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Old 2nd January 2018, 01:25 PM   #41
Captain_Swoop
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Probably because its nearly impossible to compete with roads (which are enormously subsidized) without your own huge subsidies (which are terrible examples of socialism). The only exceptions I know of are heritage type scenic view railways. For example: http://www.durangotrain.com/
We have over a thousand miles of heritage railways in the UK being operated by over a 150 groups. Some have just a few hundred yards to run an engine, others have quite long runs.
I am involved with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. It runs from Whitby, through the North Yorkshire Moors to Pickering. 24 miles of our own track and running rights on the 'proper' railway down the Esk Valley for 6 miles to Whitby with five stations and a dedicated platform at Whitby Town station by the harbour.
Over half a million paying passengers a year.
Fifteen steam locomotives on our roster and 9 diesels plus various visitors through the year.
I volunteer in the PW and Signalling department.https://www.nymr.co.uk/

there are over 3000 preserved locomotives steam and diesel. Over a thousand of them are in running condition at any time.
Our roster usually has two thirds under repair or restoration at any time.
There is such a demand for steam that new locomotives are being built. Following the success of the LNER PA1 Pacific 'Tornado' other groups have started work on building.
It gets harder and more expensive to keep some of the older locomotives running so new examples are being built.
Hundreds of people are in full time employment working on the heritage scene and there are a number of specialist engineering companies providing services to the preservation lines. We have extensive shed and workshop facilities but sometimes it's more coast effective or quicker to send out to a specialist (For example putting new tyres on loco wheels or rebuilding boilers.

Last edited by Captain_Swoop; 2nd January 2018 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 01:34 PM   #42
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42182497



But only 10% pof travel is by rail. For many years there was cheap train travel on a decaying system. So now there has to be an increase in expenditure and it is right the train user pays more than car drivers.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 01:47 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Ooph. Those are hefty prices.
In my case it's just unfortunate that while I live in Zone 3 in southeast London, my office is on station into Zone 4 in northwest London, and travelling through Zone 1 attracts the premium. As it is, now that I'm only in the office two days a week, I'll just be paying 9.80 on each of them, although that will mean I'll have to pay separately for any travel I do at the weekend or non-office days, when previously non-commuting journeys were essentially a "bonus." And London as a whole actually has cheaper and much more integrated public transport than elsewhere in the country. Using a pre-apid Oyster or contactless bank card, single bus journeys are 1.50 to anywhere within the capital, but allows transfer to a second bus within an hour of the first, and there's a daily cap of 4.50. Elsewhere in the country just one bus journey can cost up to 4, if not more.
Quote:
You really gotta wonder why British public transport prices are so much higher than, e.g., Dutch ones.
Basically because of the low level of public subsidies.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 01:51 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
hen I worked full-time, I was paying 180 a month for a London Zones 1-4 Travelcard, which covered me for all Underground, Overground,

Did it also cover your Wombling Free needs?
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Old 2nd January 2018, 02:15 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Breakdown trains were held in most depots, they had a crane and other lifting gear and track repair tools and materials.
There are no longer any breakdown trains, everything is sub contracted. If anything is derailed the third party contractor hire a crane that turns up by road.

A couple of years a go a derailed loco in the throat of Norwich Station took 3 days to get back on the track, only one platform was available until it was done.
Under British Rail the local breakdown train at Norwich Shed would have the loco re-railed in a couple of hours and repairs done or a spare loco put on.
Now it takes a day for the various 'stakeholders' to argue about who should pay before they even think of going to a sub contractors to come and look at it, then there will be arguing about who is responsible for what part of the job.
As I've mentioned elsewhere I used to work for the crane company which had the contract for picking up trains that had come off the rails, this was in the early 00's. It was profitable.

There wasn't much competition for the job, which helped keep prices up, unlike a crane mounted on a train there's rarely convenient access for a road crane and as the required reach increases the lifting capacity of the crane needs to be increased for the same load. I recall a couple of occasions when our largest (and most expensive) mobile cranes were going out to lift relatively small loads because the cranes couldn't get close enough for a much smaller and cheaper crane to do the job. I was told that no one else in the UK had those cranes at the time (it might not have been entirely true, but if not there were maybe two other companies at most). Disclaimer, I was finance not technical so any errors or misused terminology is down to my ignorance/memory.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 02:24 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Did it also cover your Wombling Free needs?
**giggle**

In Wimbledon the Underground is Overground
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Old 2nd January 2018, 02:36 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Did it also cover your Wombling Free needs?
Yes, as Wimbledon is within Zone 3.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 02:38 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
**giggle**

In Wimbledon the Underground is Overground
Underground and overground, but not Overground.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 03:33 PM   #49
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I just looked up the cost of an adult ticket from Seattle to Portland on the Amtrak Cascades. US$63. It's about 150 miles. How does that compare to UK/Europe prices?
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Old 2nd January 2018, 03:55 PM   #50
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Netherlands:
Groningen-Rotterdam is €25.30 one-way ticket.
That's about the same distance (154 mile by car, couldn't find the train distance). It's apparently also the maximum rate for a one-way train ticket, longer distance routes give the same price.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 05:44 PM   #51
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Having looked up the exchange rate, looks like Amtrak is about double. How about in the UK?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 01:03 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I just looked up the cost of an adult ticket from Seattle to Portland on the Amtrak Cascades. US$63. It's about 150 miles. How does that compare to UK/Europe prices?
Bristol Parkway to London is 120 miles. A standard class return is 211.40 (around $285)
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Old 3rd January 2018, 01:13 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Basically because of the low level of public subsidies.
This is one major factor, and the other is a system in which a return needs to be delivered to the shareholders and where in some industries there are a lot of shareholders. Not only do the train operating companies have to make money but so do the train leasing companies and all the engineering subcontractors involved with maintaining the infrastructure.

We're also IMO paying the price for many, many decades of chronic under-investment in public transport and an under-appreciation for what benefits public transport can deliver. As Captain Swoop pointed out, the British rail network emerged from WWII worn out and falling apart at the seams. There followed 5 decades where rail was seen as a burden on the public purse and the car was deemed to be the future and so it was starved of investment to make repairs to the 19th century infrastructure - much less to make investment in expanding and/or improving the network.

It's only relatively recently that people have begun to appreciate good public transport again. If you're driving anywhere where there are high population densities anywhere around rush hour then you're going to spend a lot of time not moving. People are realising that cost effective public transport would be a good thing. We also commute far further and far longer on average than ever before. When I started commuting to London from Bristol in the early-90's there were a few people who made that journey. The train is packed now.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 02:47 AM   #54
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If you have an interest in this sort of thing, you might be interested in Eleven Minutes Late by Matthew Engel, a rather thorough yet entertaining account of the evolution of the railway in the UK.

While it is perhaps a little out-of-date now (published in 2010), I recently read it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have no idea about the overall accuracy of his account, no doubt railway enthusiasts would disagree with some of his views, but I found it fascinating and revealing in some areas.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 03:35 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Using a pre-apid Oyster or contactless bank card, single bus journeys are 1.50 to anywhere within the capital, but allows transfer to a second bus within an hour of the first,
And, from later this month, to a third, fourth or basically any number of buses that you can manage to get on inside the next hour.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 03:59 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Underground and overground, but not Overground.
But still wombling free...
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:07 AM   #57
P.J. Denyer
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Originally Posted by Aber View Post
But still wombling free...
Too slow http://www.internationalskeptics.com...1&postcount=44
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:22 AM   #58
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In terms of passenger miles, the vast majority of journeys in the UK are by road. If total journeys remained the same but the volume of passenger journeys by rail doubled, it would have little impact on road congestion. Of course near city centres a greater proportion of journeys are by rail - so there it would make more of a difference.

Rail is still subsidized by the taxpayer to a much higher extent than road. If you count all the taxes on motorists (fuel tax, vehicle tax, insurance tax, VAT, etc,) then roads are a big net contributor to the government budget.

We're in the process of spending at least a hundred billion of taxpayer funds on the HS2 rail system (probably much more judging by past projects which tend to overrun projected costs). When this system is eventually running, it will likely be handed over to private (or foreign state-owned) companies who will then milk it for profit. It will likely be similar to the Concorde aircraft where the rich are whisked along in high speed luxury while the average taxpayer that helped fund the system can't afford to ride on it.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:57 AM   #59
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HS2 is a waste of money. It isn't needed. Far more good would be done to the economy and the country in general by spending a fraction of the HS2 cost on regional railways and local lines.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:58 AM   #60
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Stagecoach/Virgin were due to pay 353m in 2020, 460m in 2021, 560m in 2022 &645m in 2023 as part of the Eastcoast contract.
Grayling allowed them to duck out.That's over 2b lost to us.
Stagecoach share price jumped 12%.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 05:11 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Step 1 - under fund
Step 2 - Publicise poor performance - fail to mention under funding
Step 3 - Privatise
Step 4 - PROFIT - for shareholders - by far the vast majority of which are major financial institutions.
In this case it was a bit more like:

1. Increase funding in the preceding years to make it more attractive to private enterprise.
2. Publicise how much it is costing the tax payer and promote how much cheaper and efficient it would be if privatised.
3. Sell for peanuts to your cronies.
4. Profit .
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Old 3rd January 2018, 05:58 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
In terms of passenger miles, the vast majority of journeys in the UK are by road. If total journeys remained the same but the volume of passenger journeys by rail doubled, it would have little impact on road congestion. Of course near city centres a greater proportion of journeys are by rail - so there it would make more of a difference.
That very much depends on how much "vast majority" is. The difference between a totally congested motorway and one where everyone drives comfortably near max speed is only about 10% in the number of vehicles.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 06:25 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Stagecoach/Virgin were due to pay 353m in 2020, 460m in 2021, 560m in 2022 &645m in 2023 as part of the Eastcoast contract.
Grayling allowed them to duck out.That's over 2b lost to us.
Stagecoach share price jumped 12%.
That absolutely stinks and is exactly the opposite of how privatisation is portrayed with 'They're private sector. They'll be leaner and meaner and make a profit whilst running a better service 'cos they know how to do business and have to make a profit else they go to the wall...and all those public sector workers are lazy buggers who expect to be bailed out.'
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Old 3rd January 2018, 06:31 AM   #64
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This blog from 2011 says that 6.3% of passenger km and 8.5% of tonne-km were by rail. I don't know if it's accurate - I thought the rail percentages were lower than that even.

Wikipedia has this graph showing a recent upward trend in the modal share of rail travel in the UK and a continuing downward trend for buses.



I've read that if buses and coaches have access to uncongested lanes, they are much more fuel efficient per passenger mile than rail vehicles. This is somewhat surprising given the flatter routes and lower rolling resistance enjoyed by railways but maybe it's the much greater weight of rail vehicles for each passenger carried that swings it.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 06:42 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post

Basically because of the low level of public subsidies.
Except when you factor in all the off-balance sheet costs like Crossrail, Network Rail's debt, HS2 etc. the public subsidies are actually rather high.

Crossrail is going to cost 16bn in total. The Thameslink upgrade 6bn. HS2 will end up costing at least 60bn. Network Rail's debt stands at around 50bn and is increasing by about 5bn a year.

The excuse that the infrastructure is Victorian also doesn't wash. Rolling stock, track, and signalling have all been replaced many times over the past 120 odd years, and its not like everyone else only started to develop their own railways in the 1990's ffs.....

The reason rail in the UK is so expensive is because the private sector is very often less efficient than the public sector and in the case of the railways, inefficiency is maximised by a ludicrous operating structure imposed on the railways in an attempt to create an "interal market" where no such market exists and nor can it.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 08:52 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
The excuse that the infrastructure is Victorian also doesn't wash. Rolling stock, track, and signalling have all been replaced many times over the past 120 odd years, and its not like everyone else only started to develop their own railways in the 1990's ffs.....
It kinda does, IMO.

One of the reasons why the electrification of the mainline from London to South Wales is so expensive are the engineering challenges presented in implementing late-20th and 21st century technology on top of infrastructure which was implemented in the 19th century and which was starved of investment for nearly a century. Our continental cousins continued to invest but we Brits did what we so regularly seem to do - invest early then sweat the assets without continuing to invest and then complain when other countries are so much better off than we are.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:09 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
This is one major factor, and the other is a system in which a return needs to be delivered to the shareholders and where in some industries there are a lot of shareholders. Not only do the train operating companies have to make money but so do the train leasing companies and all the engineering subcontractors involved with maintaining the infrastructure.

We're also IMO paying the price for many, many decades of chronic under-investment in public transport and an under-appreciation for what benefits public transport can deliver. As Captain Swoop pointed out, the British rail network emerged from WWII worn out and falling apart at the seams. There followed 5 decades where rail was seen as a burden on the public purse and the car was deemed to be the future and so it was starved of investment to make repairs to the 19th century infrastructure - much less to make investment in expanding and/or improving the network.

It's only relatively recently that people have begun to appreciate good public transport again. If you're driving anywhere where there are high population densities anywhere around rush hour then you're going to spend a lot of time not moving. People are realising that cost effective public transport would be a good thing. We also commute far further and far longer on average than ever before. When I started commuting to London from Bristol in the early-90's there were a few people who made that journey. The train is packed now.
All that, as well. Variations of the pie chart on this page have been seen a lot in the last couple of days, showing that at 26%, investment in the rail network takes a larger chunk of our rail fares than any other expense, including staffing or track and train maintenance.

On the route I usually take into Charing Cross, there's only one out of the four trains an hour in the morning I could take where I have even a 50/50 of getting a seat. The continued inability of Southeastern being able to run 12-carriage trains seems to be the final hurdle in in increasing capacity, given that pretty much everything has been done in terms of train frequency. Even if they can get past that obstacle, its inevitable that eventually even 12-carriage trains will be as packed as the 8- and 10- carriage ones. The very fact they're still running 8- and sometimes even 6-carriage trains during the morning rush-hour is indicative of rolling stock shortages.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:11 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
And, from later this month, to a third, fourth or basically any number of buses that you can manage to get on inside the next hour.
I missed that news. Puts the situation in the wretched provinces into even sharper relief.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:24 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Step 1 - under fund
Step 2 - Publicise poor performance - fail to mention under funding
Step 3 - Privatise
Step 4 - PROFIT - for shareholders - by far the vast majority of which are major financial institutions.
In the USA there is also Step 5 - Pay off the legislators who sponsored the privatization to thank them for their assistance, either in the form of campaign funds or as consultants/lobbyists when they retire from "public service."
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:26 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Bristol Parkway to London is 120 miles. A standard class return is 211.40 (around $285)
Good lord, I can fly to Las Vegas and back on Southwest for $148. Although last minute fare is far far higher.

Last edited by lobosrul5; 3rd January 2018 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:28 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by skbuncks View Post
In this case it was a bit more like:

1. Increase funding in the preceding years to make it more attractive to private enterprise.
2. Publicise how much it is costing the tax payer and promote how much cheaper and efficient it would be if privatised.
3. Sell for peanuts to your cronies.
4. Profit .
Sorry I missed your post. I gather what happens in the USA also happens (happened) in the UK.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:29 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
It kinda does, IMO.

One of the reasons why the electrification of the mainline from London to South Wales is so expensive are the engineering challenges presented in implementing late-20th and 21st century technology on top of infrastructure which was implemented in the 19th century and which was starved of investment for nearly a century. Our continental cousins continued to invest but we Brits did what we so regularly seem to do - invest early then sweat the assets without continuing to invest and then complain when other countries are so much better off than we are.
Of course, us continentals also had some reason to repair (and upgrade at the same time) our rail infrastructure in the late 1940s.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:30 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
In the USA there is also Step 5 - Pay off the legislators who sponsored the privatization to thank them for their assistance, either in the form of campaign funds or as consultants/lobbyists when they retire from "public service."
In the UK it's the one-day-a-month non-exec directorship.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:37 AM   #74
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As mentioned upthread the roles of rail versus airline flight are very different. Rail is much better for intermediate distances, often connects directly to downtowns, usually permits more spontaneous ticket purchases (e.g. at time of travel), and is more energy efficient than flying (when each are used at capacity). There is also much more passenger room in trains and one can stand up and walk about in a much more pleasant way than in the exceedingly tight confines of a plane. Flying (in the USA) almost always requires advance ticket purchases, finding a method to reach the airports (which for obvious reasons are located at a distance from the population centers), and arriving hours early to get through security and avoid being bumped, then experiencing the process in reverse on arrival at one's destination. For me a one hour flight typically takes 3-1/2 hours from departing one's house to arriving at one's final hotel.

When I have the choice (say Washington DC to NYC) I much prefer rail.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:43 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
As mentioned upthread the roles of rail versus airline flight are very different. Rail is much better for intermediate distances, often connects directly to downtowns, usually permits more spontaneous ticket purchases (e.g. at time of travel), and is more energy efficient than flying (when each are used at capacity). There is also much more passenger room in trains and one can stand up and walk about in a much more pleasant way than in the exceedingly tight confines of a plane. Flying (in the USA) almost always requires advance ticket purchases, finding a method to reach the airports (which for obvious reasons are located at a distance from the population centers), and arriving hours early to get through security and avoid being bumped, then experiencing the process in reverse on arrival at one's destination. For me a one hour flight typically takes 3-1/2 hours from departing one's house to arriving at one's final hotel.

When I have the choice (say Washington DC to NYC) I much prefer rail.
I mean, all thats correct. I'm just very lucky that we have pretty much the most convenient airport in the country. Literally, I can leave my house and be through airport security in probably 40-45 minutes on a normal day.

We're #2 on the good list: http://time.com/4472863/airport-delays-tsa/
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Old 3rd January 2018, 10:35 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Bristol Parkway to London is 120 miles. A standard class return is 211.40 (around $285)
Assuming "return" is what we call "round trip", that's still more than twice Amtrak. (My price was one-way.) Ugh.

The problem with the flying alternative for the shorter trips is that you still have to go to the airport, with all that entails.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 11:47 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
This blog from 2011 says that 6.3% of passenger km and 8.5% of tonne-km were by rail. I don't know if it's accurate - I thought the rail percentages were lower than that even.

Wikipedia has this graph showing a recent upward trend in the modal share of rail travel in the UK and a continuing downward trend for buses.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped..._1952-2014.png

I've read that if buses and coaches have access to uncongested lanes, they are much more fuel efficient per passenger mile than rail vehicles. This is somewhat surprising given the flatter routes and lower rolling resistance enjoyed by railways but maybe it's the much greater weight of rail vehicles for each passenger carried that swings it.
Busses are disappearing that's why there aren't as many passengers on your graph.
For example around the town I live in we used to have bus connections to Middlesbrough every half hour, Redcar the same. ALong the coast as far as Whitby every half hour and an hourly service across the moors to Scarborough and seperate services to Northallerton and Helmsley.
Now there is still a half hourly service at peak time to Middlesbrough but it drops to hourly after 6 and only one an hour to Redcar. No direct connection across to Whitby and none at all to Scarborough apart from the holiday season 'Moorsbus' for day trippers.

The regular services to the villages around Guisborough down the coast and across the moors have all but disappeared.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 11:53 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
It kinda does, IMO.

One of the reasons why the electrification of the mainline from London to South Wales is so expensive are the engineering challenges presented in implementing late-20th and 21st century technology on top of infrastructure which was implemented in the 19th century and which was starved of investment for nearly a century. Our continental cousins continued to invest but we Brits did what we so regularly seem to do - invest early then sweat the assets without continuing to invest and then complain when other countries are so much better off than we are.
Sorry, that doesn't wash. British Rail managed to electrify the entire East Coast Main Line by 1991 that's 393 miles London to Edinburgh for a fairly modest amount.
Nothing has been spent since and it is starting to get unreliable because as usual there has been no ongoing investment.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 12:00 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post

I'm just waiting for Beerina to trot out another misguided comparison with video games.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 02:34 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Assuming "return" is what we call "round trip", that's still more than twice Amtrak. (My price was one-way.) Ugh.

The problem with the flying alternative for the shorter trips is that you still have to go to the airport, with all that entails.
Singles are generally significantly more than half the price of a return.
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