The greatest investment in modernisation

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mailman

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Sounds like this is going to be funded by fare increases*.

To a mere pleb like me it would make more sense that the train companies pay for the upgradse that will benefit them the most, and most certainly help them make more billions in profit.

So, thoughts people? Should the upgrade be paid for through fare increases or should the train companies stump up and pay for this themselves out of the massive profits?

Mailman

* According to that bible of the railways, the Daily Mail :)
 
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Metroland

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The TOCs make ~4% profit on their businesses, and in some cases pay large premiums to the government. The so profit margin is so wafer thin, some TOCs have gone to the wall.

The improvements are being funded partly by efficiency and partly by fare increases.

The unions don't like the efficiency ideas, and fear McNulty. In particular they are against ticket office closures (even though ticket volumes sold via ticket offices go down each year) and removal of Guards, even though the most heavily used services around big cities are DOO. They also don't like centralising signalling into 14 centres, even though NR has promised this can be done through natural wastage.

Passengers badly want to see improvements, because of overcrowding but dislike high fare prices. Yet, you could argue that prices are too cheap if there is overcrowding.

Business wants to see infrastructure improvements to get it's people to and from work and attract inward investment, but on the whole doesn't like tax increases.

In reality, improvements are being funded by a combination of things, and what's clear is there has to be a compromise. A lot of people want to see investment in rail, from all walks of life. 20 somethings now have much less interest in driving cars, and prefer to rely on public transport. Business always points out the infrastructure in the country is weak. Because of high house prices people are commuting further, this adds extra pressure and so on.
 

The Decapod

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Instead of the government wasting billions on HS2, they should cancel it and put the money towards these much more sensible electrification projects and other upgrades of the existing network.
 

Masboroughlad

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Instead of the government wasting billions on HS2, they should cancel it and put the money towards these much more sensible electrification projects and other upgrades of the existing network.
We really need both.

That said, if HS2 does bite the dust, I agree, there should be a raft of re-openings, upgrades etc. instead.
 

The Decapod

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In an ideal world me might need both, but HS2 looks like an expensive luxury especially if it's only built as far as Birmingham and then subsequent phases cancelled.
 

sprinterguy

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Instead of the government wasting billions on HS2, they should cancel it and put the money towards these much more sensible electrification projects and other upgrades of the existing network.
Money will be put towards these "more sensible" electrification projects, subject to them getting approval. Once again, there isn't a magic pot of money for HS2 that would automatically be invested in other parts of the railways if HS2 was cancelled.
 

swt_passenger

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Instead of the government wasting billions on HS2, they should cancel it and put the money towards these much more sensible electrification projects and other upgrades of the existing network.
The money for HS2 is not set aside in an account reserved just for Rail, ready to be spent on existing Rail network, if HS2 is cancelled. It could be used anywhere, or not at all...
 

sprinterguy

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In an ideal world me might need both, but HS2 looks like an expensive luxury especially if it's only built as far as Birmingham and then subsequent phases cancelled.
The benefits wouldn't be nearly as great if HS2 only got to Birmingham, but it would still solve the most immediate problem of congestion on the southern portion of the WCML, as well as providing faster journey times to most stations, both principal and intermediate, along the length of the WCML.
 

Yew

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In an ideal world me might need both, but HS2 looks like an expensive luxury especially if it's only built as far as Birmingham and then subsequent phases cancelled.
I have to admit that is something I fear, completing phase one and then just cancelling the rest by some future government. Hopefully the companies involved will have suitably tough contracts that the queen elizabeth class aircraft carrier manufacturers had.
 

tbtc

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Sounds like this is going to be funded by fare increases*.

To a mere pleb like me it would make more sense that the train companies pay for the upgradse that will benefit them the most, and most certainly help them make more billions in profit.

So, thoughts people? Should the upgrade be paid for through fare increases or should the train companies stump up and pay for this themselves out of the massive profits?

Mailman

* According to that bible of the railways, the Daily Mail :)
The average franchise is, what, eight/ten years long?

But it will take maybe twenty years for the investment in electrification/upgrades to pay for itself?

So by the time the railway is benefitting most, the likes of First Capital Connect and South West Trains will be a distant memory. However these TOCs will probably suffer from the disruption caused by electrifying the line (overnight closure, posessions etc).

The fact that you refer to making "more billions in profit" doesn't bode well though

Instead of the government wasting billions on HS2, they should cancel it and put the money towards these much more sensible electrification projects and other upgrades of the existing network.
Yesterday showed that investment in "classic" lines is still going ahead as well as HS2. The "no" lobby like to pretend that HS2 will take up the entire railway budget and it'd be better to upgrade existing lines - yesterday shows that the upgrades are happening as well as HS2 - best of both worlds.

Pretending that we can "choose" between one or the other is disengenuous.
 

WatcherZero

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Im still hearing this quiet whisper that the Government is going to allow two years of RPI+11% fare rises to new franchises to rebalance the Government-Passenger revenue balance to their target figure then lock them back at RPI+1% again. Frankly though it would be political suicide, im sure it must be coming from civil servantstrying to implement Government rail fares policy rather than politicians.
 

mailman

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Passengers badly want to see improvements, because of overcrowding but dislike high fare prices. Yet, you could argue that prices are too cheap if there is overcrowding.
You could argue this point but you would have one hell of a time trying to convince anyone who actually uses the trains to get to work of its merit. Its the kind of argument you would expect from the empty heads in Westminster who dont have to pay for anything out of their own pockets.

So why pay out billions in subsidies to TOC's? Why not take all that money and sink it in to the infrastructure instead?

Is there any other way around paying for the upgrades short of nationalising the entire network OR selling everything off to one or two operators?

Regards

Mailman
 

6Gman

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The benefits wouldn't be nearly as great if HS2 only got to Birmingham, but it would still solve the most immediate problem of congestion on the southern portion of the WCML, as well as providing faster journey times to most stations, both principal and intermediate, along the length of the WCML.
Er, but do nothing for congestion Birmingham - Wolverhampton, or Shugborough/Stafford, or Crewe, or into Manchester Picc etc etc.
 

Simon11

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You could argue this point but you would have one hell of a time trying to convince anyone who actually uses the trains to get to work of its merit. Its the kind of argument you would expect from the empty heads in Westminster who dont have to pay for anything out of their own pockets.

So why pay out billions in subsidies to TOC's? Why not take all that money and sink it in to the infrastructure instead?

Is there any other way around paying for the upgrades short of nationalising the entire network OR selling everything off to one or two operators?

Regards

Mailman
Have you been ready too much of the daily mail?

Some tocs operating companies are actually losing money year on year!

Profit margins are so tiny, I do wonder why companies bother to bid for some franchises.



 

starrymarkb

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You could argue this point but you would have one hell of a time trying to convince anyone who actually uses the trains to get to work of its merit. Its the kind of argument you would expect from the empty heads in Westminster who dont have to pay for anything out of their own pockets.

So why pay out billions in subsidies to TOC's? Why not take all that money and sink it in to the infrastructure instead?

Is there any other way around paying for the upgrades short of nationalising the entire network OR selling everything off to one or two operators?

Regards

Mailman
Most of the billions go into the publicly owned Network Rail.
 

island

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Im still hearing this quiet whisper that the Government is going to allow two years of RPI+11% fare rises to new franchises to rebalance the Government-Passenger revenue balance to their target figure then lock them back at RPI+1% again. Frankly though it would be political suicide, im sure it must be coming from civil servantstrying to implement Government rail fares policy rather than politicians.
Eleven?
 

ainsworth74

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So why pay out billions in subsidies to TOC's? Why not take all that money and sink it in to the infrastructure instead?
Because if we didn't pay them that money then the services that lose money wouldn't run because, why would they run loss making services? You seem to be labouring under the impression that the TOCs make a lot of profit, you should re-evaluate this viewpoint as it is not really the case.
 

WatcherZero

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Yeah, the Government policy is to reduce subsidy and increase ticketing revenues share of costs from 50% to 66%. Though inflation is falling fast from its highs so double digit ticket rises would probably only hit a few routes.
 
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Zoe

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Most of the billions go into the publicly owned Network Rail.
Network Rail is not publically owned, it is a company limited by guarantee and isn't owned by anyone. Any profits are reinvested in the network.
 
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DXMachina

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The benefits wouldn't be nearly as great if HS2 only got to Birmingham, but it would still solve the most immediate problem of congestion on the southern portion of the WCML, as well as providing faster journey times to most stations, both principal and intermediate, along the length of the WCML.
Repeating someone elses point in the HS2 thread

The Pretendolino (cl90, mk3s+DVT) doesnt usually go to Scotland as the time taken by a 110mph 1980s train is a lot longer than a tilting 125mph Pendolino

TGVs, ICEs and the like - true HS-class passenger stock - don't tilt. Even if they can easily built down to a UK gauge profile they will lose 15 miles every hours running north of the HS/classic interchange... just like the Pretendolino does.

Unless you want to interchange passengers from HS stock to Cl.390 at Brum you dont benefit the northern destinations by building to Birmingham.
 

Zoe

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Isn't it the plan that Glasgow services will continue to run via the WCML until phase 2 is built?
 

sprinterguy

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Repeating someone elses point in the HS2 thread

The Pretendolino (cl90, mk3s+DVT) doesnt usually go to Scotland as the time taken by a 110mph 1980s train is a lot longer than a tilting 125mph Pendolino

TGVs, ICEs and the like - true HS-class passenger stock - don't tilt. Even if they can easily built down to a UK gauge profile they will lose 15 miles every hours running north of the HS/classic interchange... just like the Pretendolino does.

Unless you want to interchange passengers from HS stock to Cl.390 at Brum you dont benefit the northern destinations by building to Birmingham.
The Pretendolino has to contend with extended dwell times brought about by slam doors and is limited by the performance of a 5000hp class 90 loco. I'd wager that a far more powerful classic compatible HS2 train with distributed traction would demonstrate much enhanced acceleration characteristics, closing the gap considerably between 125mph Pendos and 110mph Class Compatible sets on the sinuous northern sections of the WCML where acceleration out of lower speed limits counts for a lot. I believe that this is the prevalent thinking amongst the DfT.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Isn't it the plan that Glasgow services will continue to run via the WCML until phase 2 is built?
That isn't what is suggested in the diagram published as part of the DfTs' Economic Case for HS2, nor in Greengauge 21s' far more detailed proposal, although that scenario would see a classic Euston to Glasgow service retained alongside the high speed service.
 

mailman

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Because if we didn't pay them that money then the services that lose money wouldn't run because, why would they run loss making services? You seem to be labouring under the impression that the TOCs make a lot of profit, you should re-evaluate this viewpoint as it is not really the case.
So in effect TOC's are essentially operating in a risk free environment, where loosing money means getting paid billions in subsidies by the Government. That further means that customers are having to pay twice for the upgrade, firstly through general taxation and then secondly through increased fares.

Surely if a TOC is loosing money then they should be allowed to go out of business and those routes either run centrally by the Government (dear god!) or the lines are sold to larger TOC's (dear god!).

I guess we could argue this until to cows come home BUT what other options do you think are out there to cover the cost of upgrading the rail network that doesnt involve inflating already bloated fares for commuters who are locked in to a dependancy relationship with the train to get to work?

Is it right that TOC's dont contribute to the upgrade of the network or divert the billions they received from the government in subsidies away from share holder pockets and instead in to the upgrading of the network?

Regards

Mailman
 

WatcherZero

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So in effect TOC's are essentially operating in a risk free environment, where loosing money means getting paid billions in subsidies by the Government. That further means that customers are having to pay twice for the upgrade, firstly through general taxation and then secondly through increased fares.

Surely if a TOC is loosing money then they should be allowed to go out of business and those routes either run centrally by the Government (dear god!) or the lines are sold to larger TOC's (dear god!).

I guess we could argue this until to cows come home BUT what other options do you think are out there to cover the cost of upgrading the rail network that doesnt involve inflating already bloated fares for commuters who are locked in to a dependancy relationship with the train to get to work?

Is it right that TOC's dont contribute to the upgrade of the network or divert the billions they received from the government in subsidies away from share holder pockets and instead in to the upgrading of the network?

Regards

Mailman
No the Government provides an operating subsidy to services which dont produce enough passengers to break even, as the passengers increase the subsidy turns into a charge reversing the flow. Ultimately however its up to the management abilities of the company, the Government can ensure that the services dont run at a loss but its not the same as ensuring the company makes a profit, there are far more costs than just operating a service (training, management, back office, ticketing, recruitment, cost of capital, legal services, advertising, stations upkeep, etc....).
 

mailman

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Its still a risk free environment for the TOC's.

BUT thats neither here nor there at the end of the day...the question remains how better future upgrades to the infrastructure can best be carried out without the long suffering customers having to pick up the costs.

Mailman
 

Bald Rick

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Its still a risk free environment for the TOC's.

BUT thats neither here nor there at the end of the day...the question remains how better future upgrades to the infrastructure can best be carried out without the long suffering customers having to pick up the costs.

Mailman
You might like to ask the shareholders of National Express Group if it is a risk free environment.

Bowker's law states that there are only two sources of funding for the railways: the taxpayer and the farepayer. It is a matter of opinion what the proportion to each party should be, and this government has nailed its colours to the mast. To be fair the previous government was nailing the same colours to the same mast before they got voted out.

And now, the masts are going to support overhead wires!
 
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