Saturday, 20 January 2018

And another thing

On the subject of trains

The other thing that strikes me is how often the railway debate is seen as binary. As-is verses monolithic state owned-and-run.

This isn't just when talking about the future of the British railways but when citing the best and worst bits of the situation in other countries.

No small changes or mixed models allowed. All mentions of "and this happens where they have a nationalised system" talks of separation of running trains and infrastructure or that private companies can still run services or use of private contractors (I know lots of people are chiming sonorous dirges about outsourcing due to Carillion, but I don't think it will, or should, be going away).

What if a government stopped letting franchises for local services at first? Or transformed contracts to be a different sort of private operation like TfL do with the Overground etc? Has anyone done a comprehensive independent analysis of the options showing the pros and cons?

Is the all or nothing a straw man awaiting the flame or somehow the only two options?

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