For all those who have been hankering afterTim Bowen's lonely phrasal verbs, here is his latest instalment in which he talks about the railways in Britain.

A recent survey reveals that many people in the UK still hanker after the days when the railways were nationalized (want them to return very much) and some even hark back to the ‘good old days’ of steam railways (remember or talk about the past).

In fact, if you listen to regular commuters herded together (crowded together) on early morning trains, you will often hear them harping on about how much better the trains were in the old days (talking or complaining at length about it in a way that makes people bored or annoyed).

In the 1990s, the British government decided to hive off (separate part or parts of an organization) the profitable sectors of the railway and sell them to private businesses. At the time of this privatization, opponents of the scheme were howled down (opposed loudly and angrily) but recently some politicians have hinted at a possible re-nationalization of the railways (said what they were thinking in an indirect way). One of the reasons for this is that the private rail operators are continually hiking up their fares (increasing them suddenly).

Now, it seems possible that the debate about the future of Britain’s railways might be beginning to hot up (become more lively or exciting) and some people claim that rumours of a change in policy may have been hushed up (kept secret). When all is said and done, however, the outcome will probably hinge on (depend on) the result of  the next parliamentary elections.