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> Could the renationalization of the railways begin this year?
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Brett-Butler
post Feb 5 2018, 08:45 PM
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Interesting news for fans of state ownership, as Stagecoach have announced that they are going to end their franchise of the East Coast Mainline due to getting its number wrong. The question now is who will take over the franchise when it ends in a few months time. Could it be taken back into public ownership? Whilst Labour have been very vocal about renationalizing the railways, there are also a growing number of vocal conservatives who would also like to see it back in government hands as well, so could this be the start of the trains coming back under the control of the crown, or will end up being business as usual?
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Mariner's Crotch
post Feb 5 2018, 09:26 PM
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The current Tory lot are Neoliberals. They would rather see it empty of carriages than nationalised. Of couse they are aware o Labour's GENUINE (nothing to do with anti EU kippers keeping them afloat) popularity and popularity of renationalisation. However, the mantra of this government is their private ventures must propser. Do not expect it. It would of course be amazing if it did happen, a proto-nationalisation before Labour come and do it properly, but I'm not expecting it.
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Doctor Blind
post Feb 5 2018, 09:56 PM
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Of course the East Coast mainline was already taken back into public ownership in 2009 after National Express cocked up the last franchise - East Coast was set up as a public company by the then Labour government, and over the intervening years made around £1 billion in profit for the government. The intention was always to put the franchise back up for private bidding though East Coast were not allowed to compete (presumably because they'd done such a great job and would show the idealistic Tories to be wrong!). I know that the national network being publicly run would bring its own problems, but to me it seems ludicrous that most of our railways are actually run by state-owned companies from other European countries (65-70% I think in total?) and as well as having the most subsidised railways in Europe and (unless booking weeks in advance) we simultaneously have the highest fares in Europe too.

I'm not against privatisation when it benefits the consumer, but in the case of railways it has almost certainly proved to be a failure.
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Soy AdriŠn
post Feb 6 2018, 08:30 PM
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^ What he said.

I'm hoping that the next few years sees more areas being able to take TfL and ScotRail's lead and run services regionally. I've heard nothing but good things about the London Overground, would be interested to hear what our resident Scot's take is on the situation up there.
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vidcapper
post Feb 7 2018, 06:37 AM
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I'm dubious as to whether any railway can be run economically, at least since the rise of road transport undermined the freight business that was their mainstay.
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Mariner's Crotch
post Feb 7 2018, 03:03 PM
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QUOTE(vidcapper @ Feb 7 2018, 06:37 AM) *
I'm dubious as to whether any railway can be run economically, at least since the rise of road transport undermined the freight business that was their mainstay.


Spain, France, etc say hi x

People who dispute nationalisation in one country always fail to see it works in others - like the Americans with the NHS
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5 Silas FrÝkner
post Feb 7 2018, 07:36 PM
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QUOTE(Soy AdriŠn @ Feb 6 2018, 09:30 PM) *
^ What he said.

I'm hoping that the next few years sees more areas being able to take TfL and ScotRail's lead and run services regionally. I've heard nothing but good things about the London Overground, would be interested to hear what our resident Scot's take is on the situation up there.

Scotrail gets a huge amount of criticism for delays and cancellations since Abellio took over. Their performance is excellent when taken across the UK as a whole. The disadvantage of a regional system is that people tend to look at it in a vacuum and then hammer the authorities when the reality is different to what the press are shouting about. From what Iíve seen thereís a lot of bad press about delays and services only being 3 cars instead of 6 along the main spine of the route, Edinburgh to Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High. The route theyíve just finished electrifying. The new trains should help this in a big way so we shall see what happens

Thereís new trains coming and some overdue improvements but how much of that is down to the government and how much is down to the franchisee Iím not sure. Itís early days so thereís only room for improvement. People are liking how accessible the government minister is now being and how easy it is to bitch at him!!


Personally I am glad that Holyrood have more control and I would like TfN to be next in line for privileges over Northern and Transpen. It brings local accountability and allows people who know the area best to make the decisions about it. Iím a huge fan of localisation.
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Harve
post Feb 8 2018, 12:24 AM
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QUOTE(vidcapper @ Feb 7 2018, 06:37 AM) *
I'm dubious as to whether any railway can be run economically, at least since the rise of road transport undermined the freight business that was their mainstay.

Public transport doesn't necessarily have to turn a profit itself for it to be worthwhile because it is a means to an end: good transport infrastructure benefits the wider economy.
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Suedehead2
post Feb 8 2018, 12:39 AM
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QUOTE(Harve @ Feb 8 2018, 12:24 AM) *
Public transport doesn't necessarily have to turn a profit itself for it to be worthwhile because it is a means to an end: good transport infrastructure benefits the wider economy.

Indeed. It isn't all about profit. Sometimes there are other factors to be considered.
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vidcapper
post Feb 8 2018, 06:40 AM
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QUOTE(Harve @ Feb 8 2018, 12:24 AM) *
Public transport doesn't necessarily have to turn a profit itself for it to be worthwhile because it is a means to an end: good transport infrastructure benefits the wider economy.


QUOTE(Suedehead2 @ Feb 8 2018, 12:39 AM) *
Indeed. It isn't all about profit. Sometimes there are other factors to be considered.


I am well aware of that - but it always a harder sell when an investment is likely to be loss-making.
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Doctor Blind
post Feb 8 2018, 06:06 PM
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QUOTE(vidcapper @ Feb 8 2018, 06:40 AM) *
I am well aware of that - but it always a harder sell when an investment is likely to be loss-making.


It is, yes. However the fact that a state-owned company made a £1 billion profit operating successfully the east coast mainline for 5 years with a reliable and efficient service surely would be enough to persuade most, especially when the public support is already behind such a move.
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Brett-Butler
post May 16 2018, 09:29 PM
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And the East Coast Line will be state owned until 2020 at least.

Must say I find John McDonell's quote rather funny - "I think Iím right in saying that heís now nationalised more railways than any Labour minister in 6 decades." Don't know if that claim stands up to fact checking though.
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Mariner's Crotch
post May 16 2018, 09:44 PM
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Isn't East Coast now private again? The £30 fares have gone WAY up so wouldn't be surprised
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Brett-Butler
post May 16 2018, 10:03 PM
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QUOTE(Queef of Peace @ May 16 2018, 10:44 PM) *
Isn't East Coast now private again? The £30 fares have gone WAY up so wouldn't be surprised


As the news article I posted explained, the operators will be handing control of the franchise back to the government on 24th June, at which point it will be run by the state until 2020.
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vidcapper
post May 17 2018, 05:57 AM
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QUOTE(Shia LeMuffQueef @ Feb 7 2018, 04:03 PM) *
Spain, France, etc say hi x

People who dispute nationalisation in one country always fail to see it works in others - like the Americans with the NHS


But do French & Spanish railways make a profit on their own, without any gov't subsidy?
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Popchartfreak
post May 17 2018, 08:13 AM
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QUOTE(vidcapper @ May 17 2018, 06:57 AM) *
But do French & Spanish railways make a profit on their own, without any gov't subsidy?


we DO subsidise these "private" firms. Southern Rail is only going because the taxpayer is bailing it out annually - the Tories don't want the embarrassment of nationalising a high profile network. Meanwhile the former Network Rail isnt paid by the private companies raking off profits, it's paid for by guess who...? (Trains can only run if the infrastructure is there) and guess who is paying for the high-profile schemes to knock off 10 expensive minutes on well-served city links to London while other regions chootle along for hours over similar distances?
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