The Politics of Trains

And politics. And trains. And Communism.
But please, mostly trains.

Private Eye Used to have a great section devoted to the railways (and one about “DNA”) but I’ve not bought it for years, since I stopped going into an office on a Friday :face_with_hand_over_mouth::biking_man:t3:‍♂

Merci Tomaz.

I’ve been reading the manifestos today…

I quite like wheat, but not soot. Or racism.
I found both main parties have some very funny ideas, but at least they’re being honest this year :wink::joy::face_with_hand_over_mouth:

How does my 25 minute return trip between Paddington and Reading cost £50 with no discounts for buying early?

Thankfully work pay for it!!!

I hate trains.

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Is it fair to say one of the odd things about rail privatization is that it’s basically missing a key ingredient, competition, which normally would help the end consumer?

Regulated peak fare, that’s why!
Discounts only available on off peak.
Regulated fares have been (for the most part) just below inflation (66% overall) since privatisation.

Travel off peak, or get a job in London.
The uplift could cover the season ticket cost.

That’s why HS2 is a nonsense.
Folks like me will just jump on the fast train to the big smoke, get the de Niro, go back home same day.
It’s a lose/lose situation.

Even steam trains?
Trains built this country! :joy::wink:

Why would we want to mobilise The Poor?

Trains are too expensive.
They take the bus or drive a Vauxhall.

Because you pay the full cost of your journey - the tracks, the trains, the signalling, the power and the bloated RMT salaries, plus maintaining it all in short perios for time because they cannot stop any line except in the middle of the night for a couple of hours.

There’s no reason why anyone else not using the train should pay it for you is there ?

If there is, then please explain why someone in Glasgow as an example, should subsidise your journey to work.

HS2, if built, will be full to capacity in a few years of completion - just like WCML was when it was built and every other rail line built in the UK in the last few decades.

Thats less carbon emissions and a whole lot of cars off the road.

Because it’s a societal good, that enables society to function and grow better.

The human race are individuals but we are know that things work better when we work together for the common good. From living as families to bring up children, to preventing (the sadly fast approaching likelihood once again) global war.

Each man for themselves can produce short term monetary gains, at the cost of personal destruction through egos and separation; medium term global fractures (look at global politics just now); and longer term global war (likelihood currently peaking in around 7.5 years from now.) Hope it gets prevented. Fortunately I am unlikely to be around to suffer in it, if the human race can’t see past the upcoming tragedies and prevent them. By a good dose of humanity. Which means helping others, and rebalancing society to ensure stability.

But what the heck do I know.

How is it a societal good for a widow in Scotland to pay for part of the train fare of a stockbroker in London living in a Multi-million pound house ?

There are undoubtedly plenty of things that are societal good, like paying towards education even if you don’t have kids as it’s nice to live in an educated country rather than in one run by Labour - but paying for part of someone else’s train fares isn’t one of them.

In the same way that stockbroker will be paying the pensioners pension, health care etc.

The specific problem with the railways is that there is no competition, just a bunch of local monopolies. One of the biggest strategic errors of the Tories (and I am an ex Tory member remember) was to ignore the bleeding obvious in the pursuit of money. In much the same way that disabled people have been filled full of fear, Insecurity, il health and so on, while private companies rake in the cash, that otherwise was being spent on giving them a decent life.

It all depends on whether you want a society full of “me, me, me” types, which leads to fractures, division, societal destruction (as explained in my post above at an individual, community, national and global levels). Or whether you want to live in a safe, secure world.

As an ex member of the Adam Smith Institute and Tory party member, I have no problems with capitalism. But it has gone too far, ignoring the societally destructive effects that gather at the extremes. Iirc even Adam Smith was aware of this and warned against it (but I may be wrong on this). We as a society have just forgotten that wisdom.

I just hope that we remember it and sort it before things get real ugly in our world, a few short years away if we are not careful.

But again that isn’t my problem anymore.

Thats the exact reverse of what i asked - try again.

You cannot have competition in rail as they share a common infrastructure and you cannot have two TrainCo’s just deciding to run trains whenever it suits them, so you statement is pointless. You do have competition, but within limits and it can work well if the tracks are available.

B’ham to London - use the fast £150 Pendolino and be there in an hour 15 or use the Midlands trains and be there in two hours plus change - at a half to quarter of the price. Competition works - IF the tracks are made available by the public sector.

Almost nothing is being ignored - just the expectation of being able to live off someone else (benefit cap is politically supported by the vast majority of the public) unless its societally acceptable and asking an OAP in Scotland to pay higher taxes so a London Commuter can have a subsidy to get to work isnt it.

That train is crazy slow!!!
I’ve got it from Northampton to Crewe before, when the Pendolino’s weren’t leaving London.
But yes, you’re correct - there is a choice on that line - quick and expensive, or cheap and slow.

RE: HS2 - Again, I have no doubt it’ll be full. But not for reasons they’re quoting. It won’t be good for the North - it’ll simply help the already better off become wealthier, by simplifying travel to London to earn more.
People won’t be leaving London to visit the North.
The same investment in the north rail network would have a much better economic impact on the North.
The Sheffield to Manchester route is a joke.
Coming into Manchester from the west is also horrific - the trains are so full, some people have to wait for a number of trains until they can board one (Flixton, Urmston)
This goes back to your comment on more/longer platforms, coupled with longer trains, running more frequently and to time.