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Scotland’s Railways to be Renationalised ?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
According to this article in The Times.

Whats next ? Do you think England & Wales should follow and renationalise their railways.

I'm going to play devils advocate a little here, but I think renationalisation is a bad idea. Nationalised companies/ industries are less competitive and efficient as their profit driven counterparts.

Lets face it in terms of profitability, efficiency, safety and global presence, privitisation has been a success for British Airways. I don't see why the same cant be achieved by the railways.

Are the Scottish Parliament pushing for renationalsatin in Scotland because it is popular among the public or the best option for a more efficient and reliable rail system.

Any thoughts :confused:

Comments

  • JsTJsT TheSite Graduate Posts: 18,265 I am one with The Mix
    Frankly its a daft idea and no doubt in my mind its just political spin.

    You can't have part private and part nationalised, it just doesn't work together when there are so many links. Whats next? Stopping for border control at Berwick-upon-Tweed?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Calvin wrote: »
    I'm going to play devils advocate a little here, but I think renationalisation is a bad idea. Nationalised companies/ industries are less competitive and efficient as their profit driven counterparts.

    Lets face it in terms of profitability, efficiency, safety and global presence, privitisation has been a success for British Airways. I don't see why the same cant be achieved by the railways.

    Any thoughts :confused:

    railways can be competitive how?

    and it was silly for BA to be public as well all they need are airports, whilst BAA who run airports and NAT (air traffic control) were public for long after, and NAT is bare privatised and BAA is owned by the spanish state owned airport operator :s
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    railways can be competitive how?


    interindustry competition innit
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bad idea, the government is already taxing us to the hilt, I'm not paying any more for a service I barely use, on top of the fares i'd have to pay if I did use it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes they should. But then the government should run them like all other European governments that have nationalised railways run them.

    Of course it will not happen in this country because as always money talks and people are too short-sighted to see that digging in your pocket today for investment in public services will mean a more productive country and more wealth for all.

    But if the government were to go the whole way and not only renationalise the railways but maintain them and upgrade them to first-world levels then it would be the best thing that would have happened to this country in decades. Because a modern, looked-after, passenger orientated state run railway pisses all over a privatised network where profit is the only concern ever.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Yes they should. But then the government should run them like all other European governments that have nationalised railways run them.

    Imo, considering overall local/regional/national trains the best trains in Europe are in Germany. And Deutsche Bahn is a private company...

    Of course Deutsche Bahn's state owned predecessors (in West Germany at least) actually invested in the railways and put a decent infrastructure in place...unlike Labour and Conservative governments with British Rail.
    Aladdin wrote: »
    But if the government were to go the whole way and not only renationalise the railways but maintain them and upgrade them to first-world levels then it would be the best thing that would have happened to this country in decades. Because a modern, looked-after, passenger orientated state run railway pisses all over a privatised network where profit is the only concern ever.

    Why would it be any better than before?

    Interestingly more people are using the trains than ever before, passenger use is far higher than it was when the railways were nationalised.

    I'd like to see the network more joined-up, I think there are too many different companies. I think if a couple of large companies were running the entire network with long fixed contracts that would help, they'd have an incentive to invest and with a few well known companies there'd be more accountability. But, I don't see how nationalisation will equal improvement.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Bad idea, the government is already taxing us to the hilt, I'm not paying any more for a service I barely use, on top of the fares i'd have to pay if I did use it.

    you know most of network rails money comes from the government anyway.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    minimi38 wrote: »
    interindustry competition innit

    :confused: On most routes there is a monopoly on the fast direct route. Lots of towns are served by one railway line and one railway company. There isn't much 'competition' - hence there's no reason why a couple of companies can't run the entire network instead of dozens. (Or even one very dominant company as is the case in Germany).
  • JsTJsT TheSite Graduate Posts: 18,265 I am one with The Mix
    I'd like to see the network more joined-up, I think there are too many different companies. I think if a couple of large companies were running the entire network with long fixed contracts that would help, they'd have an incentive to invest and with a few well known companies there'd be more accountability. But, I don't see how nationalisation will equal improvement.

    There isn't really anything wrong with the current infrastructure - small(ish) companies controlling individual areas is IMO the best way forward. The companies controlling have to be given a reasonable length franchise though to encourage investment from the private sector.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    :confused: On most routes there is a monopoly on the fast direct route. Lots of towns are served by one railway line and one railway company. There isn't much 'competition' - hence there's no reason why a couple of companies can't run the entire network instead of dozens. (Or even one very dominant company as is the case in Germany).

    intra ≠ inter
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    you know most of network rails money comes from the government anyway.....

    Giving money to a company to maintain the network, and giving money to buy out that company, and all the other companies, reinvesting in trains/staff/uniforms e.t.c. are 2 different things.

    I've no doubt that in the long run a fantastic rail network may benefit the country in some way, but getting there would cost a hell of a lot of money that I'd be loathe to contribute to.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Are we not already propping the rail network up with our tax money anyway? Everyone in favour of privatisation, fair enough, but put your money where your mouth is. Get rid of any government subsidies, as well as all those little "incentives" to get us to use public transport rather than the car, and let the free market decide. What's everyone else betting on?

    On a related note, privately run transport in the city centre always performs more poorly than the council run equivalent in terms of passenger numbers.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah, we are subsidising the rail industry via tax money. I dunno about anyone else, but that always pisses me off, using tax payers money to subsidise private business.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd be interested to know how much we spend on the rails now, compared to when they were nationalised.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd be interested to know how much we spend on the rails now, compared to when they were nationalised.

    I'm sure I remember reading the other day Network Rail receives 3 times the amount of money British Rail received from the Government.

    I do think if the rail network is privatised then it shouldn't receive any subsidies. Thats the whole point of privatisation. Commercial companies have to make money out of it, if they cant then they go out of business, the tax payer should not be propping them up.

    Or we go the other way and have full scale nationalisation. Then tax payers have to fund the whole network and any future investment in Maglev trains or faster train lines. Which would cost a shit load, but would deliver real economic benefits to the country.

    We need to make a clear choice though, because the rail network isn't up to standard for an economical developed country like the UK.

    :thumb:
  • JsTJsT TheSite Graduate Posts: 18,265 I am one with The Mix
    Calvin wrote: »
    I do think if the rail network is privatised then it shouldn't receive any subsidies. Thats the whole point of privatisation. Commercial companies have to make money out of it, if they cant then they go out of business, the tax payer should not be propping them up.

    You remove funding then we have a Beeching style situation - lines will close and fares will rocket. There are many franchises that currently take over 20p a mile in government subsidy for every passenger. You remove this and you wipe out many rural lines. Take an example of the rural Heart of Wales line between Swansea and Shrewsbury. Serves many little communities in Wales. A return on the 121 mile line is £18 - remove the subsidy it would cost £42. Passengers won't pay it, line closes. This is one example of hundreds of rural lines that rely on subsidy.

    One option is to merge profit making express companies with the little rural franchises - but just check the mess that is First Great Western now they have done that very thing.

    Comparing costs in terms of subsidy is difficult but I remember doing part of an essay on it earlier this year - I dont have the full figures at the moment but I can steal the graph from the essay:
    suboc4.jpg

    Those interested in how the rail network is actually improving should check out the 'National Rail Trends' which are published quaterly by the office of the Rail Regulator.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Calvin wrote: »
    I'm sure I remember reading the other day Network Rail receives 3 times the amount of money British Rail received from the Government.
    To no avail, it seems...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,2066838,00.html
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah I saw that this morning. It does seem Network Rail have gotten off with very little critisism after that Virgin Trains accident. Had it still be Railtrack the press would have torn them apart limb from limb :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Yes they should. But then the government should run them like all other European governments that have nationalised railways run them.

    Were the railways ever privatised and then bought back in the other European countries? I guess that for the UK, the cost of buying them back and then trying to find the money to invest in them further is so horribly expensive that renationalisation would be a non-starter and political nightmare.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Teagan wrote: »
    Were the railways ever privatised and then bought back in the other European countries? I guess that for the UK, the cost of buying them back and then trying to find the money to invest in them further is so horribly expensive that renationalisation would be a non-starter and political nightmare.

    Just buy back the track then tax them off the rails until they bugger off of their own accord. ;)
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