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Author Topic: Growing Rail Revenue  (Read 934 times)
GBM
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« on: November 27, 2022, 10:41:28 am »

Interesting article by Roger Ford
https://busandtrainuser.com/2022/11/27/growing-rail-revenue/
Growing rail revenue was the theme of one of the sessions at the ‘Future of Britain’s Railways’ Conference held over two days last week as part of the Modern Railways Expo exhibition in Milton Keynes.

Modern Railways editor Phil Sherratt kindly invited me to join the panel discussion along with Mark Smith (founder of The Man In Seat 61 website) after presentations from Suzanne Donnelly, Director, Passenger Revenue, Great British Railways Transition Team, Stuart Jones, Commercial Director, Lumo and Alistair Lees, Chair, Independent Rail Retailers. The session was ably chaired by Sharon Hedges of Transport Focus.
.....continues.......
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broadgage
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2022, 04:45:22 am »

I agree with the need for much simpler fares, and have previously posted in detail regarding this.
for almost all journeys, only three different fares.
Almost all tickets to be valid via any reasonable route.
When the permitted routing is restricted, this to be printed ON THE TICKET, "not via London" for example.

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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.
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2022, 09:13:30 am »

You’ll need to define ‘reasonable’….otherwise many would abuse it
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2022, 10:06:56 am »

You’ll need to define ‘reasonable’….otherwise many would abuse it

Indeed.
1. Shortest route
2. Any route which can get you to the ticket destination fastest / earlier than any alternative
3. Additionally, and route which is slower than (1) or (2) but involves less changes

You may need to put some sub-text on (3) - avoiding Melksham to Coventry journeys being valid with a single change at Southampton, for example.


Edit - slight change of "will' to "can"
« Last Edit: November 28, 2022, 10:24:53 am by grahame » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2022, 12:03:57 pm »

I can see (3) needing an awful lot of subtext.  There’s a reason why the routeing guide is as complicated as it is. 
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2022, 01:53:55 pm »

I can see (3) needing an awful lot of subtext.  There’s a reason why the routeing guide is as complicated as it is. 

Or could it be as simple as "no break of journey" for passengers choosing such a routing?
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ChrisB
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2022, 03:19:46 pm »

3 as stated cannot work on long distance trains.....otherwise you could go via PNZ to get to Newcastle/Edinburgh from London, and via Inverness to get to Glasgow from London
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2022, 04:03:39 pm »

Simpler fare structure would be, IMO (in my opinion), much better for passengers. But would it grow revenue? I note that "grow" is not identical to "increase" and a short term decrease in revenue might be more than compensated for (not only financially) by long term growth in railway usage.
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2022, 06:05:41 pm »

One of the things that GBR (Great British Railways) will bring is a simpler National fare structure, while still allowing for cheap ticket offers and those of 'open operators'
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2022, 07:08:56 pm »

One of the things that GBR (Great British Railways) will bring is a simpler National fare structure, while still allowing for cheap ticket offers and those of 'open operators'
I admire your optimism (or was it said tongue-in-cheek?) but fear you will be disappointed.  If railways hadn't previously existed the fares structure wouldn't be designed as it currently is, but enough people benefit from its complexity (choice of routes, break of journey, widely varying price per mile etc) that it would be politically "brave" - to quote Yes Prime Minister - to make significant changes except phased in over a longer time period than one electoral term.
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2022, 07:58:55 pm »

If widescale reform of fares doesn’t happen in the next couple of years, it never will.
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2022, 10:12:26 pm »

One of the things that GBR (Great British Railways) will bring is a simpler National fare structure, while still allowing for cheap ticket offers and those of 'open operators'
I admire your optimism (or was it said tongue-in-cheek?) but fear you will be disappointed.  If railways hadn't previously existed the fares structure wouldn't be designed as it currently is, but enough people benefit from its complexity (choice of routes, break of journey, widely varying price per mile etc) that it would be politically "brave" - to quote Yes Prime Minister - to make significant changes except phased in over a longer time period than one electoral term.

A sizable minority of passengers make use of complexity; I would suggest its a small minority of passengers enjoy it.

The vast majority of passengers what a simple fare structure that is reasonably priced and the train service is on time, clean and they can get a seat
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2022, 06:31:38 am »

3 as stated cannot work on long distance trains.....otherwise you could go via PNZ to get to Newcastle/Edinburgh from London, and via Inverness to get to Glasgow from London

I disagree. I very much doubt that significant numbers of passengers would make the rather improbable journeys suggested above, if only due to the time taken. If large numbers DID» (Didcot Parkway - next trains) travel thus, then prohibit it by printing "NOT VIA PENZANCE" On the tickets.
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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.
broadgage
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2022, 06:41:22 am »

Simpler fare structure would be, IMO (in my opinion), much better for passengers. But would it grow revenue? I note that "grow" is not identical to "increase" and a short term decrease in revenue might be more than compensated for (not only financially) by long term growth in railway usage.

My proposed simplification would produce some increases in revenue.

In particular, trains known to be busy would be open only to those with peak tickets. No more discounted advance tickets on services known to be over crowded.

And reduced super bargain fares on lightly used trains should attract more users. No more punitively high fares for wak up travel on a lightly used service.
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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.
ChrisB
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2022, 04:26:19 pm »

3 as stated cannot work on long distance trains.....otherwise you could go via PNZ to get to Newcastle/Edinburgh from London, and via Inverness to get to Glasgow from London

I disagree. I very much doubt that significant numbers of passengers would make the rather improbable journeys suggested above, if only due to the time taken. If large numbers DID» (Didcot Parkway - next trains) travel thus, then prohibit it by printing "NOT VIA PENZANCE" On the tickets.

....which immediately defeats the object of routing simplification..... Roll Eyes
Sorry, many, many enthusiasts would all compete for the longest (both in terms of time & distance) journey, while others would do it for the challenge.


My proposed simplification would produce some increases in revenue.

In particular, trains known to be busy would be open only to those with peak tickets. No more discounted advance tickets on services known to be over crowded.

Putting most Friday & Sunday services into peak fares then, as they are the current busiest. Need to get with the new times, Broadgage.

Quote
And reduced super bargain fares on lightly used trains should attract more users. No more punitively high fares for walk up travel on a lightly used service.

Which reduces the farebox on current peak services on Friday, and proably Mondays. We're trying to increase the farebox, not reduce it.

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