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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Re: East Coast franchise - the tanked engine

Post by kwijiboenator on Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:08 pm

You have a good point there. Pre-Thatcher, the tories just got on with running the country. Thatcher didn't exactly practice capitalism in the sense of you run a business which makes money, which is how most business works. She employed a system of sell all the business off - and the trouble with that is, that eventually you have no businesses left to sell. It is because of this, we've seen a massive swing towards the left, and now we have confusion in the UK as to what our wants and needs are, and how to acquire them, mainly because you can't always trust investors mainly for the reasons pointed out above - much Devin Weston from GTA V, or Gordon Gecko from Wall Street.

In other words, Thatcher went too far, and many feel that Corbyn is also going too far as well - hence the hung parliament.

One of the results is an massive increase in the left v right political battle - with little or no middle ground. Political and fiscal extremes don't work - the USA is proof of that, and yet the likes of the UK just aren't learning from it - they're importing that culture. It's becoming a toss-up at election times between Communism and Nazism, there is no choice, and there is no future in that.

The UK economy right now is based upon international trade in the City using GBP - which has been the case for decades. With Brexit around the corner, it is looking more likely that trade won't be conducted via London using the GBP, it could be Yen, the Euro or the Dollar, then the UK is literally over, because it's the only major means the UK has for international trade - whilst we do have factories producing things, I doubt the GDP would cover an independent UK economy without a massive increase in GDP which given the time-frame between now and when we leave the EU isn't likely.

There are many scenarios as to how the UK deals with this, although the one which makes sense to me is that with less and less money in circulation, we're going to get to a point where people stop trading in money, and switch over to crypto-currencies. Politics will fall into place wherever the chips will fall, and I'd like to think that what is about to happen, will generate some middle ground because people in the UK are going to have to adapt to a new financial mechanism.


Anyway, back on topic- if there is one good thing to take away from the East Coast fiasco, it is that now when the likes of the Mallard or Flying Scotsman run on the East Coast, the name of the operating company on the tender is now up to date!
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