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How do we sort our trains?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Gigabit, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. ubersonic

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 26, 2009

    Posts: 20,515

    I wouldn't call England's 2nd, 3rd, 7th, and 4th biggest cities "minor" :p
     
  2. StriderX

    Capodecina

    Joined: Mar 18, 2008

    Posts: 19,740

    Well clearly London's Elite and it's resident leeches in Westminster think otherwise.
     
  3. b0rn2sk8

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 4,373

    No it isn’t. The actual trains in use are reasonable in most places. It’s poor due to the infrastructure that is in public control. The British railways are suffering due to decades of underfunding, it’s based on Victorian infrastructure that is incredibly difficult to upgrade and is only getting more and more expensive. HS2 is a perfect example of all the NIMBY’s that do all they can to block any upgrades anywhere.

    People in this country are very self centred to its detriment.

    Edit: This would be a 6 month job in the UK due to noise concerns for residents. In China it’s done in one night.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-asia-37228417/diggers-demolish-overpass-in-china-in-one-night
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  4. ubersonic

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 26, 2009

    Posts: 20,515

    Yes is is, sadly it's also something a lot of politicians (especially that retard beeching) cannot grasp, that a public service is not supposed to make money, which is why privatisation has failed so spectacularly for our railways (and NHS), because the goal of running a private business is completely opposed to the goals of running a public service.

    The way it's supposed to work is very simple, people pay to use the train, that money pays for the cost of running/maintaining the trains and the cost of running/maintaining/upgrading the network. Some routes will make a loss, some a profit but when all is said and done it should break even, if it's making money that means that the public are being ripped off on the cost of running a public service. Some times additional government spending may be required in the event of an act of god/terror or a major infrastructure project (a la HS2), and depending on the party in power the will/will not be subsidies to lower fares, but overall profit/loss should be approximately zero.

    And this is why privatisation has failed so spectacularly, because no sane company would ever want to pay to run something not designed to make any profit, that should have set off alarm bells straight away. Just like in the NHS when (I.E) Virgin Care offer to do a service for the NHS cheaper than the NHS can do it itself, the only possible way to do that and make profit is by providing inferior service, yet politicians are all for it because it lowers costs.

    It's like a wise man once said, why would anybody spend money to get a job that pays less money unless they planned to steal it back with interest.
     
  5. FortuitousFluke

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 7, 2011

    Posts: 3,509

    Location: Cambridgeshire

    I was with you until this point. It's not a given that the only way to provide a service at a lower cost than a public sector organisation is to cut corners or provide a lesser service. Take social care as an example, it's a hot topic at the moment and I guarantee that Chief Execs across the Country are fielding calls from their Councillors to bring care at home and residential/nursing care back in house. The difficulty with that is those services, when delivered in house, have always cost more than outsourced services for no significant increase in quality. You get the same workers, but due to LA T&C's you pay them more, give them better terms, better pensions and stronger rights which costs more, the organisations are huge which increases internal bureaucracy through necessity, you have interdependent departments sticking their oar in (still happens in an outsourced model but the front line is better protected) and you lack the private sector knowledge around efficiency. Now there are issues in what I've listed above, specifically around workers rights but to say you can't achieve savings through out-sourcing whilst retaining quality is not accurate.

    The issue with the trains is that the network of services, related services, infrastructure and the relationships and co-dependencies is so complex that farming them out piecemeal just doesn't seem to work. In addition to that offering out control of the entire network is going to be problematic for both parties.

    With something like a rail network you need to be able to take a holistic approach, and probably tie that approach in with the wider transport strategy, the issue is when you've let a concession contract to run a line for the next 30 odd years that's another piece of the puzzle that you need to factor in, you don't get to just say to the operator "Oh by the way we've changed our strategic model, you need to adapt and no we won't be paying for it.".

    I've got to say I would support nationalisation of the rail system in the UK, if they could find an operating model that could allow it to happen without epic levels of disruption, and if they promised to back it up with significant investment.
     
  6. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 29,995

    The following videos are relevantL:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-18775271/digger-driver-ruptures-shanghai-water-pipe
    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/36081283/chinese-diggers-battle-in-the-street
     
  7. Gamefreak501

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 7, 2003

    Posts: 7,975

    Location: Bedfordshire

    There is still a massive disparity between the train services operating from the Midlands and further North compared with the trains operating around London, which has been reported as causing a negative impact on the economic growth of these areas (as reported on Radio 4, some months ago). The same report by Radio 4 also explained that even with HS2, there will be many smaller stations which will still remain with below-par service around these northern areas. I don't have the source to hand, but whilst it's all well and good making 'Crossrail' and HS2 services a reality, many people are on the fence about how well these could be run by private franchises especially after recent timetabling disasters and of course constant staffing issues owing to pension agreements and contract changes.

    I was affected by the timetable disaster earlier this year and was almost late for an interview, but managed to arrive with just about ten minutes to spare because I got on a much earlier train, the journey planner web site information was totally useless to me because I went by that - but I live in a well served area. Mileage varies dramatically when you go North past Bedfordshire unfortunately, and the Government and Franchises ought to think more about these less well served areas and how feasible they are and how much more money can be squeezed out of fares which some consider to be on the high side in the UK.
     
  8. VincentHanna

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jul 30, 2013

    Posts: 18,495

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45854824

    This is exactly why privatisation has failed to bring benefits that travellers were promised.

     
  9. b0rn2sk8

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 4,373

    There’s huge outrage as a private company makes money. OMG!!! :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

    That article lacks any and all context.

    They have returned 50 million to their investors, it sounds like a lot (it isn’t in terms of big business) but where’s the context?

    How much are their sales, how much capital have they invested, how much profits have they made, how much tax did they pay on the profit, what improvements have they made to services etc....

    Please state how Virgin returning some money to their investors means the franchise has failed to bring the benefits travelers have been promised?
     
  10. VincentHanna

    Capodecina

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    Posts: 18,495

    It seems you've missed the point

    They walked away from another franchise costing the government £2.3 billion and paid themselves £50 million in profits from another one.
     
  11. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

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    Location: Plymouth

  12. b0rn2sk8

    Mobster

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    I've not really missed the point at all, you have posted a link which says a private company has make some money from a government contract, something that isn't new nor a surprise. No one has said those profits are above that you would expect to receive for running the line, context is key. It says they have doubled the dividend on the year before, that's fine but still lacks context. For instance if the year before represented 1% return the the shareholders, this year would only represent 2%, that is tiny. But until you go and research the actual figures from my previous post the discussion is pointless. They'll likely be looking for 5%-6% for something low risk.

    It's no different to criticising Amazon for paying X corporation tax on Y sales, that's fine but how much profit did they actually make because that's what the tax is based on....

    It also hasn't 'cost' the government anything, its really not that simple and they didn't walk away from the franchise. DfT let them out of the contract which is very different, but in exchange instead of getting a fixed fee the government will keep the profits from the line. The true 'cost' will not be known until it is signed over to a new company or the term of the franchise passes. That being said it is also pointless bankrupting the company running the franchise, if that happens the government doesn't get its 2 billion anyway.

    P.S. I have made my views perfectly clear in this thread before, I am very much for the public sector running the trains but posting trash that's just designed to get Corbyn supporters fired up isn't the answer. Objective critical analysis of the facts is better than sensationalist headlines/sound bytes.
     
  13. BowdonUK

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 2,411

    A facebook friend as been to Australia, and of course is posting every minute of their holiday.

    One thing of interest though is Australia seem to use 'double-decker'-like trains i.e. trains with 2 floors. Apparently some other countries have these types of trains too, Germany was mentioned.

    Why can't we have something like that over here?

    I'm sure it would be cheaper to re-build some low level bridges than building new tracks and using more trains.
     
  14. Vern1961

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 29, 2007

    Posts: 2,673

    Location: Swindon UK

    It would take massive infrastructure investment to raise and widen the loading gauge to accommodate double deck trains. Not just bridges, but tunnels, OLE, signal gantries etc. etc.

    Well actually the old Southern Railway did use a sort of double deck design EMU, the 4DD ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SR_Class_4DD ) but these were more of an interlaced design and as the link suggests, not very popular.
     
  15. StriderX

    Capodecina

    Joined: Mar 18, 2008

    Posts: 19,740

    Surely not, just make it so everyone is lying on each other horizontally (chuck those useless seats, storage and what have you out, also delete the toilet), you could increase capacity by atleast 30%-50%:)
     
  16. Evangelion

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 29, 2007

    Posts: 22,270

    Location: Adelaide, South Australia

    Re-nationalisation is the only answer. As usual, privatisation has only resulted in higher prices and inferior service. It always does.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  17. b0rn2sk8

    Mobster

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    Posts: 4,373

    [Cough]Commuter fares are regulated as are some Off-Peak return tickets on long distance journeys and Anytime tickets around major cities[/Cough]

    Passenger numbers have also more than doubled, that doesn't agree with either of your statements as both of them would reduce demand not increase it. Some rail companies have been doing a really good job in getting people to use the service by doing things like offering stupid cheap fares in times of low demand.

    I honestly think we would largely be paying the same if the train operating companies were nationalised for this entire period, the service is better because the government is putting more in as are the passengers. It doesn't really matter who are running the trains on the tracks, almost all of what makes those services better *IS* already nationalised.

    The only difference would be the profit they name would go back to the treasury and its not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things.

    Putting aside the issues with Northern/Thames Link time tables the vast majority of issues on the trains are either in no ones control or in the control of Network Rail.
     
  18. FortuitousFluke

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    Poor service won't have an impact on demand if there is no viable alternative. I recieve reasonably crap service from my provide at the moment, i have the choice of sucking it up or finding another job.
     
  19. Evangelion

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 29, 2007

    Posts: 22,270

    Location: Adelaide, South Australia

    You misspelled 'poorly regulated.'

    The fact that passenger numbers have doubled simply proves that the population has grown and more people need to use trains. That doesn't change anything I've said.

    Such as?
     
  20. asim18

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 5, 2006

    Posts: 15,410

    We sort our trains by reducing the need to commute lol. It's as simple as that.

    People living next to a Tesco are having to travel 5 miles to work at, another Tesco. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. 75% of ALL "commuting" which occurs right now is completely and utterly pointless.