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ConHome article: How to fix Britain's railways (Read 3025 times)
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ConHome article: How to fix Britain's railways
May 18th, 2011 at 4:00am
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Neil O'Brien of Policy Exchange: How to fix Britain’s railways

Possibly one to keep track of for future reference...
Quote:
Why on earth are the railways so expensive?  The cost of tickets is shooting up. And the taxpayer subsidy is huge too – Network rail alone gets a grant of nearly 4 billion from the government.

These huge costs are one reason why lots of people say that railway privatisation was a failure.  Actually privatisation would be an interesting idea - if we actually tried it.

Think about it.  The track is run by a huge government-created monopoly.  The train companies are notionally private, but the Department for Transport (DfT) tells them in mind-boggling detail what timetable to run, what trains to use, and roughly half the time, what fares to charge too.   Even the smallest details are controlled by the state.  For example, the Government required South West Trains  to relocate a vending machine at Wimbledon station.  The old British rail logo may have been painted over. But in practice, the state is still firmly in charge of our railways.

Continue reading....
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« Last Edit: Jul 6th, 2014 at 2:49pm by Admin-JD »  
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Re: ConHome article: How to fix Britain's railways
Reply #1 - Dec 15th, 2014 at 4:08pm
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Related: Why Japan’s Rail Privatization Worked -- and Why Britain’s Failed
Quote:
Like Amtrak, Japanese National Railways, or JNR, was a struggling public corporation. It failed to make even operating profits on its most robust intercity railway routes. Ticket prices were high, and service was poor despite the yearly subsidies.

Japan’s suburban railways, on the other hand, showed what was possible with good management. They remained in private hands after World War II, and were renowned for their efficiency and low fares. They made profits for their private shareholders while their state-owned intercity counterparts were bleeding cash, not unlike the contrast between American freight railroads and Amtrak today.

Quote:
And at Atlantic Cities, Smith explains why Britain’s far more slapdash rail privatization effort has proven to be such a disaster — the British, like Bush administration officials, wanted to separate trains from track:
Quote:
A key reason this latest privatization push failed is vertical separation. This was controversial from the start. Before the railways were nationalized by Clement Attlee’s Labour government in 1947, they were run by four major companies, each of which controlled its own infrastructure and operations. Rumor is that when the Conservative government won the 1992 general election and was deciding on how to privatize British Rail, the prime minister himself, John Major, was in favor of a return to this old “Big Four” structure.
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« Last Edit: Dec 15th, 2014 at 4:12pm by Admin-JD »  
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Re: ConHome article: How to fix Britain's railways
Reply #2 - Mar 3rd, 2015 at 5:46am
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Let's see how long this lasts....
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Basically the way the Railway system is structured after privatisation.

Before it was nationalised, they were run by train companies that owned the whole lot they operated on.... trains, tracks, everything.

When Privatisation came up, John Major wanted to return to the "big four" system like before it was nationalised.

Japan went with the same idea when they privatised their railways (which are the best in the world)... 3 seperate companies each owning their own track + rolling stock + running services.

Unfortunately the "expert" appointed by John Major's government to oversee privatisation apparently wasn't so keen on the idea, and seems to have come up with the complicated expensive mess we have today, which I can only assume he did so everyone would think privatisation is ****, and would want the railways all nationalised again.

We've got Network Rail running the tracks, who then charge the Train Operating Companies franchised to run the services a small fortune in track access fees... then we've also got a handful of leasing companies where the Train Franchises lease their trains from.

On top of that, under the last Labour government, they couldn't resist the urge to continue micromanaging the railways in absolutely anal detail.

Link to Yahoo Answers Question on why UK Public Transport is so expensive
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