Figures here.

24 thoughts on “No more trains!”

  1. Tim

    It’s a great post but it presumes they will permit private cars – which there is every indication as part of the Great Reset that the powers that be will severely restrict their use. Still doesn’t mean the train rebuild is worthwhile but bear in mind the idea is to return us to pre industrial living standards (or certainly 19th century) with the Authors of this kind of theory as the aristocracy….

  2. Well the Authors of all such things always make themselves the aristocracy. Why, even my arguments somehow tend to pander to my self-interest!!!!

    As for the post, it simply proves nationalising the railways was a bad idea. Had they been left in private hands, they either would have been run at a profit or closed, with no cost or bother to the bureaucrats. But I’m arguing to the converted here.

  3. Van Patten,

    It’ll never work. If you start going after people’s cars anywhere but London, you’ll see a new Car Party formed that would make UKIP vote splitting look like a big nothing.

  4. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Tim, they’ve been doing it for years.

    Just started considering buying a car after almost a decade without. I stopped considering after about 10 minutes looking at car prices.

  5. Tim Almond

    My guess is they will give fewer votes to Whites, heterosexuals and men going forward – or possibly remove elections as a concept. These people don’t really do democracy. I’d imagine the treatment meted out to girls by grooming gangs in Rotherham will br extended to other classes and the South. They’re fairly determined to push on with this.

  6. Boganboy,

    “As for the post, it simply proves nationalising the railways was a bad idea. Had they been left in private hands, they either would have been run at a profit or closed, with no cost or bother to the bureaucrats. But I’m arguing to the converted here.”

    It’s also important to note that the “privatisation” that followed nationalisation was really nothing of the sort. These were not businesses that could make decisions about fares, routes or rolling stock. They were suppliers to the state. So, there was little improvement in quality of service or price over time.

  7. The UK was hardly unique in this. The French closed a bunch of local lines in 1938, and a second wave of closures in the late 1960s. A third wave of closures is underway (search for “le rapport Spinetta” if you can be bothered), because the French railways are in a parlous financial state.

  8. BiFR, Deutsche staedte sind anders.

    I lived in Munich, D-dorf andf Frankfurt and didn’t need a car for any of those places, I was usually just around the corner from a tube or tram station. I only had a car in Vienna because I had to travel out often on business to strange places.

    In London one doesn’t really need a car, but here on the coast the buses are horrifically expensive and it is full of hills.

    Andrew M also look at Ireland’s railway, a shadow of its former self.

  9. People forget that passenger rail has never made money, from the day it was invented. Rail was invented and made money for freight. It was only through the clamouring of the public and support from politicians that passenger rail happened, and it needed support from day one – either from using the profits from frieight or outright subsidy from taxes. With the privitisation structure separating out railfrieght as a seperate entity, new passenger rail was crippled at birth.

    And with the “buses will replace trains” argument, I’d like to drag Richard Beeching’s corpse into some of the rail-connected areas here and demand of him: how the **** do you get a bus up that hill? Rail had the advantage of being able to use tunnels and things, buses have to stick to roads that have to follow the landscape more closely.

  10. “As for the post, it simply proves nationalising the railways was a bad idea. Had they been left in private hands, they either would have been run at a profit or closed, with no cost or bother to the bureaucrats. But I’m arguing to the converted here.”

    The other detriment to nationalisation was that they wouldn’t let anyone else play with their train set, even when they didn’t want it. They literally ripped the whole lot up to prevent anyone trying to reopen it. The last thing they wanted was some private enterprise coming along and making a go of a line they’d said was useless. Even if they’d just mothballed the lines they didn’t want to use, within 20 years there probably would have been demand to start re-opening some lines. But the all seeing all knowing State knew better……

  11. @Boganboy
    Yes, spot on

    @Tim Almond
    Open your eyes, they’re not banning cars, they’re making the cost of owning and driving one more and more expensive and regulated to price out most

    @Tim Almond – 2
    Yes, Major’s privatisation was a farce. It created route monopolies instead of national

    It should have been done like air travel: sell slots

    @Jim
    +1 and we see similar with HS2. If it was needed and profitable Virgin or someone else would have built it

  12. jgh,

    “And with the “buses will replace trains” argument, I’d like to drag Richard Beeching’s corpse into some of the rail-connected areas here and demand of him: how the **** do you get a bus up that hill? Rail had the advantage of being able to use tunnels and things, buses have to stick to roads that have to follow the landscape more closely.”

    Simple answer to that one. You pull up all the rails, put down a tarmac surface and have the buses using the tunnels.

  13. New Zealand Rail maintenance crews use trucks and diggers which have a set of rail wheels built in.They can use the roads to get where they want and then change to rail use as necessary I seem to remember that someone has done the same with a bus somewhere.This would be far more adaptable for country routes especially where stations are a long way from the towns centre.

  14. Nice johnd2008. I always like a technical solution that removes the bother of making a difficult choice.

    Or indeed any choice at all.

  15. The missing question is “why the hell did it cost £40m?” There were minimal land purchases, no “heavy” civil engineering and 11 miles of track on an existing alignment. Regulations appear to apply to rail that just don’t to other modes of transport — examples:
    (1) for roads the value placed on a saved life is ca. £100,000; for rail it is £1m
    (2) all new/rebuilt rail stations have to be wheelchair accessible; this is not true for bus stations, ferry terminals or airports

    Treat rail engineering and operations the same as other modes of transport, get rid of unions’ over-training* and over-staffing demands, and passenger rail could be quite affordable.

    * it takes longer for a train driver to become qualified to drive a new type of train than for a pilot to become qualified to fly a new type of aircraft. Similarly, you have to be qualified to drive a train on a particular line which takes months — imagine if a bus driver had to prove that they “knew” a particular road in order to drive on it…

  16. “Simple answer to that one. You pull up all the rails, put down a tarmac surface and have the buses using the tunnels.”

    Except they not only pulled up the rails, they destroyed the bridges too…….they literally did a scorched earth policy on the bits of the rail network that were closed, to make sure no-one could ever use it again for anything.

  17. Peter MacFarlane

    @Tim: ” or possibly remove elections as a concept. These people don’t really do democracy. ”

    You’re right, they don’t. But they won’t remove elections, that would be too obvious.

    In the same way as the EU leaves all national structures intact (for show), while hollowing them out and rendering them pointless on the QT, what they will do (and it’s already well under way) is to remove certain things from electoral control.

    Notice that whoever you vote for, you will always get higher taxes, more pointless regulations, endless green crap, unlimited illegal immigration, a permanent war on cars, etc etc. These things have already been removed from the democratic domain, as also has public health policy (See the last two years for proof).

    We are already in a post-democratic world; power has moved on (again), and most of us haven’t noticed yet.

  18. Matt,

    “Treat rail engineering and operations the same as other modes of transport, get rid of unions’ over-training* and over-staffing demands, and passenger rail could be quite affordable.”

    It’s going to take privatisation for that to happen. GBR becomes GBR PLC. A load of capitalists run it, rather than clowns like Grant Shapps. I don’t forsee that happening for decades.

    “it takes longer for a train driver to become qualified to drive a new type of train than for a pilot to become qualified to fly a new type of aircraft. Similarly, you have to be qualified to drive a train on a particular line which takes months — imagine if a bus driver had to prove that they “knew” a particular road in order to drive on it…”

    I knew it took a long time to become a driver, but I just had no idea it was that bad.

  19. “Even if there were no costs of maintenance and if all the rail staff worked for free, on that basis it would take nearly 40 years to pay for the £40m of investment that was made in restoring this line.”

    To be fair to the trainspotters, that might well be the case for the Okehampton line, but modern unmanned stations (not to mention changes in population) probably mean that some lines which were unviable in the late ’50s are indeed worth reopening. Of course, as t’other Tim says, both are decisions that should have been left to the market.

    (Notice, by the way, that Network Rail announced that it had increased the frequency of services on the line. “Privatised”, my arse.)

  20. “they literally did a scorched earth policy”: who they? The Wilson government that implemented Beeching?

    The key questions are almost always “who” and “why”?

  21. Sam Duncan,

    “To be fair to the trainspotters, that might well be the case for the Okehampton line, but modern unmanned stations (not to mention changes in population) probably mean that some lines which were unviable in the late ’50s are indeed worth reopening. ”

    Except that we’ve also lost around 40% of commuters, which translates to a much bigger loss of revenue.

  22. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Otto,

    Hence I haven’t owned a car since 2013 and the decision to not do so again took about 10 minutes.

  23. @johnd2008

    We’ve had road/rail vehicles in UK for decades. Even buses eg Edinburgh pre white elephant tram line and iirc Sheffield

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