Train fares will shoot up again today as they continue their meteoric rise away from workers' wages.
Normal fares will go up 3.9 per cent while season tickets soar by 4.2 per cent.
The price of train tickets has risen three times faster than people's pay since the start of the recession in 2008.
But at the same time privateers have been shutting ticket offices, cutting jobs and attacking workers' pay and conditions.
Action for Rail chairwoman and TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "As well as having to shell out record amounts of money for their tickets, passengers also face the prospect of travelling on trains with fewer staff and having less access to ticket offices.
"They are being asked to pay much more for less."
Transport union RMT leader Bob Crow added: "As passengers return from the festive break they will be kicked in the teeth with inflation-busting fare increases that will do nothing other than fatten the profits of the greedy train operators.
"Twenty thirteen will the year that the fight to renationalise the railways goes into overdrive."
But train bosses blamed the government.
Association of Train Operating Companies chief executive Michael Roberts said: "We understand commuters don't like to pay more to travel to work but it is the government, not train companies, that decides how much season tickets should rise on average each year."
However Transport Minister Norman Baker claimed the government had intervened to reduce the scale of the fare rises.
"This coalition government has taken proactive steps to cut the planned fare rises from 3 per cent to 1 per cent above inflation until 2014," he said.
Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said Labour would impose a "strict" cap on future fare rises and accused Prime Minister David Cameron of misleading commuters with a promise to limit them.