the East Coast line is no longer being run by private companies that won the right to operate by the brilliant technique of promising to pay the government ludicrous amounts of money, it seems that something may be going right.

Passenger numbers are up, and the service is actually making a profit.

Now personally, I’d take that as a Good Thing, and keep the line in public ownership. But apparently the plan is still to hand the line to yet another private operator by the end of 2012.

I can’t think of a single good reason for doing that. If it’s running at a profit, why not keep it in public ownership and use the profits to improve the rail network in general? Or am I just confusing the situation with logic and facts?

BBC News – Profit for state-owned East Coast rail line.