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Should Uk Railways Be Renationalised

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Thomas Ham, Mar 10, 2021.

?
  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Maybe

  4. I don't Know

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  1. Commiee

    Commiee Active Member

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    A "mismanaged BR" is not the only alternative to the "current setup", which would more specifically be called neoliberalism. The very same people who championed the neoliberal deregulation 40 years ago have been pushing the propaganda line of "public=bad, private=good" ever since, while obviously not mentioning that wherever the public has been bad, that has been because of (often purposeful) underfunding and mismanagement, and not because "public" inherently means that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
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  2. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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  3. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    It was basically an ideological decision by a Tory government that regarded everything public as bad, and private as good, and followed on from years of privatisation of public services.

    I remember the absurdity of seeing a photo in the press of a diesel loco on the back of a lorry being taken for servicing, because that was a cheaper method of transport than the owner having to ‘rent’ passage on the actual railway line!

    Then you had, eg in Waverley, instead of one lost property office, you had one for the station, and different ones for different TOCs.

    BR underwent a virtual funding freeze in the early 1990s, prior to privatisation, an almost textbook example of ‘defund, demoralise, privatise’.

    The private ownership of infrastructure was a disaster, with Railtrack lasting but a few years till it was brought under government control again, after almost yearly accidents including Hatfield caused by negligence of track maintenance.

    As mentioned with the buses, the shortsighted focus is purely on the profit margin of that operation as a business, with little consideration for the social or environmental factors. By slashing services, the ‘costs’ are transferred to the former passengers who now have to take a taxi or whatever the rest of the way.

    It’s all about knowing ‘the price of everything, but the value of nothing’.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
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  4. Mr heff

    Mr heff Well-Known Member

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    They are nationalised since covid
     
  5. fabdiva

    fabdiva Well-Known Member

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    Yes and No, the Gov has taken a lot of responsibilities in house. The TOCs are still running the trains but for a fixed fee to keep things ticking over. I don't think the DfT had the resources spare to take everything in house at the same time with Brexit and Covid hoovering up everything in Whitehall.

    Post covid the most likely option is concessions, where TOCs are subcontracted for day to day operations for a fixed fee. Everything else will be government specified.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
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  6. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I know Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was against the privatizion of u.k railways. Apparentely railway companies make bids to operate on certain rail lines and they loan the trains from the government. I did watch a 20 min video about the topic. It goes into why the railways became privately owned, how railway companies make bids to operate on rail lines, and why it failed when covid came.


    For the people who live in the U.K, do you believe that the privatizion of railways in the u.k was a failure because I find this topic quite interesting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
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  7. Tank621

    Tank621 Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I think it was initially fairly successful with the initial funding boost to the railways, and since privatisation passenger numbers have climbed significantly. Overall, however, the system as it stood has proven to be fundamentally flawed, without government intervention covid would have killed the railways. I'll reserve judgement on the new system until I've seen it in action properly, hopefully, rail travel becomes more affordable at the very least.
     
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  8. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Not everyone does think it is a failure to be honest, many long term commuters I know think the railways are in far better shape then they were 30 years ago.

    I personally think the railways should be a public asset but I would say there has been much more investment in the railways in the last ten years than there has been for a long time although part of that is underfunding of the railways during the 1980's which means the government has been playing catch up. The railways have also been at their busiest for decades (pre-covid).
     
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  9. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes with the privitatisation of u.k railways, that lead to increased fares making it not so affordable in some areas. Since passenger numbers dropped and rail companies couldn't pay bids the government pretty much had no choice to get involved.
     
  10. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    I always had the distinct impression that she and her cronies were against railways full stop. Mind you Michael Portillo has stated that his proudest political achievement was his part in saving the Settle-Carlisle line. He's said that he presented it not just as a useful rail link but also as something of historical interest and importance and thought that may have been his most persuasive argument.
     
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  11. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting.
     
  12. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    I must say - I think it has been partly unsuccessful, but not because it's in private hands. The whole franchising system is flawed I think for what they wanted, because it's not just some lines a company bids for - in the case of ScotRail, the company is bidding for the right to run every train in Scotland (bar intercity services into England). I think if we're having to go for franchising, they need to be much smaller. When John Major's government privatised rail it said it would drive up competition and drive down fares - if anything, competition stayed the same and fares have gone up (although the government is responsible for the annual fare rise - TOCs have their hands tied). For those interested, here's the ITN news at Ten for the day Privatisation was first brought forward: - it's the first report. However, having said that, what John Prescott said in that has been unfounded I think - there was huge investment from the private companies to start with - most refurbishing trains, and some (such as Virgin and c2c) completely replaced their fleet with new trains. I should perhaps say I'm too young to remember BR (I was born after it had been privatised)
     
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  13. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I got that wrong then but I could've sworn the prime mininster wasn't fully against railways from what I've seen but then again I don't live in the U.K lol
     
  14. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    I don't think Margaret Thatcher was interested in privatising the railways, certainly that is what I have gleaned from documentaries from those in the know, although I think it is definitely correct to say that she wasn't keen on them. I think BR had to go cap in hand to the government when ordering the second generation multiple units and didn't get the funding they wanted. That is why, I believe that most of the class 150 fleet was ordered as two car units after the initial two units were built with three carriages as the government told BR it couldn't have all the money it required, which seems odd as it was BR who were building them! Which lead to BR in the West Midlands and North West having to make up scratch three car sets from class 150/1 and 150/2 vehicles, which presumably left them with less sets than they anticipated which meant first generation DMU's hanging around for longer (not that I thought that was a bad thing)! It was under John Major that privatisation occurred.

    The biggest downside to privatisation for me has been the shrinkage of the railway building industry in the UK, when BR were in existence virtually everything they ran was built in the UK by BR or private companies, except for the 30 Romanian built class 56's. BR were exporting trains around the world. Now we have very little of it left, only Bombardier really. We have gone from inventing the things and exporting around the world to having to source most of our trains abroad.

    As an aside, the first steam locomotive to operate in the USA was built in my home town.
     
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  15. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    I watched when they were talking about the privitazion. I see the argument from both sides. Virgin trains did indeed though introduce new high speed trains even though labour argued that private companies would not introduce new trains and just reuse the same trains with a new coat of paint which it seems has happened. Some say that it would led to better services although some companies like virgin trains no longer exists in the u.k, southern railway tends to pre covid have a ton of delays and apparentely was voted worst rail company in the u.k and fares from what I've seen only skyrocketed I assume because of the government or the costs of the bids going up for the private operators. Wouldn't it make since since you mentioned scotrail to operate all the lines in scotland since they are a scottish rail company?
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
  16. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    I think what Prescott means by 'old trains' is first generation slam-door DMUs and EMUs and loco-hauled trains, which were getting on for over 30 years-old by that point. The trains we now see as "old" (Sprinters and pacers) were about 8 years old (maximum) when that programme aired, and still very new. The Thameslink Class 319s were only 3 years old, and the Networker family were just started being built. Most of the slam door trains had gone within 10 years of privatisation.

    There is also this Channel 4 documentary from 1990 (it's an hour long, mind), which looks at the problems BR faced, and concludes that perhaps privatisation is the way forward "if it is true privatisation" - which is not really what we got.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
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  17. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    This makes me think of Amtrak which is the national rail service here in the U.S which is funded by the government. Amtrak in my opinion has been neglected by the government for a long time especially when cars started to become mainstream in the 50s. Their most profitable route is the Northeast Corridor which goes from Boston South Station to Washington D.C Union Station and has gotten many investments from Congress. But other parts of Amtrak have gotten major cuts in service and not as much money from congress even though 2019-early 2020 pre-covid passenger numbers were the highest on record across the system. Hopefully since President Biden who is a major train fan and with a democratic controlled U.S Senate and U.S House Of Representatives and this pandemic ending soon, hopefully Amtrak will see much needed improvements. Amtrak trains are always delayed to the point that it's expected. I recall one time I was waiting for a train and there was a two hour delay because and this ain't a joke, because of a broken toilet which I thought was ridiculous. There are pros to governments controlling railways but there are also cons as well. Amtrak could be used as a example of a con of that
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
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  18. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    I held a survey on RailUK forums a few years ago on the railways, and this was one of the questions asked. It was about a 50/50 split for renationalising the railways or keeping it privatised, excluding the 'not sure' votes. The construction of High Speed 2 was also an even split, between not building it, building it, and only building it if HS3/NPR is built as well.

    While I like the concept of renationalisation, it seems like a case of rose-tinted glasses for a lot of people. Remember that the early days of privatisation had the most amount of change in the railways for years, with the replacement of most trains in the UK. On the other hand, I think that the current system is not very good and completely failed at what it promised. There is no competition (and when there was, the government stopped them from actually competing - see Wrexham and Shropshire) and the prices have gone up (although there has been a lot more work done to the railways, mostly with trains being replaced). And having almost every franchise (except Southern strangely, which has somehow become one of the most reliable railways on the network) going bankrupt (or at least in a bad financial state) before COVID-19 was not a good advertisement for it.

    If there was ever a referendum on it, I'd expect renationalise to win, but only by a small margin, and over the coming years I'd expect people originally against it to try and overturn to result and keep the privatised system.

    My ideal railway would be both more privatised and semi-nationalised. Let me explain:
    The railways themselves would all be owned by the government, as they should be. However, the operators would be long-term contracts (more than 20 years) given to private companies, who would run sectors and services under the BR name. They could then do basically whatever they liked with the railways, including sub-contracting operations to other companies. For example, Company A has got the contract to run the Western Mainlines services (the lines between London and Penzance and other locations in the south west of England). However, their company branding would not appear on the trains, as they'd all have the respective BR branding. The expresses would be InterCity, the local trains out of Paddington would be NSE, the local trains in the west would be Wales And West, and the Heathrow Express would be Alphaline, for example. Company A could also hire another company if they wanted to, to run local services in Devon and Cornwall. It could be a local transport company, who would know the area well and have a better idea of what to do and how to do it.

    This isn't a perfect idea, and I know a lot of people will criticise it (which is why I won't be following this thread), but it turns the good things about privatisation into even better things by building upon the Chiltern Railways model of long franchises.
     
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  19. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Interesting.
    Is it true that delays of up to 12 hours are not unheard of on certain routes?
     
  20. fabdiva

    fabdiva Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, some London commuter lines were running 50 year old stock around the turn of the millennium. LTS (what is now c2c) went from knackered slam door EMUs to an all new fleet of Electrostars. The main replacement of old stock started around 2002/2003 as the Voyagers, Electrostars and Desiros started to come on stream.

    The PEPs are the next generation to be retired, 314s have gone, a few 315s are still with TfL pending Crossrail (full length 345s don't fit in the current platforms for the Shenfield Metro at Liverpool Street, if the tunnel had opened on time this wouldn't have been much of a problem) and 313s are just with Southern now.

    The 1980 and some 1990s Mk 3 units are starting to go - but as there is a general shortage of DMUs the Sprinters will be around for a few more years.

    Also the 332s for HEX went for scrap recently, modifying them from Airport spec when more general purpose EMUs are available didn't make financial sense.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
  21. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    They are not unheard of but those usually happen on cross country services like from chicago to Los Angeles. I've had that actually happen to me when on a cross country service because of a freight derailment which made my train stuck for over 9 hours
     
  22. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    This. When northern was owned by Arriva, politicians (not naming names Andy Burnham) promised passengers the world if the company was nationalised. First day after the OLR was brought in, #NorthernFail was trending on twitter - not as a "ha! you suck!" to Arriva - but because there were delays and cancellations on some routes in the north west which was, frankly, hilarious. The public were promised the world, now they were expecting it. It goes to show that nationalisation is not an instant silver bullet to fix every problem instantly which is how some seem to portray it.
     
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  23. fabdiva

    fabdiva Well-Known Member

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    I'd say infrastructure is the biggest issue. Especially around Manchester, where the Ordsall link line was built but the widening of the line through Oxford Road and additional through tracks at Piccadilly were cancelled - so too many trains being funnelled through a two track section, and as it's not possible to turn trains around in the limited slots they now have to run as cross regional services. So anything going wrong in Manchester rapidly causes issues across the north!

    Fixing the infrastructure, beyond patching is needed. Some structures are very much end of life (it's testament to the builders that they've lasted as long as they have) but are just patched up and become a liability. Who does operations is the least of the structural problems at the moment (not saying I don't support nationalisation, but it won't fix the majority of issues)
     
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  24. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and to quote that documentary I posted: "London is a kind-of railway blood clot between our industrial heartlands and Europe. London's rails were never intended to, and probably never will, offer a clear way to Europe." It then goes on to talk about Borough Market Junction. Delays in that area are inevitable, as there simply isn't the track needed to support the amount of trains being forced through.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
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  25. djhawtin1

    djhawtin1 Well-Known Member

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    Personallly, it will just be another government mess-up *Cough* Covid-19 Handling *Cough* I mean WMT [My Locals] are doing better than BR/ Centro ever did
     
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  26. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Well there's at least a clear way to Europe with hs1 and Eurostar
     
  27. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but what about freight (as was initial intention I believe, to have Euro Tunnel freight and passenger)? You can only access it from St Pancras, or the North London Line, which is a very busy freight and commuter line. At the time of that documentary, the Channel Tunnel was being constructed, but there were no plans (or at least nothing was being done) for HS1, or a dedicated line from London. For the first 10 years or so, Eurostar trains ran from Waterloo along conventional lines, novigating a lot of busy lines in South London to Ashford via Sevenoaks - using this link (green line) from the SWML (blue) to the CML (red).
    upload_2021-3-18_17-3-42.png
     
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  28. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Ohh i see. But doesn't freight in the u.k get mostly transported by trucks via the eurotunnel shuttle? Sure it may not be a true freight train but at least freight is going in and out of the island kingdom
     
  29. fabdiva

    fabdiva Well-Known Member

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    Most tunnel freight is on the shuttles - there are still a few container flows that come in. Some use HS1 overnight to Dagenham where they are unloaded as they use Eurosized wagons. Wagon load/manifest isn't a thing in the UK as the short distances meant it was much slower then road.

    Other freight comes in to ports. Southampton, Felixstowe, London Gateway etc - then truck or train from there.
     
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  30. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    I can't say that is my experience of WMT, well pre-Covid anyway. There were almost daily problems, train turning up short formed, or not at all, mainly in the evenings. I have never seen so much anger since commuting, it was worse than the London Midland no drivers fiasco a few years ago.

    And at least when Centro paid for Langley Greens new station building you could actually sit in the warm on a cold or wet winters evening when the trains were late. Now you have to sit outside in a bus stop shelter on an unstaffed station in not exactly the nicest of areas in the freezing cold because the waiting room is locked as there are no staff.
     
  31. Medellinexpat

    Medellinexpat Well-Known Member

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    Generally, not now though of course, I travel to the UK once or twice a year for vacation and there’s generally several train trips involved. Taking the railways Private has led to some investment - although often in some unlovely rolling stock. The biggest issue is that it is no longer a public service. Do you remember the days when you could turn up at a railway station and just catch the next train, when the variations in train fares were limited (cheap day return for example) and where you could catch any train that went to where you wanted - with some small limitations.
    Now when we come to the UK to get decent priced train travel you have to book in advance and work to the trains (often one) that the ticket is valid for. If you want to a seat you often need to book a reservation. Bottom line the concept of a public service entity where you can decide that now you’d like to go from A to B is lost.
    The idea in having it Private was that there would be competition and that would drive improved service, but the reality is that in many cases there’s one provider. The old Intercity routes have shown some improvement but outside of those lines most services are little better than they were. Small, cramped overcrowded trains that stumble along at slow speeds. Capacity, without decent central planning remains a problem as well with investment going to showpiece builds like HS2.
    One of the reasons for going private was to break the rail unions who had had a toxic relationship with successive governments. A long way around to ‘deal’ with that problem.
     
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  32. Commiee

    Commiee Active Member

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    I'd add inverted commas to 'problem' too.
     
  33. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    This was the predicament of BR as a nationalised industry under a rightwing government that deliberately starved it of funds in its later years, so naturally people might notice the effect of greater investment.

    The ironic thing is that the British government ended up giving more to the private TOCs than invested in BR.
     
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  34. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    Stourbridge?
     
  35. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Yes the Stourbridge Lion. The foundary it was built in Foster and Rastrick, has been restored and converted into a health centre. It is where my doctors is and is a fascinating building inside.
     
  36. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    My home town too (well I was born in Sutton Coldfield but, apart from a Sunday school outing to a park there, I have no memory of it). There's good evidence that, although Lion ran in public first, Pride of Newcastle (built by RS&Co for the same buyer) was the first loco' to actually steam in the US. IIRC she weighed even more than Lion, which was already too heavy for the flimsy strap rails they were intended to run on. The buyer was mining anthracite and, not unreasonably, expected their new purchases to burn it but, without a blast pipe, Pride was barely able raise steam.
     
  37. Commiee

    Commiee Active Member

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  38. Commiee

    Commiee Active Member

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    Last edited: May 20, 2021
  39. Disintegration7

    Disintegration7 Well-Known Member

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    Lol was just gonna post this in the off-topic as it seemed like it could have a big effect on TSW, eventually, and I discovered a whole thread.

    Do people think this a real change, or mostly political messaging? I don't know the facts well enough to offer an opinion.

    In the US, where I live, I think it's fair to say rail nationalization and re-privatization since the mid-70's has been very much a mixed bag. Freight rail has boomed since the breakup of Conrail, but, then again, freight was never fully nationalized, so it's not quite so simple. Still, i don't think many people here would argue for any re-nationalization of freight rail.

    Amtrak gets a lot of flak for long delays and being unprofitable outside the Northeast Corridor. Ironically many of those delays are caused by freight trains having higher priority on the track owned by the freight companies, which is almost the whole network outside the NEC.

    But to me, Amtrak provides a valuable transport service to areas that are too remote and/or sparsely populated to ever support profitable mass transit- it's hard to overestimate just how geographically big the US is. IMO, it's in the national interest to subsidize this service, and I hope Amtrak's funding is greatly expanded in the upcoming infrastructure bill.
     
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  40. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    In other words, unprofitable mass transit. And "unprofitable" is defined in the dictionary as "Useless; serving no purpose."

    If you build it, they still will not come. After all, one of the first things Amtrak did when it came into existence was to shut down 60% of the passenger routes it had inherited from the private railroads.
     
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  41. Commiee

    Commiee Active Member

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    The BBC news piece lists some problems that came with the less-than-clear private division of ownership until now.

    With regard to the principle of rail ownership in general, a public ownership model can work just as well as, and often better than, a private one, if enough resources and most importantly, political goodwill is there. Historical examples of public ownership failing are in many cases caused by very deliberate attempts to starve it of resources to sink its image and boost corporations' chances of expanding privatisation. This is particularly clear in the US, where car manufacturing and oil lobby has spent decades undermining public transit - both in its current state and its future projects - in cooperation with corporate-influenced politicians, not least because that creates an ideological support through the "public bad, private good" messaging that has been an inseparable part of the last four decades of installing and spreading neoliberalism in the country and around the world.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
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  42. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    I have voted yes to the poll, but I recognise that a truly nationalised railway with a vertically integrated structure brings very many problems to a very small number of people, such as:

    - they can be four times less costly to run (for the taxpayer), meaning less money floating around;
    - costs associated with the wheel/rail interface can be sensibly optimised, rather than liberated from the TOCs;
    - investment and spending becomes horrifically transparent; and
    - there is a high risk that rail employees will get reasonably well paid and have more stable jobs, with knock-on effects for the rest of the economy that impacts another small set of people in the UK finance industry.

    But for the last 40 years, the UK population has not wanted the above sort of things from their publicly funded services. The voters have been very clear, and the voters have consistently elected for:

    - every possible opportunity given to a very small number of extremely rich individuals to syphon off more wealth from the general population, so that they can become even more absurdly wealthy;
    - an almost completely risk-free and secure way for private companies to leach money from the public purse; and,
    - extremely unstable under-paid jobs, ensuring that normal people cannot invest in assets like housing, and instead become completely crushed by a complete lifetime of rent, debt and servitude to the asset and finance owners (including working well beyond the retirement age for the bankers, etc.).

    Thankfully (for the very few extremely rich people), the Government has recognised that things like franchising do carry some tiny risk that the full extraction of wealth will not always work, for example, with COVID 19, and there is a risk that the money won't flow properly, or so easily, to the extremely rich. So - a better solution would be to have a concession approach, where the tax-payer just hands over the cash, whether services are run or not - and that's what we appear to be getting. It's pure genius, really.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
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  43. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for writing this - as it has saved me writing about five posts in this thread... covering "what are railways for, anyway....?", "but surely road is always better...?", "why build HS2 when it it will probably only use up renewable energy, when carbon is much nicer for the planet....?", "it is lovely to see large lorries passing through rural villages 24 hours per day"..... and "why can't we have more flights from London to Birmingham at 4.00am.... I really like the sound of aircraft in the morning".
     
  44. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    Was it L.A. that had a tram/inter-urban network which was well used but got run down over the years then was sold to and promptly closed by some consortium that happened to make 'busses? (The story is alluded to in Who Framed Roger Rabbitt?) A few years later the roads were choked, new ones couldn't be built fast enough to keep up and the city was scrambling to replace just some of the rail network at vast expense.
     
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  45. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    The main things about public / private boil down to costs
    If it's public then the government is accountable for everything, so if something goes wrong you sue the government. This means many layers of management simply there to stop the lawyers making everything a litigation
    If it's public then the private manufacturers can (and do) inflate prices. If you've bought 700 of something then spares become a monopoly and you can charge what you want, and again if it breaks people don't sue the manufacturer, they sue the government
    It's also normal for the government to use nationalised industries as employers and users 'of last resort', but I doubt that will happen in the modern economy. Certainly last time round there were many unsuitable people running the railway who should have been behind a desk (or just doing anything else)

    When it's private, and they report to shareholders, those companies are always looking for best value and are less likely to be worried about 'short termism'. It's not like they're up for re-election in four years. There's also likely to be better competition for pricing and so on because again, those shareholders want to be paid.
    Of course, having a public asset that pays to private investors is always going to be a minefield to sell...
     
  46. Commiee

    Commiee Active Member

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    The entire premise of the neoliberal economy we live under is based on short-termism at the expense of long-term outcomes and side effects, whether in climate and energy, housing, commodified education, transportation and more. And this goes for UK rail privatisation case as well:

    [​IMG]
    https://www.pressreader.com/uk/daily-mirror/20210521/281625308203070
     
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  47. fabdiva

    fabdiva Well-Known Member

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    Short Term was really all the companies could do - Chiltern got a 20 year contract and invested a fair bit along with infrastructure improvements from NR. Most other companies were on 5-7 year contracts, so if they did order new stock there was a good chance they wouldn't be around to run it. Often franchises were specified as "Zero Growth" where trying to react to growth would result in penalties. Northern was a good example. Franchising was a mess.

    As an example the government early on tried to bring SBB on board. SBB wanted a minimum 30 year contract to do a proper job, when offered 5 years they walked away.
     
  48. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I think you've got it back to front
    A separate company which gets a 20 year contract will worry about that 20 years.
    Some muppet in a suit who is re-elected every four years makes promises in year one, breaks them in year three "to look economical" andf then promises even more in year four to get elected again
     
  49. Commiee

    Commiee Active Member

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    No, I got it exactly right. The fact that governments also operate on short-termism at the expense of long-term damage - because that's the way neoliberalism works - doesn't change the falsity of the statement on private profit corporations being somehow long-term oriented. I don't even know how it's possible to make that argument when looking at examples all across industries and the economy in the world we live in, but...
     
  50. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I am specifically talking about train companies in the UK based on current development investment.
    Bringing in all other economic influences dilutes the conversation
     

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