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Old October 5th, 2015, 09:19 AM   #201
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But only 25 CHF with a Half Fare Card, valid in peak too. That's cheap given the cost of living and high wages.
25CHF is still more than what a full price ticket for the same distance costs in most of Europe. And you do need to invest in a half fare card.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 09:38 AM   #202
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Of course the system is different. Sweden is a different country, and has thus different needs. My impression is that SJ has adapted itself to the different needs, and the different reality that Sweden is.
If you have a lower population density you need to have faster trains. But those faster trains are also more expensive to run. Running a good railway in a sparsely populate country is not trivial. SJ seems to be doing a rather good job.

I would not call it a 3d world system by any measure. For example: In Sweden you can still get food and drinks on intercity trains. Try to get that in the Netherlands...

A 3d world country railway system in a country like Sweden would mean: No trains at all.
They don't do a good job. Terrible punctuality, decrepit infrastructure and a government who takes dividends from SJ when they make profit and doesn't reinvest in the railways again. No. Here is not a good system.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 04:59 PM   #203
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25CHF is still more than what a full price ticket for the same distance costs in most of Europe. And you do need to invest in a half fare card.
I would expect it to be the most expensive in Europe because it has the highest cost of living in Europe. Somewhere has to be the most expensive, logically it would be Switzerland, but it isn't. The UK is way more expensive than Switzerland for nearly all walk on fares. Particularly if you look at singles, as often the single is almost the same price as return. Ireland is expensive too, although they don't have the crazy peak fares like in the UK.

A few days ago, I posted this on a UK rail forum to reply to a comment that Swiss fares are expensive:

Geneva to Zurich, approximately 280 km, 43.50 CHF walk on one-way with Half Fare card. That's about £29.40, valid any time, even peak hours. That's a similar distance to London to Doncaster, where the cheapest walk on single on VTEC is £82.10 (unless you book the day before) and the cheapest walk-on return is £87.60 and in peak hours you are looking at £94 single and £188 return.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 05:52 PM   #204
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Speaking of Yield Management, Thalys just unveiled 10.000 tickets Amsterdam-Paris to be sold at € 25 and € 35, buy now and travel in December. They fired up a newsletter to costumers and I checked - several days are already booked up at those prices.

It is a good example of yield management: late December is often a slow time for travel outside peak holiday days. They sell cheap tickets, costumers are happy, the railway is happy and trains are full.

Interestingly enough, in various of those days it is more expensive to buy a ticktet Amsterdam Centraal-Bruxelles Midi than Amsterdam Centraal-Paris Nord.

This actually is not an uncommon occurrence at all: there are far more frequent sales to Paris than to Belgium, and when that happens you often find cheaper tickets to France departing from Netherlands.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 05:53 PM   #205
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I think any fare comparison with UK must consider their quirk of having return fares that cost almost the same as single fares.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 06:00 PM   #206
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Is it necessarily "yield management" to offer special deals from time-to-time? Even Japan has the Seishun 18 kippu.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2362.html
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Old October 5th, 2015, 07:21 PM   #207
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Interestingly enough, in various of those days it is more expensive to buy a ticktet Amsterdam Centraal-Bruxelles Midi than Amsterdam Centraal-Paris Nord.
So if you want to go to Brussel you just buy a ticket to Paris Nord, and get out at Brussel anyway...
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Old October 5th, 2015, 07:22 PM   #208
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Is it necessarily "yield management" to offer special deals from time-to-time?
Is offering special deals all the time not better than only offering them occasionaly?
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Old October 5th, 2015, 07:31 PM   #209
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Geneva to Zurich, approximately 280 km, 43.50 CHF walk on one-way with Half Fare card. That's about £29.40, valid any time, even peak hours. That's a similar distance to London to Doncaster, where the cheapest walk on single on VTEC is £82.10 (unless you book the day before) and the cheapest walk-on return is £87.60 and in peak hours you are looking at £94 single and £188 return.
In the UK the moment that you buy a ticket from A to B and either A to B is London the prices do indeed go up considerably. That's just the market for you. There is a lot of demand for such trips, so this is why this is so expensive. Given that the trains to London are quite full the fares would appear to be not to low...
You have the same situation in Switzerland, where for example Bern - Zürich is the same price as Bern - Geneve, even though the latter is a much greater distance.
For example: Swansea - Southampton costs UKP 49,-. That's quite similar to what an SBB full fare price costs for the same distance.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 10:10 PM   #210
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In the UK the moment that you buy a ticket from A to B and either A to B is London the prices do indeed go up considerably. That's just the market for you. There is a lot of demand for such trips, so this is why this is so expensive. Given that the trains to London are quite full the fares would appear to be not to low...
You have the same situation in Switzerland, where for example Bern - Zürich is the same price as Bern - Geneve, even though the latter is a much greater distance.
For example: Swansea - Southampton costs UKP 49,-. That's quite similar to what an SBB full fare price costs for the same distance.
Generally speaking, anyone going to central London will go by train no matter what it costs because the alternatives are so unattractive. So I guess you can argue they can name their price, but certainly I'm not interested in paying the full fares on long distance trains to London. I don't even pay the 16.50 GBP full fare single from my local station to central London, a distance of 50 km.

London to Manchester has a lot of spare seats in the peak hour because they have priced the peak fare too high, but they are overcrowded on the first train after the evening peak ends. They even run a relief train on Friday evenings at 1857 because the 1900 is so full!

So even a run down service like Swansea to Southampton, run by 25 year old 2-car diesel trains between Cardiff and Southampton costs about twice as much as a similar distance in Switzerland! To be fair, the return is slightly more reasonable value at 69 GBP.
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Old October 6th, 2015, 07:53 AM   #211
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Generally speaking, anyone going to central London will go by train no matter what it costs because the alternatives are so unattractive. So I guess you can argue they can name their price, but certainly
It's also a matter of London being very attractive. You have to ask yourself: If getting to London is worth UKP 50 for someone, why should the railway not try to get that much for it?

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So even a run down service like Swansea to Southampton, run by 25 year old 2-car diesel trains between Cardiff and Southampton costs about twice as much as a similar distance in Switzerland! To be fair, the return is slightly more reasonable value at 69 GBP.
The prices I found indicate that Swansee to Southampton is about the same as a similar distance in Switzerland would cost, not twice. And in Switzerland you can end up in 25 yo trains as well. You can even end up in 60 yo trains here...
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Old October 6th, 2015, 08:27 AM   #212
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The prices I found indicate that Swansee to Southampton is about the same as a similar distance in Switzerland would cost, not twice. And in Switzerland you can end up in 25 yo trains as well. You can even end up in 60 yo trains here...
I'm obviously using the Half Fare card price. If I lived in Switzerland I would have one, if I didn't have a GA. I would get a similar card in the UK if one existed for my age group. Even for under 26s and over 60s, you can only get a third off, and the one for over 60s is not valid in morning peak, and the one for under 26 has a minimum fare in the morning peak. I do have a Network Railcard, but that is only valid in southern England and can only be used after 1000 and has a minimum fare of 13 GBP.

But I suspect if Britain had a Half Fare card with similar benefits to Switzerland, and therefore lots of people had it, then the fares would have to nearly double to compensate. Similarly, if Switzerland was to abolish the Half Fare card, fares would probably drop by at least a third.

The difference is, 25-year old Swiss trains are nice! Obviously you also get better punctuality and reliability in Switzerland too, which you could argue justifies a higher fare.
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Old October 6th, 2015, 08:40 AM   #213
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It's also a matter of London being very attractive. You have to ask yourself: If getting to London is worth UKP 50 for someone, why should the railway not try to get that much for it?
If some people go by car because the fare is too high then that is highly undesirable. As I said, the train companies largely get away with silly fares because there isn't really a choice, but some people drive to the edge of London and get a local train or Underground train to save money, which is bad for the environment and doesn't help road congestion. For trips between smaller cities where the car is a realistic option, the high UK fares mean hardly anyone takes the train.
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Old October 6th, 2015, 09:23 AM   #214
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For trips between smaller cities where the car is a realistic option, the high UK fares mean hardly anyone takes the train.
How comes that passenger numbers in the UK are currently at their highest ever then?
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Old October 6th, 2015, 11:01 AM   #215
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How comes that passenger numbers in the UK are currently at their highest ever then?
A very large proportion of UK passengers is to/from/around London (something like half or more) so the passenger figures to a large extent reflect the growth of London. Other major cities have had increases as well but you are talking about increasing from a very low base. Excluding trips to/from London and the South East, the UK still lags considerably behind other western European countries in terms of rail usage per person. Most trains not to/from London are run by absurdly short diesel trains. At most stations served by local trains around Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and other northern cities, tickets are still primarily sold on the train like rural services in most other countries. Ticket machines are not considered profitable enough.

"Highest ever" doesn't mean "high". Yes, there has been growth, but previously passenger numbers not to/from London were very low indeed, and are now not quite as low. A large proportion of train trips not to/from London are for short distance. Passenger growth can occur regardless of quality of service or value. There is a worldwide trend of course of young people not acquiring driving licences as much as they used to, and the UK is no different. The UK has returned to a culture of urban living in the last 20 or so years. For example, the inner city of Manchester used to be a ghetto which had previously suffered dramatic population reduction and was a prime gang area. Now thousands of new apartments have been built there as it is now a "cool" place to be. Most of these are young people who don't own that many cars, so they will be more captive to rail than previous generations.
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Old October 6th, 2015, 11:40 AM   #216
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A very large proportion of UK passengers is to/from/around London (something like half or more) so the passenger figures to a large extent reflect the growth of London. Other major cities have had increases as well but you are talking about increasing from a very low base. Excluding trips to/from London and the South East, the UK still lags considerably behind other western European countries in terms of rail usage per person.
This again supports of course the postion that rail fares to/from London are not to high. Aparently being able to travel to London is worth a lot apparently.

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Most trains not to/from London are run by absurdly short diesel trains.
One of the issues British Rail has are just physical restraints, that are not easy to fix.
On the Zürich S-Bahn the longest trains will carry 1100 seated passengers. And this with just one driver and no guards. This kind of productivity is impossible in the UK. Even in busy London many lines are limited to maximum train length of 8 cars, and no double deckers. This hampers productivity a lot. However the railway do appear to compensate this with higher frequencies. Scotrail for example runs 4 trains per hour from Glasgow to Edingburg. SBB would only run two trains per hour...
I at least hope that Crossrail was built to a large enough loading gauge, that in the future it could be upgraded...
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