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Old June 14th, 2009, 12:47 AM   #621
bigbossman
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allied to my point i'd rather governement owned entites were competiting with each other than private entities...
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Old June 14th, 2009, 09:21 PM   #622
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
Rail is a natural monopoly imho because of the barriers to entry and the inefficiency of extra infrastructure costs. Rail unlike air travel is turn up and go. With air travel you tend to compare prices and book in advance because of the distances involved minutes make less of a difference. You can argue the same for long distance rail travel however the key difference is that in air travel journeys on one plane tend to be point-to-point and aren't oversubscribed.

The way it would work on Long distance rail can't be point-to-point, it'd have to be something like company A offers London to Frankfurt via Brussels and company B offers London to Amsterdam via Brussels and company C offers Amsterdam to Paris via Brussels. They compete over certain sections and offer unique services, but at the same time don't inefficiently duplicate the whole route, it's inefficient because unless there the demand is more than what they can colelctively supply they are overprividing and wasting capacity. And if it was oversubscribed they'd have a virtual duopoly in which they can effectively abuse the market.

EDIT: The problem is basically where there aren't two separate routes between the same destination. For example the channel tunnel effectively curtails the sort of competiton you are talking about between (only) London and Brussels. That's what i mean by natural monopoly...
Right but why should there be two separate routes?

Just like airlines buy slots at airports from the government, rail carriers could buy "time windows" to operate their trains from the government.

I don't get the whole "it's a natural monopoly because of the infrastructure" thing, if that's what you're trying to say


EDIT maybe I get it. What you're trying to say is that you can't have real competition if two trains get to travel to the same destination at the same time, since on rail you'd have a bunch of carriers that would have to operate trains at different times because they can't run multiple trains on the same track?
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:07 PM   #623
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayOOfoshO View Post
Just like airlines buy slots at airports from the government, rail carriers could buy "time windows" to operate their trains from the government.
that's exactly what happens, only replace government in both cases with companies (airport owners like BAA and the railway infrastructure owners Network Rail, which is a not-for-profit company).

Open access provide some competition, as do stopping services when run by other companies (eg First Capital Connect vs National eXpress East Coast/East Midland Trains, London Midland vs Virgin West Coast), and slower services that use a different route (eg Chiltern vs Virgin West Coast). There used to be about 5 tickets for Gatwick-London - Thameslink only, Southern only, Gatwick Express only, not Gatwick Express and open. Now the Gatwick Express is run by Southern, that might have changed, though there still might be a premium fare for the non-stop services. The Brighton Main Line might be the only place where completely direct competition happens between two franchised services.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:59 PM   #624
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Leaving aside this economic policy question, here's an article from Auntie Beeb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBC
Operators call for new rail lines

Atoc says record demand has led to the need for investment

Train operators are calling for widespread expansion of the existing rail network, with 14 extra lines and about 40 new stations proposed.

The Association of Train Operating Companies said there was a need for expansion to cope with rising demand.

It said the expansion, which would cost £500m and possibly reuse lines closed under the 1960s Beeching cuts, could serve more than 1m extra passengers.

Any decisions on future expansion rest with government and Network Rail.

Atoc chief executive Michael Roberts said: "Record passenger numbers and rising demand require us to plan for the long term, while climate change and population growth make it vital that in doing so, we adapt the rail network to meet tomorrow's needs.

"Providing attractive new services and easier access to the rail network will encourage passengers to switch to rail from other, less green, modes of transport.

"We have established that there is a strong business case for investment to bring a number of towns back on to the rail network.

"Now we need to safeguard these routes and develop the detailed case for investment."

The Beeching report by Dr Richard Beeching in the 1960s resulted in the railway network being cut by a third, closing 2,000 stations and 5,000 miles of track.

The Atoc report says 40 towns not currently on the rail network could benefit from the 14 new lines.

Freight potential

It says the new stations could be operational within five to 10 years.

Any decision on whether any of the plans get the go-ahead would be taken by local and regional government, Network Rail and the Department for Transport.

Atoc argues infrastructure from some of the old lines closed in the 1960s could be refurbished to form part of the new network.

Freight lines could also be adapted to serve commercial routes, it said.

Transport Minister Chris Mole said the government would consider the findings of Atoc's report.

"The government's priority is to bring about changes, such as capacity improvements, which will deliver benefits for rail passengers now," he said.

"For the longer term, we will work with local authorities who want to improve links to the rail network, and will plan to make funding available from 2014 for successful schemes which demonstrate value for money."

Financial constraints

Shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers said the research was "interesting" and made "an impressive case" for reopening disused rail lines.

She added: "Conservatives recognise the value of these transport corridors, which is why we have called for a moratorium on building on any disused rail lines still in public ownership.

"Certainly, housing growth and the need to cut emissions from transport and tackle road congestion means that all political parties should look seriously at the ideas put forward in this report, though it is clear that the state of the public finances will put constraints on what is possible over the next few years."

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union, said: "RMT has repeatedly called for an expansion of rail services to create green jobs and green transport options as part of our campaign for a people's railways.

"However, any expansion should be publicly-owned and free from the chaos and profiteering of the privatised franchise system."

The areas which would be served by the 14 possible new lines identified in the report are:

• Cranleigh in Surrey

• Bordon, Hythe and Ringwood in Hampshire

• Brixham in Devon

• Aldridge and Brownhills in the West Midlands

• Wisbech in Cambridgeshire

• Leicester to Burton in the East Midlands

• Fleetwood, Rawtenstall and Skelmersdale in Lancashire

• Washington in Tyne and Wear

• Ashington and Blyth in Northumberland
Some of these are freight/heritage lines anyway so it's a matter of adding stations and running trains. Others are extensions (Cranleigh, Brixham) so wouldn't be difficult to run. I think these are good ideas, though there's clearly some omissions, like Banbury/Aylesbury-Bletchley (mentioned in the report)

Here's ATOC's PDF. Looking at it there are also some station reopenings proposed - Rushden (at Irthlingborough), Peterlee (at Easington), Kenilworth (with line doubling, and not as successful), Ilkeston, Wantage/Grove, Osset, Clay Cross/North Wingfield.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 11:54 PM   #625
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manchester Planner View Post
Sorry, but what exactly is wrong with those figures you've just presented? Are you suggesting that trains aren't frequent enough?

I mean, take London-Manchester for instance - it's 3 trains per hour each way direct. That's plenty! It's an inter-city route, not a tram line!
I was just trying to get an Idea of how many is too many for a single dedicated HSL to handle instead of this enormous amount of mainlines that the UK has that keep the traffic segregated nowadays.

And you are wrong ... it's really a tramline ... full of 125mph trams ...

- too much traffic
- small trains
- beaten up and in the verge of colapse infraestructure
- can't cope with capacity

Too much needs to be done to get this mess up to proper standards ... that's what I said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Republica View Post
I think sotavento is misunderstood on here very often because he doesnt have the required communication skills in english to convey the complex subtleties of the language that he wants to.

I think it may have been sarcasm (the above post).

Too often its impossible to tell whether he is being positive or negative because all his stuff is written in the negative way. When giving a compliment he uses sarcasm I think.
Theres not that much of a lack of communications skils but much more like a lack of "keep it short" and to the point ... and yes ... I admit that even when I write 2 pages on a row I'm doing a bad work at trying to keep it short.
And then theres the "lost in translation" usually associated with posting in your beloved shakespear's language.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 12:03 AM   #626
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Old June 16th, 2009, 02:52 PM   #627
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotavento View Post
I was just trying to get an Idea of how many is too many for a single dedicated HSL to handle instead of this enormous amount of mainlines that the UK has that keep the traffic segregated nowadays.

And you are wrong ... it's really a tramline ... full of 125mph trams ...

- too much traffic
- small trains
- beaten up and in the verge of colapse infraestructure
- can't cope with capacity

Too much needs to be done to get this mess up to proper standards ... that's what I said.
What on earth are you talking about now? Why are 125mph 9 carriage minimum trains 'trams'?
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Old June 16th, 2009, 03:50 PM   #628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotavento View Post

Theres not that much of a lack of communications skils but much more like a lack of "keep it short" and to the point ... and yes ... I admit that even when I write 2 pages on a row I'm doing a bad work at trying to keep it short.
And then theres the "lost in translation" usually associated with posting in your beloved shakespear's language.
I understand. I think you are right. I forgive you
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Old June 16th, 2009, 03:57 PM   #629
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Could Britain get some of its old rail lines back?

LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - More than 40 years since Dr Beeching broke the heart of train enthusiasts in Britain by slashing the rail network, plans have been lodged for a partial reversal of his cuts.

Train operators are pressing for a 500 million pound ($800 million) expansion of the network to meet soaring demand for rail travel.

Fourteen lines in England and around 40 new stations have been identified in a report by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) which could serve more than a million extra passengers.

"This report has focused on schemes which could be delivered relatively quickly," said ATOC Chief Executive Michael Roberts.

It envisages short links to or new stations on existing lines, and using freight lines as well as railway land left by the line closures of the 1960s and 70s.

"Many past studies have looked at re-opening old railways, but this one looks first at the market, not the map," said Roberts in a statement.

"It starts with people, where they live and where they want to travel. The schemes identified in this paper as having a positive business case would provide access directly and indirectly for a million people not currently well served by rail."

In 1948, at the formation of British Railways, the rail network extended to 19,598 route miles and 6,685 stations.

But costs were high and in 1963 Dr Richard Beeching published an efficiency report which led to the network being cut by around a third.

For train enthusiasts, still mourning the looming demise of steam railways in favour of the new diesels, the loss of so many rural lines wending their way through spectacular countryside was a crushing blow.

But although many lines became hiking trails or were lost altogether, much of the infrastructure remains and the ATOC plan envisages making use of it where possible.

Areas for the 14 new lines are:

Hythe - Hampshire

Brixham - Devon

Bordon - Hampshire

Fleetwood - Lancashire

Rawtenstall - Lancashire

Aldridge - West Midlands

Brownhills - West Midlands

Cranleigh - Surrey

Ringwood - Hampshire

Washington - Tyne and Wear

Leicester to Burton - Derbyshire

Skelmersdale - Lancashire

Ashington and Blyth - Northumberland

Wisbech - Cambridgeshire

Any decision on whether any of the plans get the go ahead would be taken by local and regional government, Network Rail and the Department for Transport. (Reporting by Steve Addison; Editing by Keith Weir)
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Old June 16th, 2009, 05:47 PM   #630
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I posted about this yesterday, giving a few details that both the BBC and Reuters left out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
Here's ATOC's PDF. Looking at it there are also some station reopenings proposed - Rushden (at Irthlingborough), Peterlee (at Easington), Kenilworth (with line doubling, and not as successful), Ilkeston, Wantage/Grove, Osset, Clay Cross/North Wingfield.
I looked in more detail at this. Some are new routes and most were closed after Beeching.
  • Hythe - this uses the freight route from Totton to Fawley. It will split the Romsey 'b' back again into Romsey-Eastleigh-Totton (now extended to Hythe) and Southampton-Salisbury. It won't be electrified.
  • Brixham- this takes over the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway's tracks (allowing steam trains still to run). Extension of local services to Paignton.
  • Bordon - this would partially use a disused railway from Bentley. Services unknown, other than likely to be 2tph, with trains that terminate at either Aldershot or Farnham extended. May have half the Alton service, plus another service split between Alton and Borden. Likeliest, looking at the plans is 2tph Borden-Guildford.
  • Fleetwood - much of it would be a current freight route, but will have some new build. 2tph to Preston.
  • Rawtenstall - uses the East Lancs railway, and a chord at Castletown. Likely improvements to the tram in Bury to get better interchange.
  • Aldridge - this would extend Birmingham-Walsall services along a freight route
  • Brownhills - this uses a recently-dismantled freight branch from Walsall (maybe going to Lichfield as well).
  • Cranleigh - this uses part of the Beeching cut Guildford-Christ's Hospital. It will be served by extending the London-Esher-Guildford suburban service.
  • Ringwood - uses Brockenhurst-Wimbourne route, though it's blocked by the A31.
  • Washington - the Leamside line - a freight line bypassing the ECML from Durham to Gateshead.
  • Leicester to Burton - a freight route, Leicester-Burton, and maybe Derby, services
  • Skelmersdale - rebuilding route from Ormskirk, an extension of Merseyrail
  • Ashington and Blyth - freight branches to be covered with new services to Newcastle/Metro Centre.
  • Wisbech - frieght line. Oddly service proposed is Peterborough-March-Wisbech, which would involve a reverse.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 11:00 PM   #631
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mostly Lurking View Post
What on earth are you talking about now? Why are 125mph 9 carriage minimum trains 'trams'?


That's a comment about this comment:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manchester Planner View Post
Sorry, but what exactly is wrong with those figures you've just presented? Are you suggesting that trains aren't frequent enough?

I mean, take London-Manchester for instance - it's 3 trains per hour each way direct. That's plenty! It's an inter-city route, not a tram line!
Since the intercity run one after another then yess it's like if it was a tram line filled with trams one after the other and another one behind and ... I think one can get a relatively clear picture of what the hell I'm talking about here ... the main lines are packed with traffic.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 03:32 PM   #632
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotavento View Post
... the main lines are packed with traffic.
Erm, and? What would you rather have? The main lines ran under-capacity? All that's happening is that we're using the lines as much as possible. I don't see the problem. Clearly if we want to run more trains then the capacity will have to increase one way or another, and that's what is being discussed, with new dedicated high speed lines.

And no, the West Coast Mainline is not like a tram line!

Can I ask you - how much do you actually travel in Great Britain?
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Old June 18th, 2009, 11:11 AM   #633
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
I posted about this yesterday, giving a few details that both the BBC and Reuters left out.

I looked in more detail at this. Some are new routes and most were closed after Beeching.
  • Hythe - this uses the freight route from Totton to Fawley. It will split the Romsey 'b' back again into Romsey-Eastleigh-Totton (now extended to Hythe) and Southampton-Salisbury. It won't be electrified.
  • Brixham- this takes over the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway's tracks (allowing steam trains still to run). Extension of local services to Paignton.
  • Bordon - this would partially use a disused railway from Bentley. Services unknown, other than likely to be 2tph, with trains that terminate at either Aldershot or Farnham extended. May have half the Alton service, plus another service split between Alton and Borden. Likeliest, looking at the plans is 2tph Borden-Guildford.
  • Fleetwood - much of it would be a current freight route, but will have some new build. 2tph to Preston.
  • Rawtenstall - uses the East Lancs railway, and a chord at Castletown. Likely improvements to the tram in Bury to get better interchange.
  • Aldridge - this would extend Birmingham-Walsall services along a freight route
  • Brownhills - this uses a recently-dismantled freight branch from Walsall (maybe going to Lichfield as well).
  • Cranleigh - this uses part of the Beeching cut Guildford-Christ's Hospital. It will be served by extending the London-Esher-Guildford suburban service.
  • Ringwood - uses Brockenhurst-Wimbourne route, though it's blocked by the A31.
  • Washington - the Leamside line - a freight line bypassing the ECML from Durham to Gateshead.
  • Leicester to Burton - a freight route, Leicester-Burton, and maybe Derby, services
  • Skelmersdale - rebuilding route from Ormskirk, an extension of Merseyrail
  • Ashington and Blyth - freight branches to be covered with new services to Newcastle/Metro Centre.
  • Wisbech - frieght line. Oddly service proposed is Peterborough-March-Wisbech, which would involve a reverse.
YES.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 06:10 PM   #634
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From BBC today...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8107283.stm


The Javelin, from point to point

By Tom Symonds
Transport correspondent, BBC News


On board the Javelin train

The grandeur of the newly refurbished St Pancras Station would make any hardened commuter feel optimistic about train travel.
But for thousands of commuters, the daily stop-start grind into the centre of London will feel very different once the new high-speed train service begins.
We leave St Pancras and quickly disappear into the two tunnels that take trains on the Channel Tunnel route. When we emerge, the view from the cab is of the Kent countryside flying past at 140mph.
Driver Mick Harding is enjoying himself: "It's absolutely wonderful. It's a lovely machine and very fast, which is what our service is based around. All the drivers love driving it."
From where he sits, it is possible to see why these trains don't need to slow down, or tilt - like their slower cousin, the Virgin Pendolino.
A high-speed line is high-speed because it has gentle banking curves, no junctions and few stations - the service will stop only at Stratford, Ebbsfleet and Ashford before heading onto the conventional rail network to serve other towns.
An older line such as the West Coast has much tighter bends - hence the need to tilt - and numerous junctions and points.
The Hitachi class 495 train also has "in-cab signalling". Instead of the driver having to look out for signals ahead, the train's dashboard shows the speed he must to keep to. There is rarely a need to slow down because of other traffic ahead.
Speed at a price
Southeastern trains is fond of calling it a "bullet train". It is not as fast as Japan's fastest, or the French TGV. It is not as fast as the 186mph Eurostar.
But it is faster than the Pendolino at 125mph. Which is pretty good for a commuter train.

The 'Javelin' high speed train pulls out of St Pancras

We race past Ebbsfleet Station - it seems to be in the middle of nowhere, but is in fact located for its proximity to the M25. Southeastern believes it will in effect become a massive park-and-ride for London, just 17 minutes away on the new train.
The service will be branded "the Javelin" for the Olympics, during which it will carry visitors from St Pancras to Stratford in just seven minutes.
Wandering back through the carriages, the decor and seating is fairly standard. No power points for the growing legion of laptop commuters, but then they will be spending less time travelling.
As for the prices, they will be paying a premium for the faster journey. The standard fare from Ashford to London return is £40.60, the high-speed ticket will be £48.70.
The route under the Thames, near the QE2 bridge, and into St Pancras is the first link between Kent and London station.
It will also hugely improve the links from parts of North and East Kent, which are in need of an economic boost.
Towns such as Ramsgate and Broadstairs, on the tip of the county, will get a direct high-speed service connected using the existing rail network.
Pulling into Ashford, the Southeastern train company's people are pleased.
On normal trains, this journey takes 80 minutes. On the new service, it will take 37 minutes, but we've done it in less than 30.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 07:02 PM   #635
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No one ought to hold their breath waiting for any of the proposed ATOC routes to re-open.

A tiny handful have a good chance of seeing the light, such as the Hythe-Southampton service, which simply will use an existing rail freight line.

Others ATOC has listed just for a laugh. Take, for example, Brockenhurst to Ringwood. The potential users of such a new service would just be daytrippers and leisure travellers. It would make far more sense to look into the options along the road-clogged Ringwood to Bournemouth commuter corridor. Some kind of train, train/tram or light rail option would be ideal.

In any case, any new passenger rail services in the UK will only come on stream with taxpayers money, which, incidentally, will be needed to subsidise the running of them as well.

The ATOC proposals are just another story that ill-informed journalists in the mass-media like to excite themselves over, as I saw today, on the lunchtime BBC news. The presenter spoke as if she thought the viewers would be ignorant young children, and gave the impression that within no time many of Britain's closed railways will be open again.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 02:47 AM   #636
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I've just read that a return from Ashford to St Pancreas on a Javellin will cost £40.00 and the fastest journeys will cost £48.00!!!!!! What-the-**** that is seriously expensive for a 37 minute journey, imagine paying that 5 days a week.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 02:50 PM   #637
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No offence meant to any Christians here, but Jesus Christ!

That's almost as outrageous as the prices of pre-prepared sandwiches at Waitrose.

Who came up with these figures? I know there are some seriously wealthy Kent commuters, but are there enough of them to fill the trains at these prices? I suppose, of course, many people simply claim their annual season tickets back from the companies they work for.

Personally, I'd rather pay the air fare to India and then see what kind of train journey I could get for £40. I could probably travel for a week, see some wonderful scenary, people and food, and feel much happier.

On a mile-per-mile (or km-per-km) basis, how do these forthcoming Javellin prices compare to other journeys in Europe I wonder? Perhaps we could start producing a league table...
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Old June 19th, 2009, 03:05 PM   #638
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In fact, according to the SouthEast Railway website, the price of the current day-return Ashford-London journey, bought on the day, using conventional trains, is £48.

If I think £48 is expensive for a 37 minute journey via HS1, then I think £48 is mind-numbing for a journey that uses normal trains and takes more than hour.

Clearly Kent is one very expensive place to live. It's probably more cost-effective to live in Lille and commute to London from there.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 10:55 PM   #639
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TedStriker View Post
In fact, according to the SouthEast Railway website, the price of the current day-return Ashford-London journey, bought on the day, using conventional trains, is £48.

If I think £48 is expensive for a 37 minute journey via HS1, then I think £48 is mind-numbing for a journey that uses normal trains and takes more than hour.

Clearly Kent is one very expensive place to live. It's probably more cost-effective to live in Lille and commute to London from there.
I'm sure that the actual cost when part of a season ticket or booked in advance is far less, probably half that if not less.

Paying on the day of travel NR fares are almost always astronomical.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 05:33 PM   #640
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Blackpool-Manchester saver return on the day is 14 quid and I used to think that was a bit steep!! Glad I'm not a Kent commuter.
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