Whether they nationalise the railways again or not, do we really need to pay that high a price?
Why does a return ticket to London cost me £44 minimum, off peak? The journey lasts just 50 minutes after all, if I manage to get a fast train. Often I find myself stood up for the duration, as seats are taken long before my arrival. Alternatively, I stop at dozens of stations and have to wait an hour and a half to get to Kings Cross. What exactly do these private companies do with my money? Perhaps the government are right to move away from franchising. Definitely the East Coast Mainline still suffers lots of disruptions and cancellations. My own train to London was cancelled just a week ago so I changed to an open return once more.
It seems to me that they should have worked out how to keep the trains running when it snows these days too. But, just this February, everything came to a standstill when a blanket of snow hit us for a few days. Seats often look scuffed and bins are regularly overflowing. I just do not understand what these companies invest in.
However, I much prefer travelling by trains to sitting in traffic, frustrated by fumes, bad drivers and roadworks. I just wish these large companies could communicate better and have a more robust strategy for keeping their trains on time and delivering enough seats for the services they offer. In Germany and France I rarely suffer any setbacks and the overall experience for me has been much nicer and swifter.