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Author Topic: Are UK trains the 'envy' of Europe?  (Read 971 times)
grahame
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« on: July 30, 2018, 07:46:21 pm »

From The BBC

Quote
Claim: Most major Western European countries would "only dream" of having the UK's record on train punctuality and performance.

Reality Check verdict: UK passengers are more satisfied with their train service than many of their European neighbours, according to a report from 2013 - although this data is now a little old. But this doesn't necessarily reflect the actual quality of the service. UK trains are similarly punctual to many major Western European countries. They are more heavily used and more expensive, however.



Passengers on Northern, covering areas including Manchester, Liverpool and Cumbria, have faced cancelled trains and major delays since a new timetable was introduced in May.

Amid the chaos, Robert Nisbet, director of the rail companies' membership body the Rail Delivery Group, told BBC 5 live that the UK's railways were the "envy" of Europe.

"We're a hugely successful railway in many ways - much more so than many countries in Western Europe who would only dream about having our kind of performance and punctuality records," he said.

[continues]
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johnneyw
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2018, 08:24:40 pm »

Europe is a big place. I would suggest this is a deliberate choice so that when asked to support the claim, 'evidence' can be cherry picked from any country that has an aspect of railway performance worse than ours.
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Trowres
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2018, 08:49:54 pm »

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many countries in Western Europe who would only dream about having our kind of performance and punctuality records

I think the correct terminology is "have nightmares".


Was RDG really set up to be the spin delivery group?

[edited to include quote]
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2018, 09:55:10 pm »

"Laughing stock" is more appropriate.
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eightf48544
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 09:07:56 am »

Maybe not so far off the mark. The grass is always greener over the channel.

SNCF is in trouble particularly on long distance non LGV routes and TGVs aren't doing too well either hence OUIGO.

DB ICE and ICs seem to have got  very unreliable late running. Hover contracted out RE RB  provincial services seem to be flourishing.

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Timmer
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2018, 09:22:14 am »

Was RDG really set up to be the spin delivery group?
Yep totally.
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Timmer
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2018, 09:26:54 am »

Maybe not so far off the mark. The grass is always greener over the channel.
Having used various rail/metro networks around Europe this past year I'm inclined to agree. I think where other countries gain over the UK is on the cost, our rail fares are at times very expensive compared to rail services in Europe.
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devonexpress
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2018, 11:36:26 am »

Maybe back in, oh i don't know the 1930's, modern days probably not.
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didcotdean
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2018, 12:24:38 pm »

I was in Germany last week and I took several regional services, all as it happens operated by DB Regio, and every one arrived late. A couple by only five minutes, but the others ranged up to half an hour (on an hourly frequency service). One started off on time, but was looped twice in a journey that should have taken 30 minutes to allow (presumably) late running expresses to overtake on a 2-track railway, so ended up taking about 45 minutes. The longest delay was due to 'the late arrival of the incoming service' - the previous service had been cancelled too so it was packed on arrival. The last train I took had about 50% of the doors non-operational.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2018, 01:01:01 am »

My own experience of European rail also compares poorly in many cases to the British equivalent.  Many regional services, if they run at all, are comparatively infrequent in many countries given the big towns they serve.  Delays are still common.  Quality of train interior is broadly comparable but varies wildly on the continent from very good to 'please give me a pacer instead!'.  However where they exist, high speed rail services generally make many of our routes look slow by comparison.

I've commented myself before on how the German network has struggled recently, and didcotdean's experiences suggest they are still struggling.

The current woes our network is facing is putting us in an increasingly bad light though.
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Noggin
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2018, 06:40:13 pm »

Maybe not so far off the mark. The grass is always greener over the channel.
Having used various rail/metro networks around Europe this past year I'm inclined to agree. I think where other countries gain over the UK is on the cost, our rail fares are at times very expensive compared to rail services in Europe.

In general, I feel that more effort is made with trains and stations here than on the continent, particularly regional and local services. Whilst both stations and trains might be smaller and more crowded, both tend to have a much better ambiance, trains are more comfortably furnished, cleaner, both are more or less graffiti free and there is generally at least an attempt to give the customer a better experience.

In general, on the continent I find that things are generally far more spartan and functional. Even major stations are often little more than windswept over/underpasses, dirty, graffiti strewn and feel very insecure, with little in the way of retail or food offerings other than burgers. Trains, whilst being spacious are often grubby, tired and cold. Yes, it generally works in a functional sort of way, but more from force of routine and the system not being overloaded I suspect.

As for fares, I think it depends where you are, Belgium was certainly cheap, Switzerland definitely not.   
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Tim
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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2018, 10:06:24 am »

I don't think our railways are the envy of Europe, but they are a long way from being the worse in Europe (except perhaps for walk-up ticket prices).  Have recently used DSB (Denmark) and experienced delays as the norm, lack of information, graffiti over many train windows and one DMU which caught fire. 
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