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Re: PC: RE: Re: Why no money?



> There was (and is) no way to make a profit on a national intercity
passenger system  and on commuter passenger trains. It doesn't happen
anywhere in the world today, and it became impossible in the U.S. decades
ago.

Hi Bryan,

Agreed with everything else you said, highly informative and interesting
stuff, however, the above statement is incorrect as British Rail's
Inter-City passenger service turned a small profit in the late 1980s, early
1990s before the long recession of 1991+ and before privatisation gave
larger sweeteners (read subsidy) to national transport operators such as
National Express, Virgin and First Group to take the various Inter-City
routes off our Government's hands.  Most of these routes are today producing
profits again, for their private-sector owners, although things are slightly
clouded by the fact that they do still receive subsidy from central
Government.  However, the subsidy profile does drop over the lives of the
franchises (ranging from 7 to 20 years) agreed with the Inter-City route
train operators and all will be either returning a premium to the
Government, or will be not be receiving a subsidy, by the end of their
franchises.

It's also worth pointing out that before the recession mentioned above,
transport analysts predicted that London's commuter operation, known as
'Network South-East' was predicted to break-even around the mid-1990s.
Again several of the routes are now on steadily decreasing subsidy profiles.

Apologies for wandering from the Penn Central, but I thought that the group
would be interested to hear that passenger services don't need to be money
pits. Of course in Europe major cities are that much closer together than
those in the US, so air travel does not have a significant advantage.

Best regards,

Gareth
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