PP - If that post doesn't draw them out nothing will.
When the train companies go bust...
If you want to be in Leeds or Manchester so much why did you move to Exeter?
I vote Tory
Well, it's your fault, then. And Sooty's. And Flashfart's. And Stoner's.
Trouble with politics is, by the time people get to Parliament, they've forgotten what it is they're actually there for, as they're all too busy lining their own nests.
I spose at least the Tories don't pretend to be doing anything but that, mind.
Well said AdamM and aP!
Much of the improvement seen over the last 3 years came about from careful planning and examination of best operating practices that started 5+ years ago, once the industry recognised that the highly confrontational mechanisms that were put in place to mimick a competitive ecomony were b*ll*cks and the best way to improve the service was to work together.
Anyone who thinks they can solve the issues of the rail industry in a couple of paragraphs is dreaming.
Personally, I think longer franchises (say 15 years with an option to extend to 20?) Will immediately begin an improvement process - although the public may have to wait a couple of years to see the benefit. Longer franchises lead to better business cases for decent investment, cheaper for the industry as a whole (owning groups will spend up to £10m per bid to secure a franchise) and less 'churn'.
As for cost, there are always cheap options available (megabus fares, advance ticketting etc) although you have to be flexible about travel times, just as it is with the airlinesn if you travel at peak times then you'll have to pay for it. Plenty do as the services are packed during the peak hours.
RB - Have you just accused me of voting Tory? Just because I don't fall over myself singing the praises of the current form of socialist opposition in the UK nor its recent forms doesn't mean I vote blue. Try being a little less presumptious occassionally.
"like the current labour administration"
Yes, just like the current labour administration. What's the point you're trying to make - that Thatcher didn't come to power because she had the support of a substantial minority of the British electorate ?
"which class is that? the left wing intelligensia class? the Derek Hatton class, the class? the Arthur Scargill class?"
What a stupid question. And why in inclusion Hatton, Heffer, and Scargill in the question - was it suppose to suggest some sort of political negativity in speaking up for ordinary people ?
Since you appear baffled about who's interests concern me, let me spell it out to you. My concern is first and foremost, for improvements and gains for the ordinary working classes. By that I mean the whole range of social classes, ranging from the unskilled labouring classes, to the more affluent middle classes. Basically all those who sell their skills and labours. Undoubtedly some social classes require more urgent improvements than others, as we live today in a society with a substantially high level of inequity. I am particularly concerned with the 'productive classes' which create this nation's material wealth, and unlike Thatcher I am hugely unconcerned with the plight of the super rich. If you want me to pick a name from your list I am more than happy to be associated with Eric Heffer, as I doubt whether much more than a fag paper separated me from him politically. Furthermore me and him were of the same trade and in the same union. Plus, despite being elected to parliament he never forgot where he came from and acted in whichever way he felt was best in the interests of ordinary people. I hope that answers your question.
BTW - my comment about not denouncing Thatcher for serving the class which she married into, was an attempt to try and move the blame away from her, and onto the shoulders of those who were gullible enough to vote for her despite the fact that she clearly shafted them. As it was them, that allowed her to do what she did.
ah... "the end of boom and bust!"
Yes, just like Gordon Brown's nonsense about ending boom and bust.
I have always been mystified in understanding just what Gordon Brown felt he had done to justified his proclamation that he had ended 'boom and bust'. As far as I can figure out, the only significant thing which Gordon Brown has done in that area, was to give the Bank of England it's independence to set interests rates - did he really think that was sufficient to re-write the script concerning the inevitability of capitalism ? And he certainly didn't do anything to end 'booms'. all bubbles eventually burst, although when Karl Marx first pointed this out it was dismissed as nonsense. Of course slowly but surely this truth has become generally accepted, why even Stoner now talks of the 'cyclical nature of the markets'. And it amuses me somewhat to hear some right-wingers trying to put a positive slant on this process by referring to it simply as 'the markets re-adjusting' - which makes a recession not sound that bad at all, doesn't it ? ! Clever as he might be, Gordon Brown was never going to prove that he is smarter than Karl Marx.
RudeBoy .... I don't know how you're in a position to know which way Stoner votes - I certainly find him a bit of a political enigma. He appears to combine a strong belief in crude capitalism with a surprising open mindedness and sophisticated attitude which accepts that it doesn't necessarily provide all the answers
I never said anyone voted Tory (apart from Poddy), I just said it was their fault, the country is in a mess. Nowt wrong with that, is there?
TBH, there's not a great deal of sense in my statement anyway, so I'm surprised anyone has taken any notice of it, really.
I can't be bothered with all these political arguments anymore, as we're all talking shite, and doing ****-all to actually sort anything out.
As for 'Socialism'. Sooty; you won't get that, by voting Labour. They've forgotten what it means.
Politics in this country is bollocks. What we need is a revolution.
With me as Presidente. I'd get the **** railways running propply again; no shirking or dodgy spenses claims on my watch.
I'd have Thatcher encased in that clear hard plastic stuff you used to get, to make bits of jewellery or whatever, and kept in a vault in the Tower (which would be my home), so's little children would be reminded of the horrors of Thatcherism.
I'd have Stoner and Flashy doing donkey rides for tourists, on Blackpool beach.
The World would be a better place, under me.
An interesting fact is that most of the rolling stock in the UK is actually owned by the big banks and leased to the train operating companys...and we all know what has happened to the big banks recently! As a result we will see further cost cutting, profit maximising and under investment in the rail industry for some time to come. Net result being poor service at high cost for the end user.
I worked for a Co supplying seating and interiors for the rail industry that has recently gone bust due to contracts being cancelled left right and center. The rail operators are full of people with the same BR mindset, they are unbelievably wasteful and inefficient. I'd ditch my car if rail could be relied upon, sadly that seems to be a long way off!
Trains are awesome.
the best form of transport after the bicycle, and when used in conjunction with the bicycle, perfect.
however the operators are indeed blood suckers.
a 16 hr, 700 mile trip in russia, is roughly a fiver i understand
for 100 quid from derby to exeter (as i looked at the other day).. Ide want a vietnamese sandwich for the duration of the trip!
european trains are cheap, efficient, NEVER late (ime), clean and tidy.
When i'm King, ill rip all the current rail lines, claim back all the abandonded rail lines, and give the network to someone like beardy branson, or one of the european companies, and get them to re-sort it, in the european standard.
I would love to go by train, but a choice between a 100 quid ticket on a smelly chewing gum seat, on a late train, and 20 quid in fuel is no choice at all.
back in the day, weren't all the rail companies privately run, they were later nationalised, so surely re-privatising them just takes it round full circle?
surely re-privatising them just takes it round full circle?
Not really, because 'back in the day' the railways were the only realistic form of fast and efficient transport.
Since there are now other viable and more popular means of transport, they no longer have the same role.
If you want to form a 'full circle' I suggest scrapping them would be the solution.
Being facetious I could say "great more rails to trails and we can all ride them free of charge".
However, reading the partisan rants in this thread it is easy to get caught up with the pointy finger brigade. Reality, as always is much greyer than we like to think, no government behaves altruistically based upon collective need (Marxism is an impractical ideal) but they do serve whomsoever they see as their master at the time. Being old enough to remember an economy held to ransom by large and powerful unions (powercuts, lightening strikes, flying pickets, etc) most people wanted someone to reign them in - up pops a grocer's daughter from Grantham.
The phrase "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" was epitomised by some of the policies and actions of the Tories in the Thatcher years and this has been repeated by Blair.
Irrespective of political persuasion, no party has ever had the welfare of the masses at its heart and you are deluded of you think otherwise. The current "Labour" government would be unrecognisable to its founding fathers and much of its actions abhorrent to them.
We have no choice, we have to elect one group of muppets over another, each has its positives and each has its foibles, it's all damage limitation and decades upon decades of neglect, under investment and closure of the railways will take the same, plus vast investment to rectify.
I love using the train but they seem to make it harder and harder for me to do so - fares, lack of facilites, inability to carry more than one bike, etc, etc.
no party has ever had the welfare of the masses at its heart
So how ffs, did all the great 20th century reforms which actually benefited the welfare of the masses occur then ?
From the National Health Service to the Open University, from the Health & Safety at Work Act to the Race Discrimination Act, from comprehensive education to equal pay for women... etc. etc.
How was the Welfare State itself introduced ?
Well actually I'll answer that question for you - through intense pressure from the organised 'masses' ie : the trade unions.
And often passed by somewhat reluctant Labour governments with tiny majorities and/or very little time.
In the case of the National Health Service, it was created at a time when Britain was in deep recession (the last time Britain faced such bleak economic prospects as it faces today, was in 1946)
For the last 12 years Britain has had Labour governments which have had unlimited time to change society and with majorities to die for. But Britain has also had weak trade unions which have been unable to exert any pressure, and ......... surprise surprise .... no great reforms in the interests of the masses have occurred.
In fact, the ordinary British people have been well and truly shafted by a bunch of self-servicing, cheating, lying, and fraudulent charlatans.
they're cheap if you book in advance (like a month)if theres 2 people going, trains get expensive. if three people want a spur of the moment trip, hire a car.
if three people want a spur of the moment trip, hire a car.
Although it is worth knowing, that on many trains, you can get a 'groupsave' ticket, which makes it cheaper if there are 3 or 4 of you travelling together (I think it is roughly 3 or 4 people for the price of 2). It appears to be kept pretty secret, I only found out about it when we happened to get a friendly ticket collector who sold us one.
TBH, there's not a great deal of sense in my statement anyway, so I'm surprised anyone has taken any notice of it, really.
I shall store that one away for when you're next spouting rubbish
Good thread this. For the life of me I can't remember the last time I took a train. I think it was in 1976. Nowadays, if I'm travelling on my own I take a coach. From Chippenham, Wilts, where I live it's 100 miles or so to London and a N/Express coach is around £19, then I use the Toob. To drive, that's half a tank of diesel, around 20 squids, then prolly another £10-15 in Kings Mall, Hammersmith for parking, so the coach wins every time. If I'm going up with a mate, then costs are halved, so car wins, as he lives out in the country. Last I heard a return to Lahndun was around £50-60!
Also, trains just don't run useful timetables; if I wanted to catch a train for a gig in Bristol, the last one usually leaves at 10.30pm. Gigs usually finish around 10.30-11. With a fifteen/twenty minute walk. Really handy, that.
There's some rather misguided views on here certainly, I'm not getting into the politics, but some of the stuff about the rail industry is interesting.
Why do people think a European style system would be good for us? Take France, ok they have the TGV network, which links their key cities. The rest of their network is fairly pants, our connectivity and service frequency pisses all over the vast majority of other countries! The Swiss have the right idea, their network is excellent, but they don't have any high speed services or really any long distance services. You just can't apply what works abroad to the UK.
And going back a bit, why on earth would it be better if the TOCs owned the infrastructure!? Then you'd have a system like the US where freight operators own all the track, and sell the usage rights to the other operators. Can you imagine if DB Schenker or Freightliner 'owned' the West Coast Main Line, used up all the premium paths and then gave Virgin West Coast, Arriva Cross Country etc etc what was left, you'd never run a decent passenger service!
It's often worth trying slightly different journeys, frinstance the edinburgh-london services often run cross country from Glasgow first. The edinburgh-london cheap fares book out fast, the glasgow-london ones don't, so I often book the longer journey for half as much. But this could occasionally give you some grief in the stations. Likewise, booking a journey in 2 legs- I was going somewhere that involved a stop-off in York. If I booked both legs together it was about £120, if I booked both legs seperately it was about £50!
You could fly from Exeter to Manchester for about £98(cheaper if you can be a bit more flexible).
Let us not forget that GNER, went bust and handed back the trainset that is known as ECML, and the National Express took over , thwe bus company, then surprise surprise, they handed back the train set, its now basicly been nationalised by the government, until some other company can be bribed to take it over, and lots of new money and work for the prionters and sign writers not to mention the banks, strangely a lot of the staff stay the same.
You'd have to be a moron to lose the Ops guys.
Like I've said before the biggest difference between us and Europe in terms of rail is that we didn't bomb the **** out of it in the early 40s and the Americans didn't pay to fix it up again. So we still have Edwardian infrastructure and 5 decades of no investment.
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