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Started by Shadrack22 on 29-Sep-2017 17:11:59
Rail nationalisation: pros and cons

Talk about it here.

I have paid £50 for a journey of 1 hour 40 minutes. No seats are available. People are standing all the way down the carriages. Will this type of scenario be less likely as a result of rail nationalisation?

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1OffManMental - 29 Sep 2017 17:13:55 (#1 of 185)

We won't be able to afford it as all money and time will be soaked up by Brexit for the forseeable future.

Shadrack22 - 29 Sep 2017 17:16:44 (#2 of 185)

Meanwhile the first class carriage is half-empty. We can't go on like this, as Corbyn would probably say.

GreenFuture - 29 Sep 2017 17:19:11 (#3 of 185)

plenty UK railways are state owned. apparently state ownership is ok as long as it's someone else's state.

ThreeFlewOver - 29 Sep 2017 17:20:31 (#4 of 185)

I don't think nationalisation will make the trains exclusively for hookers and prisoners released on licence.

bailliegillies - 29 Sep 2017 17:21:51 (#5 of 185)

Will this type of scenario be less likely as a result of rail nationalisation?



Very likely as the whole damn thing will probably need to be repaired, upgraded and improved as the private owners won't have spent as much as they should on maintaining the system as the the shareholders take priority. The system was well looked after while under public ownership until the government started cutting funds prior to selling it off.

I travelled regularly on British Rail when it was in public ownership and considered it as good as any in the world. Today I'd rate it as third world standard.

Ricolas - 29 Sep 2017 17:29:22 (#6 of 185)

There are two things to consider here (amongst many) that I think are reasonably pertinent.

1) the privatisation model that was carried out was catastrophically expensive, far more expensive than the nationalised industry, and has lead to a fractured, fragmented dysfunctional system.

2) I am not convinced that the civil service are best placed to know how to run a railway. The DfT is designed to close railways not open them or run them. (According to a chap I knew who worked for Chiltern, which is itself run by the German nationalised rail system.)

Ricolas - 29 Sep 2017 17:31:46 (#7 of 185)

The railways carry a lot of people, a lot more than before privatisation. The cost of that improvement has been staggering. The taxpayer has forked out more cash than such expansion ever would have cost under BR.

However, there may be a model of the railways where the private sector is employed to run the railways rather than being run by Whitehall. At this stage trying to recreate a BR would be nigh on impossible.

Ginmonkey - 29 Sep 2017 17:35:03 (#8 of 185)

£50 for a relatively short journey? You gone done Shadders.

I agree Ric, the issue is more complex that just nationalisation or privatisation.

One way could the the TfL model of regional PTEs that directly contract with private operators to run services and manage those contracts tightly. This already happens with the Overground and TfL Rail and seems pretty successful.

staticgirl - 29 Sep 2017 17:36:03 (#9 of 185)

When the east coast railway was renationalised after its franchisee crashed and burned it was run really well as a publicly owned company rather than DFT. When Virgin got the franchise I knew it would go downhill again and within weeks the loos stopped working and the prices started going up...

bailliegillies - 29 Sep 2017 17:37:00 (#10 of 185)

I am not convinced that the civil service are best placed to know how to run a railway.



Nationalised East Coast rail line returns £209m to taxpayers

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nati
onalised-east-coast-rail-line-returns-209m-to-taxpayers-8866157.html


http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/britains-only-publicly-owned-railway-7188623

Ginmonkey - 29 Sep 2017 17:38:21 (#11 of 185)

Directly Operated Rail (DOO) is about four civil servants in an office - the vast majority of the staff and manager remained exactly the same.

Ricolas - 29 Sep 2017 17:40:27 (#12 of 185)

What Ginmonkey said.

Didn't the government close down DOO too, because it was too successful?

Ricolas - 29 Sep 2017 17:42:10 (#13 of 185)

HOWEVER bailie's point stands. The actual commercial companies that ran the franchises have been crap, and way too many have failed. The model clearly does not work.

Letting the franchises fail one by one and bringing them back in house rather than trying to do it all at once might work.

Ricolas - 29 Sep 2017 17:42:55 (#14 of 185)

And sort out the rolling stock bloody nonsense (ROSCOs). That was just a money making plot.

Ginmonkey - 29 Sep 2017 17:44:03 (#15 of 185)

Naah it is an emergency protocol only brought in to run services when an operator crashes and burns and no alternative provider can be found. It is mothballed when not needed.

Similar protocols exist in other essential utilities.

Shabbyman - 29 Sep 2017 17:44:18 (#16 of 185)

Very likely as the whole damn thing will probably need to be repaired, upgraded and improved as the private owners won't have spent as much as they should on maintaining the system as the the shareholders take priority

The maintenance function was re-nationalised in 2002 and huge sums have been spent on it - Network Rail is over 40 billion in debt - so much of the infrastructure is in better shape than it has been for decades.

Ricolas - 29 Sep 2017 17:48:50 (#17 of 185)

I remember years ago when commuting by Connex reading in the newspaper that they had made a profit of £300million that year. Their subsidy that year was - wait for it - £300million. It was about then that I realised that this model was crap.

Ginmonkey - 29 Sep 2017 17:51:59 (#18 of 185)

It us undeniable the current model is SAFC. However many of the things that piss people off about train travel won't be fixes by renationalisation, mainly because the government is much of the cause of the service being SAFC.

Shabbyman - 29 Sep 2017 17:53:29 (#19 of 185)

As for Shadders, if fares go down overcrowding only goes up, and there isn't much spare capacity on the network unless people travel at unpopular times.

Shabbyman - 29 Sep 2017 17:57:13 (#20 of 185)

To unpopular destinations.

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