It will be interesting to hear his comments. two things about this story: some French regional airlines have sunk as the TGV has moved forward;
and the recent anouncement of £2 bn for British railways in the next two years, [ actually only £2 hundred million of new (ie unannounced) money ] includes station extentions, some Olympic build and various upgrading.
This simply does not allow the rail network to compete with the regional airlines over here.
Where is there an engineer who could quote for a brand new Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley High Speed Link, built on stilts where necessary and straight, and fast?
How does this price compare with, say, the cost for the M25 ( in today's prices)?
What price the carbon footprints of the airplanes?
Some british trains are good.
I had the pleasure, if thats what you call it, of being in London last week. Trian seat booked on line so seat guarunteed there and back. Trains ran to time. Still cost over 100 notes but someone else is paying. I can't complain.
The last time I was on a TGV we had a beggar walking the aisles before the train set off. Never had that in UK.
I think all the regularls here know my thoughts on travel by now! That said, I used the train a month or so back to go across to northern France, and thought it was all excellent apart from the final leg of the journey back from London to here in Oxon. All the other trains (including the tube to go between Paddington & Waterloo) were clean, efficient and on time. That last trip, however was abysmal. I managed to grab a seat in the alcove by the door. In the end, the train (leaving London about 6:30pm) was so packed I had someone's rear end about a foot in front of my face, and it was like that until I got off. We desperately need improvements on public transport, both from large city to large city, and also smallre town to town stuff. Until people feel they have an easy alternative to using the car that doesn't cost the earth, there's little hope of persuading people out of their cars...
I don't want to sound a note of dissent, but I love travelling by train, except from Paddington anywhere near 17.00h. That's not travel, that's purgatory. I think the people who try to run the service do an amazing job in the face of what they have to put up with - management(?), investment, (or lack of both) cross passengers - sorry, customers, even their new Chief Exec is off. Take the money and run should be trans. into Latin and become a motto for these lads.
I have to say my recent travels by train - Edinburgh Leeds Cambridge and back were all excellent. The only quarrel I had was a last minute - almost literally - platform change in Leeds wich panicked everybody, and a mand who tried to stop me walking through the buffet car on the grounds that 'it's first class carriages up there madam'
To which my reply was an icy 'And I have a first class ticket'.
See when you're ?0, you don't need to kowtow to these people, I'm never going to see him again, I don;t need him to like me. Very liberating.
I used to commute to Bristol on the train, a distance of some 35 miles. The journey took 45 minutes, so reducing it to 6 minutes would be rather good. Not a practical proposition, of course, though I'm sure Mr. Stephenson would be pleased to see that his narrow gauge railway could achieve such a huge speed.
It also took me 45 minutes getting to and from the stations at either end, so a 40-minute car ride was a 90-minute trip using the train (and that was when I could take my bike on the train at no charge and with no pre-booking). Last time I travelled on a train I found it was full of people chatting on mobile 'phones. Ugh. Now they are threatening the same punishment for Underground users.
I'm surprised, an a bit disapoined that in the item about the suicide question put to RAF personnel that you did not remember the item carried a year or two ago where a 2nd war pilot brought down a German bommber in the process of attacking Buckingham palace. If i rember correctly, his guns had jammed so he rammed the German Plane brining it down as well as his own plane. Im sure that as he staged his attack he could not be sure of surviving the attack
I thought he was most respectful about our railways, Eddie, and quite right so. But, then, you didn't snigger either. Good man!
EdI: I thought you didn't arrive in Scotland until 1972, by which time the railway you refer to would have been closed, surely? Dr. Beeching's cunning plans were rolled out from 1963 onwards, and completed by 1968, I believe.
You're right of course. By the time I arrived they were busy taking down the bridges and allowing folk to buy bits of the right-of-way to build houses on. It seemed the powers that be were determined to make it impossible to ever re-establish the coverage which had given Britain one of the best railway systems in the world.
All part of the centralisation/urbanisation which has virtually destroyed rural culture. In my time I have seen cars multiply beyond belief and local busses run mostly empty because the service is so scant nobody wants to depend upon it. This, of course leads to further reductions in service due to lack of demand.
If you do chance to travel by bus, you get to see the 'underclass' - the poor, the old, the young, and those with no time urgency, although bus travel is free for me throughout Scotland as an Elder.
Whoopee! But I don't really want to go anywhere.
Oops! Well spotted on the unintended double-entendre, Appy! In my defence, I claim to be too innocent to have noticed it :p
I am sorry to tell you this, Fearless, but claims to be too innocent do not cut it with some people on the Frog. When items are written with only a single-entendre, there are certain people (I will not name names; Appy knows who she is) will see something that is not there! Innocence is no plea. :-(
EdI: I happen to live in an area where several lines were axed by the Doctor, but the good news is that some have been revived privately, and the less good news is that other stretches are now mainly pleasant walks in unspoilt countryside.
I love trains, and wish heartily the little lines were back in business.
Is this some kind of existential joke??? Earlier on the beach Nikki Noodle said I was going to turn the blog blue. I apologised sincerely for my recent smuttiness. Then I get here, find Humph has gone on the offensive, it turns midnight and everything has gone blue!
OK, OK, apologies aren't enough -- I'll go and sit in the naughty corner until everything's back to the way it was :-( Shove up RJD (can't see anything in these conditions, but he's bound to be there -- he always is).
I see (at this moment in time) we have a BBC Blue blog .. it's not the first time but I know that if it offends you , and it's not rectified you can download Firefox -- do a google. However it may cause the odd problem here and there. Alternatively you can right click and select the invisible comments and make them readable.
All very strange and may well be okay when you read this!
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