4 thoughts on “What to do with Britain’s railways in the post-Covid era?”

  1. Posted 18/10/2021 at 10:53 | Permalink

    HS2 will not just serve Birmingham but Manchester,Liverpool,Preston Carlisle Galasgow and Edinburgh.
    I have been to the North West from London three times in the last month and found them busy ,punctual and a very pleasant travel experience. I am told from a very reliable source that First Group sold more tickets August and September than in the same 2 months of 2019,before the pandemic.

  2. Posted 19/10/2021 at 10:31 | Permalink

    In response to the comment above, the DoT figures say that on the last date shown (11 October), rail travel was 60% of the equivalent day in 2019. In the previous week, daily usage had fluctuated between the upper 50s and lower 60s.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

  3. Posted 19/10/2021 at 10:33 | Permalink

    On 11 October, rail usage was 60% of the equivalent day in 2019. For the previous week, daily usage fluctuated between the upper 50s and lower 60s. Obviously some parts of the network will have done better than others, but the comment above seems overly optimistic.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

  4. Posted 24/10/2021 at 15:17 | Permalink

    It is to be noted that after a very rapid growth in rail travel for many years after (the quasi-) privatisation of rail, on the basis of ORR figures the market seemed to flat-line in the years prior to COVID. It is a feature that appears to have escaped much comment.

    Re the comment concerning high fares, is this looking through the wrong end of the telescope?
    Despite “high” fare levels, railways make huge losses. (Incidentally, the net debt of Network Rail, the infrastructure provider, is well in excess of £50bn.). Fundamentally, rail is a very expensive form of transport to provide (partly for reasons that are not entirely apparent). Arguably fares are not high enough. (Excuse another incidentally; train fares are zero rated for VAT, unlike some Continental railways).

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