Off the rails…

A couple of months ago, I mentioned the probability that GNER would have to surrender its franchise to run what should be a profitable rail route – the one that take me to and from London.

Well, it’s now been revealed that the government have asked them to give up the franchise, and that bids will be welcomed from other operators. It seems that GNER would not have been able to make the ever so slightly high payments due next May, which comes as no surprise to anyone. Apparently a deal will be done to allow GNER to keep operating the service while the tendering process drags on – which will take around 18 months, it seems.

Incredibly, it’s being suggested that GNER will be bidding.

But the worst bit is this: we, the taxpayers are paying Virgin a subsidy of £1.4 billion to run the West Coast service. Which means Mr Branson will have a nice source of money to fund Virgin’s inevitable bid for the East Coast service. Which means that the “income” from this service is completely illusory.

Most people who knew anything about railways though that the way the services were privatized was a Bad Thing. This latest episode should make that clear to even those with no idea at all about how to run a railway[1]. Not that the system will change, of course…

[1] That would be the government…

One thought on “Off the rails…

  1. Pingback: If you want to know the time : Losing it

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