There is little chance of industrial unrest on the the scale of the 1970s, but Labour still has to tread carefully.
How do you keep the sympathy of people whose lives you are making more difficult?
There are no quick fixes.
Many of Britain's railway employees, customers and bosses are unhappy at the state of the nation's services.
The government knows the system is a shambles – but refuses to admit that rail privatisation has failed.