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Old September 30th, 2012, 05:31 PM   #1421
Neb81
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Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
Indeed. They´ve never cared. The funny about it is that they´ve only just started to behave as a railway company should... just when they´re about to be privatized.

Did anyone say 'mockery'?
Is RENFE actually going to be privatised, or sectorised (a la BR in the NSE/Intercity/Regional Railways days?)

For rail privatisation, you really don't need to look any further than the UK to see how spectacularly sucessful it can be. The PP just want to have a great big fire-sale of state assets to make Merkel happy and to pretend everything will be OK. The end result will be the gov't winding up having to either accept a huge fall off in services (both in quality of service a well as extent and frequency) or having to stump up a lot more money to get the same level of service they get now, just with higher fares and a lot more complexity.

I'm not saying RENFE doesn't have inefficiencies, because it definitely does, though the government itself should accept part of the blame for going gaga over some AVE plans that were clearly unviable and pouring funding into them whilst starving ADIF, FEVE and RENFE of funds for conventional services. All of these issues are solvable far more quickly and far more easily by reform of ADIF-RENFE within the existing organisational structure of two state owned enterprises. Privatisation will only exacerabte problems and introduce whole new layers of structual inefficiencies and complexities just as it has in the UK.
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Old October 1st, 2012, 12:01 AM   #1422
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ADIF will remain public at all. They will take care of infrastructure, including stations, rails, etc...

Renfe is a public entreprise but operates according to EU laws. For instance cannot receive aids for long distance trains.

In Freight there are seven different companies where Renfe is just one (the major) of them.
In Passengers it is alone. But it is stimated to have, at least, concurrence in several years. Later it will come to be private.
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Old October 1st, 2012, 12:21 AM   #1423
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neb81

Is RENFE actually going to be privatised, or sectorised (a la BR in the NSE/Intercity/Regional Railways days?)
In a internal way it is completly sectorised so many years ago. Long distance, regionals, etc... are like independent companies. For example, a freight driver can never drive a passenger train.
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Old October 1st, 2012, 12:37 AM   #1424
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ADIF will remain public at all. They will take care of infrastructure, including stations, rails, etc...

Renfe is a public entreprise but operates according to EU laws. For instance cannot receive aids for long distance trains.

In Freight there are seven different companies where Renfe is just one (the major) of them.
In Passengers it is alone. But it is stimated to have, at least, concurrence in several years. Later it will come to be private.
Is there an official reason for long-term privatisation?

I'm guessing the prohibition of subsidies for long-distance routes might be one reason why the gov't is keen to hand Cercanias/Rodiales over to the regional governments. Without them, RENFE gets left with the Grandes Líneas and some of the Regionales, which helps push it toward privatisation, since it can't get subsidies for them.

it all seems depressingly familiar
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Old October 1st, 2012, 12:40 AM   #1425
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Reason?. Latest date allowed by EU as far as I know.

Long distance do not have public aids, as ordered EU.
Regional and commuter trains have... but a lot of times they are given by regional governments, not national ones.

There are journeys where the difference between regional and long distance train is zero.
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Old October 1st, 2012, 12:51 AM   #1426
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In a internal way it is completly sectorised so many years ago. Long distance, regionals, etc... are like independent companies. For example, a freight driver can never drive a passenger train.
I wondered if that was the case. Must admit I like the way the current "branding" works for Cercanias, Regionales and AVE*, and I guessed that it reflected some internal sector focus as well.

* The "but": The proliferation of brands for the longer routes is just plain confusing (Altaria, Alaris, Alvia, Avant, Arco, WTF...) and could use consolidation into a single more concrete long-distance non-AVE brand.
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Old October 1st, 2012, 12:53 AM   #1427
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There is one difference between requiring de-verticalization (separation of infrastructure and operations, as EU directives require) and requiring privatization.

Nowhere EU requires privatization of train services, only that non-commuter, non-local/metropolitan operations are open to competition and that the train operators follow a private enterprise structure. Even if they can, still and by all mean, by 100% state-owned.
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Old October 1st, 2012, 01:02 AM   #1428
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alserrod View Post
Reason?. Latest date allowed by EU as far as I know.
Renfe being public or private is a issue that only competes to the Spanish government if it allows competence (and the system is almost ready for allowing private competence for passengers, there are some private companies that already operates freight trains).

There were whispering about its privatization but I didn't hear anything again so for the moment it will remain public.
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Old October 1st, 2012, 01:07 AM   #1429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neb81 View Post
I wondered if that was the case. Must admit I like the way the current "branding" works for Cercanias, Regionales and AVE*, and I guessed that it reflected some internal sector focus as well.

* The "but": The proliferation of brands for the longer routes is just plain confusing (Altaria, Alaris, Alvia, Avant, Arco, WTF...) and could use consolidation into a single more concrete long-distance non-AVE brand.


For long distance, they are standarising all few names

AVE for long distance full high speed line
Alvia for long distance partially on high speed line
Avant is a medium distance or regional train, but operates in the high speed line

The other ones:

Alaris do not exist anymore. It was the Madrid-Valencia before high speed
Arco... I think is called only the train between Galicia and Basque country. Other ones replaced (If I'm not wrong)
Altaria. Madrid-Murcia-Cartagena and... do not know why but Madrid-Granada and Madrid-Algeciras, even if partially by high speed line (to Granada almost all), they use that name.


Diurno and Talgo as train names are not further used

Intercity was used as a long distance train and now to a regional one with a long distance journey. They have joined sometimes two trains in only one with a long journey. Point to point is called intercity (but remains the same regional...)
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Old October 1st, 2012, 02:11 AM   #1430
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There were whispering about its privatization but I didn't hear anything again so for the moment it will remain public.
Fingers crossed. I have a lot of respect for the Spanish rail system. Loads of good experiences - great value and good service on the Altarias ALC-MAD and Euromeds on ALC-BCN - and would hate to see it wind up like what we have over here (UK).

Miss the old Talgo IIIs that used to do the ALC-MAD run too, kind of like Spain's answer to the Silberlings, only with more cool and weird
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Old October 1st, 2012, 06:10 AM   #1431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neb81 View Post
Fingers crossed. I have a lot of respect for the Spanish rail system. Loads of good experiences - great value and good service on the Altarias ALC-MAD and Euromeds on ALC-BCN - and would hate to see it wind up like what we have over here (UK).
Anmyway, in that particular route (Alicante-Madrid), this will never happen, since the HSL Albacete-Alicante is about to open. It´s really very advanced.
It would be open by now, were it not for the crisis.

Quote:
Miss the old Talgo IIIs that used to do the ALC-MAD run too, kind of like Spain's answer to the Silberlings, only with more cool and weird
Oops, I loved the old Talgo III, but they were more than coming of age!
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Old October 1st, 2012, 08:19 AM   #1432
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Loads of good experiences - great value and good service on the Altarias ALC-MAD and Euromeds on ALC-BCN - and would hate to see it wind up like what we have over here (UK).
There are a lot of things that the UK has that I Spain doesn't have. An online trip planner for example. Being able to buy tickets between any pair of station. Having more than one train per day...
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Old October 1st, 2012, 08:22 AM   #1433
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For rail privatisation, you really don't need to look any further than the UK to see how spectacularly sucessful it can be.
Indeed. I would call a doubling of trains services and passenger numbers quite spectacular. The only other country in Europe that comes close is Switzerland.
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Old October 1st, 2012, 12:09 PM   #1434
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When Talgo III made its last trip one thread was opened and a lot of photos posted!!
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Old October 1st, 2012, 05:59 PM   #1435
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I don't want to thread-jack, so this can be discussed elsewhere, and no doubt has been, at considerable length. Suffice to say that even the people responsible for the privatization (i.e. the Tories) admit that the results have been less than stellar, to say the very least.
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 08:15 PM   #1436
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neb81 View Post
I don't want to thread-jack, so this can be discussed elsewhere, and no doubt has been, at considerable length. Suffice to say that even the people responsible for the privatization (i.e. the Tories) admit that the results have been less than stellar, to say the very least.
S´alright, you´re not threadjacking.

I know that even the Tories admit the privatization has been less than stellar.

But that´s more about the infrastructure, which is true that for some time was a mess. But that is solved now, isn´t it? Look at Crossrail, the electrification programme and other stuff...

But... on the other hand, you look at the numbers of railway passengers and freight trains, and they´re the highest in the UK since... well, many many years.

I seriously doubt that in Spain a private company could do worse than Renfe.

And the infrastructure remains under public control, so no problem about it (that was a lesson the UK gave to the continent about what not to do).
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Old October 4th, 2012, 04:27 PM   #1437
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S´alright, you´re not threadjacking.


I know that even the Tories admit the privatization has been less than stellar.

But that´s more about the infrastructure, which is true that for some time was a mess. But that is solved now, isn´t it? Look at Crossrail, the electrification programme and other stuff...

But... on the other hand, you look at the numbers of railway passengers and freight trains, and they´re the highest in the UK since... well, many many years.

I seriously doubt that in Spain a private company could do worse than Renfe.

And the infrastructure remains under public control, so no problem about it (that was a lesson the UK gave to the continent about what not to do).
true, but maybe I am now

The Tories don't defend it even now, so even they clearly think that not did privatisation fail, but that it continues to - since they have a clear interest in trying to present a positive case, even if it is only in very marginal and very delayed results.

The electrification programme is funded by the state, so I don't see how we can attribute it to privatisation, though I wouldn't deny it's a most welcome upgrade!

The increase in number of passengers is largely due to demographic changes rather than the juicy goodness of Richard Branson. During the 2000s, large numbers of admin jobs were created by the financial boom in London, which led to a lot of new commuters. At the other end of the economic scale, fewer people - particularly young people - could afford to run cars and so were forced onto public transport. Throughout the same period, BA and BMI started pulling out of a lot of domestic air routes, and APD pushed up domestic air fares, making flying less attractive than it was in the past.

The increase in the number of service is primarily due to operators running shorter trains, using the same old rolling stock for more services on the most popular routes without actually having to spend any money, simply by suqashing more people into fewer carriages. Even with that, a lot of provincial routes have seen no new services, or even reductions. Liverpool to Manchester Airport is still 1xhourly two-car DMU from the BR era as is Liverpool-Preston-Blackpool. Birmingham-Hereford is just a bad joke.

At the same time, the amount of state subsidy is higher in both actual pounds spent and as a percentage of revenue than it was in the BR era.


RENFEs problems are not going to be solved by privatisation, and indeed the government doesn't even suggest they can be, it just states that problems exist and they need to save money by privatisation. Based on the fact we now spend more on rail subsidy than before privatsation, I don't see how anyone can see any possible scenario where privatisation will save a single cent, unless you start shutting down vast swathes of the network. Furthermore, a lot (though not all) of RENFEs and ADIFs inefficiencies stem from government policy decisions, not the nature of the organisations themselves.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 06:43 PM   #1438
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Whilst I believe you are largely correct - I would like to privde a few counterpoints.

I don't think it is fair to assume privatising Renfe won't save Spain any money based upon the UK experience - remember that parts of the privatisation process were seriously flawed, the biggest flaw of which was called Railtrack. Seriously huge amounts of cash went up in smoke due to Railtrack's failures (and NR's subsequent repair programmes). Plus there are (were) structural issues with the franchising system that disincentivised private operators from investing private moeny - ironic as this was the entire point of privatisation.

If Spain can learn these lessons the easy way I can imagine that Spain may indeed save money by privatising.

At least with private companies silly things can't happen like a BR boss deciding we don't need Chiltern anymore, the WCML will suffice - with the route's operators being separate stakeholders this kind of thing can't happen (although I acknowledge the BR boss would only have done such a thing due to govt cuts, so its kind of a self-negating point).
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Old October 4th, 2012, 10:51 PM   #1439
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Whilst I believe you are largely correct - I would like to privde a few counterpoints.

I don't think it is fair to assume privatising Renfe won't save Spain any money based upon the UK experience - remember that parts of the privatisation process were seriously flawed, the biggest flaw of which was called Railtrack. Seriously huge amounts of cash went up in smoke due to Railtrack's failures (and NR's subsequent repair programmes). Plus there are (were) structural issues with the franchising system that disincentivised private operators from investing private moeny - ironic as this was the entire point of privatisation.

If Spain can learn these lessons the easy way I can imagine that Spain may indeed save money by privatising.
Railtrack has since been re-nationalised, and the yet the rail operators still need large and on-going subsidy (separate to the investment in track infrastructure), and are still not capable of covering their own operating costs, let alone paying realistic fees to Network Rail that would meet the costs of maintaining and upgrading track. It would appear that whatever the initial failures were, the private model cannot be made to work efficiently, given that over 15 years has passed since privatisation and not one major franchise has been able to deliver anything without massive subsidies above and beyond anything seen in the days of BR, on top of being given pretty much free reign to price gouge passengers. Indeed, several of them have gone bust and required the DFT to take over the routes - despite the subsidies (and price gouging).

We shouldn't be surprised by this, though. Private operators are neither charities nor not-for-profit public institutions. They exist solely to make as much profit as they possibly can for their share-holders. They have absolutely no other concern. Why then, do we expect them to be willing to provide a service for lower cost than an institution that is doing it on a cost-only basis?

In the end, their profits come from the subsidies, so the subsidies will not only have to continue adinfinitum, but will have to continue to be vastly padded in order to pay for those profits on-top of the costs of actually running the system and funding the additional structural inefficiencies that the franchising system brings about.

Quote:
At least with private companies silly things can't happen like a BR boss deciding we don't need Chiltern anymore, the WCML will suffice - with the route's operators being separate stakeholders this kind of thing can't happen (although I acknowledge the BR boss would only have done such a thing due to govt cuts, so its kind of a self-negating point).
That sort of political interference in BR is exactly the same sort of thing that RENFE has been through. Like BR, there were many in the institution who said it was short-sighted but government wanted to save money and forced them into it. In the case of RENFE, there are things like closing the Murcia-Almeria line, essentially severing the Mediterranean Corridor. On the other hand there are a number of services RENFE runs because of political pressures to serve certain areas or routes that don't make much sense, much like the UK's Parliamentary Trains.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 12:03 AM   #1440
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Wow!

Renfe is close to be profitable, at least their long-distance services are profitable.

I don't really know if medium or short-distance trains can be considered profitable or not because it receives subsidies for those trains from local, regional and maybe national governments...

It is expected that Renfe will end this year with a deficit of 17 millions of € (a surplus was expected earlier :S)

For 2013 a deficit of 133 millions is expected (this may sound shocking but it's because the integration of FEVE in Renfe).

The negative side of an almost-profitable Renfe is that there is a lot of underused infrastrucutes just because it's not profitable to operate them

I think that the management of Renfe in some areas is terrible because they only know how to operate intensive routes... The use of ferrobuses in some areas could improve a lot (or recover) the service whithout affecting that much to the accounts.
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