THE train now standing at platform two could soon be privatised if John MacGregor, the Secretary of State for Transport, gets his way. This week the Candid Caller, with apologies to Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends, asked: Do you have a favourite train journey? And will British Rail be better or worse for privatisation?

Mr Thomas of Stoke-on-Trent: 'I think British Rail will be worse, given how bad it is already. It's still run like a privatised industry and I can't see that changing. My favourite journey is from London back to Stoke-on-Trent.'

Mrs James of Stevenage: 'British Rail seems to be in rather a bad way at the moment, going downhill fast, so I would hope it will get better. Now all that happens is that services are cut and fares go up - anything which might improve things must be worth trying. My favourite train journey was as a child going up to the north of Scotland.'

Mrs Gordon of Southampton: 'I think BR might be better for privatisation. It depends where they get their finances from to make the improvements they talk about. I love going to London by train because it's so much easier than driving up.'

Mr Percy of Stratford-on-Avon: 'BR will probably get worse after it's privatised. I never travel by train. I haven't done for about 15 years - my favourite journey is by car from Stratford to Manchester, to visit my parents.'

Mr Henry of Bedford: 'British Rail will get worse when its privatised. It's bound to be streamlined and more staff laid off. I was in the Navy for years and my favourite journey was Waterloo to Plymouth, heading back to work.'

Mrs Bill of Wimborne: 'I think part of British Rail should be privatised. It's so big at present that no one answers for all the problems or delays. I love travelling from Wimborne to Scotland by train, when I can afford it.'

Mr Douglas of Liverpool: 'I'm positive the service will get much worse after privatisation. It's already so bad up here it's not even included in the Citizen's Charter] I travel to work by train so the last thing I'd want to do is take the train when I'm not working.'

Sir Jimmy Savile, OBE, train enthusiast: 'After privatisation, the uniform will be different, but that's about the only thing. My favourite journey is from Euston to Fort William on the overnight sleeper - it takes 13 hours, there's no telephone, and sometimes there's the odd lady who doesn't like travelling in the main body of the train.'