March 14th, 2007 § 0 comments

An extra 1,000 train carriages are expected to be provided for Britain’s railways in a bid to tackle overcrowding, the BBC has learnt.
Ministers will announce that carriages will be used to lengthen trains on the most congested parts of the network.

Much of the extra rolling stock is likely to be used on the jammed network serving London and south-east England, where passenger increases are highest.

We have to pay for the equipment private companies need to provide the service they promised they would as part of the licence conditions.

The government will pay for them, to be leased to the train companies at a cost of about £130 million a year, he says.

I was listening to Radio 4 in the car on the way to work and I’m para phrasing here, ‘cos I was driving at the time:

Interviewer: So the government is paying for the new carriages?

Guest: Yes, because to lay on new carraiges for peak time is not profitable. The carriages will pay for themselves in 5 years or so/long term (remember I’m paraphrasing), but not in the first couple of years.

I: so this is a government subsidy?

G: Yes, repeat answer above.

Soooo, why aren’t the train companies paying for the carriages as a long term investment? Are they going to pay back the ‘subsidy’ once the carriages become profitable? If the train companies can’t turn a profit (which they can) or do not want to invest in essential equipment, tools of their trade, why are they running their franchise?

Why do stuff like this where there is no natural market have to be privatised? The only people that benefit are the directors of the companies?

What I do hate is half arsed privatisation, private companies running stuff, taking a profit and the government still ploughing money into them. If a companiy can’t support itself, then down it goes. If the government is paying for it, profits come back to the government. Simple.

Labels: Capitalism

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