Should Railways in the U.K be nationalised? Watch

RareNebulas
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#21
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#21
(Original post by DiddyDecAlt)
That would be carnage, they can barely organise a timetable for one company.
then they would be out competed by a company that can organise it and work better with the timetable
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Johnny Tightlips
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#22
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(Original post by Rakas21)
The simple answer here is that the answer is complex.

With regards to the simple question of whether the current franchising structure should end (as soon as franchise agreements become void) the answer is a simple yes. Privatisation and marketisation are two very different things and the current franchising system is a state sponsored racket.

With regards to whether the railways should then be run as British Rail was, the answer is very much no.

The system i would put in its place is one which essentially separates the profit making lines and those which already require subsidy. For the network as a whole those routes which are currently in receipt of subsidy or which only have an hourly service (where no competition is obviously taking place) should be ran by the state at their current level with ticket prices continuing to rise by inflation each year to maintain the current subsidy level.

For those routes which are profitable and have multiple services i would essentially have the state remain operator of last resort with stock held should the capacity be needed but essentially free the private sector to compete in an open access model. Essentially if Virgin and First both wish to provide services on the East Coast main line we would let them, Open access operators would be charged for access serving whatever stations they wish on an annual basis (if First thinks there is more money to be made by dropping or adding stations or going via a different set of track they should be able to - Grand Central for example wanted to run a Huddersfield-London service but going via Birmingham). They would simply register for access on x route per year (paying the appropriate charge per mile and station stopping fees) and then meet requirements designed to improve service such as only operating stock less than 30 years old which they must purchase themselves (right now the state does it because it gets transferred with the franchise) and meeting the environmental regulation ect. Firms would be able to compete on routes, on stock (as a tall guy i would set off an extra 15 minutes early to catch the service ran with more leg room) and on price much more freely.

On the infrastructure side things are more complex. Firstly Network Rail despite being inefficient compared to European counterparts is already state owned and should remain so (privatising that aspect only works if the state stops dictating which railway lines it wants building and abolishes planning law to the point that firms can like the Victorian Age build their own) but there is a question of to what degree the state should subsidise Network Rail directly. Right now for example Network Rail piles up long dated debt instead of receiving as much direct subsidy from government as it otherwise would. There is an argument that you should raise fares to compensate, cut the loss making parts of the network to remove the cost of maintaining those sections or simply put the debt onto the government books and directly increase the amount of taxpayer funding. Personally i am not a massive fan of piling up what amounts debt guaranteed by the taxpayer and would rather the money currently thrown away via foreign aid was redistributed to the railways and other infrastructure. I would also probably take all rail stations into public ownership, especially since any estate development may be able to offset some of Network Rails costs.

https://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf...on-2017-18.pdf

Page 16 of this report nicely illustrates which franchises are loss making and which are profitable. Essentially the problem is with Scottish Rail, Welsh Rail, MerseyRail, Northern and the West Midlands.

In this context it may be more prudent to transfer responsibility for operating at least some of those routes to regional bodies. Merseyside, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire (not sure who runs in Nottinghamshire) have the bulk of those running through them. So either creating a single body or separating per county would allow more local control of the routes with a stipulation that subsidy from central government will be removed (so they'll either have to select which routes are actually important, create new ones or raise taxes locally).
100%. Trains will always be very expensive to run, so if you have a private company running them the ticket prices will always be extortionate. But the only way for trains to be really beneficial for a country is when loads of people use them. Then congestion, pollution, isolations etc. will all go down
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ByEeek
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#23
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(Original post by DSilva)
Absolutely. We have the absurd situation where other countries are allowed to own and profit from our railways but we aren't allowed to.
Except they aren't making much profit and either cutting cost and running sh1t services or handing the franchise back.
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Johnny Tightlips
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Except they aren't making much profit and either cutting cost and running sh1t services or handing the franchise back.
And the private companies aren't ?
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SnowMiku
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I believe our railways should be nationalised. Rail is now seen as a semi-joke sometimes, what with all the delays etc. Having one single system for the entire country would help with organising long journeys and it might see some new routes open, now the avenue of "pleasing shareholders" is gone.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by frantika)
And the private companies aren't ?
Aren't what?
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Mainline421
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#27
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No they shouldn't. The DfT is responsible for virtually all the problems with the UK's railways atm, including setting ticket prices. De-politicise them and allow open access, while keeping the vital ability to turn up and go on an train at reasonable price. Funny thing is the government is running the whole franchising system so poorly atm that the whole thing could fall apart very soon, they're only interested in crushing the unions at the expense both passengers and train companies and unrealistic "premium payments" to run franchises they then end paying out way more back to keep afloat. That said temporarily nationalising Northern, SWR, and Southern is probably a good idea as the current situation is dire, but the Tory govt will only run them worse in the long term.
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1st superstar
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#28
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(Original post by Andrew97)
Recently we have seen in the News that many rail providers are struggling to provide a suitable service and are under threat of losing their franchises.

Northern Rail is set to be nationalised this week, with the operator ,Arriva , thought to be gearing up to hand the franchise back to the Government owned Operator of Last Resort. In 2018 the Government took Virgin Trains east coach back into Government hands, under the guise London North Eastern Railways.

Arriva, which is German owned, is belived to have poured 300m into the northern franchise but has been plagued by delays and strikes, with only 82% of trains arriving on time. Down from 91% 2 years ago.

Another franchise under threat is South Western, which lost £137m in the year to March. SW has had a number of issues, suffering a December long strike by guards from the RMT union, who have since voted for more strikes.

The issue of rail nationalisation played a part at the recent General election, with the Conservatives supporting privatisation and Labour Nationalisation. In 2016 Jeremy Corbyn instigated traingate, when he sat down on a train floor and made a video about how the raliways should be re nationalised, using the reasoning that there would be more seats and more trains. Virgin disputed the cliam Mr Corbyn was unable to get a seat.
Nationalised!!! It costs my mum 100 frickin pounds a month for me to do an 8 min train journey to get to school (and that's WITH the discount so the real cost of my journey is £200!!! Bonkers like what the heck that price for 2 stations within the same county and same train company?!?) 😠
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Ragman75
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#29
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(Original post by Andrew97)
Recently we have seen in the News that many rail providers are struggling to provide a suitable service and are under threat of losing their franchises.

Northern Rail is set to be nationalised this week, with the operator ,Arriva , thought to be gearing up to hand the franchise back to the Government owned Operator of Last Resort. In 2018 the Government took Virgin Trains east coach back into Government hands, under the guise London North Eastern Railways.

Arriva, which is German owned, is belived to have poured 300m into the northern franchise but has been plagued by delays and strikes, with only 82% of trains arriving on time. Down from 91% 2 years ago.

Another franchise under threat is South Western, which lost £137m in the year to March. SW has had a number of issues, suffering a December long strike by guards from the RMT union, who have since voted for more strikes.

The issue of rail nationalisation played a part at the recent General election, with the Conservatives supporting privatisation and Labour Nationalisation. In 2016 Jeremy Corbyn instigated traingate, when he sat down on a train floor and made a video about how the raliways should be re nationalised, using the reasoning that there would be more seats and more trains. Virgin disputed the cliam Mr Corbyn was unable to get a seat.
The government will do an even worse job than these railway companies. The reason why these companies are so bad is because you cant really have a super competitive market for railways, if the government comes in and all competition is gone they will just turn to absolute dog****.
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1st superstar
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#30
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(Original post by Ragman75)
The government will do an even worse job than these railway companies. The reason why these companies are so bad is because you cant really have a super competitive market for railways, if the government comes in and all competition is gone they will just turn to absolute dog****.
They're already crap right now. So what have we got to lose at this point?
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Ragman75
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#31
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(Original post by 1st superstar)
They're already crap right now. So what have we got to lose at this point?
Things can allways get worse especially when the government is concerned
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Volkerbund1933
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#32
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Privatization does work but in Britain's case, the railways have been stifled by a massive amount of issues. Companies are obviously at fault but there is more to it than that imo

This FT article provides a nice balanced view. It even offers a role model for those who want to nationalize

https://www.ft.com/content/9f7f044e-...7-97e4dbd3580d
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Johnny Tightlips
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#33
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(Original post by Ragman75)
Things can allways get worse especially when the government is concerned
Please! "Muh gobernment is bad" Have you ever been to any European country and taken the trains there? They're cleaner, cheaper and more widespread then UK x10
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1st superstar
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#34
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(Original post by Ragman75)
Things can allways get worse especially when the government is concerned
yeah but UK railways have gotten so bad that at this point we need any government we can get good or bad
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Smack
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#35
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(Original post by Johnny Tightlips)
Please! "Muh gobernment is bad" Have you ever been to any European country and taken the trains there? They're cleaner, cheaper and more widespread then UK x10
And they're also much more heavily subsidised. The UK has been moving more of the costs of the railways onto those who use the railways.
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Johnny Tightlips
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(Original post by Smack)
And they're also much more heavily subsidised. The UK has been moving more of the costs of the railways onto those who use the railways.
But the costs have just been moved onto the ticket prices which detracts more people from using it and spending money on it. We spend the most in Europe on tickets. Yet we still subsidise 4.4 billion euros (the 6th highest per passenger km in Europe).
Especially with climate change we need to encourage people to use the train more (most people in this country love trains anyway, it's just the price that puts them off)
Last edited by Johnny Tightlips; 3 weeks ago
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DSilva
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(Original post by Smack)
And they're also much more heavily subsidised. The UK has been moving more of the costs of the railways onto those who use the railways.
The UK has one of the worst records for delays and cancellations in Europe, yet we pay the highest prices.

It's absolutely clear that the privatisation model for rail ownership does not work.
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Smack
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(Original post by Johnny Tightlips)
But the costs have just been moved onto the ticket prices which detracts more people from using it and spending money on it. We spend the most in Europe on tickets. Yet we still subsidise 4.4 billion euros (the 6th highest per passenger km in Europe).
Especially with climate change we need to encourage people to use the train more (most people in this country love trains anyway, it's just the price that puts them off)
If tickets were cheaper causing more people to use them, that'd only increase overcrowding. If subsidies weren't subsequently increased, that could lead to the railways experiencing higher passenger numbers without a corresponding increase in revenue to put back into maintenance and investment, ultimately putting more strain on them.

Ultimately I think that unless there are massive subsidies, the railways are always going to be expensive to those that use them; rail is likely an inherently expensive mode of transport. It seems to me that many of those calling for nationalisation really want non rail users to more heavily subsidise the railways.

(Original post by DSilva)
The UK has one of the worst records for delays and cancellations in Europe, yet we pay the highest prices.

It's absolutely clear that the privatisation model for rail ownership does not work.
The UK does not operate a fully privatised model for its railways.
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Johnny Tightlips
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(Original post by Smack)
The UK does not operate a fully privatised model for its railways.
I agree with everything you say. But as I said previously we should be encouraging more people to use public transport so I'm all for increasing subsidies. Imo the benefits of widely used (and that's the key thing: widely used) public transport heavily outweigh the negatives (such as direct cost)
Last edited by Johnny Tightlips; 3 weeks ago
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DSilva
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(Original post by Smack)
If tickets were cheaper causing more people to use them, that'd only increase overcrowding. If subsidies weren't subsequently increased, that could lead to the railways experiencing higher passenger numbers without a corresponding increase in revenue to put back into maintenance and investment, ultimately putting more strain on them.

Ultimately I think that unless there are massive subsidies, the railways are always going to be expensive to those that use them; rail is likely an inherently expensive mode of transport. It seems to me that many of those calling for nationalisation really want non rail users to more heavily subsidise the railways.



The UK does not operate a fully privatised model for its railways.
Just responding to the last bit.

That's a complete get out clause. Privatisation has been an utter failure and you seem to be suggesting the solution is more privatisation.

It's like those who defend the American health care system by saying its 'not proper privatisation' etc.

Virtually all of Europe provides a cheaper and better run service than we do. We pay high taxes and high ticket prices yet get provided an appalling service.

If the service was absolutely brilliant I could accept the prices. But it isn't. Its awful.
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