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Old May 29th, 2009, 02:44 PM   #581
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Some cracking photos of the Welsh Highland Railway in north Wales...

http://railphotos.demeseo.com/c1701054.html
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Old May 29th, 2009, 09:24 PM   #582
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel City Suburb View Post
It has and in parts but STRICT monitoring needs to be used.

Virgin trains here offer in my opinion brilliant service, but East Midlands do not.

Both companies operate well though in their own ways, however the train fares are ridiculous.
Speaking of fares...to be honest they are very uncompetitive compare to Low Cost Airlines: While it only costs you a quid to go across the Irish Sea on BMI, it costs more than 100gbp to get to Scotland by train.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 09:52 PM   #583
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Speaking of fares...to be honest they are very uncompetitive compare to Low Cost Airlines: While it only costs you a quid to go across the Irish Sea on BMI, it costs more than 100gbp to get to Scotland by train.
But that's not the case!

You're comparing a special offer price for the BMI flight to a standard, "walk-on" fare for the train! I'm sure if you just turn up at the airport you'd pay a lot more than a quid to go to Ireland! As for going to Scotland - I recently did a trip to Edinburgh from Manchester and as I booked in advance I got my tickets for about £7 each way. Trains in the UK are cheap if you buy advance tickets! Just like flights are cheap if you book in advance.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 01:36 AM   #584
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The GWML would be the best to be done next!
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Old May 30th, 2009, 02:31 PM   #585
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Yeh a lot of trains in the UK are sold on the airline model of pricing... More demand, higher prices.

There are advantages of both types.

Just looking at tickets i need to buy to London and back from Darlington on the ECML the cheapest return is like £18 in advance with a railcard. I could go to london and back on monday for as little as £50.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 09:00 PM   #586
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But that's not the case!

You're comparing a special offer price for the BMI flight to a standard, "walk-on" fare for the train! I'm sure if you just turn up at the airport you'd pay a lot more than a quid to go to Ireland! As for going to Scotland - I recently did a trip to Edinburgh from Manchester and as I booked in advance I got my tickets for about £7 each way. Trains in the UK are cheap if you buy advance tickets! Just like flights are cheap if you book in advance.
I have a habit of booking air tickets in advance and buying train tickets at station.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 03:14 PM   #587
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I have a habit of booking air tickets in advance and buying train tickets at station.
Well, that's why you're paying far too much for your train travel then! If you know where and when you're travelling, buy your tickets ahead, by buying Advance tickets - these are single tickets for a specific time (and a specific train) and you get seat reservations as standard. You can get these on the internet or at stations.

One of the best deals I've ever got with Advance tickets is Manchester to London for £5.30 (and another £5.30 ticket for the way back). Not bad for a 2 hour journey on a 125mph Pendolino express down the West Coast Mainline.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 01:52 AM   #588
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so you guys would recommend privatizing and liberalizing the industry over all? Would you say there has been improvement compared to before when it was all government run?
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Old June 1st, 2009, 03:56 PM   #589
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so you guys would recommend privatizing and liberalizing the industry over all? Would you say there has been improvement compared to before when it was all government run?
If done properly, which in the 1990s it wasn't, then yes it can be successful.

The problem we had when we privatised the system was that it was broken up too much, with track, stations, trains, maintenance, rolling stock, freight, etc all being run by different companies. That is a mistake and is slowly being rectified.

Also, the railways continue to receive large subsidies from the government (well, passenger services anyway - freight makes a profit) and the infrastructure requires public funding for expansion and modernisation. Which is fair enough, as just like other national infrastructure, like the motorway network, it is a necessary public service and core to the nation's infrastructure and prosperity.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 09:46 PM   #590
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In the end though there was no real good reason to privatise it. It was done to line the pockets of the already super rich, in typical Conservative fashion.

Things can be run very well in both public and private hands. But the privatisation and way it was done was done for the wrong reasons.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 10:46 PM   #591
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Even Margaret Thatcher, arguably the greatest promoter of neoliberalism, and privatization said Healthcare, and British Rail should stay in public hands.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 12:31 AM   #592
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Even Margaret Thatcher, arguably the greatest promoter of neoliberalism, and privatization said Healthcare, and British Rail should stay in public hands.
And Royal Mail.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 02:28 AM   #593
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But don't you think a privatization and liberalization of the service carriers in the national and more heavily trafficked routes could give birth to an industry that could survive on its own? The government could retain service obligations on the less trafficked routes, perhaps giving the task of running these services to local governments (the large ones, not the municipalities or counties, but your equivalent to our states) and then the central government could maybe help out in these routes with limited funding determined on some kind of population/traffic algorithm.

At least it continental Europe, liberalization and privatization seems to be the future, am I not right? If done properly, this could be a great opportunity for large scale investments and improvement in transportation. Just like it was in the late 90s and early 00s with the airline industry and the various AF-KLM and such deals
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 04:58 AM   #594
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BR made a profit under nationalism, it now costs an awful lot more to run, due to the lack of 'vertical integration' (ie having track, trains and operators being different companies).

Both the Tories, who started the bodge, and Labour, who carried on with the bodged privatisation process when they could have stopped it and made it better, have a lot to answer for.

It's worth noting that despite this, the railways of Britain are thriving - there's a huge need for longer trains, but it's the Government's call at the end of the day and if you aren't London, computer says "unlikely".

Open access operators are running from London to Hull, Sunderland and Shropshire. Other's have failed to happen, and the Shropshire one suffering, due to ridiculous anti-competition laws on the WCML. Everywhere the government mandates a minimum service level and Network Rail (a QUANGO? - at best a semi-private not-for-profit company) works on the timetables as it owns the track and has to arbitrate between TOCs and work out the access fees. Open Access is basically doing non-mandated services and isn't franchised. Some TOCs do run more services than required to, due to the profit there.

There were offers of well over £1billion to run the lucrative East Coast franchise. This money goes into the government kitty, which can be spent on anything. However given the subsidy needed for rather a lot of lines and to maintain/upgrade the track it comes back - far more is spent than received.

Come 2011, Open Access will be allowed all over the EU - I won't be surprised if some people try and run London-Koln and Birmingham/Manchester-Paris services (the latter having the immigration area problem in the UK - St Pancras can do arrivals as well as departures, if need be) when that happens.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 05:13 AM   #595
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayOOfoshO View Post
But don't you think a privatization and liberalization of the service carriers in the national and more heavily trafficked routes could give birth to an industry that could survive on its own? The government could retain service obligations on the less trafficked routes, perhaps giving the task of running these services to local governments (the large ones, not the municipalities or counties, but your equivalent to our states) and then the central government could maybe help out in these routes with limited funding determined on some kind of population/traffic algorithm.

At least it continental Europe, liberalization and privatization seems to be the future, am I not right? If done properly, this could be a great opportunity for large scale investments and improvement in transportation. Just like it was in the late 90s and early 00s with the airline industry and the various AF-KLM and such deals
The UK does not have states or any such equivalents - there are counties and municipalities.
Having County run rail systems would be inefficient as many counties are quite small. With multiple counties running multiple railways, things would probably be more fragmented than they are now.

Scotland and I also believe Wales have direct control over most internal rail services through their national governments.

Some larger urban areas in England also have direct control, ie, Manchester.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 05:51 AM   #596
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
BR made a profit under nationalism, it now costs an awful lot more to run, due to the lack of 'vertical integration' (ie having track, trains and operators being different companies).

Both the Tories, who started the bodge, and Labour, who carried on with the bodged privatisation process when they could have stopped it and made it better, have a lot to answer for.

It's worth noting that despite this, the railways of Britain are thriving - there's a huge need for longer trains, but it's the Government's call at the end of the day and if you aren't London, computer says "unlikely".

Open access operators are running from London to Hull, Sunderland and Shropshire. Other's have failed to happen, and the Shropshire one suffering, due to ridiculous anti-competition laws on the WCML. Everywhere the government mandates a minimum service level and Network Rail (a QUANGO? - at best a semi-private not-for-profit company) works on the timetables as it owns the track and has to arbitrate between TOCs and work out the access fees. Open Access is basically doing non-mandated services and isn't franchised. Some TOCs do run more services than required to, due to the profit there.

There were offers of well over £1billion to run the lucrative East Coast franchise. This money goes into the government kitty, which can be spent on anything. However given the subsidy needed for rather a lot of lines and to maintain/upgrade the track it comes back - far more is spent than received.

Come 2011, Open Access will be allowed all over the EU - I won't be surprised if some people try and run London-Koln and Birmingham/Manchester-Paris services (the latter having the immigration area problem in the UK - St Pancras can do arrivals as well as departures, if need be) when that happens.
uhm ok but they could make some sort of code share agreement between privatized routes that run on the backbone routes London - Other large cities and the public government transport that I advocate.

Though it does make sense that integrating the system would be quite a lot easier with only a nationalized company that runs the whole show, that's no doubt.

But the reason why I liked the idea of privatization and liberalization is because I don't like large state owned monopolies and if air transport can be liberalized, why not rail transport too?

I see the weaknesses though now, though I still think a state owned high speed network company tthat does the maintenance and expands the network and licenses private service providers would be great. I guess in England and the rest of the UK, since you don't have a system of larger local governments such as Italy or the US, something in between medium and large sized government owned carriers could run the local rail transportation
as monopolies forced by the government to operate at "fair" prices. Such companies would certainly be large enough to be able to run local rail transport smoothly and sign code share agreements with the private high speed carriers that operate on the high speed central network between the larger cities

Quote:
Originally Posted by MelbourneCity View Post
The UK does not have states or any such equivalents - there are counties and municipalities.
Having County run rail systems would be inefficient as many counties are quite small. With multiple counties running multiple railways, things would probably be more fragmented than they are now.

Scotland and I also believe Wales have direct control over most internal rail services through their national governments.

Some larger urban areas in England also have direct control, ie, Manchester.
oooops I guess we Americans don't know that much about the world thanks for letting me know. See Italy has munis, provinces (=counties) and regions (=states, kind of) and I'm quite sure it's the same for France and Germany, though I'm going to say that I don't know for sure this time. Anyways, I thought the same would apply for the England.

So yeah county run railways would be
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 11:36 AM   #597
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Scotland has a "one country/region ... one rail franchise" system.

The rest are stuck up with fragments of BR in private oily/greassy hands.

Actually most ex.national railways in europe seem to have become overly expensive to run when given to private hands ... state owned railways seem to manage to survive better.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 02:10 AM   #598
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotavento View Post
Scotland has a "one country/region ... one rail franchise" system.

The rest are stuck up with fragments of BR in private oily/greassy hands.

Actually most ex.national railways in europe seem to have become overly expensive to run when given to private hands ... state owned railways seem to manage to survive better.
I'm gonna have to ask you to support your last statement with some evidence, since in my experience state owned rail is a failure, and I'm not only talking about Amtrack
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 07:31 AM   #599
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Quote:
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I'm gonna have to ask you to support your last statement with some evidence, since in my experience state owned rail is a failure, and I'm not only talking about Amtrack
Amtrak isn't a failure. It's problems stem from chronic underfunding by the federal government.

SNCF, RENFE, and Deutsche Bahn are all public rail operators that are well run and efficient.
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Old June 4th, 2009, 03:59 AM   #600
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IIRC, British Rail was one of the most efficient in Europe, pre-privatisation. Investment in the network in the early 90's (at over £1billion per year) was at its highest since 1960.

BR had already started to become business 'like', by charging premium prices for premium quality on market-priced routes, bringing in funds for future investment.
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