East Coast franchise - the tanked engine

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East Coast franchise - the tanked engine

Post by kwijiboenator on Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:34 am

According to various news stories in the press recently, it looks like another repeat episode for VTEC.

From how I use VTEC myself, comparing a VTEC journey from Leeds to London with a drive from where I live in Yorkshire to Kent - so add 50 miles onto the journey over the train, it costs me £60 there and back in the car with four people, and however many bags we want to take. Four people on the journey from Leeds to London would cost £240. For one person travelling, there isn't much difference - so is it the case that the average demographic for travelling on the ECML are families? Is this a market which the ECML is missing out on?

We know that ECML Intercity services have typically been seen as a business route in and out of London, and because of that, fare prices have always been high - would reducing these costs and encouraging families to use the route be what the next franchise should be looking into?

Obviously the biggest problem all franchises suffer with on this route is that politicians want to charge as much as possible for them to operate the route - VTEC is apparently paying £3bn, which I recall was more or less what NXEC was paying before it went bust, which was also a problem with GNER, on top of which, was dealing with the collapse of it's parent company, Sea Containers.

DOR only had to pay back £1bn, and so East Coast didn't run too badly, however the D(a)fT is currently looking at engaging a partnership between Arup Group, Ernst & Young and SNC-Lavalin Rail & Transit - a significant departure from how Adonis setup DOR/East Coast. It's doomed as long as people want to put profits before an efficient service - because what this government seems to fail to notice, which is something the labour lot came to realise, albeit lacking creative packaging and effective marketing - is that if you run an efficient railway, the profits will rise, because a lot of people will use it. It shaves a lot of travel time just between Leeds/York and London in my experience - I imagine the time savings are even better if you're travelling further North and into Scotland.

Knowing politicians in this country, they always look for the lowest common denominator - a quick buck. Completely overlooking Warren Buffett's advice that is it always wiser to invest in the long term.
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Re: East Coast franchise - the tanked engine

Post by Quork on Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:50 am

Judging from how things went and are going, keeping my exterior and thus definitely incomplete POV in mind of course, I have a feeling the UK is irreversibly lost to radical neoliberalism at least since Thatcher was Prime Minister. Taking such things as Brexit into account (and the fact those regions receiving the most EU funds, like Wales, voted especially strongly for leaving), I guess the country'll have to hit rock bottom to recognise that things'll have to change dramatically to get back on track.
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