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Author Topic: Are the railways fit for their (future) purpose?  (Read 5937 times)
Reading General
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« Reply #30 on: November 29, 2021, 07:08:09 pm »

Agreed. They are not fit for purpose because they are run for profit not people. Private public transport folds at the first sign of any difficulty and getting services back is much harder than getting rid of them in the first place. Cross country is the largest operator that doesn’t serve the capital and as I’ve stated before our railways are run for London not for connecting the country.
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ellendune
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« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2021, 08:52:24 pm »

Agreed. They are not fit for purpose because they are run for profit not people. Private public transport folds at the first sign of any difficulty and getting services back is much harder than getting rid of them in the first place. Cross country is the largest operator that doesn’t serve the capital and as I’ve stated before our railways are run for London not for connecting the country.
I seem to remember under BR (British Rail(ways)) they were not fit for purpose either for a similar reason, namely how much money the Treasury was willing to fork out!
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2021, 09:18:19 pm »

On many routes, trains on Sunday mornings were as rare as hen’s teeth in BR (British Rail(ways)) days - perhaps that’s the reason there weren’t so many RRB (Rail Replacement Bus)’s back then!
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Reading General
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« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2021, 09:58:34 pm »

The behaviour of society was also different on a Sunday in the BR (British Rail(ways)) days. Times have changed. My point was not so much that BR did a better job, more that the unfashionable routes had options where cross subsidy was available. Public run services can run a more cohesive network over TOC (Train Operating Company)’s that favour the busiest routes and full capacity as often as possible. Do we look at transport networks as a financial situation or a societal one? I would always choose quality of life over the price it may cost.
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broadgage
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« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2021, 09:58:57 pm »

Railways in the UK (United Kingdom) whether privately run or government run, have in my view suffered from successive dogmas, under which it was admitted that there might be certain problems, all of which would be solved by some huge scheme.

The first example "once we have got rid of steam, and introduced more modern traction, a new age will dawn" This was not a complete success as many of the BR (British Rail(ways)) modernisation plan diesels had problems at least for the first few years.
Steam should have been kept, not forever of course but for perhaps another 5 years or until the more modern machines worked reliably.

The next example was "once we have got rid of loco hauled passenger trains, everything will be wonderful, no more coupling and uncoupling, no more running the engine around, think of the greater efficiency" This was also not a complete success, with both reliability and overcrowding issues as the DMUs (Diesel Multiple Unit) were seldom available in working order in sufficient numbers. Again loco hauled passenger trains should have been kept, at least until the DMUs were reliably available in sufficient numbers, and perhaps for longer.

The latest example is "far too many different types of not inter operable multiple units, a new age dawns when we standardise on one basic design, with minor differences in internal fit out" Think of the savings, the same design for many routes, and all interchangeable. Best to lease them in order that faults and failures are a supplier problem, supplier to supply agreed numbers each day.
Well, we have seen the failure of that project.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 10:20:11 pm by broadgage » Logged

A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2021, 09:25:11 am »

The latest example is "far too many different types of not inter operable multiple units, a new age dawns when we standardise on one basic design, with minor differences in internal fit out" Think of the savings, the same design for many routes, and all interchangeable. Best to lease them in order that faults and failures are a supplier problem, supplier to supply agreed numbers each day.
Well, we have seen the failure of that project.
Unlike steam and locos, I don't think that last dogma has actually been introduced by the rail industry. While we have seen standardisation across LNER» (London North Eastern Railway - about) and GWR (Great Western Railway) with the Intercity Express Programme (IEP (Intercity Express Program / Project.)), the same doesn't seem to apply elsewhere. I'm not sure whether the class 196 and 197 Civity DMUs (Diesel Multiple Unit) are inter-operable and have certainly read that they are NOT inter-operable with class 195 DMUs despite the class 197 design appearing very similar to the class 195s except for the addition of unit-end gangways on the 197s. I'm not sure if the Hitachi class 385s at ScotRail are inter-operable with anything else either.
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Don't DOO (Driver-Only Operation (that is, trains which operate without carrying a guard)) it, keep the guard (but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea if the driver unlocked the doors on arrival at calling points).
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« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2021, 09:24:01 pm »

There is an element of choosing a speech to appeal to the audience (in this case the Smart Transport Conference)...

Quote
The three Cs of Covid-19, carbon and convenience are guiding government transport policy, with a commitment that the post-pandemic recovery will not be car led, according to Trudy Harrison MP (Member of Parliament), parliamentary under secretary for the Department for Transport.

Quote
she said the Government faced a stark choice - design a transport network that will meet the needs of passengers today and for decades to come; or revert to an out-dated transport model.

Quote
“We are choosing a transport system fit for the future – a future of world class public transport infrastructure, green travel, accessible to all and the ability to choose from a range of shared, clean green forms of travel,”

If you think I made that all up, the source is https://www.smarttransport.org.uk/news/latest-news/Transport-minister-says-the-post-pandemic-recovery-will-not-be-car-led

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Without action there is no hope.
broadgage
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« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2021, 09:30:28 am »

That SOUNDS splendid, but actions speak louder than words.
Actual recent actions have included;

Holding down petrol/diesel prices to those prevailing about 10 years ago in order to encourage more driving.

Increasing rail fares every year to discourage more use of rail.

Withdrawing long distance services from Waterloo to Bristol and the West country.

Subsidies for regional airports to encourage more flying.

Introducing new trains without space for cycles, surfboards, holiday luggage and the like, best to drive if you wish to take holiday luggage on holiday. 

No real urgency in dealing with the failed IET (Intercity Express Train) project. Simply accepting that reduced numbers of trains are the new normal, rather than saying to the supplier "you built them, you fix them, or replace them"

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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Reading General
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« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2021, 10:18:42 am »

I don’t have much faith in things with a ‘seamless user experience’. I’m not keen on a railway which requires a charged battery, an app and the latest operating system to be used. Embrace technology yes, but keep options open and simple to make things easy for anyone to use. I don’t particularly want to see a book ahead railway nor passengers competing for space on trains.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2021, 11:50:42 am »

Well the Union Connectivity Report forecasts a 51% increase in road traffic from 2015 to 2050 and 63% for domestic air travel over the same period. That's in a big friendly graphic on page 15. No forecast for rail use though.
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broadgage
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« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2021, 02:34:18 pm »

I don’t have much faith in things with a ‘seamless user experience’. I’m not keen on a railway which requires a charged battery, an app and the latest operating system to be used. Embrace technology yes, but keep options open and simple to make things easy for anyone to use. I don’t particularly want to see a book ahead railway nor passengers competing for space on trains.

I agree, there seems to be growing interest in apps, mobile communications, and various forms of priority boarding.

And not in getting the basics right.
Publish a printed timetable and keep to it, not an ever changing and electronically "updated" timetable that changes after you have purchased tickets or made other plans.

Simple to understand fares with no need to "search for the best deal" simply buy a ticket. Paper tickets not reliant on any portable electronics.

And of course proper trains, with enough seats for all, perhaps even padded ones.

No amount of electronic complications compensates for a train that is half length or cancelled.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Mark A
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« Reply #41 on: December 03, 2021, 07:57:34 am »

There is an element of choosing a speech to appeal to the audience (in this case the Smart Transport Conference)...


Thanks again for this, it's very illuminating and shows the need either to platform these people with a right of response, or perhaps avoid platforming them if it's going to lend the weight of your organisation to their stance. In this case, good to let the light in...

I took that conference speech to Twitter, which prompted a supportive response from one Stephen Joseph as well as an immediate challenge as to why anyone would campaign for secondary services between Bristol and London.

Now, Twitter for the most part has low traction but can be good for getting the right people thinking. (Off topic for this thread, concerning the Bristol to Waterloo trains, getting them thinking hasn't worked of course.)

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Trowres
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« Reply #42 on: December 03, 2021, 12:20:22 pm »

There is an element of choosing a speech to appeal to the audience (in this case the Smart Transport Conference)...

an immediate challenge as to why anyone would campaign for secondary services between Bristol and London.

Did that question include hint on the viewpoint of its author?
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Mark A
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« Reply #43 on: December 03, 2021, 04:05:01 pm »

I checked and the question was sincere - it's an understandable initial impression to wonder what the value is of a secondary service that has the same start and end points. Once there's the realisation that the two services from Bristol to 'London' serve discreet destinations, and then all the intermediate stops come into consideration, and then add the 'Network benefits' in terms of easier connections - that are often ignored so as to minimise the significance of line reopenings, their initial position will have shifted on this.

it's been the case that a reopening coming to be known as, say, 'Lewes to Uckfield' - joining two minor Sussex towns - when it would be better to name it in a way that throws light on the substantial network gains from turning a branch that's 30 or so miles long into a through route allowing multiple journeys between nodes as well as increased resilience in the form of a diversionary route.

Or something that should at least be known as Derby - Chinley but is referred to as 'Matlock to Buxton', where the Derbyshire County Council study proposed reopening a slew of intermediate stations and ran traffic forecasts for passenger numbers between those stations, and from either end onto the line - but omitted to include predictions for passenger traffic between the small villages of Leicester, Nottingham, Derby at one end and the hamlet of Greater Manchester at the other - population sums of c.4 million and 7 million.

Despite the artificial restrictions on the passenger estimates, the numbers were so good that the Peak national park authority got nervous, to the extent that they quickly bit-flipped on their previous opposition to opening the line's tunnels for foot and cycle traffic, and from a standing start put the current continuous shared use path in place, the users of which they will hope is an insurmountable guard against the rails ever returning to the route.

It might be that the project to complete the route round the north of Dartmoor will escape being known as 'Okehampton to Bere Alston' and from the start have a name that reflects the stature of its future contribution. (Putting this here for Andy Roden, who I think occasionally lurks on these forums.)
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Lee
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« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2021, 05:33:01 pm »

It might be that the project to complete the route round the north of Dartmoor will escape being known as 'Okehampton to Bere Alston' and from the start have a name that reflects the stature of its future contribution. (Putting this here for Andy Roden, who I think occasionally lurks on these forums.)

I suspect it might well end up being called plain old "Tavistock" when the government propel reopening the line from Bere Alston to there up to the top of their reopening list - Tavistock being a major town in the Torridge and West Devon constituency, where a by-election at some point is both highly likely and "must-win" for the Conservatives.
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