Christmas! What A Surprise! Again!

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gl556tr | 08:45 Sat 30th Nov 2019 | Current Affairs
18 Answers
Another year, the same surprise: Rail prices will be increased.

In the light of the seemingly little-noticed climate emergency, one would expect that transport by train and tram would be made cheaper. Unfortunately, buying a ticket for a train-journey where passengers have often to stand, rather than sit, is hardly conducive to attracting vast numbers of people from their cars.


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they're in a bit of a cleft stick. if they were to attract more people from their cars, the already swamped rail industry would be overwhelmed to the point of thrombosis. the infrastructure is inadequate. there aren't enough trains. what trains there are, are inadequate. many routes run full and standing, all day, every day (including Sunday). there's no way fares can be made more attractive at this time.
I agree mushroom. I would rather travel by train to visit family but the price of public transport travel is prohibitive so I drive. Much more tiring but a lot less expensive.
//seemingly little-noticed climate emergency//

I can't imagine where you've been looking. It's all we ever seem to hear now.
Yes, public transport is the obvious choice for emphasis if energy efficiency is the aim, but that is the sort of decision/choice only foreigners make. This is the UK you are dealing with and that system, along with pretty much all the others is clogging up, and constantly teetering on collapse (and somewhere, sometimes occasionally going over that limit too).
The trains are run as a business now and shareholders in companies want a return for any investment (I don't blame them). CEOs etc are paid massive salaries and bonuses and there are too many companies involved when things go wrong. Much of the revenue generated goes abroad. Fares need simplifying to attract more people on to trains and buses and anyone who has to stand should be paid a 50% refund. Compared with most countries, our public transport system is appalling.

//Fares need simplifying to attract more people on to trains //

see mine above Electrochem, at this time it cannot happen. the railways cannot accommodate many more passengers than it already has.

so far we've not yet spoken of freight, which is another area where environmental concerns suggest more use should be made of the railway to move freight. again at this time, it cannot happen. there is just no more room on the creaking infrastructure of the main lines (even after massive upgrade expenditure of the last 25 years) for more freight trains.

both issues could be cured at a stroke by the government allowing the use of 80T trucks on UK roads (railfreight would collapse overnight, never to return, and the resultant space left could be taken by more passenger services - assuming more trains could be built to run them.) would that be environmentally acceptable?
you can get good deals if you book early, but i agree train travel, which i don't do now, is very expensive
Mrs Z spends £150 a month on a railcard. The homeward journey has been on time twice in the 4 months she’s been doing it and she often has to stand for the 20 minute journey.
ZM, I see your "has to stand for 20minutes"...
I travelled yesterday on an intercity train from Carlisle to Crewe. It had come from Edinburgh and it was full and standing on arrival. two hours later when I got off it was rammed and there were loads waiting to get on at Crewe. it would take another 2 and a half hours to get to London and some of those standing may, by that time, have been standing for more than 5 hours. This is not an unusual situation. today on Virgin's twitter feed are reports of severe overcrowding on some services, this is common on match days, exacerbated today by a strike by staff of another company. every train fit for service is out there, but the system is overwhelmed.
Ridiculous situation. Scrap HS2 and invest elsewhere!
//Scrap HS2 and invest elsewhere! //

er, where do you suggest?

need more trains, but the infrastructure cannot support them. upgrading the infrastructure to the level required will cost almost as much as HS2 but involve decades of disruption (a side effect of having to build around an already congested operational railway). both parties that are committed to HS2 understand this. If you have another way, I'm listening.
One or two more carriages on commuter trains would make a world of difference.
//One or two more carriages on commuter trains would make a world of difference. //

this has already happened on the routes into Waterloo, where trains are now 10 coaches instead of 8. there has been a huge investment in trains, and in lengthening all the platforms to accommodate them. this was completed 2 years ago and already the extra capacity this realised has been used up, and more. lengthening trains to 12 cars not practical without massive changes (removing and replacing bridges, alterations o tunnels, demolition of lineside houses, etc) to make room for longer platforms. pretty much everything that can be done to squeeze a quart into a pint pot (bit like smart motorway work on the roads) has been enacted, and the extra capacity already exhausted.
There’s capacity where we live. Leeds / York / Selby area.
//There’s capacity where we live. Leeds / York / Selby area. //
it may seem that way, but actually there isn't. the pinch point on your network is the east end of Leeds which is a mile long two track railway on a narrow viaduct which accommodates all traffic from Hull, Selby, York and all points north, and some London traffic via Hambleton Junction. on any given day sheer weight of traffic means it's not unusual to wait at Neville Hill for 10-15mn and although not a big delay in itself, has consequences further west, especially at Manchester Victoria, where a lost path can result in delays of 30mn or more.
I see I’m in the presence of someone with a far greater knowledge of the system.
Cheaper, in a period of high demand, in a capitalist society ?

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Karl -- What you are describing can, alas, be readily ascribed to Earth's numerous interdependent systems that are accelerating toward their specific tipping-points.

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Christmas! What A Surprise! Again!

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