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In which the Telegraph, the Daily Telegraph, comes out in favour of re-nationalizing the railways

Telegraph - Andrew Gilligan - No way to run a grown-up railway

Yet hard as it may be to get worked up about which one of two unappealing companies gets to paint its logo on some trains, Sir Richard has done us a big favour by exposing the broken nature of the franchising system. Last year, the Government tried to reform rail franchises to avoid the "one-way bet" of revenue support. They made franchisees put up a risk-related "performance bond" to guard against broken promises, and they linked future revenue demands and revenue support to future changes in the economy. West Coast is the first franchise to be let under the new rules. But it is precisely these calculations, the level of the performance bond and the likely changes in the economy, that the civil servants assessing Virgin against First appear to have got so badly wrong.
 In the end, however, the most lasting effect of the Virgin rebirth will be to fuel the growing consensus that the railways cannot go on like this. The system's effort to share risk between public and private always seems to work against the taxpayer and farepayer. One option would be to move to a "concession" form of franchising, as on London's buses and many European regional railways, where the company is no more than a contractor.

Britain's second-most important main line, East Coast, offers a more radical alternative......

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 08:12:38 AM EST
Gilligan just found out how much his season ticket will go up by?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 09:03:04 AM EST
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You think he can count?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 11:27:35 AM EST
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(Belated comment) this deserves a diary (along with the West Coast franchising debacle in general)!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 11th, 2012 at 07:18:31 AM EST
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