Wednesday 17 August 2016

Time to bring back British Rail

First the good news, my train this morning, the 07:17 was only six minutes late arriving. I even got a seat between West Hampstead and Farrringdon! Result!

But as a regular commuter between Mill Hill and London, what has privatisation bought? When Thameslink was introduced, there were 8 rush hour services per hour from Mill Hill Broadway to London, 4 fast and 4 slow. Now there are 5 or six, most of which are jam packed.

The cost has spiralled out of all proportion. We are told it is to pay for investment, but huge sums are payed in subsidies to private companies, which goes straight to shareholders, mostly of foreign companies, such as Arriva who run Thameslink.

On my journey in this morning through Cricklewood, I saw new Hitachi trains parked next iInter City 125's, the British Rail designed and built workhorses of the railways, which are 40 years old. The 125's were a huge success, but privatisation meant the Uk has lost the ability to design and build such iconic trains.

On Sunday I had lunch with a signalman. He explained the complex rules that apply when delays occur. They are not designed to help passengers, they are designed to ensure that the companies who pay most see their train go first, and are implemented to ensure Network Rail pay the minimum in fines.

It is high time the government admitted privatisation has been a disaster and calls time on the failed experiment. Bring back BR!

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