Friday, December 30

Changing trains

Figures published recently show that 1.07 billion journeys will have been made on the UK rail network in 2005 - the highest annual figure since 1958.
Well, maybe - but 47 years ago British Railways was an integrated service. How many more passengers would our fragmented service attract if it were once again integrated?


Sarah Hopperty said...

If the UK railways system was once again under one management system the public might be keener to use trains. I don't understand why the management of the rolling stock and the track has to be separate. Perhaps the editor of this blog , who appears all knowing could explain.I hope I don't have to wait for an answer as long as I normally do for my conection at Gozville to Boxtown Station - this time of year it is so cold !

Raw Carrot said...

The idea is that the railway network (track) is a natural monopoly and should therefore be one company (regulated by government -- and now underwritten by government); and then competition should take the form of companies bidding for franchises to run trains on the track.

Of course, the problem is that the TOCs (train operating companies) seem to have no real power over what happens to the track, and consequently when the signals go wrong, the train company is delayed and can do absolutely nothing about it. Another example of where the track and trains under the current arragement don't get along is when Branson bought a load of expensive fast trains, only to be told that the track upgrades required would not be ready for years and years and years... and still are not ready.

Anyway, all in all, it's just one great big mess - of government intervention, regulation, and subsidy.

Kelly said...

Well, your system however fragmented, compicated and ridiculous is far better than what is passed off as passenger trains here in the states. Not only are their long waits between trips but long trips to cover short distances. This is because the huge networks of track that cross this country are no longer in use. They have been abandoned and neglected. I hope things get better for your rail situation as it would be sad to lose it indeed.