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It amuses me that the lady appointed by government to look at network rail suggests that privatisation may be an option. The upgrade and ongoing maintenance of a very old railway is very expensive. Any private investors are going to want guarantees from government that the company will be given the money it needs. I cannot see a blank cheque being given.

 

Apparently it was a surprise how complicated it was to upgrade the Great Western line from Paddington to the west country and Wales. Trying to electrify a line with all the bridges, tunnels, stations, nearby towns/cities was always going to be very challenging. They are doing the work, while trying to run a normal service on the line.

 

My opinion for what it is worth, is that the government should drop HS2 and instead invest the money in upgrading the network over the next 20 years. They will have to accept that the upgrade works will take longer than expected and cost more. If they bring in private companies with competition for jobs of a limited number of qualified engineers, the engineers will do very well as they are poached by other companies. They need to have one public company that is properly run and accountable to government and parliament.

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Was it not Network Rail that took over from Rail Track when privatisation failed?

 

Because of all those appalling accidents on the rail network, Hatfield crash was the final nail. Rail Tracks policy of subcontracting to the lowest bidder putting profit before safety? The then Government was forced to buy out the shareholders for £2.50 a share when they were £9.50 a share prior to suspension.

 

Network Rail then phoenixed under state ownership.

 

It was because no directors of a company could be held accountable under existing legislation for corporate manslaughter the then Labour Government enacted the:

 

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

 

And they want to privatise it again?? Talk about blood money.

 

Well they cannot rewrite history, people have long memories.

Edited by obiter dictum
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Yes it was taken back because of the increased costs and not enough progress in upgrading the network.

 

I don't buy the argument, public or private good or bad. It is down to having the right management and staff in place to do the job whether public or private. Problem with private is that investors want certainty and the costs of upgrading a victorian rail network cannot be certain. They will run into problems and get into arguments with government, rail operators etc. Better to manage the project within the public sector and employ people over a long period, with directors accountable.

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bring back steam! can not beat a steam train :p

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In the Sydney Australia area, they have double deck trains running, which can accommodate more passengers. Therefore even at peak times they can cope.

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Great idea, shame the Daily Mail has not even considered the consequencies in headline grabbing

 

Our Railways were built during the victorian era. An obvious cost negative will be that the tunnels are all the same height and width. While most railways on the continent run overground, the victorians built through hills etc in the UK.

 

How can double deckers use the existing tunnel network?

 

Most tunnels have road traffic runnng above, who is going to pay to do the necesary road bypass if doubkle decker trains are used?

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Dig the tunnel deeper, but means closing the line for weeks, which won't happen, unless they can re route trains. Built a new tunnel by the side of existing tunnels and once ready the trains can run through the new tunnels. The old tunnels could be kept, just in case they were needed. But very expensive.

 

The bridges and other infrastructure would also need to reworked.

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Dig the tunnel deeper, but means closing the line for weeks, which won't happen, unless they can re route trains. Built a new tunnel by the side of existing tunnels and once ready the trains can run through the new tunnels. The old tunnels could be kept, just in case they were needed. But very expensive.

 

The bridges and other infrastructure would also need to reworked.

 

 

They can do this and have done so in various main lines in the country not so long ago.

 

http://www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/12277.aspx

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The problem even the early tunnel builders discovered is that the majority of the British Isles have a clay base just below the surface. That stops water from draining away.

 

In this country we have dedicated drainage sites to deal with this problem, that is fields that are designed to flood to relieve any pressure. They were going to do an underpass on the A40 as you come out of london. You have that major cross roads and traffic lights. That was abandoned after the water level was discovered.

 

Tunneling deeper on mass scale will not work

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Some tunnels on the great western line have pumps to take water out.

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Whatever they do, it is going to take time and money and the tax payer will end up funding whoever is doing the work.

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capquest deja vu :)

 

it was reported recently that compensation to operators was high again, no wonder they want to privatise it. to get rid of the expense/responsibility?

 

then there is corby who wants to renationalise.

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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Not sure it makes much difference whether Network rail is public or private in terms of compensation to travel operators. Even if they were private, they are subsidised by government and if they run out of money, they receive more money or are taken back into public hands.

 

I am not anti private sector, but i would prefer public when there was no choice. If you want to travel on a train from A to B, in some areas there is only one rail operator. The track cannot be owned by more than one company in a competitive way.

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apparently last time it was around 170m for delays. as you pose, if it was private wld that be avoided. i suppose it wld depend on the agreement. if goes private then it wld be hoped such expense wld not be for the tax payer, and the quality improved, otherwise not much point/incentive.

 

i recall a recent documentary, suggesting that the nationalised railways (as was before as a whole) was one of the best run public services around?

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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The privatised Rail Operators receive state funding to the tune of 3.5 Billion a year.

 

That is tax payers money going direct to share holders.

 

All state industries that have been privatised receive state funding as they are allowed a profit margin 10% above operating costs. If they cannot get that through operating profits, the tax payer steps in.

 

So much for competition and value for money

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Why not privatise the motorway network while they are at it.

 

Don't, Mr P. :( The M6 toll road costs £5.50 for 27 miles, that would be an eye-watering amount to drive anywhere a fair distance from where you live.

 

HB

Edited by honeybee13
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Don't, Mr P. :( The M6 toll road costs £5.50 for 27 miles, that would be an eye-watering amount to drive anywhere a fair distance from where you live.

 

HB

 

That is quite expensive, but tolls in Spain are quite expensive from what i remember. I suppose unless the tolls are set at such an amount it is not worth investing in building a private road.

 

One bit of trivia not many people know, is that when they built the M6, they used a huge number of pulped Mills and Boon books mixed into the sub surface. Now you know what happened to all those books that could not be sold.

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One bit of trivia not many people know, is that when they built the M6, they used a huge number of pulped Mills and Boon books mixed into the sub surface
ah, so thats why there are so many pot holes and roadworks :)

 

do all think renationalisation of the railways is the way forward?

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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ah, so thats why there are so many pot holes and roadworks :)

 

do all think renationalisation is the way forward?

 

They use private companies to do the works. Locally a minor side road was re done at a cost over £50k by a private company, paid for by the local council. I spoke to a couple of contractors about it, as it was taking longer, as they had a problem with one of their resurfacing machines. They were as surprised as me, that the council were spending so much money on a minor road, when major roads had potholes.

 

Most councils now tender work to private companies and they do very well out of it.

 

It is about having the appropriate body delivering the service needed and not being dogmatic whether it is public or private.

 

I think the Tories are going too far using private companies and if Labour bring some back into public sector, it would not do any harm.

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