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BritRail Redux? East Coast Line Nationalized

BritRail Redux? East Coast Line Nationalized

Old Jul 1st, 2009, 01:21 PM
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BritRail Redux? East Coast Line Nationalized


a report on how the government is having to take over ownership of the East Coast Main Line, running between London, York, Newcastle and Scotland.

BritRail Redux - so much for privitization?

Virgin Trains wants to buy it - great then with my BritRail Pass i will have complimentary food and drink the whole way - regular meals and not just the coffee or tea and a biscuit on the current East Coast Line.
Palenque is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2009, 02:14 PM
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"BritRail Redux?"

Absolutely not.

This is just one of the classic privatisation scenarii: soomer or later, if you privatise a key national resource, some operator somewhere's going to go bust. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with privatisation: just that in the real world, commercial businesses can go bust and state-owned operations can't.

So governments have to be prepared to step in, temporarily, run the business and then sell it on.

In this case, National Express bid too much for the franchise and can't pay its franchise fee.

The problem happens hundreds of times a year in the world's oldest and biggest example of the problem: Britain's 16,000 privately owned post offices (the overwhelming majority of Britain's post offices have been privately operated for 350 years. In some of them the computers are that old too).

Individual postmasters are always going bust, running away, having trouble with spouses or getting heart attacks. The State has to step in to keep the post offices open when that happens. No-one rabbits on about "has this 350-experiment failed?" We have the world's densest network of post offices because private operation is cheaper and more efficient than having thousands of civil servants sit round drinking coffee while queues build up.

Don't build your hopes up about Virgin. Branson has a habit of losing interet in acquisitions once he gets it into his head that the seller wants hard cash. Preferably upfront.

Paying people is just NOT in the Branson corporate manual
flanneruk is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2009, 02:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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This has nothing to do with ownership of the railway line. The infrastructure is owned by Network Rail.
National Express had the franchise to run passenger trains on the route. The trains are leased from train-owning companies, so the franchise does not involve ownership of anything.
So far as travellers are concerned, nothing should change.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2009, 09:45 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
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I rode from Edinburgh to York and then London a couple of months ago. The rolling stock is excellent and the trains ran on time. I was surprised by the level of service. Too many staff IMO, and not many passengers. It's a recession thing which is affecting the entire travel industry.
spaarne is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2009, 11:17 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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The new company is to be called Nationalised Express East Coast

Hopefully they'll get rid of the £5 seat reservation fee & reintroduce restaurant cars
alanRow is offline  
Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 12:23 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,190
most of my journeys to London from Edinburgh are to the main airports,cost of train from Edinburgh to Heathrow last year was over £100 return and would have taken a minimum of 7 hours including transfers.
Edinburgh to Heathrow by flying £78 return,total time including travel to airport ,check in time etc about 5 hours.
guess which way I prefer to travel.
unclegus is offline  
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