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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A seemingly annual rant of mine I admit. But again train fares are set to go up by about 5.9%.

The thing is we all accept that the cost of such things will increase, but you at least expect the service to remain the same. Instead over the last couple of years on my journey there are less trains, which has meant that now ALL trains stop at London Bridge adding time to the journey and extra passengers to an already over crowded train.

Add to that predictably Labour are commenting on how the government are allowing this to happen, when in actual fact under the Labour government SE trains were allowed to increase fares by 13% one year.
 

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Train fares seem staggeringly expensive to me and yet it's claimed that the railways have more customers than ever and are experiencing a real boom in demand. I don't get it :confused:
 
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Discussion Starter #3
The service on my line is getting worse not better. There was a claim that new carriages had been purchased but it turns out they have been purchased from another rail company. I assume that that rail company is now either light a few carriages or has bought replacements. I have no doubt that this will be sold to the public as both train companies having a load of new rolling stock when nothing could be further from the truth.

No matter though. One of the stations I use offers an excellent service to travellers via its scrotes' charter whereby a couple of the exits are unmanned. You can wonder out of the station without seeing a soul. The trains are too busy during rush hour for the guard to get down the train to sell tickets and my home station is also completely unmanned. I think I might start doing what every other bugger does and nipping out of the free exit once a week to keep my costs down.:rolleyes:
 

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I think they should be charging the real price and not having the government subsidies towards the rail network. :thumbs:
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I think they should be charging the real price and not having the government subsidies towards the rail network. :thumbs:
I agree, trains should be no different to public sector pensions.

My rant is not about the cost, but value for money and what you get for that cost. I am renewing my annual ticket next week and it will cost an extra £150.

If you take your alfa for a service and find it has gone up from the last year then thats fine. If you get your car back and find that actually it cost more but fact they don't change the oil any more you would be a bit miffed.

I still catch the same train I used to when I first started working in London despite working further from the station, this is owing to the fact that to get round the fact that the train was always late gradually the time it is scheduled has slipped.

I signed up for email alerts to problems, and here is tonights. This is not the whole SouthEastern network, nor all night. This is for trains between Charing Cross and Dartford in an hour and half period.

The 18:01 will be cancelled due to a train fault.

The 18:18 will be cancelled due to a train fault.

The 18:23 will be delayed after leaving by about 8 minutes due to problems on the line.

Lucky I left late and went to the pub eh?

Like I say, it isn't the cost. Driving is more expensive and if it were viable to get to London I would choose it.
 

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I get the train from Ipswich to London on average once a week. The service is generally good, although the trains are overcrowded even though there are only two stops (Norwich and Diss) ahead of us.

Aside from the cost (the company pays, but it is still a real cost that affects our bottom line and therefore profits and pay etc) two things really rile me.

1 - the track. Why can the track not be laid sufficiently flat and straight to avoid the train permanently pitching around like it is going to leave the rails

2 - the stock. Seriously, some of the trains I get today must be the same ones I used to ride 20 years ago. They're filthy, inside and out, worn and rattle like they're about to fall apart.

Anything that needs this much subsidy from us (government) yet still costs so much and is still so poor just cannot be worth keeping in its current form.
 

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Most of the rolling stock we rattle about on is owned by leasing companies (ROSCOS) who hire it out to the various TOC's who provide the train service.
While some of these firms do a good job, others are merely in it for as much profit as possible during the term of their franchise and are unlikely as such to invest in stock refurbishment.
You only have to look at who holds some of these franchises to see why there are such disparities in services between them.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I have no idea how the money from your ticket/season ticket filters through to pay for staff wages, rolling stock, infrastructure, shareholder dividends, etc, etc.

All I do know is that ever since the railways were privatised, it's been a complete fiasco of mismanagement and disorganisation, not to mention horrific fare rises.

(And no, I'm not a Trotskyist but there are some things that are a 'public asset' and should be publicy owned and run).

I thank you.
 

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...and my home station is also completely unmanned...
There is an upside to that. I was at my local station recently and the staff on the exit gates could not be described as a credit to British Rail (or whoever they are at the moment) or indeed humanity itself: scruffy, terse and holding well back on the affability. I saw one passenger (sorry, "customer") go to one of them and ask a perfectly reasonable question. When he went away, the staff member turned to one of his colleagues and made some random disparaging remark and pulled a face. Nice.

I am not saying* that they should wear pristine smart uniforms and bow to their customers as in Japan but a little, albeit superficial, politeness would be nice.


+sigh+


* actually, I am :)
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Oh well, given half the department seem to have given their notice in I just emailed HR and asked them to cancel my season ticket loan. Back to monthly for me, there's confidence in your job for you :(
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Oh dear Eddie. Maybe the fact that others have handed in their notice will help your situation?
 

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I have no idea how the money from your ticket/season ticket filters through to pay for staff wages, rolling stock, infrastructure, shareholder dividends, etc, etc.

All I do know is that ever since the railways were privatised, it's been a complete fiasco of mismanagement and disorganisation, not to mention horrific fare rises.

(And no, I'm not a Trotskyist but there are some things that are a 'public asset' and should be publicy owned and run).

I thank you.
Yes. Because British Rail were such an efficient and successful organisation. Not. :lol:
 

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I have no idea how the money from your ticket/season ticket filters through to pay for staff wages, rolling stock, infrastructure, shareholder dividends, etc, etc.

All I do know is that ever since the railways were privatised, it's been a complete fiasco of mismanagement and disorganisation, not to mention horrific fare rises.

(And no, I'm not a Trotskyist but there are some things that are a 'public asset' and should be publicy owned and run).

I thank you.
Privatisation does have a habit of bringing actual costs to the surface.

I've yet to see anything managed better or more efficiently in the public sector compared to private. Looking at the railway system today, I don't see that changing any time soon.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Yes. Because British Rail were such an efficient and successful organisation. Not. :lol:

I didn't say it was well run, did I? But to privatise it (sell it off cheap) to raise some short term cash, and purely for political dogma has created a right mess - and a very expensive one. A bit of real vision from the govt of the day would have been to sort out the existing railway.

And to a great extent, the same goes for other utilities.
 

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Sadly though, Max, successive governments have demonstrated
their total incompetance at running big businesses. Before you got
your wish you'd have to come up with a government who could do
so and good luck with that ;) :thumbs:
 
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Discussion Starter #19
From what I remember of all those sell-offs at the time (Railways, Gas, Elec, Water etc), they were all gradually starved of cash and made to look like 'failing publicly-owned dinosaurs' which could be made a lot more efficient if only the private sector could be given a chance to run them.

The windfalls kept a lot of people sweet but bit by bit, HUGE price increases have been introduced to all of them, price increases which would have created a furore over 'badly run nationalised industries'. But in the private sector these are passed off as investment in infrastructure. I really, really wonder whether things are better than they would have been if someone had had the balls to sort things out within the public sector?

It goes without saying that the unions will have had a part to play in the downfall of the public utilities but to totally blame them is to excuse a complete lack of credible management at the time which possibly could have been sorted out.

The thing I can't get my head arounnd is that there is no real competition in all these public utility sectors, so how can you say they are being run efficiently? You only have to look at the way the railways were set up with separate 'companies' running the train services, the infrastructure etc. That's not real competition, it's just a load of in-fighting when there's a train crash and everyone blames everyone else.

The only privatised company that has done alright is BT, but of course, that is in a sector which was always going to have huge expansion in technology and provision of services where they could surf the wave that was coming. And of course they are in a sector where there actually IS real competition.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
So yes Gibbo, I'm agreeing with you that successive govts have shown no aptitude at running businesses - in my opinion, businesses that should have stayed within the public sector. And I think we are all (literally) paying the price for the fact that they weren't.
 
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