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Breaking News: East Coast Line Taken Over By Govt.


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I see that people who don't understand how the deal was constructed (on governments terms) are so quick to blame either National Express or Privitisation itself.

The worst that can said of National Express is that they should not have accepted the terms the government was prepared to offer, but then that's why they used a NewCo to do it.

If the government didn't want so much excessive tax then it still would be profitable and far cheaper. Indeed, if the government just said "here's some track, run a service for us" rail fares would have been a fraction of what they are. But no, the government saw an opportunity for another stealth tax on commuters and jumped on it.

All so Brown could piss away more billions on saving Africa or public sector jobs or something.

This is the governments fault. Once you understand the deal you can come to no other conclusions. It was government greed!

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Darlington to London, standard class was £162 4 years ago. Ticket now costs £276 + £9 car parking. Which is why I now drive to London, so much for reducing congestion.

Public transport should be affordable and something provided by the government at cost as a service for its people. Something successive governments have completely ignored.

It isn’t that expensive, you can get a return ticket for under £100 and 30% off if you have one of those young persons railcards.

But even at £100 it is crazy. Don’t blame the train companies though, they had to pay the government billions to get the lines.

I use the coach were possible. £7 each way.

Not as fast nor as conferrable as train but a hell of a lot cheaper than £100

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The thing I dont get, is if its so crap, why do people use it? Its a bit like McDonalds, you cant complain its rubbish when its packed all the time.

Presumably a lot of their customers are “commuters†who stupidly decide to live too far from where they work and hence have no choice but to use the trains.

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We´ll just have to disagree on this. IMO the British don´t now (and never have) pay enough for infrastructure. This has led to an inefficient, creaking and expensive (to users) public transport network amongst other things.

£9Bn! (over 5/6 years?) is small beer in the greater scheme of things.

Your saying we should pay for trains via tax so our tickets are cheaper. Well that doesn’t make trains cheaper to run, just some of it is taken in a hidden way via tax.

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Not true. We certainly PAY for it. We just dont GET it.

£9bn and 6-odd years to upgrade the west coast mainline? FFS! £9Bn!

How much do you think it costs to build the TGV or the AVE in Spain?

Barcelona to Malaga (563 miles) cost $130 billion

Paris to Baudrecourt (188miles) cost 3.5billion euros

Yet the French and Spanish just get on with it, they realise that it's cheaper in the medium to long term (if not the short term) to build a new railway than upgrade and maintain an old creaking one built 150 years ago.

The main causes of problems and delays on our mainlines are signalling problems and points failures, the solution is dedicated high speed lines without lots of branches and in cab signalling (rejected for WCML upgrade due to cost). This will cost money to build, so are you willing to pay for it to get it?

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In the years leading up to privatisation, British Rail had plans to electrify many more routes, including the Great Western main lines to South Wales and the South West of England.

Privatisation killed off these plans and for some time it halted investment in new electric trains, since the rolling stock companies found diesels more flexible for leasing as they could be used anywhere. That ended up with diesels operating services that were wholly along electrified routes. I think that situation has improved a bit now.

Widescale Electrification is planned for the next decade, the Great Western being one of the first.

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That's good, although I'll miss the rumble of the HSTs, which I can hear from my bedroom at night!

My model for a the future rail system is of a publicly-owned network of services, but with private operators also being allowed in to operate additional services that don't compete directly with the main service.

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Widescale Electrification is planned for the next decade, the Great Western being one of the first.

Proposed, rather than planned...

'Network Rail proposes major electrification programme' [May 2009]:

http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/business/20...n-programe.html

ELECTRIFICATION of the Great Western main line to Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea, and of the Midland main line to Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield -- followed by electric coverage of many more routes -- is the central feature of a new long-term strategy proposed by Network Rail.
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One important thing that seems to be happenning is that the network is gradually beginning to be upgraded to the continental loading gauge, with proposals for various routes. Although we share the same track gauge with most of Europe, we have lower and narrower clearances, which means European trains - particularly freight ones, are severely limited as to where they can operate here.

What rail resources are state-owned here at present? Obviously the network infrastructure (Network Rail) and now the East Coast express service and I think there is a sort of residual British Rail that still owns a lot of the disused land and trackbed around the country. Is that all?

Edited by blankster
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when i went to Italy in 2007 i was amazed with their train service.

i traveled from Milan to Monza, milan to Lesmo. they were cheap, fast, clean, ontime and not over crowded.

i also traveled Milan to Venice 1 way, i for a laugh decided to see how much for 2 adults going first class would cost, jorney was about 2.5 hours and total cost was about £39, this was peak times. i couldnt at the time get to london for that cattle class

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Your saying we should pay for trains via tax so our tickets are cheaper.

You misunderstand me. I´m not saying any such thing. My point is simply that if you want good infrastructure, rail or otherwise, it has to come from taxation. In the case of the UK for generations people have voted against such taxation. Whilst , from what is now personal experience, I lean towards the high tax, high spend model myself I´m not saying that either approach is right or wrong. Simply that if you are not prepared to pay for it, you cannot expect top class infrastructure.

Well that doesn’t make trains cheaper to run, just some of it is taken in a hidden way via tax.

Agreed.

In the end it is down to whichever system you feel is best. Those who live and work in NL earn similar amounts to those in the UK. They pay much higher taxes but, buy most international measures, have a higher standard of living.

For example here I don´t need to have a car (as I did in the UK) because the public transport network is excellent and affordable. I don´t have separate private medical insurance as the state scheme, albeit organised via private insurance companies, is excellent. Housing costs here, buying or renting, are substantially lower than the UK. I know of new build, two bedroom apartments, right next to an intercity station from which trains take 30 minutes into Amsterdam central, that are selling for £110k.

What I´m not saying is that things here are perfect. The Dutch government are just as good at wasting taxpayers money as any of their European neighbors are. Only that it is a different system, one that requires a different national psyche, and that it can be shown to have some merit.

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According to the BBC news at lunchtime nothing of the sort has gone on. NE offered 100k to the govt minister last night but he turned it down.

NE based the amount they'd pay on a YOY 9% increase for the next 7 years

And Govt does not take control now - it might in 6 months.

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You misunderstand me. I´m not saying any such thing. My point is simply that if you want good infrastructure, rail or otherwise, it has to come from taxation. In the case of the UK for generations people have voted against such taxation. Whilst , from what is now personal experience, I lean towards the high tax, high spend model myself I´m not saying that either approach is right or wrong. Simply that if you are not prepared to pay for it, you cannot expect top class infrastructure.

why does it have to come out of taxation? let the market take the risk and build the infrastructure and let them reap the rewards from doing so. if it is worthwhile as you suggest then someone will stump up the necessary costs, there shouldnt be any subsidy or taxpayer involvement in railways. it is a failed model

as for people voting against such taxation, nonesense, the government is spending 600 billion a year. it's not like over the last 8 years they haven't been able to spend money on transport as always with an inefficient central government though, it's all politics and resource allocation and that means infrastructure gets left behind and the private market squeezed out

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when i went to Italy in 2007 i was amazed with their train service.

i traveled from Milan to Monza, milan to Lesmo. they were cheap, fast, clean, ontime and not over crowded.

i also traveled Milan to Venice 1 way, i for a laugh decided to see how much for 2 adults going first class would cost, jorney was about 2.5 hours and total cost was about £39, this was peak times. i couldnt at the time get to london for that cattle class

It took me longer to get from Gatwick to Lambeth, than it did for me to fly all the way from Marrakech to the UK because of railworks the other weekend. :angry:

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there is clearly a demand for public transport the problem is the government and its regulators, rules, subsidies, unions and cozy contracts always get in the way.

I am sure if the government wiped their hands with it someone will step in and try and do something with it.

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there is clearly a demand for public transport the problem is the government and its regulators, rules, subsidies, unions and cozy contracts always get in the way.

I am sure if the government wiped their hands with it someone will step in and try and do something with it.

Best thing that could ever happen to rail transport in this country.

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Having had the unfortunate opportunity to travel with National Express and their predecessors GNER from the north east to London regularly, and getting mugged at over £300 per 1st class return journey it is now a pleasure to travel via Grand Central from the same area at less than half the price.

Slightly older rolling stock (careworn) slightly lower reliability but infinitely better attitude by staff.

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Lord Adonis, speaking on the BBC Today programme said: "I am simply not prepared to bail out companies that are unable to fulfil their commitments." What about the banks?!

Worth repeating. Made me giggle when I heard this on the radio this morning.

What a plonker this guy is. Is there anybody in this government with an shred of credibility?

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why does it have to come out of taxation?

With a very few exceptions, such as toll roads, the private sector simply will not build major infrastructure projects such as rail, sewers, etc without taxpayer funding. Are you saying that sewage treatment should be left to the market?

there shouldnt be any subsidy or taxpayer involvement in railways. it is a failed model

A valid viewpoint but one I disagree with. I happen to think that most of SE England would grind to a halt without its rail network. Just look at the chaos there is whenever there is a strike. This is not to mention environmental issues, etc.

as for people voting against such taxation, nonesense, the government is spending 600 billion a year. it's not like over the last 8 years they haven't been able to spend money on transport as always with an inefficient central government though, it's all politics and resource allocation and that means infrastructure gets left behind and the private market squeezed out

Any British government since the first world war , of whichever party, that has increased the overall tax burden to over 37% has been voted out. Pretty well every other developed European country has higher rates of taxation. A good part of that difference goes into infrastructure. The state the UKs infrastructure is in cannot simply be blamed on the current regime. The problems have been building up for many decades.

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I doubt that research survived privatisation. Probably scrapped and packaged off to some other country where long term thinking was more fashionable.

Indeed, I know of an electricity board that prior to privatisation, in attempt to hide profits (you got punished by the government if you made a profit as a state-owned business but sometimes its hard to avoid and you have to find a way of ditching the money) did a lot of research into wireless networking... for meter reading. They had it up and running and plenty of patents were taken out.

Ultimately the patents were as far as I know practically given away to foreign companies by Maggie's appointed cronies.

After all, its hard to imagine why people would ever want to network computers together wirelessly. :(

I wonder if we'll ever know what the full price of selling our utilities to foreign companies was.

Edited by Cogs
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