Tory transport spokesman Lord Attlee enraged just about everyone today by blaming the West Coast mainline debacle on "mistakes by officials, not by ministers."
Labour peers cried "Shame!" as the goverment tried to duck responsibility for the disaster.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said last week that the coalition had changed its mind about handing the multibillion-pound franchise to First.
He said mistakes by Department of Transport staff had caused "significant technical flaws" in the bidding war between four privateers.
Three civil servants have been suspended.
Lord Attlee, Labour PM Clement's grandson, told peers at question time in the Lords that the mess will cost more than £40 million to clean up.
Rail union RMT leader Bob Crow said it would now be an "absolute disgrace" if the line isn't taken into public ownership.
He said renationalising Britain's railways is supported by between seven and nine in 10 people.
"It's not the evaluation or the franchising model that's wrong, it's the whole greed-driven, free-for-all of privatisation that has brought Britain's railways to their knees and turned us into a global laughing stock.
"Some shabby little whitewash that doesn't examine the cheaper and more efficient model of public ownership would doom us to repeat the failures on the West Coast time and time again until the political class wakes up to reality."