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Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

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Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

Ok, whats the thoughts on the government plans to spend £130m on new trains to lend to rail companies?

(linky to Beeb story)

Is it good news that more places will available on trains?


Is it a sensible use of public money?


Is it acceptable that rail companies will be able to use HM Gov rolling stock to generate profit for themselves?
13 REPLIES
gswindale
Grafter
Posts: 942
Registered: 05-04-2007

Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

Don't have a problem with them increasing capacity on the trains as such.

I do believe that the railways should be renationalised or at least the TOCs owning their own stock - as in this case, the Govt is paying for the trains to be built and then leased to the TOCs who then have to pay the Govt for the privelige of a)running a business and b)being able to make more money than without the extra trains.

This effectively amounts to a Govt subsidy to try and keep an industry running efficiently - this was the case when Rover went under, whilst my company went into receivership and got nothing as it wasn't a big national story.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

As someone who spends 4+ hours commuting in/out of London on some days, I can definitely vouch for the need of extra train carriages. Thankfully, I often travel either off-peak or contra-flow (i.e. in the opposite direction to most normal commuters), so I can generally sit down, but at the times I do travel peak-time, it's very easy to see how busy trains are. Unfortunately, as the article kind of glosses over, train carriages are just the beginning of the problem. If trains are made longer, then platforms need to be made longer too - already there are some situations where trains are twice as long as the platforms they serve at one or two stations, so the situation could get quite ridiculous. Another option would of course to be to run more trains... but then you run in to the issue of signalling: most of the UK's signalling is old, and as a result, doesn't allow trains to run particularly close together, thus limiting the number of trains that can actually run. So basically, extra rail carriages are a complete waste of time without infrastructure upgrades - which, I note, the government has made no promises to provide.
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Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

I know what you mean about trains that are too long for platforms! The KX GNER Service to Leeds has similar problems, IIRC there's only about two stations you can get off at any door from, the rest you can only get off from the front.
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Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

Yup,

Retford is one of them Cheesy

I can vouch for that he he
nogginthenog
Grafter
Posts: 78
Registered: 23-08-2007

Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

more carriages all well and good,note govt is leasing these at 130 million a year/month/week? it is networkrail/railtrack that needs some serious attention, they are actually killing people!
mutterer
Grafter
Posts: 36
Registered: 26-07-2007

Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

Note that none of this will happen any time soon. The target is 2014, by which time we shall have forgotten all about it.

Our line, Dartford to London, was upgraded to take 12 coach trains about 20 years ago. It was then found that the power supply could not cope with trains of this length, so the long trains never appeared.

We then got new rolling stock in the mid 1980s, these were the Networkers, which come as 2 or 4 car sets, enabling train lengths of 2, 4, 6, 8 (the usual) 10 (sometimes) or 12 (blows all the fuses).

We now have even newer trains! Supplied by Siemens, these are only 5 car sets. Gosh! we now have longer trains, err.. the carriages are a lot shorter than the Networkers so that a 5 car Siemens is no longer than a 4 car Networker and has less seats as there is more wasted space (gaps between the carriages etc).

Note that they are all 5 car sets so we can have a 5 or 10 car train only. It would be possible to make up a 15 car train but this would be too long for the platforms and would blow all the fuses again. And no, you can't join a Siemens to a Networker, they are not compatible.

I am so glad I don't have to trek up to London every day now, and not paying for a season ticket.
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Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

In the west country we have First Great Western inflicted on us as our local franchise holder. When asked they stated categorically they won't be buying any new rolling stock from the Government or anybody. I've recently abandoned the railway in favour of my car. At least I always get a guaranteed seat, and 99% of time get to my destination on time!

First desperately need new rolling stock. In same meeting as mentioned above they were forced to admit that some trains are so unreliable they break down on average once every 2000 miles. So until they get their act together I will avoid First trains. I am not holding my breath that things will get any better.


Keith
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Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

Even my Renault manages more than 2000miles between breakdowns.

I know that if I wanted to go to London tommorrow, it'd cost me more to go by train than if I went by car - and as you say, you always get a seat in your car!

If I were taking the missus with me, the cost becomes even more exorbitant.

Its £175 for a return travelling to London tomorrow AM, and returning Friday PM, for two of us the cost is £350!

Any chance of me using public transport in the near future?

To get from Leeds to Sheffield for the open day will cost me £35, or I could drive and park for a fraction of that.

Somebody needs their head looking at if they think public transport can provide the answers to all of the questions, without some serious re-jigging of its priorities.
grimme
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-08-2007

Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

I dislike the new trains on that route, but fortunately, only seem to get them on my journey back out of London, the early morning ones still seem to have the old carriages that turn up in packs of eight and go into serial meltdown at the sight of any snow!
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,226
Thanks: 242
Fixes: 3
Registered: 05-04-2007

Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

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Our line, Dartford to London, was upgraded to take 12 coach trains about 20 years ago. It was then found that the power supply could not cope with trains of this length, so the long trains never appeared.

Ooh that's my trains - I used to get the Bexleyheath line, now the Greenwich one.

Current cost (as I live in Zone 5), is £152.90 for a monthly travelcard. However a fellow developer next to me who comes from Maidstone and has to pay around £3000 per year. That's a lot of money, especially when you consider how much of your salary that would equate to in order to take that home.

Trouble is, if you end up commuting outside the zonal area (many do) then the cost increases a lot. I have heard of people commuting from Brighton of all places.

I remember reading about the power supply problems, and the new trains are horrible (I don't know of anyone who likes them).

Trouble is South Eastern trains have a habit of running 4-6 carriage trains and then picking rush hour to do it - of course you can imagine a 10-long train (which would usually be packed) and trying to squeeze into half the space. It would be nice if they could try and have a target of all trains being full (10) length.

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I am so glad I don't have to trek up to London every day now, and not paying for a season ticket.

Don't rub it in Cry

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I know that if I wanted to go to London tommorrow, it'd cost me more to go by train than if I went by car - and as you say, you always get a seat in your car!

If I was driving to London, I would drive somewhere within Zone 6 and get public transport into the centre, which isn't too costly for a day travelcard. Of course you have to park, and many councils have put resident CPZ's (like Bexley have done, so they can make more revenue from the permit fees and the tickets which will get issued), however there are still unrestricted places where you can park and are a short walk to the stations.

I wouldn't even try driving into central London.

I bet my combined hotel (2 nights) and petrol costs to Sheffield next week (200 miles each way so 400) are cheaper than an open return.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

To be fair though, open returns are actually rarely-purchased tickets, as they're only really any use for people who turn up on the day and have to use peak time trains - i.e. businessmen who suddenly find they have to be on the other side of the country for a meeting or something. If you can avoid peak time trains then (Super)Savers are much better, and if you can book a few days in advance you can often get advanced purchase tickets which work out really cheap. (For example, I did London -> York return for £20 last year.)
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Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

Twenty nine pounds return to Doncaster, although I have to admit that is with a Young Persons Railcard and in advance.

Still, not bad for a weekend away travelling by comfortable trains, not having to drive and with free wifi onboard.

Hiring a car would cost about £45, not counting petrol.
mutterer
Grafter
Posts: 36
Registered: 26-07-2007

Gov't Plans to buy a load of train carriages

The CPZ around Barnehurst Station was put in place because commuters were parking in the narrow, but busy, roads near the station and causing absolute chaos. I live very close to the station and the sight of a fire engine getting stuck because of the parking was not uncommon. I attended a meeting when the CPZ was proposed and asked why so many people drove to the station when we had several within a short distance (Barnehurst, Bexleyheath, Erith, Slade Green, Crayford, Bexley and Dartford).

Apparently most of the cars come from well into Kent (mainly the Medway Towns) and Barnehurst has the biggest car park.

It was cheaper to drive here, pay the car park charge and get the train from a Zone 6 station than to get the train from their home station.