By the 70s the railway had already been decimated by Beeching, who was appointed by Marples (Minister of Transport and owner of Tarmac, a road building company) to shut down as much as possible to strengthen the case for road building. Phones were a bit of a mess but then, they are still. Water, gas and electric all seemed to work just fine. Fine enough to make them very saleable in the 80s.
The railways now cost us at least double than it would because of the need to provide huge dividends. Without those, spending on the actual network could provide a vastly better service.
Remember also that Lloyds bank group and BoS had been mostly state owned since the crash of 08. They seem to have thrived enough through to be very saleable which shows that a government can own a company and make it look attractive. Of course, if said government were interested in providing a good service instead of lining the pockets of their buddies, it would be a simple fix.
Many other countries seem to be able to run things like trains quite successfully but then they probably don't have as many billionaires. I bet that really distresses them.