Rail nationaisation has started

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FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16299
edited May 16 in Politics Economics
The Tories have been forced to nationalise the East Coast line.

The Government will renationalise one of Britain's busiest railway lines after its private operators admitted they could not afford to keep running it.

Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, announced on Wednesday that he will pull the plug on the East Coast rail franchise after a string of failures by Stagecoach and Virgin.

This is a failure for the rail franchise model and won't be the last.

Time to bring the railways back into public ownership.

My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31628
    Baldrick: "You know that beardy bloke who wants to renationalise the railways?"

    Blackadder: "Irritating twerp isn't he? But people seem to have the idea that he's right."

    Baldrick: "Well I have a cunning plan..."

    Blackadder: "It would have to be a very cunning plan indeed, since the railways have gone bottom upwards because we privatised them in the first place. And some of them in the second place."

    Baldrick: "Well, why don't WE renationalise the railways first, then by the time of the next election, he won't be able to, and everyone will have forgotten that it was our fault they needed to be, so they'll vote for us instead."

    Blackadder: "You know, that might just work..."
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • marantz1300marantz1300 Frets: 1470

    so much for privatisation

    has it worked anywhere?

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  • OctafishOctafish Frets: 959
    Bit of a hyperbole in that thread title. I don't see any evidence that rail nationalisation has started. Grayling seemed at pains to suggest it was merely short term measure and that in no way was this decision a reflection of the governments attitude to privatisation/nationalisation.

    We've been here before with the East Coast line and the government were all too eager to tender it out again. It will be tendered out again and the Tories will not entertain any mass-nationalisation as it would undermine one of their flagship policies of the last 40 years.
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16299
    Octafish said:
    Bit of a hyperbole in that thread title. I don't see any evidence that rail nationalisation has started. Grayling seemed at pains to suggest it was merely short term measure and that in no way was this decision a reflection of the governments attitude to privatisation/nationalisation.

    We've been here before with the East Coast line and the government were all too eager to tender it out again. It will be tendered out again and the Tories will not entertain any mass-nationalisation as it would undermine one of their flagship policies of the last 40 years.
    Artistic licence .. there are other franchises that are about to collapse. I for one want to see the railways back in public ownership.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • OctafishOctafish Frets: 959
    Fretwired said:
    Octafish said:
    Bit of a hyperbole in that thread title. I don't see any evidence that rail nationalisation has started. Grayling seemed at pains to suggest it was merely short term measure and that in no way was this decision a reflection of the governments attitude to privatisation/nationalisation.

    We've been here before with the East Coast line and the government were all too eager to tender it out again. It will be tendered out again and the Tories will not entertain any mass-nationalisation as it would undermine one of their flagship policies of the last 40 years.
    Artistic licence .. there are other franchises that are about to collapse. I for one want to see the railways back in public ownership.
    I do as well, it was obvious from the beginning it was a privatisation too far and would end up with the tax payer being shafted good and hard. However, I'm pretty confident there will no rail privatisation under the Tories though and they will just bung money at the problem.
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16299
    Octafish said:
    Fretwired said:
    Octafish said:
    Bit of a hyperbole in that thread title. I don't see any evidence that rail nationalisation has started. Grayling seemed at pains to suggest it was merely short term measure and that in no way was this decision a reflection of the governments attitude to privatisation/nationalisation.

    We've been here before with the East Coast line and the government were all too eager to tender it out again. It will be tendered out again and the Tories will not entertain any mass-nationalisation as it would undermine one of their flagship policies of the last 40 years.
    Artistic licence .. there are other franchises that are about to collapse. I for one want to see the railways back in public ownership.
    I do as well, it was obvious from the beginning it was a privatisation too far and would end up with the tax payer being shafted good and hard. However, I'm pretty confident there will no rail privatisation under the Tories though and they will just bung money at the problem.
    But if the rail franchisees see they can hand back the keys that's what a lot of them will do .. its currently hard to make much money as the Tories have been greedy. Privatisation hasn't worked. The public are getting fed up with poor services and sky high fares.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • ChalkyChalky Frets: 5349
    And how do you expect to reduce fares?
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  • NiteflyNitefly Frets: 2062
    Chalky said:
    And how do you expect to reduce fares?

    And if you do, how are you going to pay for all the shiny new trains arriving from Japan, Italy, Spain and Newton Aycliffe?

    Grown most uncommonly fat!
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  • ronnybronnyb Frets: 476
    Nitefly said:
    Chalky said:
    And how do you expect to reduce fares?

    And if you do, how are you going to pay for all the shiny new trains arriving from Japan, Italy, Spain and Newton Aycliffe?

    The shiny new trains that wouldn't be coming if the railways were still nationalised. In the mid nineties before privatisation the whole system was clapped out, locomotives and rolling stock which had replaced steam in the 60's were still being used.  
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16299
    Chalky said:
    And how do you expect to reduce fares?
    Fares can be reduced. At the moment the government sells a franchise for a lot of money - the franchisee simply pays and passes the costs on to the consumer.  When the East Coast line reverted to government ownership in 2013 it paid £225 million into the treasury coffers in just over nine months. That's a lot of cash.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16299
    ronnyb said:
    Nitefly said:
    Chalky said:
    And how do you expect to reduce fares?

    And if you do, how are you going to pay for all the shiny new trains arriving from Japan, Italy, Spain and Newton Aycliffe?

    The shiny new trains that wouldn't be coming if the railways were still nationalised. In the mid nineties before privatisation the whole system was clapped out, locomotives and rolling stock which had replaced steam in the 60's were still being used.  
    Bollocks. My line (East Coast) had brand new rolling stock - we had the line electrified and new signalling so more trains could run. It was started under labour and continued under the Tories. Why do people swallow this crap. I commuted into London in the late 70s on a fast clean modern state owned railway.

    Our current service has flash trains but these are acquired under some dodgy financing schemes.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31628
    For everyone who remembers how "crap" British Rail was in the 70s and 80s, that's because it was starved of investment. That it operated as well as it did at all was a triumph - BR was the most efficient rail system in Europe, the other European countries spent far more on theirs. If ours had been financed to the same degree it would have been world-leading.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • ronnybronnyb Frets: 476
    Fretwired said:
    ronnyb said:
    Nitefly said:
    Chalky said:
    And how do you expect to reduce fares?

    And if you do, how are you going to pay for all the shiny new trains arriving from Japan, Italy, Spain and Newton Aycliffe?

    The shiny new trains that wouldn't be coming if the railways were still nationalised. In the mid nineties before privatisation the whole system was clapped out, locomotives and rolling stock which had replaced steam in the 60's were still being used.  
    Bollocks. My line (East Coast) had brand new rolling stock - we had the line electrified and new signalling so more trains could run. It was started under labour and continued under the Tories. Why do people swallow this crap. I commuted into London in the late 70s on a fast clean modern state owned railway.

    Our current service has flash trains but these are acquired under some dodgy financing schemes.
    It isn't bollocks. There was only 30 miles of the east coast main line electrified in the late 1970's. Full electrification of the east coast main line wasn't completed until 1991. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31628
    ronnyb said:

    Full electrification of the east coast main line wasn't completed until 1991. 
    Just in time for privatisation... so the state picked up the bill and the expectation was that the private companies would profit from it. But Railtrack even managed to screw that up.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16299
    edited May 16
    ronnyb said:
    Fretwired said:
    ronnyb said:
    Nitefly said:
    Chalky said:
    And how do you expect to reduce fares?

    And if you do, how are you going to pay for all the shiny new trains arriving from Japan, Italy, Spain and Newton Aycliffe?

    The shiny new trains that wouldn't be coming if the railways were still nationalised. In the mid nineties before privatisation the whole system was clapped out, locomotives and rolling stock which had replaced steam in the 60's were still being used.  
    Bollocks. My line (East Coast) had brand new rolling stock - we had the line electrified and new signalling so more trains could run. It was started under labour and continued under the Tories. Why do people swallow this crap. I commuted into London in the late 70s on a fast clean modern state owned railway.

    Our current service has flash trains but these are acquired under some dodgy financing schemes.
    It isn't bollocks. There was only 30 miles of the east coast main line electrified in the late 1970's. Full electrification of the east coast main line wasn't completed until 1991. 
    There wasn't the need to electrify more than 30 miles of track as the InterCity routes didn't use electric trains. Electrification prioritised the commuter routes. I could get a train to Kings Cross or go direct to Moorgate on a state owned railway.

    The commuter service I used was far better than the one today. OK there are probably more people using the trains now but the cost has rocketed. I can't see how outsourcing the service to private companies benefits the consumer. The service I had in 1978 was top notch.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16299
    ICBM said:
    ronnyb said:

    Full electrification of the east coast main line wasn't completed until 1991. 
    Just in time for privatisation... so the state picked up the bill and the expectation was that the private companies would profit from it. But Railtrack even managed to screw that up.
    Exactly. The Hatfield crash was a result of private sector negligence and cost cutting.

    Have a wis .. :-)
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • marantz1300marantz1300 Frets: 1470
    edited May 16
    it's always to put money in the tory party's friends off shore pockets.
    the public are given no consideration, except as cash cows
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8802
    Privatisation cannot work: The cost of providing a service is materials plus labour if the state runs it, and materials plus labour plus profit if a private company runs it. Materials and labour cost the same regardless of who runs it, so if a private business manages to undercut the state then you can be sure that things like quality and safety have been compromised.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • OctafishOctafish Frets: 959
    ronnyb said:
    Nitefly said:
    Chalky said:
    And how do you expect to reduce fares?

    And if you do, how are you going to pay for all the shiny new trains arriving from Japan, Italy, Spain and Newton Aycliffe?

    The shiny new trains that wouldn't be coming if the railways were still nationalised. In the mid nineties before privatisation the whole system was clapped out, locomotives and rolling stock which had replaced steam in the 60's were still being used.  
    Not true or are you suggesting there were no new trains designed/built between 1970-1990, you might want to research that one. My local line had a load of new stock introduced in the late 80s when nationalised. This now knackered out dirty stock is still in use by latest franchise holder.
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16299
    And so it continues ..

    From the Times:

    The transport secretary was under pressure to act over at least four struggling rail operators last night after announcing plans to renationalise services on the east coast main line.

    Chris Grayling was warned that other companies were in trouble after failing to improve rail services or attract enough passengers, amid suggestions that the entire privatised system must be overhauled. Those in the firing line include Northern Rail, South Western, Transpennine Express and Greater Anglia.

    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • OctafishOctafish Frets: 959
    ronnyb said:
    Fretwired said:
    ronnyb said:
    Nitefly said:
    Chalky said:
    And how do you expect to reduce fares?

    And if you do, how are you going to pay for all the shiny new trains arriving from Japan, Italy, Spain and Newton Aycliffe?

    The shiny new trains that wouldn't be coming if the railways were still nationalised. In the mid nineties before privatisation the whole system was clapped out, locomotives and rolling stock which had replaced steam in the 60's were still being used.  
    Bollocks. My line (East Coast) had brand new rolling stock - we had the line electrified and new signalling so more trains could run. It was started under labour and continued under the Tories. Why do people swallow this crap. I commuted into London in the late 70s on a fast clean modern state owned railway.

    Our current service has flash trains but these are acquired under some dodgy financing schemes.
    It isn't bollocks. There was only 30 miles of the east coast main line electrified in the late 1970's. Full electrification of the east coast main line wasn't completed until 1991. 
    That might be because they had the Intercity 125 diesel (new stock built under nationalisation :o ) on the East Coast line for mainline services. Was no need to electrify the line when they had the then fastest/most advanced trains in service which were diesel. Of course they electrified it in the end for the new 225 trains, also built under public ownership.....  ;)
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  • OctafishOctafish Frets: 959
    Fretwired said:
    And so it continues ..

    From the Times:

    The transport secretary was under pressure to act over at least four struggling rail operators last night after announcing plans to renationalise services on the east coast main line.

    Chris Grayling was warned that other companies were in trouble after failing to improve rail services or attract enough passengers, amid suggestions that the entire privatised system must be overhauled. Those in the firing line include Northern Rail, South Western, Transpennine Express and Greater Anglia.

    Interesting, that's my local rail company. One of the previous franchise holders (can't remenber who now) actually provided a decent service for a bit, but they lost the franchise (despite passenger protests/demands to retain them) to the latest wankers.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31628
    Privatisation cannot work: The cost of providing a service is materials plus labour if the state runs it, and materials plus labour plus profit if a private company runs it. Materials and labour cost the same regardless of who runs it, so if a private business manages to undercut the state then you can be sure that things like quality and safety have been compromised.
    Exactly that. The supposedly greater ‘efficiency’ of the private sector because of largely fictitious ‘competition’ is a myth too.

    This has been obvious to me for more than thirty years.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16299
    edited May 17
    Octafish said:
    ronnyb said:
    Fretwired said:
    ronnyb said:
    Nitefly said:
    Chalky said:
    And how do you expect to reduce fares?

    And if you do, how are you going to pay for all the shiny new trains arriving from Japan, Italy, Spain and Newton Aycliffe?

    The shiny new trains that wouldn't be coming if the railways were still nationalised. In the mid nineties before privatisation the whole system was clapped out, locomotives and rolling stock which had replaced steam in the 60's were still being used.  
    Bollocks. My line (East Coast) had brand new rolling stock - we had the line electrified and new signalling so more trains could run. It was started under labour and continued under the Tories. Why do people swallow this crap. I commuted into London in the late 70s on a fast clean modern state owned railway.

    Our current service has flash trains but these are acquired under some dodgy financing schemes.
    It isn't bollocks. There was only 30 miles of the east coast main line electrified in the late 1970's. Full electrification of the east coast main line wasn't completed until 1991. 
    That might be because they had the Intercity 125 diesel (new stock built under nationalisation o ) on the East Coast line for mainline services. Was no need to electrify the line when they had the then fastest/most advanced trains in service which were diesel. Of course they electrified it in the end for the new 225 trains, also built under public ownership..... 
    Exactly .. no need. It made sense for the commuter services. Those 125 InterCity trains were great ...

    To say there was no investment in new rolling stock, track and electrification during public ownership is laughable. The whole network moved from the age of steam to diesel and electric.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9214
    ICBM said:
    Privatisation cannot work: The cost of providing a service is materials plus labour if the state runs it, and materials plus labour plus profit if a private company runs it. Materials and labour cost the same regardless of who runs it, so if a private business manages to undercut the state then you can be sure that things like quality and safety have been compromised.
    Exactly that. The supposedly greater ‘efficiency’ of the private sector because of largely fictitious ‘competition’ is a myth too.

    This has been obvious to me for more than thirty years.
    The concept isn't that efficiency is because it's private people running it, it's that no-one in government knows how to run it, which means more shit hits the fan and costs more money. If the private contract is drafted (and crucially, administered) properly, the cost of any crap work falls on the private party, so they should pay penalties every time they do something shit. Unfortunately, the UK has got to the point where the prices being bid are so high (ie margins too slim) so there is actually no slack left in the private companies' budgets for when shit hits the fan.

    Then you take into account that the UK contracts aren't actually very good for the UK because HM Gov never employs the highest calibre of people (internal people as well as external advisers) because there's always an outcry every time someone mentions spending tax money on legal fees.  On the other hand,  the private sector *does* employ the best people because it's better value to spend millions on a team structuring a £1bn+ deal really fucking well because that team will save WAY more than it costs. The net result is shitty government contracts which are then administered badly as well, and everything goes to shit. 

    The concept of competition in rail networks is clearly fiction and always has been - there is one line between any 2 places, which means 1 operator, until they invent trains that can overtake each other on a single bit of line! 
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  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2128
        I'm pretty big on capitalism but even I can see that rail franchising is a busted flush. There has to be a  better model. I'm reluctant to buy into full scale nationalisation as I doubt the fairness of taxpayers subsidising rail travel for others.

    I don't, though, object on the grounds that the nationialized industries are always less efficient.  Just look at the NHS..... https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jul/14/nhs-holds-on-to-top-spot-in-healthcare-survey
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9214
    jellyroll said:
        I'm pretty big on capitalism but even I can see that rail franchising is a busted flush. There has to be a  better model. I'm reluctant to buy into full scale nationalisation as I doubt the fairness of taxpayers subsidising rail travel for others.

    I don't, though, object on the grounds that the nationialized industries are always less efficient.  Just look at the NHS..... https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jul/14/nhs-holds-on-to-top-spot-in-healthcare-survey
    It would work much better on an availability payment basis, where the government receives all the revenue from tickets, and private companies get paid to operate the service (and buy/refurb equipment where necessary). The public then knows exactly how much it will cost to run for the concession period, and the government subsidises where necessary by fixing fares lower than cost if it wants to.

    Then your penalty mechanism would deduct revenue from the operator every time a train is late or customer complaints aren't dealt with properly, or bins aren't emptied or whatever. 


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  • marantz1300marantz1300 Frets: 1470

    The problem is privatisation encourages company's to act as cartels to make the most profit, which goes straight into the pockets of the bosses and shareholders.

     There is no benefit for the public .

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  • Axe_meisterAxe_meister Frets: 2153
    What the government needs to is run it as if it where a business and actually try and turn a profit alas in my experience the public sector cannot attract the right kind of person to achieve this so it will he run my civil servants and politicians
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  • HeartfeltdawnHeartfeltdawn Frets: 11052
    The concept isn't that efficiency is because it's private people running it, it's that no-one in government knows how to run it, which means more shit hits the fan and costs more money. If the private contract is drafted (and crucially, administered) properly, the cost of any crap work falls on the private party, so they should pay penalties every time they do something shit. Unfortunately, the UK has got to the point where the prices being bid are so high (ie margins too slim) so there is actually no slack left in the private companies' budgets for when shit hits the fan.

    Then you take into account that the UK contracts aren't actually very good for the UK because HM Gov never employs the highest calibre of people (internal people as well as external advisers) because there's always an outcry every time someone mentions spending tax money on legal fees.  On the other hand,  the private sector *does* employ the best people because it's better value to spend millions on a team structuring a £1bn+ deal really fucking well because that team will save WAY more than it costs. The net result is shitty government contracts which are then administered badly as well, and everything goes to shit. 

    The nationalisation of the railways brought together a lot of private railways and made it profitable. Then Beeching came along and the profit chasing continued at the expense of the user (coupled with the push for cars and all that jazz). So the idea that private is better or public is better... neither: they're as good as the people they employ and the projects they pursue. 

    I'd disagree firmly with the idea that HM Gov never employs the best people. I'd say it's more that governmental politics means that they utilise the best people incredibly poorly, the best people get frustrated and then move off to the private sector. The middling people, they put up with the bullshit, take what they can and invariably end up in the private sector after mopping up as much public gravy as possible. 

    Germany's railways don't seem too badly managed. 

    I make Jeremy Paxman look like Fingermouse. 
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