14 March 2007
A thousand new carriages
Patrick Crozier

I see that the government is set to spend £1bn on 1,000 extra “carriages” to ease overcrowding.  Groan. 

Groan, because, if the last train splurge is anything to go by the new trains will be either unreliable, inappropriate, expensive or late - or all four.

And groan, because that’s going to be something like a £1,000 subsidy that people who don’t use trains will have to pay each London-bound commuter.  Doesn’t sound quite right, does it?

Overcrowding is caused by fare control.  The answer is to abolish fare control.

“Carriages"?
It’s a complicated explanation but railwaymen rarely talk about carriages these days, preferring to refer to multiple-units.

Update 16/03/07.  Tim Hall has further thoughts.

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