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Author Topic: Are the railways fit for their (future) purpose?  (Read 8831 times)
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #75 on: January 24, 2022, 10:26:55 am »

Who is going to pay for all these modifications to existing stock, and to purchase new stock to deal with the extra passengers generated with a much larger seasonal and day of the week bias?  Not to mention the extra staff that would be needed.

It all sounds lovely in principle.  Extremely hard to achieve in practice.  Though that’s not to say we shouldn’t try…
« Last Edit: January 24, 2022, 10:58:24 am by IndustryInsider » Logged

To view my GWML (Great Western Main Line) Electrification cab video 'before and after' video comparison, as well as other videos of the new layout at Reading and 'before and after' comparisons of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/
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« Reply #76 on: January 24, 2022, 11:18:58 am »

Railway needs to completely change its mindset and become customer focussed in a way it literally has never had to be before.

YES!

We are at a time of great opportunity - but also of great risk ...

But what does that mean? I suspect most of those working in the railways sincerely believe they are customer focused - within the constraints they face. And a lot of those constraints are inherent to its being a railway, as well as the extra ones we all know about (limited subsidy levels, political control of what is in effect a nationalised system).
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grahame
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« Reply #77 on: January 24, 2022, 11:29:11 am »

Who is going to pay for all these modifications to existing stock, and to purchase new stock to deal with the extra passengers generated with a much larger seasonal and day of the week bias?  Not to mention the extra staff that would be neede

It all sounds lovely in principle.  Extremely hard to achieve in practice.  Though that’s not to say we shouldn’t try…

Oh - I grant you there are extras ... but it's not just a one way thing and there are savings and efficiencies too.

I recall whole loads of talk about how inefficient it was "x" years ago (where x > 3) to have trains busy just twice a day for single direction journeys into a city in the morning and back in the opposite direction in the evening, all at a season ticket price which was far too high to be liked by people, but far lower than other fares on that same train.  I recall talk of how many people are involved in blame attribution, in sharing fares out between franchises, of (!) how much money is paid to overseas governmental train operators running in this country, and so forth.   How perverse other elements of ...

Politically, should things like the freeze on fuel duty over many years still be there and making private road travel progressively more attractive?  Should travel costs all across the board be allowed to rise, jogging people towards public transport or asking "is the journey really necessary" or should taxation support of public transport make for a more European balance than the current British one it terms of where the income comes from?

I would agree that it is very hard to achieve in practice. But that, never the less, we should try. 

Railway needs to completely change its mindset and become customer focussed in a way it literally has never had to be before.

YES!

We are at a time of great opportunity - but also of great risk ...

But what does that mean? I suspect most of those working in the railways sincerely believe they are customer focused - within the constraints they face. And a lot of those constraints are inherent to its being a railway, as well as the extra ones we all know about (limited subsidy levels, political control of what is in effect a nationalised system).

Funnily enough, I think I was starting to address that while you wrote ... I wrote on the opportunity. The risk is a cost based railway where trains become a means of travel of last resort, used by so few that more services are removed, leaving shared fixed infrastructure costs between fewer people, and a less attractive service because of a greatly-tinned frequency.
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« Reply #78 on: January 24, 2022, 12:02:23 pm »

I can’t see any other option apart from a large increase in taxpayer spending to achieve what was suggested earlier, apart from removing the ‘turn up and go’ principle for longer distance trains and make them reservation compulsory.

Will the taxpayer be able to shoulder that burden, or want to, given the huge pressures from most other industries and services following the pandemic who now also find themselves struggling.
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« Reply #79 on: January 24, 2022, 11:45:12 pm »

Nobody's sure what post-Covid patronage will be, but (say) 70% of pre-Covid would put the passenger numbers back to around 2006 (depends on which part of the country you look at). Revenue would be comparable to some years earlier, given an expected loss of business travel.

Some pretty awful things happened around 2006 (like the planning for the new GW (Great Western) franchise, which led to shorter trains...overcrowding...and this forum  Wink . I recall much anger,  but little of the pessimism that exists now.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #80 on: January 25, 2022, 06:38:08 pm »

... apart from removing the ‘turn up and go’ principle for longer distance trains and make them reservation compulsory.

When one thinks about this it s one of those ideas that looks good on paper, but rapidly turns into a very bad one when it hits the wall of practicality. Some “for instances” appear below.

Firstly the term “long journey” has to be defined. How long is long? 50 miles? 100 miles?  200 miles? Whatever threshold you set it at, you run the risk of the press finding an example where the journey is one mile too long pr one mile too short and turning the railway into a laughing stock in the process

Secondly you have yo bear in mind that most long-distance trains in the UK (United Kingdom) tend to be what used to be called semi-fasts in reality, making multiple stops along the route.  There may well be some long-distance passengers on an XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise)) Plymouth to Edinburgh, but there will be larger numbers of passengers going from Plymouth to Newton Abbot, or Exeter to Taunton, or Cheltenham to Brum and so on. What are you going to do bout them? Make them get other trains? What if the long-distance trakns are the only services between two points, like Wigan to Warrington?

And if a scheme is designed so that 2local” passengers can use these long distance trains, them at a stroke you would have introduced a whole new reason for split ticketing.

On Saturday 5th March my flight from Cape Town is booked to land at Heathrow at 0715.  It might be on time and it might not. I hope tp be in Paddington in time for the 0902 Bristol but I can’t guarantee it. I therefore cannot commit myself to any particular train, because when I turn up at Paddington I then want to go home – there and then. But perhaps Chippenham isn’t “long distance.” But perhaps going to Bath or Bristol might be.

Finally, I don’t know of anybody being told by a close relative that they were going to have a heart attack and die a week next Thursday,  so as to give the sufficient notice to reserve a place on a train. Unthinking blighters, some relatives...


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