On why infrastructure costs so much

Just a quick look at quite how much bureaucracy has to be got through before new trains can be run through the Channel Tunnel.

It really would all be a great deal cheaper without quite so much paper shuffling, wouldn\’t it?

7 comments on “On why infrastructure costs so much

  1. If you combine the delights of French protectionism and British border-paranoia, then yup, that’s what you’ll end up with. It’s a shame that most parties who’re opposed to the one are in favour of the other (*cough*UKIP*cough*)

  2. You only have to compare the cost per seat of those trains with the cost per seat of a car. The car is cheaper/seat, despite the fact that a train only has 1 engine and 1 steering wheel.

    I last went to Paris by car, and I’ll do it again by car. The train might be quicker, but by the time you add in getting to the station, getting to London and so forth, you only save a couple of hours, and for the £400 extra, not worth it.

  3. @3, in terms of the actual cost of buying a physical train, this is primarily because regulators, driven by the idiocy and witch-hunter-y of the general public, insist on trains being approximately 100x safer than cars. The specific costs of Chunnel travel also reflect the fact that (as Jon W mentions in his original post) cars going through the Chunnel don’t require demented safety checks, whereas suitcases on trains do. This is obviously sensible, because I can pack far more explosives in a suitcase than you can in your car.

  4. I recently took my car to France on the chunnel and they had sniffer dogs all over it (and the other cars in the line).

  5. “whereas suitcases on trains do.”

    What’s bizarre is that they bring you up for carrying a pen-knife but are happy to let climbers carry ice-axes attached to their backpacks.

    Weird. Totally weird.

  6. johnb,

    Trust me, once you’ve seen the calibre of men working on the railroad you’ll come away thinking that there probably isn’t enough regulation.

    Bob Crow is not a freakish outlier or 1970s throwback, as far as the modern RMT goes he is something of a moderate.

    Phil

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