Robert Talbot (Letters, January 4, 'Problems with train services') discusses the appalling service provided by Arriva Rail North and the general malaise of our railways.

We on Northern's Furness line also suffer cancellations; I travel little now but have recently experienced three cancellations. I’m sure FLAG (Furness Line Action Group) can give more detail. Northern Rail is a subsidiary of Arriva, a company owned by Deutche Bahn.

The fundamental problem with our railways is that they are fragmented into a large number of private companies, some with foreign state ownership.

Privatisation has not been a great success. The solution must be nationalisation of the train operators, perhaps with large regional groupings such as London and the North East, London and the North West, South, West and Scotland.

A small number of such groups would simplify collaboration to run through trains across the country and, importantly, ensure that branch lines, such as the Lakes and Furness, would be integrated with the long distance services. Furthermore, money would not be lost by the nation to private profit.

Only a comprehensive national system can tackle Robert Talbot’s catalogue of problems and solve his 'very poor do'.

Peter Le Mare