Privatisation VS BR

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Robbies

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Apologies if any of these comments have been made before, but it seems to me as time goes by that the Railway Systems of this Country seems to be going backawards rather than fowards.

When I was growing up during the 1970/1980's you had trains running from Brighton to Manchester or Brighton to Glasgow/Edingburgh which went either via Kensington Olympia and on to the GWML at Old Oak Common to go on to Reading before going on to Oxford, Banbury, Leamington Spa & Coventry then on to Birmingham. At the beginning of privatisation you had the service from Brighton which originally went to Rugby, then got cutback to Milton Keynes to then be started from Clapham Junction as the path to Brighton had been taken by another service on the route.

Services such as the Brighton services mentioned above and services like Cleethorpes - Kings Cross plus other such services around the country seem to have disappeared off the map with services that you have to change on to another train, another 2 trains or anther 3 trains etc....that once you could have done by travelling on one train.

I know most of these changes are down to making the more local services better, but it should not have been done on the expense of making these special services disappear all together, there should have been a way to keep these services.
 
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ainsworth74

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We've had some fairly extensive discussions of this issue before you can see two of them here and here. That second one was particularly extensive and to be honest I'm not sure there is much else to say on the matter that wasn't said there!
 

Welshman

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I appreciate this subject has been well discussed previously, but another example of the disadvantages of privatisation was brought home to me during my weekend trip to Edinburgh via the Settle and Carlisle line.

I described in the Trip Reports and Reminiscences section of this forum how the 1452 Virgin Voyager from Edinburgh to Birmingam New Street was delayed into Preston last Sunday.

The TM was being very helpful in announcing revised connections for those changing at Preston, and, as we were then expected to arrive in Preston about 1840, announced that those travelling to Manchester Piccadilly and the Airport should now catch the 1846 TPE from Preston. However, we were further delayed, and held outside Preston for a platform, which turned-out to be that of the 1846 TPE departing to Manchester. So, Manchester passengers missed the announced connection and presumably had to wait for the next service, whenever that was [another hour at 1946?].

How would they have felt if they'd known that the train they'd just alighted from was now diverted between Wigan and Crewe via Manchester, but without stopping? In fact, we passed through Piccadilly's No.13 platform at 1950 - the time perhaps they would have just been leaving Preston.

In the old days of BR and the joined-up railway, they'd have advised Manchester passengers to remain on board and issued a special stop order at Manchester for that train. But not now. One is Virgin, the other TPE.
 

GadgetMan

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You can't base everything on one journey. Special stop orders are regularly utilised to cover stops for different TOCs. If you were fed dud information it isn't necessarily the fault of the TOC or privatisation. It's down to the staff on the ground on the day, and even then it isn't always incompetence. At times of disruption we do the best we can to assist passengers and try and minimise the inconvenience experienced. However all the information we provide is in good faith and sometimes it backfires. On other occasions we have to make the difficult decision to further inconvenience a small number of passengers for the greater good of trying to get services back on time.

If a long distance train has been delayed, then it doesn't always make sense to further delay it with additional stops. In fact if you look at the bigger picture, it's best to try and give it the best run possible to try and make time back.



The railway is not a museum and therefore it should not have to preserve 'special' services etc if it does not make financial sense. The days when thousands of families used to travel on the train to UK holiday destinations are long gone with the introduction of cheap foreign holidays and the increase of private car ownership.
 

NSEFAN

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A lot of politics is involved with the BR vs Privatised debate, so you'll often hear about how the Conservatives are out to get the railways. ;)

What the railways needed at the time of privatisation was a massive cash injection to try and overhaul the service. BR did very well with projects such as the HST and the Networkers, but the recent introduction of new trains would never have happened under a nationalised system in this country. The massive investment needed to do this in such a short timescale would have been impossible to justify, given that the railways back then were viewed as a liability than an asset.

One problem which is faced by the privatised system is inefficiency. A lot of money isn't spent in the "right" places, and the fragmented nature of the railways means the gaps are filled by lots of expensive bureaucracy. The ongoing legal battle between TOCs and Network Rail about delay minutes is a classic example of this. Now that cuts are looming, it is the frontline staff who face being cut, whilst the real drains on the system will likely go untouched.

Another issue is about who actually runs the railways. Whilst they are theoretically private, a lot of the system is controlled by the Department For Transport. The IEP saga demonstrates why this is often a bad thing: people who have little idea about the needs of the railways end up making decisions critical to its future. Ideally you'd want railwaymen running a railway, not politicians. This is nice for the government, however. When things are going well, the government can claim that their policies made it happen. If everything breaks, they can wash their hands of the responsibility and say "It's a private system; nothing to do with us, mate."

Despite all the backend problems with the system, the frontend is far better than under BR, with trains being more reliable and cleaner. An exception to this would be higher fares, but I suppose we should expect nothing less from a system which is run for profit.

That's my understanding of the situation, anyways. Ultimately I think that it's not who runs the service which is important, it is how the service is run which matters. I'm sure there are both good and bad examples of private and public systems out there.
 

Welshman

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The days when thousands of families used to travel on the train to UK holiday destinations are long gone with the introduction of cheap foreign holidays and the increase of private car ownership.

Exactly!

And I fear the experience of those passengers in the example cited who were wanting to get to Manchester Airport to start their foreign holiday may drive them to their private cars in future. :)
 

sevenhills

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Another issue is about who actually runs the railways. Whilst they are theoretically private, a lot of the system is controlled by the Department For Transport. Despite all the backend problems with the system, the frontend is far better than under BR, with trains being more reliable and cleaner. An exception to this would be higher fares, but I suppose we should expect nothing less from a system which is run for profit.

It is all political, but if we have higher fares, then you would expect cleaner and more reliable trains.
I was reading the other day that the trains are subsidised more now, than they were under BR. But yet we have fewer lines/trains, so running the popular routes is bound to be easier and make more profit.

What is the truth?
 

LE Greys

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A lot of politics is involved with the BR vs Privatised debate, so you'll often hear about how the Conservatives are out to get the railways. ;)

What the railways needed at the time of privatisation was a massive cash injection to try and overhaul the service. BR did very well with projects such as the HST and the Networkers, but the recent introduction of new trains would never have happened under a nationalised system in this country. The massive investment needed to do this in such a short timescale would have been impossible to justify, given that the railways back then were viewed as a liability than an asset.

One problem which is faced by the privatised system is inefficiency. A lot of money isn't spent in the "right" places, and the fragmented nature of the railways means the gaps are filled by lots of expensive bureaucracy. The ongoing legal battle between TOCs and Network Rail about delay minutes is a classic example of this. Now that cuts are looming, it is the frontline staff who face being cut, whilst the real drains on the system will likely go untouched.

Another issue is about who actually runs the railways. Whilst they are theoretically private, a lot of the system is controlled by the Department For Transport. The IEP saga demonstrates why this is often a bad thing: people who have little idea about the needs of the railways end up making decisions critical to its future. Ideally you'd want railwaymen running a railway, not politicians. This is nice for the government, however. When things are going well, the government can claim that their policies made it happen. If everything breaks, they can wash their hands of the responsibility and say "It's a private system; nothing to do with us, mate."

Despite all the backend problems with the system, the frontend is far better than under BR, with trains being more reliable and cleaner. An exception to this would be higher fares, but I suppose we should expect nothing less from a system which is run for profit.

That's my understanding of the situation, anyways. Ultimately I think that it's not who runs the service which is important, it is how the service is run which matters. I'm sure there are both good and bad examples of private and public systems out there.

Well, from my point of view, the railways should never have been nationalised in the first place. They have been used as a political football ever since. The biggest problems that we have today were created when the current system was created. If they had to be, to privatise them they should have repealed the relevant sections of the Transport Act, 1947, thus recreating the LNER, LMS, GWR and Southern. Depending on how you interpret one particular EU Directive (the exact one escapes me at the moment) it is or is not possible to do so. There would also be massive practical problems, with sections of line isolated by the Beeching cuts, or some sections controlled by another company's signalling. That was in 1993, today it would be impossible with things such as the regional control centre at Three Bridges. Having the Southern controlling the LNER's trains at King's Cross is clearly completely mad.

Thing is, the owner-operator model is much more flexible than the others. With some provisos, for instance not being allowed to reduce a passenger service without permission, they could have achieved far more than the changes we have seen today. Emphasis on the 'could', because we can't be certain of that. Would the New LNER have upgraded its line, the ECML, to 140 mph? Possibly, since there would be far fewer hoops to jump through, it could be decided at a single board meeting if necessary.
 

NJTom

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I don't really think it is possible to make a comparison. The TOC's and regulations are now so much more severe that there would be no way BR could have survived under them. That said, I agree that there is too much government control to really call it "privatised". "Contracted out" seems a better description to me.
 

ainsworth74

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But yet we have fewer lines/trains

You what? I'd love to know your basis for this statement. Since privatization there hasn't (as far as I'm aware) one passenger line closure (unlike under BR) indeed there have been several reopenings (such as Airdrie to Bathgate) so I'd suggest that the passenger network is now in fact marginally longer than it was under BR. Similarly with trains I suppose it's possible absolute numbers of trains have declined but we are running many more services than BR did. For example look at XC or the ECML or the WCML or North - South Wales all those routes have many more services than they did under BR.
 

hairyhandedfool

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....I was reading the other day that the trains are subsidised more now, than they were under BR. But yet we have fewer lines/trains, so running the popular routes is bound to be easier and make more profit.

What is the truth?

The numbers of lines is probably slightly higher, with tracks relaid in Scotland for example. However certain train services no longer run or are reduced, an example of this is services between London and Blackpool and between the North of England and the south coast.

As for subsidy figures, well, it depends what you read as to what figures you get. The generally accepted belief is that four or so years before Privatisation, Government 'subsidy/investment' peaked at £2bn, but was drastically reduced with Privatisation approaching to a level well below £1bn (£431m if you believe John Redwood). 'Subsidy/Investment' to the railway after Privatisation is generally accepted to have risen quickly back to around £1.8bn before settling for the next five to ten years at about £1.3bn a year. In 2006/7 it peaked in the region of £6.4bn and is generally accepted to have fallen back to about £4.6bn in 2010.

People may not be able to agree if Privatisation has been a good thing overall, but I think most agree on two things. Firstly, Privatisation has not achieved what it set out to do and, secondly, the Government would not have put this much money into BR.
 

gswindale

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It depends on what you mean by fewer lines/trains.

It is correct that no physical passenger lines have closed; however some routes have disappeared such as Brighton to Reading.

Therefore the travelling public who may not understand the difference between lines and routes could believe that the line they used to use has gone - despite the fact they could possibly make the same journey on the same route but by having to change trains somewhere.
 

F Great Eastern

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Since when?

I see that claim so many places it's unreal. I also continue to see the claim a lot about trains are much less regular and shorter than they were years ago and the fact that trains are overcrowded because of this and if we had British Rail right now there would be no overcrowding because they would add a few cars on a train the next day.

Unfortunately the reason trans are more crowded today is not because of penny pinching in the most part, it is because the number of passengers traveling on the railway has exploded since BR broke up and this is continuing to increase all of the time and this is creating overcrowding simply because there is more demand and more people u sing the trains.

The other thing which has not helped with overcrowding is the fact that rolling stock orders take far too long to be signed and finalized by the government, just look how long there is between invitation to tender to announcement over a preferred bidder, then another long delay between the actual signing of the contract. It's nonsense and takes far too long.

I was on FCC services a few weeks back and saw no end of people moaning to a manager about the overcrowding and saying it was never this bad under BR, but then again the services were carrying nowhere near as many passengers during BR. FCC have done the best they can with very little stock available to them.

Even if British Rail were around tomorrow they could not fix such overcrowding when the other hand of the government continually drags it's heals over the orders of rolling stock which are needed to deal with the overcrowding. But it's more fashionable to blame the TOC, rather than blame the guys in HM government dragging their heals over projects such as Thameslink and IEP amongst others which continually get delayed.
 

sevenhills

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I see that claim so many places it's unreal. I also continue to see the claim a lot about trains are much less regular and shorter than they were years ago and the fact that trains are overcrowded because of this and if we had British Rail right now there would be no overcrowding because they would add a few cars on a train the next day.

I didn’t say it knowing any facts; just the perception of no new lines and reports of ghost trains whereby they would like to close the line, but don’t because of all the politics and red tape involved.
 

Gwenllian2001

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Well, from my point of view, the railways should never have been nationalised in the first place. They have been used as a political football ever since. The biggest problems that we have today were created when the current system was created. If they had to be, to privatise them they should have repealed the relevant sections of the Transport Act, 1947, thus recreating the LNER, LMS, GWR and Southern. Depending on how you interpret one particular EU Directive (the exact one escapes me at the moment) it is or is not possible to do so. There would also be massive practical problems, with sections of line isolated by the Beeching cuts, or some sections controlled by another company's signalling. That was in 1993, today it would be impossible with things such as the regional control centre at Three Bridges. Having the Southern controlling the LNER's trains at King's Cross is clearly completely mad.

Thing is, the owner-operator model is much more flexible than the others. With some provisos, for instance not being allowed to reduce a passenger service without permission, they could have achieved far more than the changes we have seen today. Emphasis on the 'could', because we can't be certain of that. Would the New LNER have upgraded its line, the ECML, to 140 mph? Possibly, since there would be far fewer hoops to jump through, it could be decided at a single board meeting if necessary.

Some interesting points there but opinions are not always the best guideline as to what should or should not be done. By the end of WW2 the railways were in a pretty parlous state, having been run into the ground, under state control, with minimal maintainance and outdated equipment, as part of the war effort. A huge amount of capital and effort was needed to catch up with the backlog and state ownership was seen as the only practical means of achieving that. Materials were in short supply and the slogan of the time was 'Export or Die'. The railway workshops became masters of the art of recycling old materials to keep things going and deserve every credit for doing so. Neither should it be forgotten that the railway companies were handsomely compensated for, what was described at the time, as a pretty poor bunch of assets. This was, however, only part of the story as long distance commercial road concerns; the canal network and the ports also came under state control in an effort to create an integrated transport system.

The fact that the railways became a political football was not the fault of the railways themselves. Following a change of government, a large part of the road operation, which was seen to be profitable, was sold off to the private sector which was not bound by the Common Carriers Act, under which the railways had to operate.

If you look at British Railways / British Rail with a neutral eye, you will be amazed how well it performed in spite of constant political interference; restricted investment and a consistently hostile right wing press.

State ownership is not a bad thing per se. In the case of the railways, they should have been left to the professionals to run with the government authorising investment on a case by case basis instead of becoming the plaything of whoever was at the Ministry of Transport at the time.

The, so called, privatisation has left us with a hugely more costly operation than ever it was under British Rail. Neither has the private sector come up with anything that matches the quality of the HST; designed and built, in house, by the much derided British Rail, and still giving stirling service after all these years. The system of franchising is, with few exceptions, an unholy mess. Look, for example, at what has happened in Wales, where the franchise was let on the assumption of no growth. The whole operation of ATW operates on a knife edge because the assets are spread so thinly that the slightest mishap can result in chaos. Some of the stock should be withdrawn, on health grounds alone, if you visit the toilets. The smell of damp in some of the Pacers is overwhelming and it is particularly unpleasant to find moss growing on the inside of windows but the passenger numbers continue to rise. Why, because 'the privatised railway' is better? The truth is that the huge social changes brought about by the rundown in heavy industries has meant that more people then ever before need to travel to work. BR foresaw this with its planned re-opening of lines in south Wales, there was no dewy eyed sentimentality about it. It was common sense being exercised by Railway Managers.
 

ainsworth74

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I didn’t say it knowing any facts; just the perception of no new lines and reports of ghost trains whereby they would like to close the line, but don’t because of all the politics and red tape involved.

All of which was true under BR. Those 'ghost trains' (officially called parliamentary services ;)) have been around for a lot longer than Privatization and as has been pointed out there are new lines that have been built/reopened since Privatization something that never (as far as I'm aware) happened under BR where closing lines was the norm (from the before the Beaching and afterwards BR was closing lines).
 

hairyhandedfool

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All of which was true under BR. Those 'ghost trains' (officially called parliamentary services ;)) have been around for a lot longer than Privatization and as has been pointed out there are new lines that have been built/reopened since Privatization something that never (as far as I'm aware) happened under BR where closing lines was the norm (from the before the Beaching and afterwards BR was closing lines).

To be fair NSE was, apparently, looking at re-opening at least one line, but the local council was not playing ball, despite admitting it was 'an option' they prefered a bus route which is still in the process of being built more than 15 years later!
 

ainsworth74

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To be fair NSE was, apparently, looking at re-opening at least one line, but the local council was not playing ball, despite admitting it was 'an option' they prefered a bus route which is still in the process of being built more than 15 years later!

True, but we're wandering into the realms of 'what if' history there as the fact remains that they didn't manage to get it reopened ;) Having said that I've always felt it's a crying shame that NSE was split up into so many different companies. I'd personally have been tempted to leave NSE intact as one mega-franchise or at most perhaps split it into two pieces one north of the river one south (roughly speaking as of course there would be bits that wouldn't fit perfectly into that model).
 

Oswyntail

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IIRC, BR was starting to reopen lines, eg the first stage of the "Robin Hood" line, the Snow Hill extensions in Birmingham, Bridgend-Maesteg and, par excellence, the Thameslink Snow Hill. There are probably others. Nothing to do with privatisation
 

ainsworth74

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IIRC, BR was starting to reopen lines, eg the first stage of the "Robin Hood" line, the Snow Hill extensions in Birmingham, Bridgend-Maesteg and, par excellence, the Thameslink Snow Hill. There are probably others. Nothing to do with privatisation

Fair enough but the fact remains that the contention that there are fewer lines under privatization than under BR remains false and the fact that even post Beeching Axe BR closed (or tried to close) a few lines remains as well.
 

scarby

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The rolling stock provision between Scarborough and York has deteriorated in every conceivable way.

I am not talking about taking away "special services" here, but the regular year-round services. In the 1970s these were a 4-car DMUs bolstered to even 6 or 8 car trains at busier times.

How they can think a 3-car unit is fit for purpose for every single service at any time with a "one size fits all" approach completely escapes me.

On top of that the first generation DMUs were so much better fitted out internally than modern rolling stock (the same can be said of lots of other stock too). If the class 185 units were fitted out based on the interior style, materials, comfort and aesthetics of an ex-works class 101, I honestly believe that passengers would consider it a hugely improved travelling experience.

Carriage interiors were built with craftsmanship; craftsmanship I say!
 

DownSouth

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I don't really think it is possible to make a comparison. The TOC's and regulations are now so much more severe that there would be no way BR could have survived under them. That said, I agree that there is too much government control to really call it "privatised". "Contracted out" seems a better description to me.
I think it is closer to privatised than contracted, but the franchise system is a completely different model halfway between those two options. The franchise operators get to set fares, collect fares etc and also take the financial risks on the viability of their services.

If it was just contracted then the Government would set fares, collect revenue, decide the service level to be provided and take the financial risks. The train operators would do nothing but operate the trains as required, and then collect a cheque from the Government for doing so (the size of which would be the subject of the competition for contracts) which would be used to maintain the rolling stock, pay staff, purchase fuel and so on. You would lose the ridiculous ORCATS which is a disincentive for improving service level, and the fares can be set at levels which reflect the public service nature of it. This model works well in Europe, and has seen vital local services increase as local authorities have been empowered to issue contracts for local services.
 

LE Greys

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Oh, BR certainly did a good job, although I have to say in spite of the Ministry of Transport. The closures that happened, or nearly happened in the case of the Settle & Carlisle for instance, were mostly the result of pressure from the top to save money. Sectorisation - another policy I seriously disagree with because it was the beginning of fragmentation - did initially deliver a considerable benefit, but there were some serious problems. How often did you see and Intercity loco hauling freight? Not often, yet before Intercity, 47s and 86s would routinely work passenger trains by day and freight by night. Were HSTs deployed regularly on commuter trains? Possibly some may have started short, yet they were still not quite in the same manner as they are on Oxford-London today. NSE, Provincial (later Regional Railways) and ScotRail introduced many of the multiple units that run today. Pacers and Sprinters in particular were a direct result of this, and as a result it shortened trains in many areas. Yes, costs probably did need to go down - and Pacers probably saved some lines from closure. Then there was the business of fares separation. Individual sectors could start playing with ticket prices, NSE were especially good at this with Network Cards and Awaybreaks among others.

Apply this to genuinely competing companies trying to share track, and you have a recipie for path-blocking and wrangling, plus of course ORCATS. Then there is too much duplication, something that BR tried to weed out in their early days. One good thing privatisation has done is reunite intercity, suburban and local passenger services in large areas of the country. First Great Western can put HSTs on what were Thames Trains services. Greater Anglia can interchange stock between their two main London routes. South West Trains can use the same stock for Reading or Portsmouth. East Midlands Trains can run HSTs to Skegness. I hope that we see London Midland merge with Virgin, Northern split up and merged with East Coast, Virgin and EMT, Trans-Pennine merged with Cross-Country and so on.

Being able to take on freight as well, and buy their own track is probably impossible.
 

yorksrob

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Fair enough but the fact remains that the contention that there are fewer lines under privatization than under BR remains false and the fact that even post Beeching Axe BR closed (or tried to close) a few lines remains as well.

I've done this argument to death, however, I have to point out that BR re-opened more routes in the decade or so before privatisation than have been re-opened since (certainly in England at any rate. Scotland may be a different kettle of fish, however I suspect re-openings there have been more due to political will than the "free" market).
 

Gwenllian2001

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Fair enough but the fact remains that the contention that there are fewer lines under privatization than under BR remains false and the fact that even post Beeching Axe BR closed (or tried to close) a few lines remains as well.

What has changed drastically is the time that it takes to get anything done these days, not to mention the enormous cost. Since the demise of BR the re-opening of lines has slowed dramatically. Once the decision had been made to re-open lines like Maesteg; Aberdare and The Robin Hood Line, things moved very quickly under BR managership. The station at Lisvane & Thornhill, in Cardiff, was prefabricated at Cathays and installed very quickly as was the station at Ynyswen, in the Rhondda Valley. Yes we have had the Vale of Glamorgan re-opened since privatisation, after years of delay, and but for the advent of Devolution, we would probably still be waiting.
 

LE Greys

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I've done this argument to death, however, I have to point out that BR re-opened more routes in the decade or so before privatisation than have been re-opened since (certainly in England at any rate. Scotland may be a different kettle of fish, however I suspect re-openings there have been more due to political will than the "free" market).

I agree with that. This may have had more to do with market conditions than anything else, although I don't really know. The railways reached their nadir in the 1970s, with rationalisation and closures finishing around then, before they began to turn around and improved themselves. There was a lot of political pressure, such as the campaigns to keep some lines open and reopen others, plus the greater efficiency brought about by trains such as the HSTs and Sprinters, and the massive changes in the freight market as wagonload traffic disappeared. Privatisation may have continued the trend, may have prolonged it, may have stifled it. I don't really know.

Scotland is a different case. Transport Scotland (who have only one franchise to work with) did a lot under the Labour government, not so much under the SNP, but they have really pushed railways since devolution. Good for them!
 

yorksrob

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I agree with that. This may have had more to do with market conditions than anything else, although I don't really know. The railways reached their nadir in the 1970s, with rationalisation and closures finishing around then, before they began to turn around and improved themselves. There was a lot of political pressure, such as the campaigns to keep some lines open and reopen others, plus the greater efficiency brought about by trains such as the HSTs and Sprinters, and the massive changes in the freight market as wagonload traffic disappeared. Privatisation may have continued the trend, may have prolonged it, may have stifled it. I don't really know.

Scotland is a different case. Transport Scotland (who have only one franchise to work with) did a lot under the Labour government, not so much under the SNP, but they have really pushed railways since devolution. Good for them!

I think the motor-centric decades (which I take to be roughly between about 1962 and 1982) would have been a problem for anyone running the railway at the time. In many ways our country's dependence on motor transport over this period has been disastrous, not only in terms of the rundown of public transport, but also for the "remodelling" of our town and city centres (many of which are now criss-crossed/cut off by urban motorways) and the inflationary cost of importing oil (up until the North Sea got going at any rate).

Of course, that shouldn't let some parts of BR management off the hook for being too quick to propose closure when a better course of action might have been prossible (particularly during the late 60's), particularly for what would later become Regional Railways.
 

Mutant Lemming

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We don't have a privatised railway network though.
We have companies which operate trains that are owned by another company over tracks that are owned by the state in lieu of a former failed company, through stations that are owned or operated by a variety of councils, train operating companies and the state owned former failed company, with many routes and services along with any major new investment subsidised by the taxpayer.
 

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IIRC, BR was starting to reopen lines, eg the first stage of the "Robin Hood" line, the Snow Hill extensions in Birmingham, Bridgend-Maesteg and, par excellence, the Thameslink Snow Hill. There are probably others. Nothing to do with privatisation

Walsall - Hednesford, Nuneaton - Coventry, Blackburn - Clitheroe are all good examples. I remember seeing a Regional Railways route maps once that was dated 1991 and showed Edinburgh to Tweedbank as a doted line (due to open by 1997)!

Many of these local re-openings we're to do with increased traffic congestion and the fact that many areas that we're rural/semi-rural in the 1950's & 60's, were now part of the commuter belts of the main conurbations.

And remember that the tipping point for rail, going from decline to growth happened before privatization.
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I've always seen the tipping point for the railways was 1983 when the Serpell report was rejected by the government. That was about the same time as legislation was passed to allow experimental re-openings.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the first experimental re-opening Lincoln to Sleaford in the mid-70's?
 
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