When the train companies go bust…

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  • When the train companies go bust…
  • grizzlygus

    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.


    Premier Icon aracer

    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!
    Stuff that!
    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. 🙁

    Premier Icon njee20

    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!

    Premier Icon Northwind

    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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