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> Train Thoughts., *shakes fist* Beeching...
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Brett-Butler
post Jan 28 2020, 07:51 AM
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General thread to talk about all things trains, a topic that is likely to be high on the agenda over the next few years due to the prospect of renationalisation, fares being a hot political potato, as well as the prospect of reversing the cuts imposed by my mortal nemesis, Dr Beeching.

To start things off, the government has announced today that they have created a £500 million fund to restore some of the stations closed by the Beeching cuts in the 60s. Although as some have suggested, that amount is a drop on the ocean compared to the cost of properly reversing those cuts, and it's worth noting that one of the stations highlighted for re-opening, Fleetwood, does have a tram service, and isn't on the list of largest English towns without a railway station.

Basically, I won't be satisfied until the number of towns on that list has at least halved before the end of this current government's term. Yes, I have no intention of visiting Gosport, Canvey or Dunstable, but it's the principle, darn it.
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vidcapper
post Jan 28 2020, 08:17 AM
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QUOTE(Brett-Butler @ Jan 28 2020, 07:51 AM) *
General thread to talk about all things trains, a topic that is likely to be high on the agenda over the next few years due to the prospect of renationalisation, fares being a hot political potato, as well as the prospect of reversing the cuts imposed by my mortal nemesis, Dr Beeching.

To start things off, the government has announced today that they have created a £500 million fund to restore some of the stations closed by the Beeching cuts in the 60s. Although as some have suggested, that amount is a drop on the ocean compared to the cost of properly reversing those cuts, and it's worth noting that one of the stations highlighted for re-opening, Fleetwood, does have a tram service, and isn't on the list of largest English towns without a railway station.

Basically, I won't be satisfied until the number of towns on that list has at least halved before the end of this current government's term. Yes, I have no intention of visiting Gosport, Canvey or Dunstable, but it's the principle, darn it.


Four of Cheltenham's then five stations were closed, and the land the tracks occupied have been built upon, so re-opening is not an option here.
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coi
post Jan 28 2020, 08:34 AM
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I’ve been to both Gosport and Dunstable actually! And yes, I’d rather use a train than a bus link.
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Quarantilas
post Jan 28 2020, 09:11 AM
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Scottish Government recently announced funding to open the Branch line to Leven, one of the largest catchments in central Scotland not to have a rail line. Campaigners have been trying to get the line to St Andrews reopened as well.

Generally I’m a fan of more transport infrastructure. The only way to effectively decarbonise our transport is through a robust, electrified, network of heavy and light rail.

The line to Inverness should be double track the whole way, and arguably triple track to allow for a freight line to remove trucks from the roads. HS2 is a matter of priority, all the way to Aberdeen, because it unlocks much needed capacity on over congested main lines and allows for an increase in service patterns. Privatisation is a failure in its current form, there is extremely little competition on routes and thus very little desire to compete on rail fares. Should be nationalised in my opinion but that’s more to do with my view that essential infrastructure should be state owned and operated on a non-profit basis (see NI Water or Scottish Water). We also need more ambitious funding of light rail and other rapid transit schemes.

Cheap, reliable and accessible public transport is essential to social mobility and regeneration. Big infrastructure projects are also great for helping stave off a recession
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Harve
post Jan 28 2020, 09:46 PM
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Leeds is the biggest city in Europe without a light rail/metro system.
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blacksquare
post Jan 29 2020, 01:23 PM
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The timing of this thread...

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Tawdry Hepburn
post Jan 29 2020, 03:19 PM
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Unbelievable how that's exactly what Labour were gonna do, and they got widely lampooned for it by the Tories.

You can't make it up.
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*Tim
post Jan 29 2020, 03:22 PM
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When I was in the UK I was highkey shook by the prices of travelling. O can pretty much travel from Amsterdam to Barcelona by train with some of the prices!
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Wall
post Jan 29 2020, 03:29 PM
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QUOTE(*Tim @ Jan 29 2020, 03:22 PM) *
When I was in the UK I was highkey shook by the prices of travelling. O can pretty much travel from Amsterdam to Barcelona by train with some of the prices!


Dundee to glasgow is £25 one way. I got return flights for Budapest for £20 last week. It’s shocking .
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*Tim
post Jan 29 2020, 03:32 PM
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QUOTE(Wall @ Jan 29 2020, 04:29 PM) *
Dundee to glasgow is £25 one way. I got return flights for Budapest for £20 last week. It’s shocking .

I can get through the whole of belgium for €6 :')
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n'tAlice
post Jan 29 2020, 03:55 PM
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wasn't there a story about some guy travelling within the UK who paid less for a journey via PARIS than directly from point A to point B? laugh.gif
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blacksquare
post Jan 29 2020, 03:57 PM
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QUOTE(Tawdry Hepburn @ Jan 29 2020, 03:19 PM) *
Unbelievable how that's exactly what Labour were gonna do, and they got widely lampooned for it by the Tories.

You can't make it up.


I'm sure they'll sell it for little profit again in the future — rather than seeing it as an example of privatised rail failing. It's ridiculous. Just how are they going to pay for it?

QUOTE(Wall @ Jan 29 2020, 03:29 PM) *
Dundee to glasgow is £25 one way. I got return flights for Budapest for £20 last week. It’s shocking .


Similarly, I spent less on flights to Italy and an hour train in Italy than I did getting an hour train from London last week.
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*Tim
post Jan 29 2020, 04:39 PM
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QUOTE(*CENSORED* @ Jan 29 2020, 04:55 PM) *
wasn't there a story about some guy travelling within the UK who paid less for a journey via PARIS than directly from point A to point B? laugh.gif

I remember a story about a flght to mainland europe and back to get to work was cheaper lmao
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Klaus
post Jan 29 2020, 04:49 PM
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The state of our trains mean it's probably quicker to do that too...

Took me three hours on Sunday to go from A-B by train, when by car it would have taken just over an hour!!
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Harve
post Jan 29 2020, 06:54 PM
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QUOTE(*Tim @ Jan 29 2020, 04:32 PM) *
I can get through the whole of belgium for €6 :')

wtfock they raised it from €5
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*Tim
post Jan 29 2020, 06:56 PM
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QUOTE(Harve @ Jan 29 2020, 07:54 PM) *
wtfock they raised it from €5

Yes! I was angry! About to start a riot!
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Iz~
post Jan 30 2020, 02:10 AM
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I can get halfway across a Chinese province in times of health (each on average just a bit smaller than the UK) for 40 yuan (£4.40). Hopping on a fancy fast train to Beijing that's 80km away is still only 55.

Prices are only really ridiculous in the UK to my knowledge - and in Japan but by god they actually deserve it and it's still a little cheaper than the UK. What should have happened was that the UK should have done the same as Japan in the 60s (no excuses, it's an island country about the same size) and made huge investments in the train industry to create a well managed network that could either be managed by the government or given to well trusted companies - I don't know all that much about the details of Japan's privatization but it's clearly one country where doing that worked, as I said, the only really bad thing about them is that it's expensive but it's the best train service I've ever been on so it deserves that. It's more common in Japan for small towns to have a train station than it is in the UK and that makes it very easy to access. UK system feels archaic in comparison.

I do hope that more lines can be built and maintained, and that there is an effort to invest further in the train system to make it more usable. If the government were forward-thinking at all, they could make Northern Rail a shining example of efficiency in public control and then should it ever need to be privatised, the standard would already be there.
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Harve
post Jan 30 2020, 03:12 AM
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Good article from Stephen Bush here, about why it is not necessarily train companies' fault when they deliver poor services.

QUOTE
The Department for Transport already sets train fares, mandates the level of return that the companies running it must provide to the Treasury and sets service levels and timetables. It is a misnomer to speak of Northern Rail, or any other part of the British railway network, as “privatised”: they are state-owned, but run by private operators under strict direction from the government.

Private operators perform well when providing services for a strong and effective state-run body like Transport for London, or when they have established, effective management structures like Chiltern Railways, but in both cases, they also require the helping hand of investment from local or national government.

Contrary to the easy myth that the story here is of private companies failing to provide adequate services to the north of England, the real problem here is a failure to manage the terms of franchises well by the Department for Transport (take the troubled East Coast line, back in public hands again after a second successive train company found that it could not meet the punishing financial obligations imposed upon them by the government) and a long-running failure to invest in public transport by successive political parties.

It should also be added to the bold sentence that Network Rail, a subsidiary of the Department for Transport, and not the train companies, are responsible for track infrastructure, most station infrastructure and some station day-to-day management. And the most successful franchises are those that manage single lines, rather than complex, multi-line networks where one delay creates multiple knock-on delays - this is what can determine whether a railway is a failure or not.
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vidcapper
post Jan 30 2020, 05:56 AM
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QUOTE(Klaus @ Jan 29 2020, 04:49 PM) *
The state of our trains mean it's probably quicker to do that too...

Took me three hours on Sunday to go from A-B by train, when by car it would have taken just over an hour!!


'Leaves on the line'?
'Wrong sort of snow'?

tongue.gif
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Flopiday
post Jan 31 2020, 05:30 PM
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QUOTE(5 Silas Frøkner @ Jan 28 2020, 09:11 AM) *
The line to Inverness should be double track the whole way, and arguably triple track to allow for a freight line to remove trucks from the roads. HS2 is a matter of priority, all the way to Aberdeen


Obviously that's assuming Scotland is still part of the UK by then!
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