Bad news I think

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Wafflycathcsdir, Jun 8, 2003.

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  1. From the Sunday Mirror at <http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/page.cfm?objectid=13044392&method=full
    &siteid=106694&headline=BEECHING%20II>

    "BEECHING II Jun 8 2003

    Darling plans huge cuts in rail services

    By Chris Mclaughlin, Political Editor

    ALASTAIR Darling has ordered a "summer summit" to pave the way for the biggest reductions in rail
    services since the infamous Beeching cuts of the 1960s.

    The Transport Secretary is poised to close dozens of branch lines to fund a new rail "super-highway"
    connecting major cities.

    The plan is to be discussed this week, prior to a crisis conference in July when Mr Darling will ask
    experts to prepare a radical overhaul of the system.

    Among those who will be called to the summer summit are the train operators, passenger groups,
    freight managers, town planners, academics, the Strategic Rail Authority and motoring organisations.

    The blueprint for the new network is based on Whitehall figures which reveal that it will be
    impossible to find enough money to maintain the present network.

    Cross-country links between towns and cities in East Anglia, Devon and Cornwall, Cumbria, Wales and
    Scotland could be under threat. Even major links between regional big cities could have fewer
    connections.

    It would be the biggest cut in rail services since the programme drawn up by Dr Richard Beeching's
    1963 report called the Re-Shaping of British Railways, which called for the closure of 2,000
    stations and 5,000 miles of track. Some lines were reprieved but by 1969 the total length of the
    rail network had been cut by more than 4,500 miles.

    Mr Darling's latest survey says the only way to make rail work is to admit that the car is the
    preferred method of travel for most people. He believes a new network of express trains - mainly for
    business use - should be introduced to bypass existing routes.

    The Government has accepted it is impossible to find enough money to keep the antiquated system
    operating safely and efficiently. Instead, cash will be pumped into express strategic routes in a
    similar way to the high-speed services in France, Spain and Germany.

    New lines will be aimed at attracting international and big business travellers who can afford the
    luxury of more expensive rail travel while avoiding the inconvenience of airlines.

    Passengers and unions fear the new 10-year plan is part of a long-term "thinning out" of what is
    left of the rail network.

    Private companies who want to surrender their franchises will be allowed to do so, or will have
    their franchises to run regional lines withdrawn because they fail to meet performance targets. Out
    of 25 train operators, 22 per cent reported worsening performance, say latest figures.

    The reduction in rail services would be a massive U-turn by a Government which once pledged to boost
    passenger numbers by 50 per cent by the end of the century.

    Mr Darling recently announced that the bulk of a £5.5billion package of transport improvements will
    benefit car drivers.

    The longer-term plan coincides with the misery promised by rail cuts in the new summer timetable.

    Richard Hope, consultant editor of the Railway Gazette, said: "It is tragic if these lines have to
    be cut back because the structure and over-regulation that the railways are suffering from is
    driving up costs enormously. We are looking at a situation where the cost of rewiring the signals is
    now five times higher than when British Rail was doing it."

    A spokesman for Mr Darling said: "Spending on the rail network is set to double by 2004. There is a
    lot of money there, it is essential to spend it in the best possible way."

    Train travellers vowed last night to fight any plans to cut services.

    Rail Passengers Council spokeswoman Caroline Jones said: "Putting money into major strategic routes
    is good, but it must not be at the expense of other lines, particularly in rural areas."

    LINES LIKELY TO FACE THE AXESCOTLAND

    Inverness to Kyle

    Inverness to Wick

    Helensburgh to Fort William

    Helensburgh to Mallaig

    Aberdeen to Inverness

    WALES

    Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth

    Shrewsbury to Pwllheli

    Heart of Wales line between Swansea and Shrewsbury

    Whitland to Pembroke

    NORTH OF ENGLAND

    Carlise to Carnforth via Whitehaven

    Middlesbrough to Whitby

    Settle to Carlisle

    EAST ANGLIA

    Norwich to Cromer

    Norwich to Great Yarmouth

    Norwich to Lowestoft

    Ipswich to Lowestoft

    SOUTH OF ENGLAND

    Ryde to Shanklin (Isle of Wight)

    DEVON AND CORNWALL

    Exeter to Branstaple

    Exeter to Exmouth

    Newton Abbot to Torquay

    Liskeard to Looe

    Par to Newquay

    Truro to Falmouth

    St Erth to St Ives"

    Far be it from me to question the intelligence of a government minister but with our roads nearing
    gridlock, won't the above just mean more car journeys and we reach gridlock even quicker???
    Shouldn't he be supporting and encouraging the move away from overdependence on the car???

    Sorry, I realise I just put the word "intelligence" in relation to a government minister. How
    silly of me.

    Cheers, helen s

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Clean up the waste & get rid of the trapped wind to send a reply

    Any speeliong mistake$ aR the resiult of my cats sitting on the keyboaRRRDdd
    ~~~~~~~~~~
     
    Tags:


  2. Jim Price

    Jim Price Guest

    wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter wrote:

    > Among those who will be called to the summer summit are the train operators, passenger groups,
    > freight managers, town planners, academics, the Strategic Rail Authority and motoring
    > organisations.

    Will cyclists be among those? Or is it just another excuse for a supposedly Labour government to
    wipe out affordable services and replace them with something to please the fat cats?

    > A spokesman for Mr Darling said: "Spending on the rail network is set to double by 2004. There is
    > a lot of money there, it is essential to spend it in the best possible way."

    I got a strong image of Kenny Everet at this point - anyone else?

    Jim Price
     
  3. He needs to to get the road tolls to make money.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2972430.stm

    This is the kind of nonsense that really irritates me. I think we do need road tolls, but we need
    more motorways, railways, tramways and cycleways as well, and we certainly don't need Mr Prescotts
    hundreds of thousands of houses.
     
  4. Albert Fish

    Albert Fish Guest

    "Nathaniel Porter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > He needs to to get the road tolls to make money.
    >
    > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2972430.stm
    >
    > This is the kind of nonsense that really irritates me. I think we do need road tolls, but we need
    > more motorways, railways, tramways and cycleways as well, and we certainly don't need Mr Prescotts
    > hundreds of thousands of houses.
    >
    >

    my sunday morning manifesto.

    we don't need more road tolls, we don't need more motorways.

    any branch lines left service-less after the coming cuts should be serviced by modern tram like
    rolling stock rather than 'proper' (expensive) trains.

    ALL freight to be sent by rail to railheads on the outskirts of towns and cities with a network of
    electric vehicles to deliver into said towns and cities.

    1 x artic = 3 cars or 2, at a much safer distance :)

    we do need more tram systems, cycleways and a promotion of personal transport devices like the
    segway, electric scooters and such.

    we still need politicians like prescott to dislike personal transport devices because it's something
    for the trend setters to push off against: if the olds hate them they must be cool, right kids ?

    hundreds of thousands of houses can and will be derived from the empty factory shells left behind by
    our steadily failing manufacturing industries.


    Albert
     
  5. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    In news:[email protected], wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter
    <[email protected]> typed:
    >
    > ALASTAIR Darling has ordered a "summer summit" to pave the way for the biggest reductions in rail
    > services since the infamous Beeching cuts of the 1960s.
    >

    Its ironic that although the original Beeching report was under the Macmillan/Douglas-Home
    Conservative government, the vast majority of the implemenation was under the Wilson Labour
    government. Now once again a Labour government would seem to be finishing the job despite all their
    protestations to the contrary when they were elected.

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "All truth goes through three steps: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
    Finally, it is accepted as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer
     
  6. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On 08 Jun 2003 11:06:16 GMT, [email protected] (wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter) wrote:

    >ALASTAIR Darling has ordered a "summer summit" to pave the way for the biggest reductions in rail
    >services since the infamous Beeching cuts of the 1960s.

    Is Darling a Tarmac shareholder as well, then?

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  7. Eatmorepies

    Eatmorepies Guest

    > WALES
    >
    > Heart of Wales line between Swansea and Shrewsbury

    This line passes within 50 yards of my house and a station is 5 minutes walk away. But the thing is
    useless to me. Hardly any trains and at silly times.

    I suggest we tarmac it and have a couple of motor coaches going backwards and forwards all day -
    vastly cheaper to run than trains, more comfortable and less noisy.

    There would probably be room for a cycle lane as well.

    John
     
  8. John B

    John B Guest

    Eatmorepies wrote:

    > >
    > > WALES
    > >
    > > Heart of Wales line between Swansea and Shrewsbury
    >
    > This line passes within 50 yards of my house and a station is 5 minutes walk away. But the thing
    > is useless to me. Hardly any trains and at silly times.
    >
    > I suggest we tarmac it and have a couple of motor coaches going backwards and forwards all day -
    > vastly cheaper to run than trains, more comfortable and less noisy.
    >
    > There would probably be room for a cycle lane as well.

    Or add trailers to the coaches.

    John B
     
  9. Bill

    Bill Guest

    wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > From the Sunday Mirror at
    > <http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/page.cfm?objectid=13044392&method=full
    > &siteid=106694&headline=BEECHING%20II>
    >
    > "BEECHING II Jun 8 2003
    >
    >
    > Darling plans huge cuts in rail services

    The connection is obvious.

    Close the railways, force people back into their cars, then charge them road tolls for the
    privilege.

    New Labour successfully extracts yet more money from us.

    Bill
     
  10. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 8 Jun 2003 14:58:44 +0100, "Eatmorepies" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I suggest we tarmac it and have a couple of motor coaches going backwards and forwards all day -
    >vastly cheaper to run than trains, more comfortable and less noisy.

    Not sure if that would work. There have been experiments with buses equipped with rail wheels
    running this kind of line, but ultimately for either a train or a bus service to work you have to
    have enough people travelling to cover the pay of the driver, and running costs of the equipment.
    Trains have an incredibly long service life, costs are really not extortionate until Railtrack, the
    train leasing companies and so on all start taking profit from something which is not fundamentally
    profitable anyway. Passenger rail transport is not profitable in most countries. But it is generally
    very safe and has the potential to have a lower environmental impact than road travel.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  11. Albert Fish

    Albert Fish Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Sun, 8 Jun 2003 14:58:44 +0100, "Eatmorepies" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >I suggest we tarmac it and have a couple of motor coaches going backwards and forwards all day -
    > >vastly cheaper to run than trains, more comfortable and less noisy.
    >
    > Not sure if that would work. There have been experiments with buses equipped with rail wheels
    > running this kind of line,

    as I read it there are no rails ?

    I think tarmacing the dead branch lines is an excellent Idea. not so sure about running existing
    coaches on them, perhaps a superflat road surface and specially designed low slung hop on hop off
    open bottomed double decker style thingy ?

    electric, of course.

    Albert
     
  12. "albert fish" <[email protected][thisbit]ntlworld.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > electric, of course.
    >

    Whilst I agree we should consider alternatives to petrol (why isn't LPG being pushed by the
    government?*), I'm not sure electicty is a good one - don't forget that its a ruddy great coal fired
    station that's likely to be generating the electricity to run the coach. (Perhaps someone has stats
    comparing electric vehicles with others fuels in this regard?)

    *(Hint: its the same reason why the government announces plans for road tolls and rail closures on
    the same day :-( )
     
  13. In message <[email protected]>, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
    <[email protected]> writes
    >Passenger rail transport is not profitable in most countries.

    Why is this? There's something about rail transport that just makes it appear so efficient. So why
    isn't it profitable? Ability to share cost among large number of passengers, low rolling resistance
    (?), fast, town centre to town centre services are just some of the factors that would lead you to
    believe that it's efficient.
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  14. David Gillbe

    David Gillbe Guest

    Passenger rail transport is not profitable in most countries. But it is generally very safe and has
    > the potential to have a lower environmental impact than road travel.
    >
    > Guy
    > ===

    At one glorious stage in our civilisation, passenger rail transport was the fastest growing, and
    most profitable (IRC) industry in the world. Then a certain gent called Henry Ford turned up.
     
  15. Albert Fish

    Albert Fish Guest

    "Nathaniel Porter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "albert fish" <[email protected][thisbit]ntlworld.com> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > electric, of course.
    > >
    >
    > Whilst I agree we should consider alternatives to petrol (why isn't LPG being pushed by the
    > government?*),

    you can get up to 80% government rebate if you fit LPG to a vehicle less than 5 years old, I think,
    with a sliding scale on vehicle engine size, etc. and the london congestion charge is waived for
    dual fuel cars, iirc.

    > I'm not sure electicty is a good one - don't forget that its a ruddy great coal fired station
    > that's likely to be generating the electricity to run the coach. (Perhaps someone has stats
    > comparing electric vehicles with others fuels in this regard?)

    the power station would more likely be gas fired, but a combination of Diesel/LPG with electricity
    generated from a big flywheel that could be used to fast charge any electric personal transport
    devices, perhaps.

    > *(Hint: its the same reason why the government announces plans for road tolls and rail closures on
    > the same day :-( )

    un hint: tptb do subsidise LPG :)


    Albert
     
  16. "albert fish" <[email protected][thisbit]ntlworld.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Nathaniel Porter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > "albert fish" <[email protected][thisbit]ntlworld.com> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > > >
    > > > electric, of course.
    > > >
    > >
    > > Whilst I agree we should consider alternatives to petrol (why isn't LPG being pushed by the
    > > government?*),
    >
    > you can get up to 80% government rebate if you fit LPG to a vehicle less than 5 years old, I
    > think, with a sliding scale on vehicle engine size,
    etc.
    > and the london congestion charge is waived for dual fuel cars, iirc.
    >

    Yeah, but it would be better for the environment if they *required* use of LPG (or an other cleaner
    fuel) for cars. They won't do that, as they won't be able to earn as much fuel tax without pissing
    people off (fuel tax is allegedly largely there to pay for environmental damage, after all)

    > > I'm not sure electicty is a good one - don't forget that its a ruddy great coal fired station
    > > that's likely to
    be
    > > generating the electricity to run the coach. (Perhaps someone has stats comparing electric
    > > vehicles with others fuels in this regard?)
    >
    > the power station would more likely be gas fired, but a combination of Diesel/LPG with electricity
    > generated from a big flywheel that could be used to fast charge any electric personal transport
    > devices, perhaps.
    >

    It might be possible - indeed hybrid cars are very good (should be compulsary along with LPG). Not
    sure how practical using electricity as the only power source would be.
     
  17. In message <[email protected]>, albert fish
    <[email protected][thisbit].invalid> writes

    <snip>

    >I think tarmacing the dead branch lines is an excellent Idea. not so sure about running existing
    >coaches on them, perhaps a superflat road surface and specially designed low slung hop on hop off
    >open bottomed double decker style thingy ?
    >
    >electric, of course.

    If they're tarmaced, then of course you'd allow the emergency services to use them. And VIPs,
    obviously. Councillors, of course. Doctors. Posties. Bin men.

    Oh bugger - another road.

    Cheers
    --
    Keith Wootten
     
  18. Albert Fish

    Albert Fish Guest

    "Michael MacClancy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > In message <[email protected]>, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
    > <[email protected]> writes
    > >Passenger rail transport is not profitable in most countries.
    >
    > Why is this? There's something about rail transport that just makes it appear so efficient. So why
    > isn't it profitable? Ability to share cost among large number of passengers, low rolling
    > resistance (?), fast, town centre to town centre services are just some of the factors that would
    > lead you to believe that it's efficient.
    > --
    > Michael MacClancy

    all of the above works everywhere alse in the world unless you chuck into the mix Ingredient X 'the
    british workman'

    that's when it all goes pearshaped.


    Albert
     
  19. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 8 Jun 2003 16:19:41 +0100, "albert fish" <[email protected][thisbit]ntlworld.com> wrote:

    >> Why is this? There's something about rail transport that just makes it appear so efficient. So
    >> why isn't it profitable? Ability to share cost among large number of passengers, low rolling
    >> resistance (?), fast, town centre to town centre services are just some of the factors that would
    >> lead you to believe that it's efficient.

    >all of the above works everywhere alse in the world unless you chuck into the mix Ingredient X 'the
    >british workman'

    AIUI trains are subsidised in most Western countries, which kind of implies that they are not that
    profitable. I was under the impresion that the Japanese were about the only profitable ones, but
    that was a while back.

    In any case the biggest problem over here now is not the British workperson but the number of tiers
    of profit-taking and blame-shifting. If one had set out specifically to design a system that would
    end up in paralysis, excessive cost and mass fingerpointing, the privatised rail network is pretty
    much what it would look like.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
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  20. In message <[email protected]>, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
    <[email protected]> writes
    >In any case the biggest problem over here now is not the British workperson but the number of tiers
    >of profit-taking and blame-shifting. If one had set out specifically to design a system that would
    >end up in paralysis, excessive cost and mass fingerpointing, the privatised rail network is pretty
    >much what it would look like.

    You say that the problem is "the number of tiers of profit-taking". I infer that you mean that the
    tiers (in total) are taking out too much profit. So the rail system is, indeed, profitable? If it's
    a question of 'over profitability' (leading, I would suppose, to under-investment) then this would
    be symptomatic of an inefficient (perhaps monopolistic) market that is being poorly regulated.

    Most industries have many tiers of profit-taking and this leads to higher efficiency and better
    resource allocation, not lower and poorer.

    If rail systems aren't profitable then it would appear to me that there must be some sort of Great
    Train Robbery going on all the time. Has anyone seen large numbers of trains being driven in the
    direction of Russia? Is there a big shunting yard in Siberia where you can buy stolen trains at
    bargain prices?
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
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