Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Recent UK rail service

Expand Messages
  • Karen Sandness
    ... Wow, and we thought we had it bad with Amtrak. Correct me if I m wrong, but wasn t rail service in the UK privatized recently? I suppose the proponents
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 19, 2000
    • 0 Attachment
      carfree_cities@egroups.com wrote:

      > Message: 6
      > Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2000 21:03:27 -0500
      > From: "Ronald Dawson" <rdadddmd@...>
      > Subject: Oh how things have changed.
      >
      > The current rail situation in the UK is really quite appalling. Dawson

      Wow, and we thought we had it bad with Amtrak.

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't rail service in the UK privatized recently?

      I suppose the proponents talked about "increased efficiency" and
      "finally making a profit."

      However, thinking back to the situation with rail passenger service in
      the U.S. before Amtrak, I'm wondering if these private companies aren't
      deliberately trying to offer bad service so that they can drive
      passengers away and have an excuse to discontinue passenger service.

      This is what happened in the U.S. I'm fifty years old, and when I was a
      child, we used to travel back and forth between Beloit, Wisconsin, and
      Minneapolis, Minnesota (about 350 miles) to visit my grandparents. This
      seemed to be an effortless procedure. Then all of a sudden, the trains
      didn't stop in Beloit anymore, and we had to go to a town in northern
      Illinois (forty miles away) to catch the train that ran on another line.
      Finally, the service deteriorated so badly--dirty cars with capricious
      heating and cooling systems, bad food, rude employees, missed
      schedules--that my parents decided to stop taking the train. Instead, we
      drove. This happened when I was about ten.

      I have heard that U.S. railroads purposely killed off their passenger
      services. Might not the same thing be happening in the U.K., now that
      railroads are privatized?

      In transit,
      Karen Sandness
    • Ronald Dawson
      ... The grass looks greener on the other side? ... recently? Yes, but the problems in the UK deal between the TOC s (train operating companies) and Railtack.
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 20, 2000
      • 0 Attachment
        Karen Sandness wrote:
        >> The current rail situation in the UK is really quite appalling. Dawson

        >Wow, and we thought we had it bad with Amtrak.

        The grass looks greener on the other side?

        >Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't rail service in the UK privatized
        recently?

        Yes, but the problems in the UK deal between the TOC's (train operating
        companies) and Railtack. http://www.railtrack.co.uk/

        >I suppose the proponents talked about "increased efficiency" and
        >"finally making a profit."

        Cutting corners, instead of trying to cut costs?

        >However, thinking back to the situation with rail passenger service in
        >the U.S. before Amtrak, I'm wondering if these private companies aren't
        >deliberately trying to offer bad service so that they can drive
        >passengers away and have an excuse to discontinue passenger service.

        Some how I doubt that, because the operating environment in the UK is
        different than that of North America. Though things in the UK are fowled up
        for the same reason as they are here, lack of funds.

        >This is what happened in the U.S. I'm fifty years old, and when I was a
        >child, we used to travel back and forth between Beloit, Wisconsin, and
        >Minneapolis, Minnesota (about 350 miles) to visit my grandparents. This
        >seemed to be an effortless procedure. Then all of a sudden, the trains
        >didn't stop in Beloit anymore, and we had to go to a town in northern
        >Illinois (forty miles away) to catch the train that ran on another line.
        >Finally, the service deteriorated so badly--dirty cars with capricious
        >heating and cooling systems, bad food, rude employees, missed
        >schedules--that my parents decided to stop taking the train. Instead, we
        >drove. This happened when I was about ten.

        It's a shame how things went down hill, this might bring back some memories
        for you. http://members.nbci.com/bjdevitt/ol400/cnw.htm

        >I have heard that U.S. railroads purposely killed off their passenger
        >services.

        That's a hard call, most of companies did do that, but even after the
        creation of Amtrak in 1971. The Southern Railroad was running "The Crescent"
        from Washington to New Orleans and the Denver & Rio Grande Western was
        running "The Rio Grande Zephyr".
        http://msnhomepages.talkcity.com/HobbyCt/kfgrijr/RGZ.html

        >Might not the same thing be happening in the U.K., now that
        >railroads are privatized?

        Since most of the rail business in the UK is passenger traffic, that seems
        rather unlikely, but one does has to wonder. Dawson
      • J.H. Crawford
        ... It s been a few years now, maybe 1993? Anybody know? ... This was the last gasp of Thatcherism. ... In this case, no, I don t think so. In the USA, the
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 20, 2000
        • 0 Attachment
          Karen Sandness said:

          >Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't rail service in the UK privatized recently?

          It's been a few years now, maybe 1993? Anybody know?

          >I suppose the proponents talked about "increased efficiency" and
          >"finally making a profit."

          This was the last gasp of Thatcherism.

          >However, thinking back to the situation with rail passenger service in
          >the U.S. before Amtrak, I'm wondering if these private companies aren't
          >deliberately trying to offer bad service so that they can drive
          >passengers away and have an excuse to discontinue passenger service.

          In this case, no, I don't think so. In the USA, the railroads
          wanted to can their passenger service so they could concentrate
          on their "real" business--moving freight (which they have done
          very well for a long time). The passenger trains were in the
          way, money losing, a pain. They made sure they were showing
          large losses on their passenger operations and petitioned to
          drop routes. Finally, Amtrak was set up to preserve some of
          the remaining principal routes. This has been a gravy train
          for the railroads, because Amtrak has had to pay for all kinds
          of track improvement (under the terms of the Amtrak legislation).
          This is so that Amtrak trains can run at reasonable speeds. Of
          course, this also means that the freight trains can run at higher
          speeds, saving the RRs big bucks. One can't fault them too much,
          though--this is is a sort of subsidy to partially make up for
          the fact that railroads must pay real estate taxes on their
          rights of way, while truckers get a huge subsidy. If Amtrak
          is not making a profit on the Northeast Corridor service,
          which is VERY expensive, then something is very wrong. (This
          is the only route where Amtrak actually owns the track.)

          And, yes, I happen to believe that things have BEEN very
          wrong at Amtrak. This spring, though, I used Amtrak a fair
          bit on both coasts and thought that the service was generally
          better than it had been.



          On another matter, I'm off to the USA for Thanksgiving and
          will be slow on e-mail for a week.




          ###

          J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
          postmaster@... Carfree.com
        • Mike Lacey
          ... and JH Crawford replied ... If only - unfortunately Blaire s labour government are just as Thatcherite and are now propsing to privatize the London
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 20, 2000
          • 0 Attachment
            Karen Sandness said:
            > >I suppose the proponents talked about "increased efficiency" and
            > >"finally making a profit."

            and JH Crawford replied
            > This was the last gasp of Thatcherism.

            If only - unfortunately Blaire's labour government are just as
            Thatcherite and are now propsing to privatize the London underground

            Actually the biggest problem with UK rail at this moment is the
            severe flooding which has cut rail service in half. I visited the UK
            recently and found the rail service accpetable - frequency on the
            London -> Sheffield route has increased since I last visted. Safety
            is obviously a big concern right now.

            Mike
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.