Government set to cut rail running costs by a third

8 March 2012

overcrowded train The railways in the UK are great aren’t they? In fact, they could probably run just as effectively as they already do even if running costs were slashed by A THIRD, eh? Eh??

That’s the plan that is set to be announced today by the not-really-all-that-elected government, and the transport unions are already up in arms, mewling that it could mean cuts to as many as 12,000 jobs.

Among the plans that have been mooted are the closure of some of the smaller ticket offices across the country. The wages of rail workers have also been tut-tutted at as part of the review by Sir Roy McNulty that has led to the impending proposals.

But Sir Roy says that rail fares are already too high and that they shouldn’t be increased further. So where does a 33% reduction in rail running costs come from? Eh? Eh??

Tell us how YOU’D reform the railways and save a big bundle of money into the process – go on, DO IT.


  • klingelton
    Simple. bring the railway back into public control and appoint private companies to run it... oh wait, isn't that how the current government are planning on segmenting the NHS?
  • Craig R.
    Those brilliant traveller-friendly ticket barriers installed at stations seem to require staff presence most, if not all of the time, at all of them. I wonder if there could be some savings made there. Rail fares ARE already too high. Perhaps it would be a good idea to ask our friends in Europe how they run the trains there - I heard they're a bit better than ours.
  • maxtweenie
    Why don't they just put the season ticket prices up so the commuters who use the trains every day bear the brunt of the cost? Oh wait, isn't that why my season ticket costs £45oo anyway?
  • klingelton
    @maxtweenie That's still cheaper than owing and running a car for an average of 10000 miles/year. They have at least another £700 they can bleed out of your pocket!
  • Mr B.
    Replace the railway tracks with variable speed travelators/moving walkways, then people could get on and off where every they liked, no more sitting on the train as it passes your house and having to catch the bus back from the nearest station, they can go slow when in populated areas and speed up a bit outside cities, most of the trains craw along anyway due to network capacity limits so no real change there. This would also reduce deaths and suicides, plus eliminate the need for drivers and shitty catering as you could just step off and go to Mds or BK. And could be used to send parcels too. Travelator to your door, the future tomorrow!
  • dai
    Renationalise. That actually would save about 1/3rd of the costs, as all those private sector companies would no longer have to make a profit.
  • Bryan (.
    agreed. How can companies claim they want whats best for the customer when they are returning 340 million back to shareholders!!!! yes stagecoach...Im looking at you. The railway in the u.k. is a mess. Profit has always come first and once again the government is going after the lower tears rather than those idiots that are at the top that are skimming the the profits for themselves. buy my greatest his cd.
  • Kevin
    Dont cut any jobs, just take the 33% off their already extremely high profits for a horribly bad service that they provide.
  • Sicknote
    I really don't give a fuck about less staff; the staff on Southwest Trains are generally mindless thick cunts and won't be missed by me. Less staff fucking everything up might make the trains run on time.....just for one fucking day a week.
  • Bryan (.
    ^^^^ this. heres an example from before and after...under b.r. train fails on the mainline blocking the line. Multiple trains behind it or want to come across the line thats blocked wait. Signaller rings shunter asks for train in sidings to come out and move it, train gets failed train and pulls it into the sidings. The line is now cleared and able to proceed. minimum delay. now under Network Fail and the multiple train companies. Train fails. Blocks lines and signaller then calls control. Control rings the failed trains company. They say the nearest train is an hour away which can help. So they ask the train in the sidings belonging to another company to move it. "Nope" they say because they still owe us money from the last time and they will charge them for stabling the failed train in the sidings (plus staff cut backs mean hardly any one is left in the sidings to actually make the move if they got the go ahead anyway). Meanwhile time ticks on and the passengers in the trains are getting more and more fed up after paying sky high ticket prices for money that will go back to shareholders. Also some of the trains behind are cancelled meaning more delay to passengers and the dreaded bus replacement (buses have to call at EVERY station on the route to pick up and drop off and roads are far slower than trains!!). The trains stuck behind may or may not have to detrain and or go back to the previous station and catch a bus too adding massive amounts of time onto their journey and causing more suffering for high ticket paying customers..or they wait while companies on a conference call bicker about what to do as some companies have a late ticket claim where customers who are later then a hour get 50% back so if they put pilot working in then ALL trains will be late meaning more money paid back (quite rightly) to the customer so they want to avoid this option as much as possible even though within 20 mins of this happening staff are on site and ready to go and make the delay as short as possible BUT have to wait for the conference to end and the high end managers stop bickering. (apologies for the long sentence) Yes, this is true and happens all the time.
  • ShakesHeadSadly
    Paging Dr Beeching. Dr Beeching, you're needed again....
  • bartelbe
    When Br was privatised the subsidy was £2.9 bn in 2008-9 prices, by 2008-09 the subsidy was £5.2 bn. So the supper efficient privatised railways require a much bigger subsidy than the supposely inefficient publically own railways. Privatisation has been a disaster, it is just an excuse for the likes of First Group to divert as much tax payer money as possible to profits for private companies.
  • bobinogs
    Just booked a ticket today for travel to London tomorrow. First class fare was almost 50% LESS than standard class, not that I am complaining, but the whole system is a mess. Travelled to airport recently, got charged £1 more for the same journey so I could choose which train I should go on. Mad. In the Netherlands I believe they are introducing a cost per KM for journeys and it calculates where you got on and off with your smartcard, similar to Oyster, but across the whole country. I think that has some merit (they also have self service checkouts that are a joy to use!). I can see something like that working here and charging different rates per mile based on long or short journeys or what time of day you travel etc. Prices should be set by central government and the train companies have to work within the prices that are set.
  • klingelton
    @bartelbe have you taken inflation into account there? or is that 2.9bn figure you mention the projected subsidy should privatisation persist?
  • Tits M.
    im sure they could make more money if they took on more advertising on the trains, just now theres just maybe 1 little poster somewhere in each carridge of the scotrail trains, and its only just advertising railcards. if they were to make more advertising space inside they could make more money, even as extreme as carridges painted with a certain brands colours or logo. and that could allow ticket prices to be a bit lower. Its crazy around here, i used to get the train to college every day 2 years ago and it was £9 for a return, today the same trip is £18 for a return, thats the price doubled in just 2 years. and they say its because it costs alot to maintain this line.
  • klingelton
    used to get from huddersfield to leeds for £3.70 return around 10 years ago. same journey today costs around £12. assuming a constant inflation rate of 2% (government target) that journey should cost me £4.81.
  • Chewbacca
    @Tits McGhee I'd really like to know which line in Scotland has doubled in price to travel on it 2 years, because none of them have. Yep, you're lying. I'm calling you out for being the liar you are. Why lie, liar?
  • Clarkson
    I'd shut the whole fucking lot down, and tarmac the lines.
  • Tony
    The fact that the banks own all the trains doesn't help things much. You can cut all the staff you want but they will still have the pay the banks to run the trains. Network rail also take a nice cut that comes via subsidies which intern come from your local authorities which of course are funded by us the tax payer. All aboard the merry go round!
  • William's s.
    Sell them to the French, just like everything else, and close down ITV, that would make things better.

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