Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Trains Of Thought

The debate continues about the HS2 project, the High Speed Train, from the inner suburbs of London to the inner suburbs of Birmingham to save a few minutes on the journey at a cost of now £50 billion and rising.  The starting price, I think, was £15 billion.

A blunt clear exposition of the fake and faulty economics of the scheme are dealt with by John Redwood in his blog which tally with my own view. The railways have been with us for near 200 years ago and have been the cause of almost as many financial disasters as major train crashes. 

In 1845 The Railway Mania all but wrecked the entire economy and played a major role in worsening the effects of hunger and famine across The Atlantic Isles as the corn dealers and growers joined the bankers and brokers in the debtors prisons.

These 1960's trains were an early form of luxury HST, the Blue Pullmans which indeed offered a special and expensive service to those that used them.  Also, they were rather faster than the ordinary services.  They attracted publicity but not profit.

What they did do was to pave the way for the later 1970's HS trains, the 125's which gave faster, more comfortable trains but running frequently and at prices that were just about affordable for most people rather than a select few.

In short British Railways learned the hard way that what was needed was general improvements in trains and facilities for the bulk of the travelling population across as much of the network as possible.

1 comment:

  1. HS2 must annoy those with no wish to travel to Birmingham or London.