A quick poll... who should operate the trains?

Should the railways be operated by: -

  • One private company (PWay operated by private company)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • One national company (Everything under one roof)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    78
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Mojo

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Just be interested to know your opinion after all this subsidy-wasting going on ATM.
 
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Z12XE

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I still say the old British Rail (NSE/RR/IC/Freight) was the best way to run the trains.

No profits needed for share holders, each business had their specialty (whether it be local lines or major commutor networks) and the track maintenance/replacement all run by the same overall organisation
 

lev441

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156418 said:
I still say the old British Rail (NSE/RR/IC/Freight) was the best way to run the trains.

No profits needed for share holders, each business had their specialty (whether it be local lines or major commutor networks) and the track maintenance/replacement all run by the same overall organisation
i agree
 

Simming

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keep em how they are, the railways are doing alrite IMO. we got new trains, more services, frieght is better now...
 

Tom B

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Whilst there is profit being made, this is what you get when private companies run the railways. The alternative, though, is the government funding it - all they did when it was in their care though is cut the budget :(.
 

Z12XE

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Cockfosters said:
all they did when it was in their care though is cut the budget :(.
They control the budget anyway.

Thats why we have the likes of One and the RUSs for each area suggesting cuts, now this stuff in the Times
 

Tom C

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If the railways were put back in control of the goverment, they would only privatise it
Ohhhhh no, If (and it will never happan anyway) the railways were renationalised then they would never make the same mistake that Maggie and Major made again.

Remember privatisation was one enormous cock-up. By the 1992 General election the Thatcher Adminstation had sold off every state owned company with the exception of British Rail. John Major made it a priority to privatise BR should the Tories win. Well the problem was nobody expected the Tories to win the election, the favorite was Neil Kinnock so really the policy wasn't exactly done and dusted.

Well, as you know the Tories won (a bleak day) and they had to rush a plan together to get rid of BR before the Railways Bill was published in 1993. BR management were in favour of one company. Major wanted it to be 4 companies as it was just after the second world war but in the end the plan came from a government think tank chaired by the Adam Smith institute who wanted 7 but in the end it became TWENTY FIVE companies because the goverment thought this would maximise revenue. The railways bill was published in 1993 detailing how British Rail would be split into over ONE HUNDRED different companies all supervised by the office of rail regulators or OPRAF for passenger lines.

Everyone who knew anything about the railways were against the plan, even the Tory chair of the Transport Committee Robert Adley said the privatised railway was a "poll tax on wheels" but him along with anyone else against privatisation were viewed as "rail enthusiasts" and his advice along with the entire Labour party (who vowed to Re-Nationalise the railways should they come to power, but of course not under Tory Blair) and the British public were ignored and the Tories went ahead and done the dirty dead.

When the new Tory party (or New "labour") came to power after Privatisation they went back on their word and kept the existing structure. The Tories actually had a say in this by getting rid of Railtrack (the last arm of BR) in 1996 making sure that Labour would really have no chance of nationalising the railway although if they wanted to, it as and still is possible. The laughable thing is Labour had to step in and avoid meltdown after Railtrack went to the wall.

The arseholes who were in charge of Privatisation were hoping that passenger traffic would improve as a result which it has, however it is doubtful whether this can be ascribed to the new structure as numbers in just about all other methods of transport have increased anyway.

Freight traffic has been the only real sector to take a real benefit out of Privatisation with healthy competition with decent growth. Of course BR does still live in the Freight section, DRS is owned by a government Nuclear agency (NCA) so it isn't all bad.

Hope this is of interest
 

jd

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I can't really comment on this one - I can't really remember much of BR, and certainly I don't know anything about it from an enthusiast's POV. Literally about all I can remember about pre-privatisation is the IC livery and Swallow logo. All my time as an enthusiast has been on a privatised rail network.

My opinions on today's network though. I think that in general it works okay, although the range of services and ticket prices can be confusing, especially when each TOC has different offers and promotions. TOCs do have pleanty of incentive to keep trains clean, in working order and to replace them when nescessary. However, some TOCs are better than others, so different people who use different companies will have varying opinions. VT, for example, are generally not very well liked, certainly in the enthusiast community, due to high fares, low reliability, and the unforgiveable crime of getting rid of the HSTs ;) .

Some people say fares are too expensive. Maybe so, but if you are aware in advance of a journey coming up, you can book in advance for a much more reasonable price, but some people think that there is only one fare available (probably not anyone on here, I hasten to add). For example, a child single, Birmingham to Oxford, costs £12.45 for a saver single on the day. However, book in advance and you can get it for as little as £3.75!
 

ChrisM

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156418 said:
I still say the old British Rail (NSE/RR/IC/Freight) was the best way to run the trains.

No profits needed for share holders, each business had their specialty (whether it be local lines or major commutor networks) and the track maintenance/replacement all run by the same overall organisation
Have to agree with that.
The way the TOCs are being awarded francises at the moment we will end up with the big four being First,Stagecoach,National Xpress and Arriva or the suchlike.
 

Hubert_F

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This is tough as there are major supporters and opponents for several possible structures.
However, to be honest, I do not have any major experience of British Rail (mainly because I was still a child therefore I could not travel on the rails alone) but I am lead to believe that British Rail had to make do with whatever the Government paid towards it, depending on whoever was in Government and their moods at the time( for example, scrapping of the tilting train project partially due to embarrassment to the Government and with cost), which I find ridiculous because the railway system we have is an extensive and major asset and should not be toyed around by whoever is in Government and those members would not consider the long term view hence why we did not have any sensible transport policy.

Because of this reason, I am glad that the railway system is now in companies which (in theory) would continue investing in the system and performing specific tasks (for example TOCs would serve passengers etc.) and would still be in the hands of those companies for some time.

However, I do believe that the right structure has to be in place as I do not want the structure that existed before the big 4. There are several things I do applaud British Rail for was of the dedicated team that made it up (for example Chris Green, Sir Peter Parker etc.) and of its research sector that had created such remarkable devices (such as APTIS, SPORTIS etc.) that we do not have anymore.

The structures of the railway we had in the past since privitisation were not ideal where the railway services were led by the wrong companies etc. but we are going closer to what I believe is an ideal structure, where franchises of one large geographical sector is awarded to one company but the number of TOCs would be kept to a minimum and of constant investment into the infrastructure and enhancements.

What I would like to see is of a greater co-operation between each company in the railway structure such as of regular discussions with the TOCs with Network Rail, ORR etc. and of the ORR looking over the everyday running of the system so to create some kind of vertical structure and to keep up competition between the TOCs and freight. The tricky part is of awarding the franchises to the right company and of the continued investment by the Government. But I do not see the situation where the railway system can "pay itself" and would always require continued investment from the Government.

This is just my opinion though so I will be wrong on some accounts.
 

Techniquest

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I've got to mention this before I continue with serious posting. During the reading of Tom C's post, I was instantly reminded of an episode of The Simpsons (this has relevance), where Burns sells the nuclear plant to the Germans. The scene in particular I recalled was when the German flag went up over the hand-over ceremony, and everyone's faces dropped into a depressed state, mutterings of 'Uh-oh' and so forth. Point is, I pictured a huge group of us from here being in that scene, with the Tories announcing privatisation for rail, doing the exact same thing. You have to have seen the episode recently (the day before or something is best), and then read Tom C's post. You might get it then.

Into seriousness, the structure of UK rail is a mess. With better funding, I daresay BR would have been the way forward, perhaps with freight sold off to the privatisation lot. I became an enthusiast on the privatised network in late 2003 (October 2003, with some photos developed on 14th October 2003, so probably early October 2003 then), falling in love with HSTs not very long after starting at UWS. I mainly remember things like the RRE livery on units at Hereford, with a bit of IC Swallow, but that's about all I remember about the BR period. I daresay I enjoy my enthusiasm in this period than I would have done in, say, 1992, but then there were more locos in 1992, so maybe not. There are some good things about BR, some good things about privatisation, but it's near impossible to have the best of both worlds.
 
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