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Old November 19th, 2017, 11:46 AM   #3321
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
Discount cards for instance don't do any railway a favour. They work as an entrance barrier to the system which keeps occasional users off.
But they keep passengers using the railway once they purchase the card.

If something keeps occasional users off, then it would be the too high ticket prices.

The prices should be set so, that an occasional user will see: it's as fast (or slower) as car but it's cheaper, so I will save money going by train. Or - if the train is fast: it's faster than by car and not much more expensive, so I will save time and not waste much money.

And with a discount card, it should be yet cheaper: I will buy a discount card and use the train regularly instead of car, I will save even more.
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Old November 19th, 2017, 12:42 PM   #3322
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Seriously?????

AS someone who uses both German and UK railways regularly, there is no comparison.

The last two trains I went to catch in the UK were both canceled at the last minute.

UK intercity trains still have slam doors
Toilets with flaps onto the tracks
The most convoluted ticketing system I've ever had the misfortune to use.
The most expensive tickets.
Paper cards for reservations?
5 abreast seating on British loading gauge
No national discount card
No access to the dining car without a first class ticket????
Keeping departure platforms a mystery until the last second
Pacers.

I could go on

In fact the only thing British railways seem to pour any sort of resources into is ticket checking.
Yes, seriously.

I use both networks quite a lot too. DB suffers from the same issues as we do. Late services due to points & signal failures. Low rail adhesion due to leaves and snow. Broken train sets. Old train sets. Last minute cancellations. Platform changes minutes before arrival. Overcrowded trains. Lack of staff & filthy carriages.
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Old November 19th, 2017, 05:43 PM   #3323
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Originally Posted by Kpc21 View Post
But they keep passengers using the railway once they purchase the card.
Only a tiny minority gets one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpc21 View Post
If something keeps occasional users off, then it would be the too high ticket prices.
It is the discount scheme which make prices for flexible tickets high in the first place. Prices are pretty much doubled up front to ensure that discounted prices still cover the costs. That leads to the unbearable situation in which train travel is suitable only for a small group of regular users. Everyone else is pretty much priced off.

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Originally Posted by Kpc21 View Post
The prices should be set so, that an occasional user will see: it's as fast (or slower) as car but it's cheaper, so I will save money going by train. Or - if the train is fast: it's faster than by car and not much more expensive, so I will save time and not waste much money.
And this precisely is not the case. Trains are rarely faster but almost always more expensive than car travel. Hence the mode split of 80% to 7,5% in favour of the car.
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Old November 19th, 2017, 05:49 PM   #3324
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And this precisely is not the case. Trains are rarely faster but almost always more expensive than car travel. Hence the mode split of 80% to 7,5% in favour of the car.
Which is bad for the railway itself.

The model I described would work well.

But... the trains are often indeed much faster, especially on long routes throughout Germany. No idea about the UK.

So people in Germany buy even those expensive "flexible price" tickets.

But the price difference between the tickets bought long ahead and directly before the ride shouldn't be so big, it makes the people spontaneously deciding about the travel use cars - and generate traffic jams.

Those expensive "flexible" tickets are suitable almost only for the business trips.
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Old November 19th, 2017, 08:23 PM   #3325
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Do bilateral agreements between EU member states count as "unnecessarily plunging into debt with spectacular investments" too? Because I'm afraid to say, Germany does not score well at all with regards to the commitments they've freely taken:
Money doesn't grow on trees, this year we will see inauguration of Verkehrsprojekt Deutsche Einheit Nr. 8 which is HS connection between Berlin and Nuernberg which initially was planned to be opened in early 2000ts. So if internal investments are severely delayed than expecting swift progress on international ones especially where present infrastructure can cope with traffic is unfounded. Every additional billion put into Stuttgart hole means that it will be missing somewhere else. Of course You can plunge into debt like France but also this source can dry up and recently Macron 'paused' Torino - Lyon enhancement project which includes 57 km tunnel between France and Italy. Or we should also for that blame DB

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In fact the only thing British railways seem to pour any sort of resources into is ticket checking.
Amen to that

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Old train sets.
Yet German Railways don't have problems with Pacers as they replaced such designs decades ago with 628 series which is now in withdrawal process. I also don't see any bold projects to rebuild worn down tube rolling stock into DMUs which is the case in Britain. Citing English tourists heard on some halt in Stuttgart - wow, with such transport network You don't need a car here - bet no one will say the same regarding Britain mostly due to absurd ticket prices and general lack of cross ticketing with other modes of transport
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Old November 19th, 2017, 10:51 PM   #3326
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
Only a tiny minority gets one.


It is the discount scheme which make prices for flexible tickets high in the first place. Prices are pretty much doubled up front to ensure that discounted prices still cover the costs. That leads to the unbearable situation in which train travel is suitable only for a small group of regular users. Everyone else is pretty much priced off.


And this precisely is not the case. Trains are rarely faster but almost always more expensive than car travel. Hence the mode split of 80% to 7,5% in favour of the car.
Modal share is based on mileage, so cars are going to favored towards other forms of transportation. I disagree that cars are faster than trains.
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Old November 19th, 2017, 11:29 PM   #3327
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Modal share is based on mileage, so cars are going to favored towards other forms of transportation. I disagree that cars are faster than trains.
It depends where you are going to/from. A reasonably fast train should be faster from station to station but if you are going from the suburb of one city to the suburb of another city and have to get to the central station to start the intercity trip then get from the central station out to the suburb at the other end then that adds time.

I'd say in the UK that from city centre to city centre the train is almost always quicker, London to York for example is under 2 hours by train, no way you could drive it in under 3 hours at best but beyond that it depends on the exact trip you are doing and the distance between the cities. If you were going from a home in outer west London to somewhere in the outer areas of York then car might be more competitive for time.

In terms of some of the issues with the UK rail system mentioned it does depend a lot on which routes you use most often, I travel pretty often on intercity trains and can't recall using a slam door train for a long time but then I very rarely use the ECML or Great Western mainline where they have the IC125 trains. Even the crappiest trains on local services I use have electronically operated doors but i'd rather have a slam door 125 as they are more comfortable.

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Old November 20th, 2017, 12:15 AM   #3328
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Good points, but I think Germany's and UK's passenger rail system is pretty good despite their flaws. Keep in mind I come from a country where only a tiny percentage use passenger rail(over 31 million used Amtrak out of a population of over 320 million), very slow speeds outside of a small section, little electrification, missing cities, poorer frequencies, and outdated looking trains+train stations.
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Old November 20th, 2017, 02:16 AM   #3329
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
The pacers are the only shame of the British railways actually. All the others points are invalid for either being historic relics which will be discarded sooner or later anyway or for not being a disadvantage at all. Discount cards for instance don't do any railway a favour. They work as an entrance barrier to the system which keeps occasional users off.

What you don't mention in your one-sided review is that Britain has a proper high speed line which provides dedicated end-to-end infrastructure for high speed services only. Britain also has a TOC which is fully committed to high speed rail services, a TOC which is not afraid of purchasing the right trainsets to make use of the infrastructure provided. Try finding one of these over here in Germany.

horseshit, ahem!!!!

A years railtravel for the entire rail network in Germany is less than €3,000 (Im too lazy too google the precise figure). 50% off was €256 less than 10 years ago (again too lazy to google precise figure today). A years pass for ELy to London is circa £4,000 valid on no other route.
Pleas explain to me how a cheap nationwide railpass is worse than a simple route pass which costs annually more than a reasonable car?

And the time is long gone for purchasing the right trainsets. The slam door IC's in the UK look very like the MKIIIs I used in Ireland in my youth, they even had push button doors yet were retired over a decade ago. If you have the most expensive tickets in Europe and your trains are decades obsolete then you are not providing a service, you are stealing from your customers.

When German trains have problems, yes the platform is changed at short notice but heavily announced. Otherwise the departure platform is known from the date of timetable publication. In the UK, especially London stations, it is like Broadway with hundreds of passengers for long distance trains glued to monitors so they can all sprint to the train when it does appear.

Germany's trains, especially DB's are not ideal but there is no way you can even pretend they are playin in the same league.

Another point, the zeal of British railways revenue protection is such , that stations have nowhere near enough entrances. My local station has only one which necessitates me crossing a bridge over the station just to get to the station entrance side, a detour of several hundred metres.


And as for TOC's in Germany when my train is delayed I am often handed the 50% discount voucher at source, every effort is made to re-ticket and reroute me to minimise disruption, admittatly often to noe avail. In the UK, I'm supposed to be grateful if they announced the cancellation before I get bored of waiting for the affected train.


Oh ya, in Germany kids (your own or your Grandchildren) travel free on longhaul for free (Holland is €2.50) in the UK it is simply half the arm and leg I have paid for my adult ticket.



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Old November 20th, 2017, 02:23 AM   #3330
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but i'd rather have a slam door 125 as they are more comfortable.

You do have a point there. But that is merely a reflection of the cramped interiors offered on other trains. Thalys and TGV trains suffer from the same affliction IMHO and Dutch IC trains are the worst as far as comfort goes. The newer versions offer something slightly better than a subway bench.




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Old November 20th, 2017, 02:26 AM   #3331
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Only a tiny minority gets one.


It is the discount scheme which make prices for flexible tickets high in the first place. Prices are pretty much doubled up front to ensure that discounted prices still cover the costs. That leads to the unbearable situation in which train travel is suitable only for a small group of regular users. Everyone else is pretty much priced off.


And this precisely is not the case. Trains are rarely faster but almost always more expensive than car travel. Hence the mode split of 80% to 7,5% in favour of the car.
I'm sorry but fully flexible tickets in Germany are far cheaper than those in the UK, despite having nationwide discount cards (and saver tickets too).
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Old November 20th, 2017, 02:36 AM   #3332
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
Only a tiny minority gets one.


It is the discount scheme which make prices for flexible tickets high in the first place. Prices are pretty much doubled up front to ensure that discounted prices still cover the costs. That leads to the unbearable situation in which train travel is suitable only for a small group of regular users. Everyone else is pretty much priced off.

I would argue that in Germany most semi regular train user have at least a Bahncard 25 (I myself have one) 25% off all tickets including discount ones for approx €65 pa.
In Switzerland almost everyone who has any notion of taking more than one or two journeys a year has the Halb-tax card, ditto for Holland with the voordalenuur (40% off peak) or other options.




I apologise now for what may seem like is spam posting, especially on a topic which has more to do with UK rail than Germany but one cannot simply let comparing acne to leprosy go unchallanged.


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Old November 20th, 2017, 02:49 AM   #3333
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Originally Posted by Kpc21 View Post
Which is bad for the railway itself.

The model I described would work well.

But... the trains are often indeed much faster, especially on long routes throughout Germany. No idea about the UK.
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I disagree that cars are faster than trains.
Trains are only faster than cars if both the start and the end of a trip are located in urban areas and these urban areas are linked with decent services. That, however, applies only to a small number of trips. The vast majority of trips in this country are made these small confined areas, however.

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So people in Germany buy even those expensive "flexible price" tickets.
Very few passenger travel actually do pay the full price. Which highlights that the whole pricing system is a farce.

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Modal share is based on mileage, so cars are going to favored towards other forms of transportation.
Modal share is not necessarily based on kilometrage or passenger-kilometrage in fact, even though the aforementioned numbers are. But even these numbers only favour motorised transport over non-motorised. The train-car relation isn't effected by this.
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Old November 20th, 2017, 08:42 AM   #3334
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horseshit, ahem!!!!

A years railtravel for the entire rail network in Germany is less than €3,000 (Im too lazy too google the precise figure). 50% off was €256 less than 10 years ago (again too lazy to google precise figure today). A years pass for ELy to London is circa £4,000 valid on no other route.
Pleas explain to me how a cheap nationwide railpass is worse than a simple route pass which costs annually more than a reasonable car?
The key here is the difference in financing. The German governments allocate a large amount of money to the network (DB Netz) and regional trains (DB Regio and its competitors) for the delivery of services and the maintenance of the network. DB Fernverkehr (the intercity/ICE operator) does not receive any subsidies but is expected to fund itself.

In the UK, the government prefers the railways to fund their day-to-day running costs themselves. This isn't something new, it has been like that ever since British Rail.

The UK does have some nationwide railpasses, known as "All Line Rovers" although some peak-time restrictions do apply.
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And the time is long gone for purchasing the right trainsets. The slam door IC's in the UK look very like the MKIIIs I used in Ireland in my youth, they even had push button doors yet were retired over a decade ago. If you have the most expensive tickets in Europe and your trains are decades obsolete then you are not providing a service, you are stealing from your customers.
It would surprise you, but the majority of the German intercity fleet is not much younger than the Intercity 125 fleet! The IC fleet consist mostly of Eurofima-coaches built during the 70's and 80's, just like the Mark IIIs.

While slam doors might seem antiquated now, remember that they were very common when the HSTs were built and that it's not easy to change the door system on a train as this has serious impact on its safety case. Nevertheless, the HSTs which are currently being refurbished for ScotRail are getting power operated doors installed.

Apart from that, the UK is currently undergoing a major fleet renewal: Great Western and East Coast will see brand-new Class 800/801 trains being introduced as part of the Intercity Express Programme, Transpennine Express have ordered several new fleets, Northern are introducing new CAF built trains, South Western Railway is getting a boatload of new trains and Abellio Greater Anglia are even going to replace all of them.
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When German trains have problems, yes the platform is changed at short notice but heavily announced. Otherwise the departure platform is known from the date of timetable publication. In the UK, especially London stations, it is like Broadway with hundreds of passengers for long distance trains glued to monitors so they can all sprint to the train when it does appear.
The late announcement of departure platforms is for operational reasons, the TOCs (especially the long distance ones) need time to properly clean and prep their trains for the next journey.

This isn't uncommon to the UK though, France and Italy also have the habit to show platforms only close to departure.

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Another point, the zeal of British railways revenue protection is such , that stations have nowhere near enough entrances. My local station has only one which necessitates me crossing a bridge over the station just to get to the station entrance side, a detour of several hundred metres.
This is mostly down to the architecture of a station, legal framework (permits, etc.) and the ability to even build an exit on the other side. This is an issue which plays just as hard in Germany as it does in the UK.

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And as for TOC's in Germany when my train is delayed I am often handed the 50% discount voucher at source, every effort is made to re-ticket and reroute me to minimise disruption, admittatly often to noe avail. In the UK, I'm supposed to be grateful if they announced the cancellation before I get bored of waiting for the affected train.
I have to commend DB for that, their passenger service is great and should serve as an example to others.
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Old November 20th, 2017, 02:49 PM   #3335
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It would surprise you, but the majority of the German intercity fleet is not much younger than the Intercity 125 fleet! The IC fleet consist mostly of Eurofima-coaches built during the 70's and 80's, just like the Mark IIIs.
Yet IC125 sets are serving prime corridors in UK while IC trains in Germany are serving secondary routes and mostly regional traffic (which in UK would be served by regional EMUs/DMUs while prime corridors are served by ICE not older than 1990.

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Apart from that, the UK is currently undergoing a major fleet renewal: Great Western and East Coast will see brand-new Class 800/801 trains being introduced as part of the Intercity Express Programme, Transpennine Express have ordered several new fleets, Northern are introducing new CAF built trains, South Western Railway is getting a boatload of new trains and Abellio Greater Anglia are even going to replace all of them.
Yes, crown pride and joy designed in Japan, build in Britain barely able to made its maiden journey (click) In the same time You seems to forget that DB is in process of obtaining new ICE4 fleet which will replace ICE1 and ICE2 sets which will leave ICET as oldest in fast long distance fleet. As for the IC segment the problem arose because initially ICE4 fleet was envisaged as its replacement but it turned the other way. Due to that IC fleet in Germany is now renewed by dedicated double deck push pull sets and in near future tender for single deck fleet comparable to Austrian Railjet is set to be procured for that segment. Still light years before Britain.
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Old November 20th, 2017, 03:10 PM   #3336
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Err, no. Deutsche Bahn's Intercity fleet serves routes which are just as much a 'prime corridor' as the ones served by the IC125 and IC225 fleets in the UK.

Yes, Deutsche Bahn are procuring new fleets (ICE4, IC2) but similar actions are taking place on the UK's railways.
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Old November 20th, 2017, 04:44 PM   #3337
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Err, no. Deutsche Bahn's Intercity fleet serves routes which are just as much a 'prime corridor' as the ones served by the IC125 and IC225 fleets in the UK.
Lets agree that we disagree

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Yes, Deutsche Bahn are procuring new fleets (ICE4, IC2) but similar actions are taking place on the UK's railways.
Well, DB is reportedly willing to donate 100 VT628 series DMUs for Ukraine (click) while in Britain much older D78 tube rolling stock was sold and instead of scrapping someone attempts to make fortune on converting them to DMUs but after prototype caught fire it was reverted to battery vehicles. Do we really can compare those countries? Clearly German Railways can't be is such a bad shape if they can donate 100 30 year old DMUs to a country which is in deep troubles
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Old November 20th, 2017, 06:16 PM   #3338
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In that article I don't see it mentioned anywhere that DB is willing to donate those VT628's to Ukraine. There's only talk about UZ needing new units as their current ones are in a dire state, and that second hand DMUs from Germany are being looked at as an option because it's cheaper and faster to acquire and refit those than new-built would be.

How is that any different from London Underground, a publicly owned body, selling D78 stock to a private company (Vivarail) who are willing to invest significant amounts to repurpose the trains into "as new" DMUs?
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Old November 20th, 2017, 07:19 PM   #3339
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In that article I don't see it mentioned anywhere that DB is willing to donate those VT628's to Ukraine.There's only talk about UZ needing new units as their current ones are in a dire state, and that second hand DMUs from Germany are being looked at as an option because it's cheaper and faster to acquire and refit those than new-built would be.
Because deal isn't at present fully finalised, earlier statements indicated that we are talking about either donation or purchase at a scrap cost. There are also issues whether they can be re-gauged for further use on 1520 mm gauge network and how much it will cost. Whether this deal will be finalised and at what terms should be known in December.

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How is that any different from London Underground, a publicly owned body, selling D78 stock to a private company (Vivarail) who are willing to invest significant amounts to repurpose the trains into "as new" DMUs?
There is huge difference because Germans wouldn't thought to do something such stupid. Train designed and built as electric with urban use will never offer parameters of diesel regional train. The engine fire on prototype unit and subsequent refocus on battery source of energy wasn't a coincidence. And as yet no one discovered that diesel engine generates vibrations which will put excessive stress on already old car body while bogies may tend to overheat from significantly longer distances and speeds than found on Tube. Contrary to that DB knows that its 628 series is nearing end of its envisaged service life yet it still can be used by another 15 years although Germany having enough money doesn't see need for doing that. Yet those units (on average 10 years younger than D78 stock) can still be used according to its initial design somewhere else and Ukraine is seen as a potential place. So do really railways in UK are in such poor state that they need to repurpose worn down rolling stock? Clearly Germany despite all criticism of state of the railways have enough money to buy new one despite fact that those are more expensive than comparable DMU on the island
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Old November 20th, 2017, 07:30 PM   #3340
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A years railtravel for the entire rail network in Germany is less than €3,000 (Im too lazy too google the precise figure). 50% off was €256 less than 10 years ago (again too lazy to google precise figure today). A years pass for ELy to London is circa £4,000 valid on no other route.
Pleas explain to me how a cheap nationwide railpass is worse than a simple route pass which costs annually more than a reasonable car?
These less than €3'000 are precisely €4'190. This is still a bargain for those who are able to make use of it. But it is no ticket which common people can realistically ride on.
Ely to London is one of the rather extreme commutes. It is a long commute and also one that stretches form a town of fairly modest living costs and a city with plenty of highly paid jobs. The TOCs charge accordingly. People who travel from Ely to London daily can't really complain.

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And the time is long gone for purchasing the right trainsets. The slam door IC's in the UK look very like the MKIIIs I used in Ireland in my youth, they even had push button doors yet were retired over a decade ago. If you have the most expensive tickets in Europe and your trains are decades obsolete then you are not providing a service, you are stealing from your customers.
Now this comment is rather unreasonable. British trainsets are not worse than their continental counterparts. All networks are equipped with older and newer rolling stock. Britain is not different in this regard.

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Germany's trains, especially DB's are not ideal but there is no way you can even pretend they are playin in the same league.
British railways are different in only one way. It is the oldest network in the world and their trains have to fit the tight constraints that derive from this circumstance. Other than that I can't see a significant difference really.

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Another point, the zeal of British railways revenue protection is such , that stations have nowhere near enough entrances. My local station has only one which necessitates me crossing a bridge over the station just to get to the station entrance side, a detour of several hundred metres.
Your stations are free of graffiti though. If you've gone through the decayed subways of German railway stations, especially the minor ones, you would probably start to appreciate the tight control of railway facilities in Britain.

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I'm sorry but fully flexible tickets in Germany are far cheaper than those in the UK, despite having nationwide discount cards (and saver tickets too).
The difference is that in Britain one needs a fully flexible ticket for travel in peak hours only while in Germany it is needed all the time. Off-peak tickets in Britain are significantly less expensive. In fact, tickets in Britain can be less expensive than in Germany. An off-peak return-ticket from Paddington to Maidenhead costs £12,40, two single tickets Weissenfels-Leipzig €15,20. That doesn't look like the 'most expensive tickets in Europe' to me.
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