Why we dont use the railways anymore

  drbeeching 17:14 05 Apr 2007

Seems the railways are getting used less & less these days.
If the service improved, offered more trains & better customer service surely more would use the railways?

  pj123 17:20 05 Apr 2007

I just use my bike.

  Jackcoms 17:55 05 Apr 2007

"Seems the railways are getting used less & less these days".

I take it that you aren't a regular commuter into London from the Home Counties, then?

If you were, you'd realise how nonsensical your assertion is

  spuds 17:57 05 Apr 2007

I think your namesake had a lot to answer, regarding train travel.

Shouldn't this question be in Speakers Corner?.

  oresome 18:26 05 Apr 2007

"If the service improved, offered more trains & better customer service surely more would use the railways?"

You'd think so wouldn't you? In fact we used to have just such a service and network. Guess what? People and freight stopped using it and as a result much of it was pulled up.

It went the way of the canals before it as the motor car came to the fore and the road network was improved.

Now the motor car is becoming too popular, we might just go full circle.

  Forum Editor 19:27 05 Apr 2007

from Consumerwatch.

  anskyber 19:37 05 Apr 2007

In fact the railways are being used more and more.

I suspect you may mean the railways are lacking the investment to ensure greater carrying capacity and to provide a serious alternative means of transport.

  Forum Editor 19:37 05 Apr 2007

that we don't use the railways, because we do, we use them a lot, particularly to and from London. Over 65% of all rail journeys start or finish in London.

There are well over a billion passenger journeys a year on our railways, and not far short of half a million freight tonnes are carried every day. Rail travel is definitely 'greener' than going by road; an average family car uses half as much energy as an entire high-speed train.

  egapup 19:43 05 Apr 2007

When i left school and started work in the 60's I had to catch a train and it was packed, standing room only but as the price of fares went up so the train emptied. It's cheaper by car, especially if you share.

  johndrew 19:43 05 Apr 2007

`Rail travel is definitely 'greener' than going by road ..`

Unfortunately it is also far more expensive, carriages are not particularly clean, trains (especially at peak times or on major routes) tend to be crowded and you are tied to the schedules given. Until the operators realise that for the price demanded people expect better many will still prefer the traffic jams.

A good service at a competitive price is possible; European rail services show this clearly.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 20:14 05 Apr 2007

Recently I had the great misfortune to have to make 2 return rail journeys from Stroud to London. This was my first experience of a train in 10 years. It will also be my last.
The trains were overcrowded-reminiscent of a cattle truck and freezing ( both were in the rush hours but a handy tip to the train operators-taking carriages off during the rush hours is a tad irresponsible, okay), I fail to see that if we can put a ruddy probe slap-bang on Mars then heating a 100 foot long tube to 20c should be a doddle, surely providing half edible and drinkable grub is not beyond the wit of man in these days, each return journey cost a third of what I paid for a week in Gran Canaria inc. flights and hotel and the price felt like I had sold my first born plus servitudal rights to any subsequent offspring. Finally, would you believe it, there appears to be some discrepancy and dare I say argument, between the train operators' time-pieces and timetables and the atomic clock at Greenwich.
A family booking a day return to London, assuming that they can work out the Gordian/labyrinthine fare structure, would end up paying the equivalent of a small countries' GDP......and some.
My butt remains firmly glued to my car seat or airline seat from now on.


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