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Vocal Minority

3,319 posts

32 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
AJS- said:
Vocal Minority said:
That would be no good to me. With the price of fuel and parking, the train is MUCH cheaper for me and allows me to work in Brum but live somewhere I actually want to!
How about if you had a straight level motorway right into town where the railway goes now? And cut fuel prices because we're no longer subsidizing railways
If there was an auto-bahn running through Malvern I wouldn't want to live there anymore! Besides, we have one called the M5 not too far away.

Also, presumably you are being a bit glib with your subsidizing the railways comment, as taxes go to a mirriad of other things as well, and it would hardly change the duty levied on fuel.


In fairness, I think my journey at around £130 per month (for 35 miles each way every day) is the exception that proves the rule on the value for money basis. If I include parking (at £4 odd or so a day in a euro car park dungeon), I would have £42 left for fuel, and in my car fuel would have to be about 27p per litre to make it cheaper than the train.

RichB

28,153 posts

164 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
johnfm said:
Putting aside ownership for a moment, I heard an interesting idea the other day about the railways - the lines are mostly empty.

A train from A to B every 20 minutes or whatever means that the track is virtually 'empty'.

He was suggesting many more, smaller 'trains' running every few minutes - effectively 'filling' the track with little 10 person 'mini trains'.

I suppose it would then turn the railways into a form of automated motorway.

It will never happen, but the concept was interesting.
As I mentioned earlier, everyone thinks of railays as passenger lines and forget freight yet my objective would be to get as much heavy freight off the roads onto the rails. Ideas like tarmacing tracks or mini trains overlook freight.

JontyR

1,180 posts

47 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
blueg33 said:
One person travelling, into a major city, train beats car in every way, even the crappy cross country ones like the one I am sitting on at the moment.

As for nationalising them, has everyone forgotton how poor British Rail was? If they were nationalised every train would be as crap as the ones BR had, at least this way some of the trains are ok, and in the last 12 months most of them that I use have been on time.

My personal order of train quality is as follows:

Virgin
First Great Western
Both of the above are good for intercity services

The rest are pants - if nationalised it would all be pants. In each year I use most train companies many times.
I disagree....I was travelling from Chippenham to Slough. Only needed to do the commute 3 days per week, but even so the cost of a weekly ticket was cheaper than 3 day tickets. Even so this was still working out at including parking over £600 per month. The drive was 168 miles return which equated to £31 per day in fuel. There was no parking fee as I could use the office car park. I would still leave at the same time in the morning so set off at 5:30 in the morning so didn't get caught in traffic then leave early to avoid the evening rush hour.

No depreciation on the car as it was a hand me down. Servicing I did myself, so just worked out so much cheaper! Plus although the train in the morning was direct, the return meant a change at Reading and that meant standing for the rest of the journey home!

Where was the incentive? FGW take the p1ss when it comes to pricing. The best way round was to buy 2 tickets using Didcot as a hub (I think that is the term used) but I was told if caught I could get fined! didn't want the hassle. What was more frustrating was that my Father's ticket from Horsham to London including tube was less than my ticket...plus his was 1st class, not cattle!!

blueg33

12,519 posts

104 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
JontyR said:
I disagree....I was travelling from Chippenham to Slough. Only needed to do the commute 3 days per week, but even so the cost of a weekly ticket was cheaper than 3 day tickets. Even so this was still working out at including parking over £600 per month. The drive was 168 miles return which equated to £31 per day in fuel. There was no parking fee as I could use the office car park. I would still leave at the same time in the morning so set off at 5:30 in the morning so didn't get caught in traffic then leave early to avoid the evening rush hour.

No depreciation on the car as it was a hand me down. Servicing I did myself, so just worked out so much cheaper! Plus although the train in the morning was direct, the return meant a change at Reading and that meant standing for the rest of the journey home!

Where was the incentive? FGW take the p1ss when it comes to pricing. The best way round was to buy 2 tickets using Didcot as a hub (I think that is the term used) but I was told if caught I could get fined! didn't want the hassle. What was more frustrating was that my Father's ticket from Horsham to London including tube was less than my ticket...plus his was 1st class, not cattle!!
By tain I can get from my station at Evesham to Paddington in 2 hours and am able to rely on it to within about 5 minutes as a rule. To drive and get to paddington for 8am it would take a minimum of 2 and a half hours but is regularly 3-4 hours. The cost in my car is circa £1 a mile according to whatcar, so that means 93 miles each way costs £186, the return train fare is £68. I dont have to pay to park near the station either. Its a no brainer in terms of time and cost.

Same with Manchester Picadilly, train takes the same time as car but costs less.

rs1952

3,707 posts

139 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Yertis said:
RichB said:
ninja-lewis said:
EU rules require that the tracks and running of the trains be separate to prevent a vertically integrated operator denying another company from accessing their track.
Didn't know that but it explains a lot.
Me neither - yet another reason for me to loathe the EU.
Aw - and we were totally in agreement until you said that biggrin

The Eu's intention with this particular Directive was to encourage competition to improve standards, and avoid the situation (that we had in this country, along with many others) of having a state owned and subsidised railway system that was in a monopolistic situation. Under BR, nobody else was allowed to run trains on their tracks - they simply wouldn't let them. You may recall, for example, the "steam ban" introduced by BR in 1968, where preserved steam locomotives and coaches - that BR used to own, of course , but didn't maintain them as well as the preservationists did wink - were simply not allowed on BR tracks. Because BR said so, and that was the end of the matter.

Provided that the company that owns the infrastructure allows competition between other providers that want to use its tracks, that would comply with the EU Directive. I would be surprised if anybodyb on here thought that denying competitors access was a bad thing. Many other EU countries dealt with this by setting up different companies - one owning the track and infrastructure, the others owning the trains. This could be done as an accounting measure, and was done as an accounting measure, and there was no need of the multi-bilion pound reorganisation that we had in the UK. That bit was dreamt up by Whitehall, not the EU.

That might also explain why the former Deutche Bundesbahn, privatised as DB Schenker in 1994, now runs a fair proportion of the services in this country.

The whole episode of UK railway privatisation has fallen into a common misconception in the UK - Whitehall cocks something up and the EU gets the blame for it.
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crankedup

10,104 posts

123 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Steam loco's were still being manufactured even though they were no longer required, diesel and electric had taken over. I believe the last steamer built was not even used!

tonker

46,092 posts

128 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
crankedup said:
Steam loco's were still being manufactured even though they were no longer required, diesel and electric had taken over. I believe the last steamer built was not even used!
the last main line steam locomotive - 92220 Evening Star, was used, but for spot on 5 years.

Great engines - the Black Prince holds the record for the heaviest freight train moved by a single steam locomotive in the UK, IIRC (more than 2,000 tons).

rs1952

3,707 posts

139 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
tonker said:
crankedup said:
Steam loco's were still being manufactured even though they were no longer required, diesel and electric had taken over. I believe the last steamer built was not even used!
the last main line steam locomotive - 92220 Evening Star, was used, but for spot on 5 years.

Great engines - the Black Prince holds the record for the heaviest freight train moved by a single steam locomotive in the UK, IIRC (more than 2,000 tons).
OK - I'll own up to being a sad case (and hope that the thread doesn't get hijacked as a result, as it is supposed to be about railway nationalisation, not steam engines). smile

For those that don't know, after nationalisation in 1948 a new series of standard engines were designed, and 999 were built between the first (70000 Brittania) introduced in January 1951, and the last (92220) in March 1960. At the time of the plan's inception it was thought to be a good idea because we had a country nearly bankrupt after WW2, and steam engines didn't need imported oil to run on, they could use indigenous coal.

Then along came the 1955 modernisation plan, which envisaged replacing steam with diesel and electric, but at a sensible pace. Steam was expected to still be around well into the 1980s, Then, in its infinite wisdom, Whitehall accelerated the modernisation plan in 1958, and BR were forced to order large numbers of new diesel locomotives "off the shelf" without prior testing and trialling. It would not be uncharitable to say that some were more successul than others. The steam replacement programme was also accelerated in consequence, and the last BR steam engine was withdrawn in August 1968.

But, of course, the contracts for steam engine construction had been let; the material contracts had been signed and the railway workshops were still busy building them in 1958, so that's why we had a situation where some engines (particularly the 9Fs, of which Evening Star was one, and a total of 251 were built) had a stupidly short working life. The longest serving was 92004 with a working life of 12.4 years, the shortest was 92220 with 5 years as mentioned above, and the average length of service was 9.7 years. They would have easily lasted 30 to 40 years.

A monumental waste of money and another Whitehall cock-up.

Now the plug biggrin
www.br-steam-allocations.co.uk

tonker

46,092 posts

128 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
rs1952 said:
Then, in its infinite wisdom, Whitehall accelerated the modernisation plan in 1958, and BR were forced to order large numbers of new diesel locomotives "off the shelf" without prior testing and trialling. It would not be uncharitable to say that some were more successul than others.
some of the 20s' - first introduced in 1955, are still going now. And even stuff like the 47s have been around since 1961.

Having said that, the 29s, Baby Deltics and Claytons didn't exactly make it far... let alone the Co-Bos

The Don of Croy

1,743 posts

39 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Amazing that so many back nationalisation (as a percentage).

BR was awful. Poor performance, low staff morale, old rolling stock, dirty stations. Cost the taxpayer a fortune.

Now it costs us more in subsidy, but we have some new trains. Woohoo!

Anybody know what became of the fibre optic link that (allegedly) runs alongside all tracks in the UK?

excel monkey

2,796 posts

107 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
blueg33 said:
The cost in my car is circa £1 a mile according to whatcar
I'm glad the numbers work for you, but most cars cost a lot less than a pound a mile to run, and consequently the train seems expensive by comparison.

blueg33

12,519 posts

104 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
excel monkey said:
blueg33 said:
The cost in my car is circa £1 a mile according to whatcar
I'm glad the numbers work for you, but most cars cost a lot less than a pound a mile to run, and consequently the train seems expensive by comparison.
Even a boring cheap family car eg a 1.6 golf TDI is 39pence per mile according to what car, so that makes the example journey I gave cost £78 by car compared with £68 by train, do that once a week and suddenly you have spent an extra £552 in a year, plus the additional time a minimum of 30 mins each way adds up to 52 hours, but there are huge delays travelling by car.

I travel all over the uk for work and the majority of the time it is cheaper and easier by train, and its not just me that thinks that, pretty much every senior guy in our business travels around the various offices, all but 1 do it by train because its cheaper and more predictable.

Johnnytheboy

9,482 posts

66 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
RichB said:
johnfm said:
Putting aside ownership for a moment, I heard an interesting idea the other day about the railways - the lines are mostly empty.

A train from A to B every 20 minutes or whatever means that the track is virtually 'empty'.

He was suggesting many more, smaller 'trains' running every few minutes - effectively 'filling' the track with little 10 person 'mini trains'.

I suppose it would then turn the railways into a form of automated motorway.

It will never happen, but the concept was interesting.
As I mentioned earlier, everyone thinks of railays as passenger lines and forget freight yet my objective would be to get as much heavy freight off the roads onto the rails. Ideas like tarmacing tracks or mini trains overlook freight.
Not necessarily, it just depends what you get to drive on the tarmac. Rail carries a small and IIRC decreasing proportion of the nation's freight, and freight is a small proportion of rail traffic. If you tarmacced over the lines but retained/installed some kind of electric power, you could have freight/passangers carried by a fleet of tram lorries/busses. No reason why it couldn't work and no reason why such things couldn't be designed to the available loading gauge.

Equally, if dual purpose vehicles that could drive on these tracks and the roads could be built, I imagine you'd increase the amount of freight using them significantly; the main factor - I imagine - that stops companies transporting their freight on the railways is the necessity to get goods to and from the railhead at each end, meaning they have to use the roads anyway.

The problem with trains as they are is the enormous time gaps between them necessitated by the current signalling system - something like my above system would largely remove this problem. I repeat my earlier point that if we were building a mass transit system from scratch it would not look like the railway we now have.


Podie

40,806 posts

155 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
excel monkey said:
blueg33 said:
The cost in my car is circa £1 a mile according to whatcar
I'm glad the numbers work for you, but most cars cost a lot less than a pound a mile to run, and consequently the train seems expensive by comparison.
What is the average cost per mile? I have absolutely no idea!

I pay £4500 a year to commute to London daily - a 250 mile would be about £50/day in my car for fuel alone. Then there is tax, insurance, wear and tear, maintenance...

In the grand scheme of things, I have a long commute. 2 hours door-to-door, of which 90 minutes is spent on a train. It's air conditioned, generally fairly comfy and 95% of the time I get a seat - if not a seat with a table. It's air conditioned, so comfortable year round.

I can read, work, chat, or sleep on the train. Hard to do three of those in a car...

OK, sometimes things go wrong (suicides or s stealing cable, generally) and it becomes a bind - but having driven up and down the M1 for years, I'd take the train every time.

V8mate

36,849 posts

69 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Johnnytheboy said:
RichB said:
johnfm said:
Putting aside ownership for a moment, I heard an interesting idea the other day about the railways - the lines are mostly empty.

A train from A to B every 20 minutes or whatever means that the track is virtually 'empty'.

He was suggesting many more, smaller 'trains' running every few minutes - effectively 'filling' the track with little 10 person 'mini trains'.

I suppose it would then turn the railways into a form of automated motorway.

It will never happen, but the concept was interesting.
As I mentioned earlier, everyone thinks of railays as passenger lines and forget freight yet my objective would be to get as much heavy freight off the roads onto the rails. Ideas like tarmacing tracks or mini trains overlook freight.
Not necessarily, it just depends what you get to drive on the tarmac. Rail carries a small and IIRC decreasing proportion of the nation's freight, and freight is a small proportion of rail traffic. If you tarmacced over the lines but retained/installed some kind of electric power, you could have freight/passangers carried by a fleet of tram lorries/busses. No reason why it couldn't work and no reason why such things couldn't be designed to the available loading gauge.

Equally, if dual purpose vehicles that could drive on these tracks and the roads could be built, I imagine you'd increase the amount of freight using them significantly; the main factor - I imagine - that stops companies transporting their freight on the railways is the necessity to get goods to and from the railhead at each end, meaning they have to use the roads anyway.

The problem with trains as they are is the enormous time gaps between them necessitated by the current signalling system - something like my above system would largely remove this problem. I repeat my earlier point that if we were building a mass transit system from scratch it would not look like the railway we now have.
Indeed. I was one of the 'stupid' people who suggested some 'rail replacement'. It's about doing the right thing in the right place. Of course trains are great at covering long distances at high speed, but my suggestion of tarmacing the Metro area of south east London (the three lines to Dartford) where there are many stops close together and where train or infrastructure failues cause havoc, was to create dedicated routes with fewer points of failure.

I haven't done the maths; one driver hauling 1,000 people is cheaper in labour terms than fifteen times as many bus drivers for the same passenger count, but I'd be willing to wager that the overall cost would be a fraction. And it would also open the door for entirely novel bus (and bus propulsion) design.

Podie

40,806 posts

155 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Johnnytheboy said:
Not necessarily, it just depends what you get to drive on the tarmac. Rail carries a small and IIRC decreasing proportion of the nation's freight, and freight is a small proportion of rail traffic. If you tarmacced over the lines but retained/installed some kind of electric power, you could have freight/passangers carried by a fleet of tram lorries/busses. No reason why it couldn't work and no reason why such things couldn't be designed to the available loading gauge.

Equally, if dual purpose vehicles that could drive on these tracks and the roads could be built, I imagine you'd increase the amount of freight using them significantly; the main factor - I imagine - that stops companies transporting their freight on the railways is the necessity to get goods to and from the railhead at each end, meaning they have to use the roads anyway.

The problem with trains as they are is the enormous time gaps between them necessitated by the current signalling system - something like my above system would largely remove this problem. I repeat my earlier point that if we were building a mass transit system from scratch it would not look like the railway we now have.
Bizarrely, I had the opposite in my head about rail freight. Isn't the WCML one of (if not, the) busiest freight lines in Europe? There has also been significant investment by one of the supermarkets (tesco?) at DIRFT, so clearly someone is looking to utilise the railway on an increased basis.

Somewhat intrigued by how the tram lorries / buses would work - or indeed dual purpose vehicles; especially given that the majority of RRVs are converted vehicles that are very much a compromise.

What was the most recent mass transit system built from scratch?

rs1952

3,707 posts

139 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
tonker said:
rs1952 said:
Then, in its infinite wisdom, Whitehall accelerated the modernisation plan in 1958, and BR were forced to order large numbers of new diesel locomotives "off the shelf" without prior testing and trialling. It would not be uncharitable to say that some were more successul than others.
some of the 20s' - first introduced in 1955, are still going now. And even stuff like the 47s have been around since 1961.

Having said that, the 29s, Baby Deltics and Claytons didn't exactly make it far... let alone the Co-Bos
I said that some were more successful than others wink

You could have added the 37s and the 08 shunters to your list of "good 'uns," and the 31s and 33s lasted a fair time - but every diesel that North British built were out of service by the early 1970s. Some of the WR hydraulics could have lasted longer if they hadn't been categorised as non standard. Some, however, like the Warships, probably served a more useful purpose as razor blades after they'd been cut up.

Anybody remember the "Blue Pullmans?" Another early dust-biter smile

RichB

28,153 posts

164 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
V8mate said:
Indeed. I was one of the 'stupid' people who suggested some 'rail replacement'.
Your word not mine, I certainly didn't call anyone stupid.

dcb

4,675 posts

145 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
martin84 said:
It seems to me that irrespective of whether the railways are privatised or nationalised, they still seem to cost the taxpayer lots of money and cost the rail users more than it should.
+1

Railways only work well if you are willing to view them as a public service
and pour lots of money into them without thinking about the cost, as some
European countries do.

Railways have mostly been losing money in the UK for about the last 60 - 80
years and most Brit taxpayers aren't willing to chuck money into them, relying
instead on moving the cost burden from the general tax payer to the
individual rail user.

Before railways there were canals and after railways, cars came along. No one
bothers much about suggesting bringing back canals as a national transport
system and for very similar reasons, I can't see any economic benefits
of bringing back the railways, nationalised or not.

Railways were good in their day, but newer and better technology in
the car and the lorry has come along since.



V8mate

36,849 posts

69 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
RichB said:
V8mate said:
Indeed. I was one of the 'stupid' people who suggested some 'rail replacement'.
Your word not mine, I certainly didn't call anyone stupid.
Didn't say you did mate smile
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